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i would for you always—



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Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:01 pm
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Vervain says...



ix. elpis

from the age of one you are a natural mess:
standing on chairs and splitting your chin open
you stain the carpets with blood—your own, this time

you wear skirts without shorts under them
to sunday school and race the boys down the slide;
your mother hears of it from the teacher

the unerring curiosity of pandora guides you;
your father looks the other way and pretends
to discipline you when you cause trouble

but your messes grow with you and a split chin
turns into a split family: your anxiety towers as
your father leaves—again—but for good, this time

every possibility turns into a ghost of panic;
you're rear-ended by a demi truck on a school day
and you really should have been someplace else

and no matter how long your mother holds you
you can't help but feel the twist of guilt in your chest
if only you hadn't opened so many boxes

caused so much trouble

anxiety is a maybe:

maybe he would have stayed and you wouldn't be
sitting on the side of the road in summer heat crying
because you missed a text and wrecked your car

maybe you would have finished college and not been
the failure on your mother's progress report:
"dropped out at nineteen, practically hopeless"

maybe you would know what to do with yourself
in the world outside of cooking and cleaning and home
but your talents turn to ash under unlucky fingertips

unlucky—

that word

defines your every careful move

from the age of one you are a natural mess,
and from the age of twenty-one you start to hate it.
stay off the faerie paths
  





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Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:40 pm
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Vervain says...



x. la esperanza

you are a pile of shattered words
broken down into simple letters:

a sideways glance, a
sky before
dusk

apologies false on your tongue
sugar-sweet and
deadly

an anthem
sung in the
dark of night

you are all sharp edges and
seven years bad luck
stay off the faerie paths
  





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Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:14 pm
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bluewaterlily says...



I'm loving your NaPo thread as always, but I think my my favorite poem is ixi. elpis. Definitely relatable and I love the way you go through stages of childhood to adulthood and bring the poem full circle. It could be a toss up though because I really love x la esperanza. Can't wait to see what you write for the rest of your Napo.
"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language." - W.H. Auden
  





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Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:31 am
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Vervain says...



xi. a duel at dawn

morning fog still rolling on the ground
pistols cocked in holsters at your hip
whites of his eyes bloodshot with fatigue

this is long coming to both of you

paces now—

he could have asked for you
he never wanted you
he's only using you for pity with his women

damn the safety!—draw your gun!

damn the safety!—shoot!
stay off the faerie paths
  





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Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:47 pm
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Vervain says...



xii. half

i have yellow bruises on my calves where i push myself
soreness seeping up my thighs
and into my gut
and my heart

i have rubber-band snaps on the insides of my wrists
black circles under my eyes full of missed sleep
years of staring at the ceiling
waiting

for some obscure thing
i saw in
a vision of the future: myself,

whole.
stay off the faerie paths
  





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Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:32 pm
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Vervain says...



xiii. the motel

the school bus stops at the motel on broad street.

to an audience of hungry eyes
he wipes his hands on his jeans and

somehow, he gathers the strength to stand

his mother waves from the cash register of
the tobacco store next door;
he pretends he doesn't know her

and walks off into the burning-tar smell of summer
stay off the faerie paths
  





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Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:53 pm
Vervain says...



xiv. geminae

you look like your great-grandmother

born before the end of the great war
& sometimes before the beginning
a fey woman—they accuse her of
the crime of fantasy

you cannot remember her smile;
you were not alive for it

all your memories are through ink
flowed like blood from word to word
and pages that smell like vanilla

you reach out to photographs taken of you
sixty years before your birth
you are walking,
breathing proof

the world has not forgotten her;
you will brand her face into the history books.
stay off the faerie paths
  





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Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:40 pm
Vervain says...



a small collection of short poems, couplets and verses to help make up NaPo:

xv. [[warning for suicide mention]]

Spoiler! :
fun fact: i am going to kill myself
not today, maybe tomorrow,
but more realistically some day when
i am pushed too far and driving home
i look at the sky and think
it would be a beautiful day to die


xvi.

the world would be beautiful if not for you—
these words are scribbled on the inside of my wrist
in letters not unlike my own

xvii.

cinnamon daydreams
sharp and dry on the tongue
waft away on the wind and leave
only the scent of loss in their wake

xviii.

i am a corkboard cleared of all its pins
holding nothing
showing nothing
i do not serve my purpose
nor that of anything else
except, perhaps
art:
A Demonstration of the Artist, Undone
stay off the faerie paths
  





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Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:59 pm
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Vervain says...



xiv.
Spoiler! :
this poem is a true story. it is a story of how i was forced into an inpatient ward to get a psychiatric diagnosis and clearance to return to school. it is a story of the people i met in the ward, and the friends i lost the chance to make even as my life grazed their own; we were not supposed to interact outside of group therapy. we were not supposed to talk.

i am the one who read books about magic.


we lived differently in the ward.

you were a boy with black hair and glasses,
skinny to a fault; you
did [not] throw a brick through the windshield
of a teacher's car
[but they deserved it].

you were a girl with red hair who wore baggy shirts,
even for the shit we wore in the ward,
you walked around and talked to everyone
to make us feel at home even
as you lied about yours
you ran away from your parents/your grandmother
sent you here/your grandmother
beat you/your parents were dead.

you were a girl, big for your age
ran away from home and got caught by the police
three blocks away
[your mom was faster to the phone
than you were on the streets,
and you were fast]
you lied, you stole, just
to survive another day.
they threw you in the adult ward
to teach you a lesson.

you were a young man—
almost too old for the youth ward,
but your mom was smaller than you
and your stepdad was bigger, and
you drew a knife on him one day.

you were a girl who wasn't allowed to use silverware/
a girl who tried to be bulimic/
a girl who made friends/
a girl who read books
about magic.

your name was leo.
you were small. i don't remember if you were short
or just young; you were 12 or 13, i remember
that. your dad dealt spice.
you did spice.
you got arrested for
trying to fight him, for
trying to fight the cops.
you had anger issues, but hell,
we all had anger issues.

we all sat our time in the quiet room
plated with soft linoleum and only a skylight
and waited for the knob to turn on the other side
and let us out;

we watched them at the desk
with solemn eyes, children/adults we were,
told our lies and flew our nest
once our days were up.

we went home with diagnoses and
more reasons to hate. the world
was far too big and far too loud
for us; sometimes we ran away
just to come back where the techs
would listen at group therapy.

we lived differently,
almost as if we could live.
stay off the faerie paths
  








There has never been a sadness not cured by breakfast food.
— Ron, Parks & Rec