Serum

Communication at the purest is a desire,
Not suggestion but rather what I require.
It is what I need and not just another liar,
Tell it to me straight as it gets me higher.

Lies escape the meaning of taste for me,
Their sweeteners are fabricated travesty.
When swallowed they sour on hyperbole,
Collapsing with the weight of their gravity.

Don’t sugarcoat the honesty that I crave,
Feed it to me raw because I like the pain.
Provide me a fix as I’m feeling depraved,
The addiction for truth burns in my veins.

december 31st, 2015, 10:23 pm: i saw you for the first time. you were talking to a girl and i could tell that you were capturing her with every syllable that left your mouth. and i knew why: you were beautiful and bright, and i was drawn to you even then, like the planets are drawn to the sun.

december 31st, 2015, 11:58 pm: we met standing in line for the bathroom. you introduced yourself, and asked for my name, smiling when i gave it. “lovely,” you murmured, and repeated it a few more times, rolling the letters around in your mouth like a new food.

january 1st, 2016, 12:05 am: i could still feel you on me, your lips, minutes, hours, months later. the clock had struck midnight and you just grabbed me, didn’t ask if it was okay until it was over. you were laughing, brushing it off, all teeth and well-kissed lips, but i knew i saw you blushing. 

january 21st, 2016, 1:12 pm: you got my number through the mutual friend that threw the party. i still don’t know how you got my address. i didn’t remember telling you. you couldn’t tell me, either.

february 14th, 2016, 9:12 pm: you took me out to dinner and bought me chocolate and roses. it was all so cliche, and i loved every second of it. when you kissed me good night, i swore i could feel the rest of my life, pressed right up against my lips.

february 26th, 2016, 11:33 pm: we made it official. i remember how you asked me, how shy you got, like you didn’t know what the answer would be.

march 17th, 2016, 5:43 pm: we spent the day at the saint patrick’s day parade, and you filled yourself with beer and kissed me hard against the bar bathroom door. i drove you home and that was the first time you told me you loved me.

march 18th, 2016, 9:24 am: you called me and told me you loved me again. “i want to make sure that you know i still mean it when i’m sober,” you said.

march 24th, 2016, 1:09 pm: i met your parents at easter brunch. you had demanded i come with you, and i was glad i did. your mother was kind and beautiful, and your father was warm and handsome, just like i knew they’d be. after we’d eaten, your mother got me alone. “he’s never brought a girl home before,” she told me, “normally he isn’t very open about who he’s dating. but you, you’re different. don’t read into this, but i think he may really think you’re special.”

april 12th, 2016, 8:31 pm: you saw me naked for the first time, and you kissed every inch of my skin. i’d never felt that much love from anybody before that night, and i haven’t since. not even you could replicate those few hours.

may 5th, 2016, 4:57 pm: we fought for the first time. i ran into my ex at the grocery store and wanted to chat for a few minutes. you didn’t. when we got in the car, you told me that if i was still in love with somebody else i could just leave, and i told you that you should trust me and not be so insecure about our relationship. we screamed the whole way home and you slammed the car door when i dropped you off. i almost crashed three times on the drive home.

may 6th, 2016, 8:03 am: you came by with flowers and breakfast. “I’m sorry,” you told me, “you just mean so much to me, and the thought of you ever being anyone else’s makes me sick.” i smiled, “but you don’t have to worry about that now. i’m yours.”

june 16th, 2016, 10:51 pm: for my birthday you took me out to dinner and gave me a beautiful necklace with a silver chain and pearl pendant. we drank expensive wine and stumbled back to my place and fucked. i had never been fucked before, not like this. i woke up the next morning with bite marks on my neck and hickeys all the way down my stomach, but you were gone. “had to run,” you’d written on a post it note, “i love you.”

june 18th, 2016, 2: 41 pm: i hadn’t seen you since my birthday and you weren’t picking up when i’d call.

june 19th, 2016, 3:13 am: “ had to run,” the post it note had said. maybe you were running from me. i couldn’t tell if it was the 3 am darkness talking or the part of me that already knew.

july 1st, 2016, 4:01 am: i looked over at you, sleeping in the darkness beside me. when we were together, things felt perfectly normal. but now, i could feel the shifts. “are we falling apart?” i whispered to you, and although i hadn’t expected an answer, the silence broke my heart all the same.

july 4th, 2016, 6:47 pm: we were at a barbecue and i saw you across the crowd, talking to a girl. i saw the way she was drinking up every word that escaped from between your lips, and that’s when i knew. that’s when i knew you weren’t mine anymore.
july 21st, 2016, 7:08 pm: i brought it up to you. “i think we’re starting to grow apart,” i said, “there’s a distance between us that wasn’t here before.” you reassured me that it was all in my head, but i didn’t hear it in your voice. i didn’t see it in your eyes. you knew it was there, too, but unlike me, you weren’t trying to do anything to stop it.

august 10th, 2016, 11:37 pm: i lay awake and thought about what your mother said, all these months later. “don’t read into this.” but of course i did. i couldn’t help myself. fuck, i loved you so much.
august 15th, 2016, 1:12 pm: you invited me over and i discovered that the key you’d given me no longer worked. “i had the locks changed,” you said, “i’ll get you a new one.” it was a lie, and i knew it. you didn’t get me a new key.

september 8th, 2016, 2:00 pm: i caught you cheating. in a desperate attempt to revive the romance we’d had at the beginning of our relationship, i bought dinner and brought it to your place. when you finally opened the door, i saw it written all over your face; the way your eyes widened, the way your jaw dropped, the way your cheeks drained of color. i heard it in the stammer of your voice, the sharp intake of your breath, the grinding of your teeth. when the girl walked up behind you, half naked, asking who it was at the door, i already knew. “how could you?” i whispered, and you just opened and closed your mouth. the girl pieced it together and started screaming. she hadn’t known. i left the food at the doorstep.

september 10th, 2016, 1:49 am: you never called after that, never came by, never reached out, but it wasn’t like we’d needed to confirm anything. i knew it was over, but it took every ounce of willpower i had not to go back to your place and find out why, why everything.

september 27th, 2016, 6:20 pm: i kept finding myself huddled in a ball; in my bedroom, in my kitchen, in my shower. not crying, or yelling. just huddled, clutching my body close to myself, staring. still not understanding.

october 31st 2016, 9:01 pm: i spent halloween haunted by the ghost of you. your face was around every corner. i could still feel your touch trickling down my spine. that night, i lost it. the anger surged through the sadness and bubbled to the surface. i screamed until my throat was raw, screamed at nothing, about nothing, for no reason other than i was too full.

november 10th, 2016, 2:17 am: you called me when you were drunk and i answered. i listened to you ramble, vomiting up apology after apology. near the end, you told me you loved me. “call me tomorrow when you’re sober if you still love me,” i said.  you didn’t. 

november 25th, 2016, 7:15 pm: i went out on a date with somebody new. they didn’t pull me in like you did, but for a few hours, i forgot about you and i felt okay. i drank myself to sleep that night so i wouldn’t have to think about you. the next morning, the hangover hurt more than you did. it was a start.

december 24th, 2016, 8:12 pm: i was spending christmas with my family, and i was doing great until my aunt asked about you. i told her you cheated, but i was doing okay, and then i excused myself and threw up the appetizers into the toilet. i called you then, and when you picked up, i let out a sob. “you ruined me, you fuck,” i croaked, “and you can’t even apologize. not when you’re sober, at least.” there were a few seconds of silence, and then you hung up. i still hope that it ruined your christmas.

december 31st, 2016, 10:23 pm: i saw you for the first time in months across the crowd. it made me sick to know that even after all that had happened, you were still the most beautiful person in the room to me.

december 31st, 2016, 11:55 pm: you found me in the kitchen. “i wanted to tell you i’m sorry,” you yelled over the music, “and i miss you.” and in those final moments of the year, i thought about it. i thought about letting you back in. the countdown started, and you moved closer to me. and i.. i pushed you away. i turned away from you and said, “no. i can’t.” and i walked out of the room.

january 1st, 2017, 12:05 am: i have forgotten how you felt against me, your lips. and for the first time, i am finally okay with that.

—  a year in review -c.h. // instagram: @evanescent.love (via @poeticaffinity)
you are thirteen years old and the girl is made of flowers —
soft, gentle;
of quiet nights and warm blankets.
you are thirteen years old and you don’t know what it means
and you are afraid 
 
then, you are sixteen years old
the girl is made of light
warm, close;
of wide smiles and midnight laughter
and you are so in love with her
and you know
—  28.3.2017

I am trying to write a poem about my loneliness
But the page just seems to insist
on staying empty.
But loneliness isn’t emptiness
loneliness is the lead ball in the pit of your stomach
and the feathers tickling the back of your throat
loneliness is the itch you cannot scratch
it’s feeling far too much
far too little.
Loneliness is an all consuming enigma
of the past
of a past
Of a past you’re trying to forget
Of a past you can’t help but regret
Of a past that shoved you into the position
of isolation in which you reside
In which you’re going to die.
And sometimes solitude becomes gratitude
but the demolition of the monuments
that used to be perched on my ribs
left nothing but dust
and I am no longer grateful.

I used to build shrines in my heart to girls who would
never quite love me.
But that was never loneliness.
Unrequited love is a social activity because broken hearts
scream louder than all the wind in the world
howling together.
Despite the rain and miserable weather
I could fill myself up with love even though no one
would ever reciprocate
even though I always had to compensate
by giving more than I had left in me.
I would clutch my chest and rip out pieces of my heart
on which metaphors for love and birds and bones
and sadness and stars
would rest.
I could gift these to those who smiled.
Because nothing cuts into loneliness like affection
or attention
or the smile of someone who has no
reason to.
I suppose I never had a reason to.

I am trying to write a poem about the rain.
They say that people are nothing like rain
nothing like snow
nothing like autumn leaves
because people do not look beautiful when they fall.
A phrase I could never quite wrap my head around.
Because to me falling is dancing
and dancing is writing
and writing is cleaning your body of the toxins
that well up behind your eyes
and hide behind your liver
and pump fluid in your lungs.
What isn’t beautiful is hitting the ground.
The snowflakes will dissolve and the rain
will be absorbed by the greedy earth.
The leaves will rot
and you’ll be taking shots
Until your heart falls out of your chest.

Loneliness is falling
and falling is dancing
and dancing is writing
and I am trying to write a poem about my overwhelming
fear of touching the solid ground.
I am trying to write a poem about falling
Because I reside in free fall
and my heart falls for the snow
and the snow falls for the rain
and the first rule of gravity is everything
must fall
So we fall
And I fall
and you fall.

—  Fall (Emf)
I was doing well, and then one thing hit and after that I can barely lift my head up from everything thats crashed down onto me.
And half of it is because of you.
After you left, I hid my feelings so well that I even forgot I felt them. I used forgetting as a way to heal, I forgot to feel the emotions that come after a breakup and I was doing so well because of that.
But now I’m remembering. And since I’ve started I cant stop. I remember being there the first time our hands intertwined and I remember the way it felt to be so close to you. and I remember every single phone call that we had. And all that may sound nice, because it did make me smile, it did make me laugh thinking about the things you’d say but then it just hurt because your not here. none of that is here anymore.
You use to text me in all caps saying you loved me and now you don’t even look in my direction. You can’t even say hello anymore..
And it hurts, because now that I remember how it felt to be there, to have you, to love and be loved, I miss you.
I miss you so damn much and I can’t breathe because suddenly I’m reminded of when you ended things. and then the picture flashes through my mind of you with her.
And now I can’t even get out of bed anymore because life hurts too damn much.
Because I’m reminded of how people can wake up one day and decide that they don’t love you anymore. and I’m so scared that everyone I have ever known will leave.
.
—  you screwed me up

i used to romanticize the shit out of everything and it wasn’t until recently that i realized; no one is going to swoop in with a cape and save me from jumping off the tallest building. nobody is going to drive to my house at 2am just to wipe away my tears and that’s okay. i am wearing a cape too, i can save myself, i can wipe away my tears. i fell in love with the idea of having a hero but what i failed to realize is that i can be my own hero when everyone else is too busy to see me falling. and yes, there will be times where other people save you and that’s okay. just make sure at the end of the day you’re still wearing a cape too.

instagram

Oh look, actual bae.

Analyses: Transgender Slam Poetry

As well as written poetry, it is important to look at spoken word, or slam poetry, because it allows trans authors to convey their poetry in an even more tangible way. Having an audience present works to reify the ideals of community and solidarity. Underlining unity is powerful, both within the trans community and for the purpose of coalition building, moving toward support that goes beyond the art world.


In the introduction to the Transgender Studies Reader, “(De)Subjugated Knowledges,” Susan Stryker discusses the language of gender and the ways in which material determinism permeates Western culture. She states, “The relationship between bodily sex, gender role, and subjective gender identity are imagined to be strictly, mechanically, mimetic – a real thing and its reflections” (Stryker 9). Transgender studies challenges this idea, focusing on social construction through language and cultural narratives.

All three of these poems interact with this idea of sex, gender roles, and gender as it is experienced being lumped together. Such a fabrication leads to the assumption of other individuals’ gender identities, as the person doing the assuming attempts to make sense of an expression that does not fit their binary philosophy.

“How to Love Your Body in 10 Easy Steps” by Ollie Schminkey

It is immediately clear in the first few lines that this poem grapples with mental health, as Schminkey’s first step involves unhealthy eating habits: “eating less will make you feel as if you have control.” They also talk about binding in unhealthy ways in order to “trick yourself into feeling complete.” Without societal acceptance and the supposed stability of the gender binary, the search for control of the self and self-image can manifest in potentially dangerous ways.

Schminkey describes the impact of rejection, “Man, woman, whatever./You are the whatever.” Outside of the binary, people are essentially dehumanized and labeled deviant. This creates a hostile environment where dysphoria may take its root. The poem continues, “Do not call it what it is/do not call it transgender/do not say dysphoria/just say depression, no qualifier” (Schminkey). Calling it dysphoria is to recognize a problem stemming from society and normative standards of gender expression, beauty, and so on. With this poem, however, Schminkey calls attention both to the condition of dysphoria and to its silencing.

“Ritual” by Muggs Fogarty

Fogarty talks about material determinism extensively in this poem. “What parts of you are heavy with fluid?/which direction do your shirt buttons button?/where do your glands swell?” These lines refer to the ways society writes gender on bodies without asking, only concerned with fitting physical appearance into socially constructed category. They use repetition to signify the numerous instances they have been asked for their name assigned at birth, as if the listener hears their poetry and continues to ask, looking for “gender lies,” some trace of inauthentic expression (Fogarty).

When referring to binding their breasts, Fogarty declares, “I was so afraid others would notice their absence, especially if they had never noticed mine.” This makes more powerful the message the poet is delivering, that bodies are more valued than the minds, expressions, and identities that they hold. Especially in reference to the commodification and objectification of women, this poem is relevant to trans studies in its critique of society’s attention to the presence or absence of certain anatomical characteristics in determining gender judgments.

“A Letter to the Girl I Used to Be” by Ethan Smith

In this poem, Smith reconciles the memory of himself and his dreams growing up with the reality of his current life and the ways in which those dreams have shifted. He begins by addressing his former self – using his name given at birth. This serves as a way to separate himself wholly from the person he was before transitioning. He speaks of memories told to him by his father which he does not remember, but moves on to discuss family, which complicates the narrative of the poem. As he describes beginning hormone therapy, Smith expresses, “I thought about your children, how I wanted them too.” His desire for children is separate from his gender expression, yet the way that bodies are looked upon by society produces a dissonance, dysphoria. In order for his body to fit within norms for his experienced gender, he no longer retains the ability to produce life, something that had been precious to him. In saying this, Smith removes trans bodies from a pathologized and objectified space and focuses on a future oriented one, where trans-identified people express the desire for new families of their own. He validates that struggle and represents narratives different from the fight for recognition in one’s current family, which is usually the only family related issue discussed in such a context.

At the end of the poem, after telling of his former struggles with mental health – “In therapy you said you wouldn’t make it to twenty-one. You were right” – and coming to terms with his gender expression, Smith provides an optimistic viewpoint. He affirms there was and still is a place for the memory of himself growing up, ending with “P.S. I never hated you” (Smith).


Sources

Fogarty, Muggs. “Ritual.” YouTube. Button Poetry, 18 Nov. 2015. Web. 03 Apr.
       2017.

Schminkey, Ollie. “How to Love Your Body in 10 Easy Steps.” YouTube. Button
       Poetry, 21 July 2014. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.

Smith, Ethan. “A Letter to the Girl I Used to Be.” YouTube. Button Poetry, 16
       May 2014. Web.  03 Apr. 2017.

Stryker, Susan. “(De)Subjugated Knowledges: An Introduction to Transgender
       Studies.”The Transgender Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2006.
       1-17.

How 13 reasons why helped me

I’m seeing a lot of people posting about how you shouldn’t watch 13 reasons because it’s triggering and that some things shouldn’t be in it because it can cause more harm then good. As some one who has taken 126 pills and has balled her eyes out holding a rope and staring at the pillars in the basement ceiling. Who has visited a mental ward 3 times and has seen numerous counsellors and has been on medication this is how the show helped me

1. It shows that I’m finally not alone in having these feelings

2. Not all counsellor are helpful but they do care

3. Some one cares even if they can’t say it or won’t say it some one does

4. If people watch the show they might watch their actions and words next time

5. People will miss you

6. If your assaulted sexually it’s not something to be embarrassed about sadly it happens more then it should

7. Most times (not always sadly) your parents do care, more then you think.

8. Suicide is a thing and we shouldn’t be embarrassed to reach out if we feel that way

9. Be kind. You don’t know what demons others are fighting

10. They made feeling nothing sound less insane then it feels

Unfortunately some people are more triggered then others and if this is the case 13 reasons might not be suitable for you. Unfortunately I still feel like I need to post this anonymously so people don’t think I’m doing it for “attention” but I think people should watch this. For me it helped. I think the things they deal with should be brought to light. If your feeling this way don’t stop, get help even if the first time doesn’t work try again.

You left your mark on me, and I can’t forget you. Its like no matter what I fucking do, your name is tattooed on my heart and trust me I tried to get rid of it. Tried to cover it with a different name, tried to drink it away, tried to stop feeling you through my veins but nothing ever works. Everything goes back to you.
Its always you. Its you all the damn time. Its you when I’m with him. Its you when I’m alone. Its you no matter what I do or who I’m doing it with and I give up.
I give up on trying to erase you. I give up on trying to replace you with something else, anything else because it only brings me back to the place I was when you decided I was no longer enough for you.
And I don’t understand why its so hard to forget a person who forgot you first. I don’t understand how I can still feel the exact same way we met when I don’t even really know you anymore. You only exist in my memories and the pictures I still have of you.
You are just a ghost of everything that ever was yet I still feel everything so damn clearly, as if we were back 6 months ago in your car when you first told me you loved me.
Everything is so damn clear except your so far away I don’t know how I can still see you so well.
—  You’re in my veins

i think in our previous lives, we’ve always been in love with each other, estranged and held apart by a thin thread.

you were the king’s son and i was a peasant girl.
i was an aristocrat and you worked in the stables.
i was in love with somebody else.
you were in love with somebody else.
the first time we met, the world must have stopped in its tracks.
because when i first saw you in this lifetime, i felt everything freeze.

we have always loved each other from afar, each lifetime drawing us closer and closer.

the first time, you accepted a flower from me when you were riding through my village. you rode through it often, and one time you stopped, got down from your carriage, and spoke to me. but you were soon married to a princess, just like all princes were.
the second time, you helped me learn how to ride and take care of my horse. sometimes our hands would brush when we groomed him together. you were my confidant. my friend. we never once told each other what we really felt.
the third time, you were my neighbor, my best friend, and one night you kissed me during a game of hide and seek. “i love you,” you’d said to me, and for a second i loved you too. but a few weeks later i started dating somebody else. that summer, you moved away. in that lifetime, i broke your heart.
the fourth time, we had each other, for a while. our families vacationed by the same lake. you didn’t tell me you had a girlfriend until you had seen everything i had to offer you. you watched me cry in front of you. your family left the next day. in that lifetime, you broke mine.

our souls knew each other before we did. they found each other from across the room and pulled us together. “it’s you,” they said to one another, “i’m so glad it’s you. maybe we can get it right this time.” and then it began, again.

this time, we could have made it if we had had the strength. the courage. but i was afraid and your heart wasn’t there. eventually, mine wandered too. we drifted, our souls still reaching out for each other even though our hands no longer were.

but this time, we knew.
this time, we told each other.
this time, we fought.
in this lifetime, there wasn’t an issue of who broke who.
in this lifetime, we merely broke each other.

i know it’s heartbreaking to think we never got a real chance.
your sobs ring as loud in my ears now as they did the day we shattered,
and they haunt me.
our time in this life together is over. we lost this round.
but each lifetime, we inch closer and closer.
and in my heart, i hope.
my soul, it longs for you still.
it has picked itself out of the rubble of yet another failure and pieced itself back together.
my soul, it knows.
“i will find you again,” it whispers into the cosmos,
“there are many lifetimes to come.”

from across the world, your soul returns,
“we will get our chance yet.”

—  reincarnate -c.h. // Instagram: @evanescent.love (via @poeticaffinity)
I reach down into your throat in hopes of ripping
out my name but all I can grasp is hers. All I can feel
as my fingers tiptoe across your middle is how
swollen your core is; the beating she gave you left
blood pooling inside you in all the wrong places.
My jaw is not a promise waiting to be held by you, so
I’m sorry if I flinch when you try to. I’ve kissed more
knuckles than lips and I’ve learned that sometimes
they taste the same. Raspberry bruises you’d mistake
for love bites. There is no affection here.
I’m afraid I’m going to swallow her name in my sleep
and dream of the girl you’ll always want
more than me.
—  if it’s not her than it’s someone else // Haley Hendrick