It's like when the sun catches your windshield and you can make out every tiny imperfection in the glass. Little scratches and cracks and pockmarks. You know when you look at something and you can tell it's on the verge of breaking? It's about to shatter or crumble into a million pieces and there's nothing you can do about it.
Their fingers grace
arms and black ink is transferred from
This has never been what
anyone expected it to be.
This has been
social awkwardness and
movement defined by how far you can reach when you're wearing a
This has been nothing anyone expected it to be but this has been perfection. At least for those involved, this has been perfect.
Midnights spent on cold and snowy hills (ice too thick to be shear)
moving quickly. Moving too quickly.
Time spent without a helmet-- allowing the scalp to breathe.
You can’t keep it locked up inside that
skull forever because sooner or later
everything craves freedom.
Brains and hearts and even paper birds have this in common.
They all move
out and over and soon they are gone.
You won't miss them because you never knew you had them.
Your obliviousness is finally paying off.
They told you--
you could never fly airplanes
or dive in a submarine and you told them to watch you
because you would because
this is what you wanted to do and be and this is what you needed in order to be happy in order to live--
but look at yourself.
You've never been farther from the sky or the ocean and it would appear as though you don't really care and I wish I could say I know you better.
When I try to think of a specific moment on YWP, I have a really hard time. I have been a member of the site since 8th grade, and I'm now a senior in high school. I've seen the site go through its different incarnations. I've witnessed sidebar shifts and header changes. I met most of the people that I call my best friends, here. Hell, I met my first boyfriend here (and, consequently, every boyfriend after that. I would have no romantic life if not for YWP [that's probably not true, but it at least wouldn't be the one I have now]). The site has been an incredibly important and formative experience for me. I think that's important: this is not just a site, it's an experience. So how am I just supposed to choose just one moment in nearly five years of membership to focus on in a piece of writing? Read more »
This boy at my school died today. It was a car accident. A bad car accident. I don’t. I don’t really know how. I mean. I don’t. I knew him. I didn’t know him very well. We were in some clubs together. We went on a couple trips together. He was very good friends with so many of my friends. I don’t. He has a twin brother. He has two sisters. His sister was my partner in acting class. His twin brother. His twin brother. His sisters are older, away at college. I don’t know. He was in Breanna’s advisory. He was at the party I was supposed to be at this weekend. I don’t know I don’t know. I hate this I hate this I don’t know I don’t know. Part of me feels like I don’t even have the right to be upset. I shouldn’t even be feeling like this because we were not particularly friends, but I’ve known him for three years, I’ve known his sister for four, I don’t know how to deal with this. The driver was fine. The driver. I know him too. He’s fine. Him and his sister were in the car and they are fine. I don’t know how to deal with that. I don’t even know exactly what happened yet. It’s not like he is a stranger but it’s not like he is my best friend and I don’t know I don’t know why does this keep happening we did not need this again no one needed this again we did not need this again.
Title-less slam poem that I would be slamming tonight if I did not have a relatively rare and highly contagious disease.Submitted by Qwerty on Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:06pm
Here is my slam poem! I mean, it doesn't start until about one minute into the recording, thanks to my very long introduction about why I'm uploading it here in the first place, BUT, enjoy.
Note: This is my application for the Champlain College Young Writers' Conference. I encourage all of those who are in high school to apply. This will be my fourth year and it's always a fantastic time. http://www.champlain.edu/young-writers-conference/application-and-fees.html
Sometimes I wonder how things
might've been if I was more perfect and you
less so. Read more »
When you were angry you created one million tiny earthquakes; shaking the house like nothing ever had before. The aftershocks reverberated from the basement to our bedroom and sometimes I loved it when you were angry. Loved how the plates sounded crashing on the tile, loved how everything was quiet when you were done, loved how everything was perfect in the moments after the storm because I have always been in love with perfection (even if it exists for only a minute).
This is my college admissions essay. Written at the last minute, as my application is due tomorrow and I wrote this yesterday. Anyway. Here it is.
Once when it was November and just turned freezing cold I went outside with my orange-painted toes and stood where pavement meets grass. The grass was cold and wet; the pavement was colder. There were too many things to think about and not enough hours in the day, not enough water in the world to soak my feet for the amount of time I needed to think these thoughts. Read more »
What if I can’t remember that I loved you?
What if I first forget hands
next words once exchanged under blankets in the dark?
You would whisper your well-wishes through the smoke
curling towards the sky from your lips and
I was constantly shocked by your irrelevance. Read more »
Remember the first time you tried running? Remember how your legs were moving, pumping, faster faster and you felt like the world was yours. You could run all the way to London to Hong Kong to Sydney because nothing in the world could stop you. Read more »
You tried to whisper your well-wishes through
the steam rising up from your
over-steeped cup of earl-grey but
fall was coming
too quickly the leaves
taking on their fiery orange
too quickly the ground freezing
Moving on, you insisted
would be good for you.
Moving on, you insisted
would allow you to forget but maybe you didn't consider that she
need to forget. Read more »
This one is really struggling. I would appreciate any help that anyone has to offer.
I wasn't angry with you for turning 21. You cannot get angry with someone for something as trivial as aging just like you can't get angry with someone for something as trivial as a broken espresso machine. Read more »
Hey, YWP. I've been virtually (heh, pun) absent this summer and I've been very sad about it. However, I have been writing! I'll post a few things here that I would really appreciate comments on.
To him she was beautiful in her imperfections.
Beautiful in that her hair didn't fall straight and smooth across her back. It lay in frizzy waves that curled around her arms, around her spine, behind her ears. Beautiful in that her eyes were not pure blue nor green but a muddy-brown that sometimes reminded him of coffee. Beautiful in that she was not pencil thin, would never be pencil thin, her curves were like mountains and they were beautiful like mountains.
He was beautiful to her for all the wrong reasons.
Reasons like the fact that he was a chain smoker and smoke would drift from his lips like upside-down waterfall (that smooth). Reasons like the fact that he was incapable of middle-ground feelings, everything was intense and when it was intense it was intensely perfect or intensely imperfect. Reasons like the fact that when things were intensely imperfect he wrote the most beautiful poetry she had ever read and she was very attracted to artists.
(They knew that if they ended up together everything would go horribly wrong. Buildings would fall and they sky would rain a thousand tiny apocalypses. You see, in the end none none of this ended because of bombs [It was love].)
Read more »
I have recently returned from a three-week visit to China. More writing to come but, here's a reflection
China was fun, at least in part, due to its intensity. Spend three weeks with 13 people in one of the most densely populated and history-rich areas of the world and you end up with this ridiculous bond between people and place and people and people. I have 10 new best friends and the Rong Yuan hotel in Chengdu still feels like home. Yes, I'm happy to be in my comfy bed in Vermont but I kind of miss by rock-hard bed, under the air-conditioner, next to the too-bright window where I could always here car horns. It was perfect. Chengdu was perfect. I miss noodles and dumplings and drinking tea every day and walking to the convenience store next door and getting ice cream and looking at things and visiting things that had serious history. The language is beautiful and street signs are art. I even miss our host students. The quiet apartment with millions of teapots and Helen who wouldn't come clubbing with us. Niegel with his scrolls that were 30 meters long. He was one of the most impressive artists I have ever met. April and Yoyo. Our billionaire friends who wanted to do the things they never had time to do with us. They wanted to take us to their favorite restaurants, go shopping, just hang out and talk and read magazines. China was perfect and I'm still in a little bit of withdrawal but I am comforted by the intense feeling that I will go back some day. I can't not go back at this point. There's so much more I want to see and I want to become fluent in the language and I want to meet more people and there are people I want to see again and... I would go back tomorrow if given the choice. Read more »
separation he thought (she feared).
separation they insisted (he needed).
too far gone, they told her (she knew).
tap tap tap on the cold white floor. A nurse’s clogs and she’s coming in with the wire and he’s screaming about the wire because no it’s not just wire and that wasn’t just duct tape and honey, nothing is okay. you’ve been thinking too much and he was too far gone he is too far gone. she was upset about the plates, mostly, even though they were porcelain and he was skin and bone. she was upset about the goldfish, mostly, even though she hated that fish and she loved him. she was upset about the couch, mostly, even though the couch was cheap and their insurance did not cover xanax.
pin you down and force a funnel down your throat and
fill your body with sand, just so you could not run away.
and then your eyes. your eyelids peeled off with razor blades, then duct tape applied to throbbing irises. you could not be seeing anything. your hands smashed with hammers and your feet bound with wire.
they were always after you and you could see them in the corner of your eye, running, running, running towards you, but when you snapped your neck around to see, they would be gone.
you said the pills they gave you were cyanide, not xanax and you said the place they took you was a prison not a hospital and you promised me, promised me, promised me that you would get out and everything would be fine—but not as long as they were out there with their razor blades and funnels and wire. all you had to do was stop them and then honey, it would be okay. but they were after you, after you, after you and they were in your head, their ink on your hands, their sand between your toes and you were too far gone.
You were probably too
fastmoving for windows
positioned in a corner
locking you out
locking you in.
so green as that
day when your infantile
hands reached up &
over the bars of your crib
(you always had a taste for freedom).
You wanted to be
fastmoving like the light
like the sun
like the stars.
Based on: http://youngwritersproject.org/node/58486
This is because I miss you and I
love you and I
I’m sorry that
I loved him more and
I’m sorry that
I couldn’t bring myself to leave him and
I’m sorry that
I’m in this constant state of apology
I picutre you now in an apartment in the city with
no children and
one husband who will cook and clean for you like you know I never would have and
Maybe you will think of me sometimes as you put your head to
your pillow but mostly I will be gone.
memories of springs and summer will fade away.
You used to tell me—“memories are like smoke”
as you took drag
after drag on that
as your smoke curled to the sky and mixed with the stars.
It was always nighttime when I saw you.
I miss you.
I love you.
I loved you when I was with you and even more when you
were gone because
it’s so true—that thing they say about loving things more when they’re gone
Read more »
This is because I love you and have not written you one of those love letters in months and months. I’m sorry. I know that’s not the most conventional way to start a love letter but I’m not sure what else to say. I’m sorry I loved him more than you, I’m sorry I couldn’t bring myself to leave you. I realize now—I’m probably too late. I can picture you in an apartment in New York or London (you always hated Vermont and wanted to get out of here as soon as we graduated), without children (you always hated children), and a husband—he’ll cook and clean for you like you know I never would have and maybe just maybe you’ll think of me sometimes as you put your head to the pillow but mostly I will be gone and our springs and summers—spent on beaches an in forests will be nothing but memories. Read more »
She had always guessed that maybe there was one chance left for a breath of sanity. Her room was dark and her hair was dark. Her skin was pale and she hadn't been outside for months and months. When the morning of the sixth of May came she decided that today was the day and she opened her windows. The trees were finally green, the grass finally green, the flowers finally in bloom. She had missed them, she thought. More than the people she had missed the grass and flowers. Sometimes she missed the large white owl that sat on her window ledge in December, but mostly she missed the grass and the flowers. Because she had not been outside for months and months her skin was bare and her hair was greasy. The water had been shut off when she made the executive decision to stop paying her bills and she had run out of shampoo in November. A mountain of soda bottles lived in the living room. High and mighty, they were the only thing that had sustained her in her self-imposed solitary confinement. She spoke words to the trees and flinched. Her voice was strange, alien. She had not spoken in months and months and her voice had scared her.
Work in progress... Read more »
Editor's note: Forgive the intrusion. I felt this piece needed a bit of background. Champlain Valley Union High School announced this morning that Dylan Peters, a CVU senior, died Friday morning after getting into a single car accident Thursday afternoon. Our hearts reach out to this writer, to Dylan's friends, classmates, family and neighbors. -- gg
The halls are eerily silent today. Walking from class to class, only a few voices can be heard.
My school is big, yes, but that’s not to say that we’re not a close-knit community. When something happens, it effects all of us.
I think that part of why some of us are having so many issues dealing with this is that it wasn’t suicide or drunk driving or a murder or anything that tangible. No one knows what happened, really. He was driving too fast, he went off the road, he hit a tree. Going fast is something we all do, on occasion. We’re teenagers and it’s our nature. This could have happened to any of us and that’s part of why it’s so scary. My advisor keeps saying “it’s never the kids you worry about”. This didn’t happen to the boy that gets drunk every weekend or the girl who has everyone on suicide watch. As far as I know, he was normal. I didn’t know him and I’m not going to pretend to have known him. He went to my middle school. He was a year younger than me. I’m pretty sure he’s in my English class.
crossed blurred the line between
what was happening and what was just-in-our-heads
we got confused. Confused like the little girl
pushed under by a wave
body flailing, gravity non-existent, she cannot tell which way is up.
When you get confused, you get dangerous.
Dangerous like land mines are dangerous.
(neverknowing when they aregoing to explode)
When you are dangerous the rest of us worry because
his isn't Tyler Durden trying to light the world on fire and this isn't a parking lot attendant watching it burn.
This is you and your mind, working against each other not side-by-side. Read more »
As much as I sort of hate angst poetry as a genre, I do think that sometimes you can get a couple good lines out of it that you can use other places.
We both know that you are prone to destructive behavior and you amplify your mistakes with each hit.
You go fast on the highway.
Needlessly fast, endlessly fast, you hit one hundred miles per hour on the way home the other day.
You are starting to care less and less about safety and
more and more about how the speed feels in your body.
Your life has turned into this shapeless visceral mass and I am
frustrated with you. None of us know what you’re doing anymore, least of all you, and it is
It’s worrisome like hand grenades are worrisome.
Slip your hand down, pull out the pin--we’re all blown to hell.
You won’t have time to whisper last
“I’m sorry”s or “fuck you”s.
These are not flames that you can blow out with half a breath and a shot of vodka.
In retrospect this all makes sense
(in retrospect, everything makes sense).
As you took his angry body and held it until it went limp
as you focused the magnifying glass on the salted slug in the middle of your driveway
just to watch its skin bubble and burn
as you crossed the street, jumped in front of the car without looking
you were building yourself up.
You were never afraid of pushing boundaries and more often than not--you completely disregarded them. Read more »
This is something I am working on as my second writing sample for the New England Young Writers' Conference. Help?
This is gg. Great night. Thanks to everyone who came, particularly the Woodstock Crew. Thanks to Isabelle and Qwerty for pulling this off. I'll post pics and sound tomorrow.
Lifted, Crazy Afta Nin, Problem Child, Amelia Munson, Garrett Brown, Aidan Ellis, "Erin, Willy, & Keenan", Rae & Emily, The Current Flash, and The Haps.
A concert type setup. Each band had a set of either 10 or 15 minutes.
7pm, April 9, 2011.
242 Main, Burlington (an awesome venue for young people to perform in a substance-free environment)
Because we want to!
So COME! It's going to be a fantastic time! Great music, maybe some baked goods, and really cool people.
(Note: The coffee house is officially fully booked.) Read more »
Sitting in the driveway
it's freezing cold
trying to get this car to start
'01 Volvo wagon-- it's never been cooperative.
I can feel the cold in every
inch of my body, I can feel it in my fingers it's
going through my fingers
cold penetrates everything.
My hair is freezing--
curls have turned to blonde
icicles and they crack if you touch them. Read more »
for once we will spend an evening
without a trace of red.
We will spend all of our time
without questioning the colors
thrown up on the wall before us.
We will not question because questioning is a sign of weakness and we cannot be weak. Read more »