may // topiramate
when i forget god is beneath my fingernails,
when the sun sits in my ribcage & yawns,
i do not kiss Her. my room smells like dust,
curtains drawn where my eyelids once were
& the carpet turned to ash. i am bound to
this skin, worn like my mother’s scrubs, &
i am burning. there is something like faith
leaking from my mouth; later, i will regret it.
“don’t love me i’m a depressed idiot who will hurt you”
yeah i’m callin myself out
least favorite trope?
any and all vampire tropes.
thing you love about yourself?
my eyes!! they’re very pwetty, especially if the sun hits thm just right.
one thing you would change about how people perceive you?
lmao i want people to not look at me and immediately think “female yes”? is that a big request
describe your writing style in a word.
concerning, to quote my school counselor.
note: she actually said my style is concerning, not the content (well she mentioned that later) . i'm not exactly sure what she means but i agree.
any favorite comedians?
john mulaney and robin williams.
a song that never gets old?
carry on wayward son.
your writing process?
i wouldn’t call it much of a process, i mostly just scribble down fragments that come to me randomly then try to string them together and sometimes it makes sense. that’s why a lot of my poetry has stanzas that seem completely different even if they really all mush together to form a decent poem.
what’s your sense of humour like?
places plush bat on my head he go flap flap bite raWR
that’s funny to me.
really tho my humor is mostly just fandom references and gay jokes.
what’s the best thing about your culture?
there are a lot of cultures i could talk about, but the first thing that comes to mind rn is black culture so imma talk about that.
our hairstyles are fuckin gorgeous!! god, cornrows never really suited me but they jsut,,,look?? soo??? nice???? and dreads are so cool idc about ignorant ppl saying they’re ugly and unkempt bc newsflash if you see someone who just got dreads and their hair is really dry it actually means it’s clean and no having dreads does not mean you go ages without washing your hair and actually we can’t wash our hair as frequently as people with other hairtypes bc um our hair works differently and that’s okay bc our hair is beautiful no matter what we do to it bc we’re beautiful <3
an author you’re inspired by?
ocean vuong!! i swear, i will not let myself be confident until i am as talented as him; yes, not good for me i know but i can’t really tell.
tell me why you think poetry is important.
well, i’d love to have some wise answer, but really i just think it’s important bc it’s beautiful. sometimes that’s enough.
why you such a goddex?
dionysus took me in and taught me how to be a queer theatre hoe like him, thanks for asking.
lauren or loki?
loki all the way.
hermione granger or a rocket ship?
how could you do this to me? hmm probably the rocketship. i’m sure there’s a girl that looks just like hermoine at pigfarts.
which character trope do you embody?
do you like taking uquizzes?
yes!! uquiz is buzzfeeds smart sibling that not enough people know about.
who’s your favourite problematic classic writer?
i don’t think i have a favorite? i used to be quite fond of john steinbeck’s “of mice and men”. i think the part of me that knew i wasn’t neurotypical was angered by the treatment of lennie, but i interpreted that anger as pity.
if you had to mash a bunch of writing styles together to create your preferred one, whose would you mash?
madeline miller, ocean vuong, sappho and virginia woolf.
how tall are you?
do you think you’re more “warm” or “cold”?
hhh ok i like to pretend to be all cold-hearted and shit, but tbh i’m warm most of the time. anyway who has heard me talk about someone i love should know how warm i can be.
what’s your aesthetic?
ugh ok so i have this desire to be grunge and i do have quite a few grunge outfits but i mostly just wear random hoodies and leggings bc i need cheap fits.
do you prefer books with a happy ending, a cliffhanger, bittersweet, or an absolute freaking disaster?
bittersweet. i enjoy the pain of others but not that much.
which animal do you think would make a fitting metaphor for 2020 and why?
goliath tigerfish, just look at a pick of one and you’ll understand.
beauty of sunrise or the mystics of sunset? twilight (the time of day lol) or midnight?
love that you claried that it’s the time of day, ty; i hate the books. anyways, midnight. i live on this hill so if i climb to the top of it (wouldn’t advise at that time of night bc coyotes and raccoons but i did it anyways) you can see downtown and it’s quite lovely when it’s so dark.
as it’s also black history month (here at least), what is your favourite book - fiction or non fiction, poetry or novel - by a black author? (have to say that for me, ‘i know why the caged bird sings’ is just amazing i really adore maya angelou!)
ah black history month isn’t until febuary here. so, i absolutely adore frederick douglass’ autobiography and i highly suggest it to everyone. he is an excellent writer and the book is so freakin’ empowering when you really take in what his life was. also, his speeches are fantastic as well so yeah please read those if you haven’t!!
how are you so cool?
i keep on falling asleep in the fridge.
how are you a goddex?
already answered <3
teach me your ways pls?
teaching ppl things is hard hon i’m sorry :(
also how is ur voice so pretty (peep slack gc tings)?
BAHAHAHA thanKS but also y’all make me laugh when y’all say things like this-
what’s the weather usually like where you live?
rainy or humid. it can get hot in the summer imo, but i may just be very sensitive to hot weather and think anything of 70°f is boiling.
when’d you start getting serious about writing?
hm, well, i wouldn’t really say i’m even serious about writing now? like, i have all these plans to be published and win competitions and shit (actually entered youngarts recently, wish me luck!), but i guess i haven’t hit the point where i’m able to tell myself it’s more than a silly fantasy? but, well i’d say i started getting “serious” when i first submitted to a literary magazine sooo june
what do you want to do/be in the future?
a university professor and/or author. oh and i also want to be an actor, but i wouldn’t make it in the professional acting world.
do you miss me? (jk jk don’t answer that)
what made you start writing?
i wrote a poem for a project in sixth grade (i recorded it and it’s on youtube and i can’t delete it, someone help) and everyone told me it was really good and i got a big confidence boost so i tried it out and i wasn’t good but i kept at it so yeah.
what’s your favourite part of the body to romanticise in your poetry?
god, uh, shoves away the lines i’ve written that somehow romanticize bone marrow. pupils :)
what’s your favourite candle scent?
those strawberry hard candies grandmas always have, they smell like strawberry duh but they also small like granny love somehow.
two hours later:
ok so i read that as candy bc i was hungry.
ahem passion fruit.
if you were on a road trip with friends, would you be trusted with the aux cord?
nope. i’d play death metal on full volume and they know it.
thoughts about beetles?
how has 2020 changed you?
i am more aware of who i am, my humor is much better, and i’ve learned to appreicate the people who are actually there for me.
favorite non writing hobby?
theatre!! i’m not particularly good, especially when it comes to singing and dancing, but idk being on stage as someone who isn’t me just feels great.
going to china with my friends and future significant other during chinese new year. but, if that can’t happen, really anywhere works so long as i get to go with the people i love (call me cringey idc).
do you even play among us?
well i can’t pay for it on pc and i don’t have my phone so not really but i have played on my cousin’s phone a handful of times.
mmm, favorite of your own work?
that one long rambling poem with the pretentious title that i’m way to lazy to look for bc it’s no longer published here bc it’s in a lit mag, or “recovery”.
opinions on frog?
deserves to die.
if you had a bag with 99 red balls and 1 blue ball, and everytime you draw a red ball you get a million pounds and get another draw, but if you take the blue you die, how many times would you chance to draw?
what would you say your spirit animal is?
a wolverine. they’re soft but will bite your nose off.
which season do you identify with the most?
how are you such a goddex?
pff y’all better stop making me blush.
coffee or tea?
coffee, but it has to be iced.
dogs or cats?
dogs. i used to despise cats actually but now i don’t mind them much. still love dogs much more, though.
what will it take for you to admit that you’re a better singer than me, but that i love you more?
mm, bake me some smickerdoodles and i’ll consider saying those false statements.
favorite element? (wind, fire, water, earth)
air (sorry toph).
i don’t have a favorite but i like either stealing shakespeare’s insults or saying random shit like,,, “lick a piss pot” or “i hope you wake up with a wart the size of my (spirtual) dick”
favorite affectionate insult? (if you know what i mean)?
whore/hoe, lil shit, or fuckers <3
i’m actually not sure if this was a dream or a hallucnation bc,,,mm long story,,, but something about a dora puzzle and my dad was dora and boots was some type of money/human thingy or diego was rotting in the corner and i’m sure there was some sort of plot but i can’t remember-
you love to dance near the coast. the sun blesses you with golden sweat and you can envision yourself as the tide, enveloped in the folds of your seafoam gown and falling and rising. clam shells beneath your skin are a shattered bridge to olympus, and you weep for it can never be repaired. and poseidon peers through his kingdom, seeing your ocean water leaking, and gifts you with a mangled sea goddess.
and you become the mother of a crumbling household and nurse this precious sea girl. she stinks of seasalt wine, so you settle her down in a moonrock bathtub and begin to scrub. delicately, you place lavender suds beneath her eyelids and drown her soul in unfamiliar waters. flailing like a sunken moonfish, she clenches onto your thin wrist; flesh upon flesh and she is of your kind. the stench is but a shore when you are done.
she digs her nails into your skin and you are littered with crescents. you praise your daughters masterpiece and decorate her as well.
blood stains her shattered teeth; it’s a lovely painting and you’re quite proud of it. she tears algae from her cracked scalp and you snap your fingers like a lightning bolt; she screeches thunder. the gaps in her flesh become ancient seas and you cackle; for you love a goddess so you are sacred.
now men loiter away on the red concrete and, humming an old sailors tune like a broken siren, you pluck sea glass from their skin. you want to peel them like mandarins; braid their pulp into a bracelet and call it beauty. you do look divine in red.
nail polish activism
tw: racial violence
history taught me white folks don’t care about our blood until they can wear it as nail polish. ma’am what shade would you like? perhaps the macabre of my ancestors, dressed by a haughty whip and slithering rope. you may always alternate colors as well! we have the scarlet cacophonies of our black boys. slurs beating skull, becoming bat and parents are told not to come to the ball game unless they wanna hold their child like a shattered flower bud, beautiful black boy never bloomed before his bruises did. and perhaps a blasphemous red sea? dip your crescent toes in tallahatchie river; claim emmet’s legacy and it’ll be gorgeous until it stains your white picket fence.
history taught me white folks don’t care about our blood until they can wear it as nail polish and i shame them though i know i am the salon. they say i claim my honey brown skin as a gown, fabrics ablaze. and i say soak me in your remorse. soak me, soak me. dilute the blood. this blood, this blood. take it. ma’am i can be your favorite color.
and when did i say this? i can’t remember but it must’ve been when i was drunk on discrimination. so desperate i’d seek another oppressor in the form of an ally? and no these words did not flow from my mouth like a red sea but they must’ve hid in the way i glance at my white friends with desire. or the way my pupils break whenever black history is taught as though it doesn’t reside in my neighborhood. or maybe it’s because i exist. aren’t i asking for your pity? your white pity drowns this land, making us a sunken bone and the vultures can’t find meat but are they even looking? yes, we are only bone and you know the beautiful thing about bone is it’s whiteness. strip us bare, strip me bare. ma’am, for when you want to wear us without brandishing grim. black is the new white and for once we are your favorite color.
in which she burns her hair and asks if she can be joan of ark
somewhere between seattle and athens, you are laughing & i am struck by the fear of living. is this why you let him cut your fingers & skin your cheeks because i know you’ve never liked bones. you say he was a poet in another life, but we weave the language into gods & he’s already written “bitch” with your ashes, scattered the word across the indigo fields as if the devil cares. he told you to not love anyone until you love yourself, but you can love me until the sky sinks into the sea’s embrace.
babe, burning isn’t rebirth. i know your lies like i know your lips.
you’re gonna be fine
have you learned to cry yet? like mango juice dripping from god’s lips & pooling in the sky until a second sun is born, i’d like you to stop lying to the universe as if it matters.
arden misses you. they’ll pause mid-laugh & stare into a world they can’t see & i caught a glimpse once. did you know they have a scar shaped like a begging woman? do you know they trace it with a red pen during class & wish for you? & i’m a fucking dumbass, but i hold them anyways because god they still look like you.
newsies is still my favorite musical! maybe i haven’t grown since 7th grade & maybe i don’t care. ya know, you haven’t either.
sorry. bad joke.
i’ve read the bible front to back & i still haven’t found a single passage that states you must swallow the wafers whole. something that shocked me though: i hate jesus. please don’t hurt me. it’s just, he sits at the table with jewish sinners & speaks absolutely no ill-word of them when questioned by others. pretty christ-like, yes. but, when a greek lady asks for his help, he compares her to a dog under the table. sure, he does his thing & helps her eventually, but isn’t that the tiniest bit... cruel? that’s a rhetorical question. i know the meaning of the passage. i just think it’s shitty.
i’m not sure if you remember the sky. but, you told us it smelled like ash that night & i told you to stop believing you are everything.
you’re everything now. congratulations.
with love (& despair & hope & any other faucets i’ve myself of shoved into this letter),
the body knows
to be forgiven.
one night, after
we heard muffled cries through the
I learned that a man was the closet thing
mouting in your throat
to disappear —
distant & flickering
my mother's sky
I am still inside
to leave any marks.
under my shirt
can hold a body
like week-old lilies
northern downpour send your love
moon honey melting on stone tongues,
flooding throats like hoary, shattered lakes;
she’s scraping glass again, dilating in
frozen sunbeams like silken blossoms
and she’s baking prophecies at 3am
seasoning foreign tongues like sugar rain,
imploding yawns and my seasick lungs;
she tosses kisses into a smirking sun;
hey moon please forget to fall down;
paint our ashen sky with vanilla blush
and stain her pupils this nightfall
i dislike drunken promises/CHOKE ME WITH YOUR VEINS/and worthless deities often/SHATTER ME BENEATH YOUR BREASTS/ingrain my knees on you/SOUL LIKE FLOWER PETALS/and concrete/RIB CAGES, CRACKLING/new year’s secret and/HEARTS MELTING LIKE CANDLES/we craft ourselves/FROM CLAY SMILES/and let us/A WORLD/drown and/LIKE DECAYING FIREFLIES/burn