tan-white girl sits sandwiched
between the bottle-blonde volleyball captain
and the bracefaced leader of the Model UN
club. her skin is milk-white, littered with
freckles. her eyes are wide, doe brown.
her hair is ironed flat; her curls are too
messy to look good in a ponytail.
tan-white girl comes from a place
where people dance in the streets
and eat buñelos until their bellies are
full and warm. the men play dominoes,
and drown their dinners with firewater;
she doesn't know the Spanish word for it.
Spanish is word vomit that she chokes on
every time she is called on in class.
but English falls off her tongue, as she
boldly states her stance on scene 5 act 3
tan-white girl feels lost between two
worlds, and neither seems to fit.
oz is no more.
His father told him that if he headed down the narrow, golden path for three miles, he would find the Emerald Gates, which nurtured the thriving realism that burst from the busy, busy inhabitants of the Emerald City, who only mingled with their own, unless prompted by the Good Witch. As the boy reached the shimmering barrier, two tin guards stepped in from their posts in unison. Upon closer inspection, he realized they were disheveled. The joints that held together their metal limbs were rusted with flakes of red and brown. Their faces were not expression full, but rather iron masks with human-like features etched within them.
“Halt. What business have you in the Witch’s Brew?” One of the two leaned forward to peer down at the boy, whose clothes were tattered and ripped from weeks of listless travel. He raised a bushy brow at the guard and pointed beyond it. “Witch’s Brew?” He asked.
“This is the Emerald City. Perhaps the cogs in your head have got you confused?” He blinked his cornflower blue irises, hoping the curiosity he knew that lingered within them would soften the automaton. Its metal mask never wavered.
“He cannot see past the facade.”
The other murmured. “Foolish boy.”
“Facade?” The boy unfurled the map that was clutched tightly in his hand and showed the two guards the pictures he had poured over since he was only a babe. The two guards leaned in close, so close that their heads bumped together. Unfazed, their eyes pinged back and forth, analyzing the yellowed parchment.
One of them straightened and stalked over to a tiny booth that they resided in when off-duty. A lever was pulled, and the Emerald City faded away and was replaced with a rusted bronze gate with bars that were pointed at both ends. Just beyond them, the boy watched as sullen, dirt-laden Munchkins slogged into crowds full of fairies with ragged, faded wings and lions with patched manes.
“Oz is no more.” The guard who still stood before the boy said, a hint of forced melancholy in his tone. “Not since Dorothy gave into her evil desires.”
my religion consisted of
picking apart my whole world
and cutting it out into jagged stars
that burned without meaning.
i was not happy
overthinking and critiquing
the portrait of my life.
the edges began to curl
i am working on closing
the book of pessimism,
so i can drench myself
in the clarity of optimism.
and hopefully, i will be
welcomed with open
arms to the congregation
of me, myself and i
How To Become A Witch (In Five Simple Steps)
Step 1. Go on Ebay, buy some pigs' blood. (If they ask you for $50,000 out of your college fund, that’s fine, get it. Witchcraft is way more important than some liberal arts school, right?)
Step 2. Paint every inch of your room black, go to an estate sale and buy all the Victorian furniture you can find.
Step 3. Move to a remote area where no one really comes around, and build a moat around your home, just to be sure you’re extra alone.
Step 4. Wait ten or so years, and then possibly some handsome but awfully dumb lumberjack will come across your home.
Step 5. Become friendly with said lumberjack, possess him, and then make him your agent of destruction and chaos.
And That’s Okay
There are things in this world that I will, no doubt, even when I'm a wrinkly California raising of an old lady, will be awful at. Like double knotting my shoes. Like, I'm gonna forget, so if you see my laces flopping around like those inflatable guys you see in the front of car dealerships, tell me. I'm gonna be embarrassed, sure, but I'm not gonna faceplant into the pavement, which for some people, would be an absolute joy to watch.
I'm bad at math. I think a lot of people can say the same. Logic? Never heard of her. Asymptotes, who? Imaginary numbers are on my doorstep? Who would have known? Not me, that's for sure. I'm also crap at Spanish. But its also how I learned that, it's not as simple as sticking an "o" or an "a" on the tail of an English word. What makes it even more cringe-worthy is the fact that I'm half-Latina. Yup, you heard it here. I am a pasty white-arsed half-Latina who only knows how to ask where the bathroom is in Spanish.
And that's okay, because I know I can get better.
Once you hit rock bottom, the only way you can go is up.
look th’ innocent flower
it all flickers with the flash of a blade and
the flip of a golden tail as it slips beneath a pool-full of
rust. it is there one moment, with an air of translucency.
people soil easily, you know, with the help of a rolled
cigarette between their lips and ink sunk deep within
their skin. i was one of those people until i looked
into the fingerprint-stained window of a Fieline's
at the corner of Dillard's and Macabee's and saw
a plain red dress with no shape or body.
surely i could dress it up. i bought it, along with
a few red ribbons to tie back my insolent curls with.
i took my face from the jar at the door and polished it
so it gleamed like candied wax. i passed the radioheads
and the hobos with a new sense of worth, and meaning.
the corporate ladder would be mine, i thought as i looked
down at my satin blue kitten heels that hid the run at the
toes of my stockings.
look th' innocent flower, but be the serpent under't.
i walked inside and became a crepe paper woman
with only a flickering scale of rebellion that was left
to shrivel to nothing, like a meandering scab upon a child's
it was then that i learned, i was a serpent, a
serpent that would be crushed beneath the
boot-heel of misinterpreted lines from Macbeth.
a head with empty thoughts leads to
a mouth that disintegrates into the
white sands of words never spoken.
you are themeless, another shell
on the beach that looks tragically
like others. children pick you up
and hold you up to the light,
looking at truth that surely
flies over their head with
you are a ragdoll with stitched
on features to feign happiness
because you have never been
held. you sit in your plastic
little house sipping imaginary
it would be nice if it was
Earl Grey. it's murky and
cloudy like the depths of
your very soul,
your hollowed, themeless
Journal Entry #2
Minnie became the topic of my every conversation
with my best friend, Charlie, who listened to me with
a pair of Beats over her ears.
Her long dark hair always framed her face in gentle waves
when she cared to style it. Mostly, it sat on a bun atop her
head, and bobbed up and down with each step we took together.
We’d been neighbors since we were seven, and friends since
the day I saw the moving truck in the front of their house, the
oddball amongst a sea of white colonials - it was a pink ranch with
cacti in the front. We lived in Massachusetts.
Naturally, being the kid I was with the attention span of
a lizard, I dropped the Transformers I was playing with in
my front yard and ran over to hers.
We gathered up our odd bunch like Pokémon, you
could say. We couldn’t have too many of the same people.
I didn’t think that, but she sure did.
There was Julian, who we’d met in sixth grade.
He was always high on something, like Elmer’s Glue
or you know, like, weed. He stumbles next
to me and Charlie, his beanie flopping behind him.
Soft red hairs poked out from the front.
“Hey, Jules.” I said.
He muttered something and looked up
at the ceiling. “Cool.”
I didn’t wanna ask what was cool.
I saw Minnie out of the corner of my
eye, laughing and talking to some kid
who wore leather jackets and bootlegged
Alex Federling. Head of the Art Club.
He wrote his first graphic novel when
he was thirteen, got it published when
he was sixteen.
It was crap, in my humble opinion and
I don’t read a lot.
I hated him and his smug glare and
his sea-green eyes and the way Minnie
looked at him that he was a fucking god-
Never mind. It didn’t matter. I just had to
I just had to figure out how.
Sorry for the short entry, Journal.
I’m still working on finding my groove.
Serenity & Sanity
normality is soft.
the words from the page bounce from my lips and
fall flat on the surface of my desk.
like the mismatched rocks that line the
Gloucester shore and are tattooed with
the footprints of toddlers with brains
that are made of spools of blooming
normality is plain.
it's two dots, three inches apart
and three inches down, there's an
arc that curls up at the edges.
if you're feeling rebellious,
erase the two dots, and replace them
watch it spin, and let the aimless
screams of angry half-blossomed
adolescents fill the dimmed porcelain
cabin, the one at the back of your head.
normality is obsolete.
so take your unadorned, opaque pelt
and watch it disintegrate to the pulsing
amplified beat of your teen spirit.