Dear Teen MeDear Teen Me,
Yes, you there.
You in the horn-rimmed glasses in your stupid millwheel hat. You knew you’d look totally dumb wearing that to a carnival party, didn’t you? And now you sit there hating the music, hating the people who dragged you there, hating your hair, your figure, your baggy tapered jeans and most of all your glasses. Yes, I know all that. I remember the whole damn evening, when they seemed to play nothing but Salt’n’Pepa, Rozalla and KLF. What did you think they’d play, Paul McCartney, or Elvis Costello? What did you expect the boys would do – would they suddenly notice you with that millwheel hat when they never noticed you before? I bet they noticed the hat, I’ll give you that. It's probably one of the things that makes them give you such a wide berth. Who’d snog someone who looks as if she’s ten? And be honest, do you really want to have someone shoving his tongue past your tonsils, the way they’re doing i
Dear You (Or, Alternatively, Me)Dear You (Or, Alternatively, Me) Dear You (Or, Alternatively, Me)3 years ago in Teen More Like This
I worry about you sometimes.
I worry about how you are doing: who you are spending your time frolicking with, whether or not you have finally kissed someone, if you still get nervous easily. I worry about my friends in your time are they still our friends? Or have you finally let them all go, or pushed them away, or left like we always dreamed of?
Sometimes I lay in bed in the late hours of the night, dreaming of your life. Do you remember? Do you remember staring at the dark ceiling so long it began turning red, tossing and turning, hoping and dreading what is to come? I wonder if the things I have done effect you as we have always worried they would; if they have broken you.
You see, the truth is and I am certain you remember this about me I fear you. I fear you like a lightning rod fears a thunderstorm. Do you remember why I fear you so? You do, don't you? Just as I shrink away from the possibility of becoming you, so you shrink
SleepInstead of ripping the covers off,Sleep3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Shaking it violently,
And forcing cold breakfast down its throat,
I wish they would carefully wake a sleeping poem
And ask it gentle questions
Before its dreams are forgotten
I am eight years old.I am eight years old.I am eight years old.4 years ago in Emotional More Like This
My lips are perfectly pink. They don't need to look glossy or tinted redder. My cheeks don't need this, either. My eyes stand out well enough on their own without being lined with black paint. The mascara weighs on my lashes and makes me tired and itchy. This shit on my eyelids shouldn't be there, either.
That was a bad word. I am afraid to say bad words, but I've got a few in my head. My friend told me that the word "bitch" means "female dog," but I think she's wrong. I don't think I've ever heard it used in this context. Actually, I think it's a word for people like you. I say this to you with my eyes. You threaten me because you hear me loud and clear.
Every other weekend, I have to sit here and endure as you put this shit on my face. But that's not why you're a bitch. That's why you're an idiot. What makes you a bitch is the fact that you expect me to be silent and still every time your hand slips and the curling iron burns the top of my ear, or you
Poetry,She is stardust leaving sweet bonesPoetry,3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in her wake. A trail of poetic destruction
conceived in verse--answering questions
with kisses. There is a hunger in her
freckled constellations, like spider webs
woven together with golden thread.
Like the wild roses she braids in her hair:
She walks backboned and head held high;
the strongest of letters on a page
left to rest in your mouth.
Automatici.Automatic3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
"So where are you from?" The boy leans toward me, questions swimming in his eyes. I smile.
"Oh, I'm from Boston."
"No, I mean, where are you from?" My smile falters as I realize where this is going. It's an all-too familiar conversation, one I've been having since I was old enough to reply.
"Do you mean where was I born?"
"I was born in China."
"Do you speak Chinese?"
"Does your family speak Chinese?"
He looks befuddled. I sigh.
"Oh!" I see the light bulb over his head go off in a shower of sparks. "Do you know who your real parents are? Like, your real parents?" My temper flares. I stifle the urge to throw something.
"You mean my biological parents?"
"Oh." There's an awkward pause. I have learned to wait it out, to prepare my next automated response.
"When were you adopted?"
"When I was a year old."
"Did you live in an orphanage?"
"Like in Annie?"
Rolling my eyes seems appropriate.
"No, not l
Dear Teen MeDear Adolescent Self,Dear Teen Me3 years ago in Adult More Like This
I know, everything sucks and you don't want to hear from some lame-ass old person. Lame-ass old people try to tell you things like this all the time, but they're just stupid old people that can't possibly understand. You don't respect me because I'm not in a band, I don't have black hair, and I don't look awesome. I don't write screamey songs that speak to your weasley black soul, nor am I Tim Burton or Freddie Mercury. I get it, past self. I get it. Frankly, I don't want to hear things from me either most of the time. As lame as I may be, just hear me out for a minute.
There's this thing you should really, really try, and it's called being happy. No, I'm not high. Yes, this is really quite terrible and hokey. Shut up and stop judging me for a minute, I'm trying to help you, you little twonk. Also, start thinking of absurd insults now, it will help you in the long run.
As I was SAYING, you spend far too much time and effort on being miserable. Part of it is the ho
Dear Future Self,Dear Future Self,3 years ago in Teen More Like This
Dear Future Me,
I bet you weren't expecting a letter from your past self, were you?
Well, you probably were, considering we're the same person and
you'd have to know I was writing you a letter since you wrote it in the
past so I guess you know already what's in this letter, right? Do I even
need to write it? If I don't write it will that set off a chain of events
that lead to the you who won't read this being someone completely different!?
I've watched 'Back to the Future' far too many times.
Well, I'm going to write it. I guess I can't offer you infinite insight
about your future since I'm writing forward as opposed to back, and I
don't know what the future is going to be like, but I want to reiterate
a couple of things for you that might be weathered by time.
Alrighty, for starters:
a) Zombies will always be awesome. Forever and always. Don't lose your love for the genre, buddy.
b) There's always time. When it comes to projects, the less of it you have, t
Chemical Attractions, Part IWe can learn a lot from salt.Chemical Attractions, Part I4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The chlorine atom is fundamentally lacking, longing to fill that gaping hole in its valence shell, and those bright bits of energy dancing in amorphous clouds around a sodium atom are just too tempting for the poor chlorine to resist. Chlorine probably knows that it has no claim to those electrons. It might lie awake at night for days or weeks in a fit of conscience, seeking alternatives before sending out tentative feelers and inviting Sodium to join it for coffee... It's a romantic comedy in minature, and I think that we can skip over the montage of dates and dinners and late nights on the couch in front of a forgotten movie, set to some perky but meaningless tune of the early Nineties.
It's only much later, once caught in the throes and tedium of a borderline-abusive relationship, that Sodium begins to understand the true nature of an ionic bond, begins to search and grope in vain for those lost luminous stars that Chlorine stole back in the early days,
i) Wanderlusti),i) Wanderlust3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The first time I met the girl who started a revolution the sky was throwing down so much rain it felt like we were underwater. It was hard to breathe; and maybe that was because of all the rain, but probably it was because I looked at her face, under this dark red hood, and inside I was a story with all these feelings I could never say. I guess those feelings could only ever become words on paper - words in ink - not the kind I could ever speak aloud to anybody, if only because I couldn't bear for a person to see the look on my face while I remembered. Despite how good it felt - so hopeful, so desperately happy for what it was and could become - at the same time it was drowning in this sea, like the sky that day, for the way that everything else wasn't. And I said, what's your name?
At first we called her August when I brought her back to Jack's flat, which his parents paid for mostly, and which we used for getting high, mostly. She curled up in the armchair and rarely left it from
To My Future SelfTo my Future Self,To My Future Self3 years ago in Teen More Like This
Breathe. You must be thinking, seriously, my teen self is acting like an old fart of a teacher telling off overstressed kids, but seriously, breathe. Stop. Pause. Listen. It's your heart beating. It's telling you, I'm beating so damn hard, I might just kill you one day.
Okay, let's digest. There can only be two reasons for your heart to beat like that. One reason is because I wouldn't have changed- I would still be that overzealous, neurotic, depressed teenager with a penchant for word thieves, dream catchers and moment makers. The other reason would be just the opposite: it's beating with life, with purpose, with hope.
I hope you'll be that second person.
Because being that second person means being serenaded by Chopin in a boy's car, travelling down to Bondi Beach watching sculptures rear out of the sea and you're feeling like, maybe, love may finally find you at last. Being that second person means you just won't shut up talking to patrons
i write bad poetry.You are made of bone, sinew, gristle, synapse, skin, keratini write bad poetry.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
not inkwells and Hemingway, galaxy-cuttings and star-trimmings
or dream, Edgar Allen Poe, absinthe, reflections and sin.
You know a hundred words to describe every pockmark that dots
your face and the way your pens fit into arrow-quivers by that
ricketty old desk of yours but
Words will not
from your mother-of-pearl lips
Apply cleverly-done descending letters here
and sprinkle one jaunty hyphen across the page
because after all, punctuation is a hitchhiker
and you're speeding down the word count like a cargo truck
till you crash into an abrupt ending or more likely
a lack of poetic inspiration.
Today and yesterday and seven days before, you might have
prostituted your muses, a penny for your thoughts, looked with
cross-eyes at your empty lined pad of paper and then
wrote seven pages about a cloud you saw that eventually scattered
into dreamy folds and smoke.
The sky is blue.
The sky is big.
Apply 'the sky is
Crayon SoulmatesDear Stars,Crayon Soulmates3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I have a bone to pick with you. You see, when I was six, I called myself the nowhere girl... and I coloured myself a soulmate. I made him on crumpled sheets, with broken pieces of crayon, on a playground that was too busy wondering whether growing up entailed stealing their mother's cigarettes and their father's dirty magazines (I suppose I was already wise enough to know that growing up meant choosing one of the many ways of breaking yourself in two.)
I hope you remember him, stars...he was important to me (My best friend threw that drawing away on my seventh birthday and told me that someone like me was not supposed to have such dreams.).
He had hair as ebony as deep onyx and a smile that never grew up (Peter Pan would have been proud). He was magic in soul form, and smelled like cinnamon and the earth after it has rained. His eyes rivaled a lions on the best of his youth, his words were story shaped. His skin was an ink coloured canvas of wonder and even in crayon
Dear Daddy's GirlDear Naive 15,Dear Daddy's Girl3 years ago in Adult More Like This
You're ignorant as Hell.
You dress in baggy blue jeans, wear an oversized hoodie every day, and never let your hair down. Students at school, and even your mom, think you're gay and you don't even know.
All of your classmates blame you for a burn book that circulated after that Mean Girls movie. Everyone thinks you're a jealous bitch and secretly they mock you. How can you not see that?
Your teachers are all positive that you cut yourself and that you're always on drugs. Even now you have no idea why they ask you to take your jacket off during class. Could it be that you always wear long sleeves?
It's okay, sweetheart. I had to find out the hard way, too.
Right now you're probably wishing your dad was home. He's the only one that will read your stories and tell you how creative you are. You don't have to beg him to watch movies with you, and he'll listen to your favorite songs without calling you suicidal. Right now, living wi
Sometimes I Lose ThingsSometimes I lose things.Sometimes I Lose Things3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Sometimes it's little things.
Things like my ipod or my keys.
Bobby pins and chapsticks often evanesce without warning or cause.
Sometimes I lose bigger things.
Things like my favorite sweater or my school bag.
Things like the reason I came into a room,
Or the memories of what I had for breakfast that morning.
Sometimes I lose my train of thought, or the point I was trying to make or an idea.
Sometimes I lose arguments.
Sometimes I lose friends.
I like to think all the things I lose go to the same place.
A plain white place full of hair ties and dollar store bracelets,
And I like to think they all wait there, patiently.
Wait there to be found.
One day I lost my passion.
It floated away like a helium balloon drifting toward the sun.
But I couldn't let it go.
I chased it into the sky,
Past the moon and the stars and the milky-way,
I followed it into the white place,
I faced a sea of bobby pins and hair ties and chap-sticks.
I faced all those lost arguments and id
Yeah I'm Stupid!Yeah I'm Stupid!:Yeah I'm Stupid!3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Indeed you are absolutely superior. A divine being, more intelligent,
Learned and completely right in everything you say about me.
However, if I might be permitted to as they say in slang
"Drop the beat", then I'd like to show you my own style of doing things.
Art thou ready for this my sibling from a different parent?
Sir can I have just a moment of your time? I think I lost
My will, let me sit and bust a rhyme rappin' like I'm
Edgar Allan singin' Raven songs, thank god I have a
life and love that keeps me really strong. See I
Understand the fact that you may not like the things I do,
Structure in your brain is wrapped tight like a metal screw.
But this is what you do when you are young
I'm breaking all the rules until I finally get sung!
So pass it on over if you're done with the whiny mic,
I'd like to show the world a new style it's the Chen life;
So everyone go 'Chen boo', this all the 'Chen boo',
Those ThursdaysWhat about those thursday morningsThose Thursdays1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
when you'd wake up and find your ribcage door
swung open again by the nightmares
with an owl nesting, and pecking at your heart muscle?
What about those thursday mornings
and having to fold your elbows around your knees
to stop yourself from losing anything important
as the mechanics shook and shook you
and the pain cracked you, bones and blisters?
What about those tuesday afternoons
when you hear that familiar sound that makes you cry,
that hissing noise that warns you of upcoming agony
and you can taste it in your mouth again, so familiar -
what about those tuesday afternoons
when you swallow your words and the drugs
to try and stop it from coming back
but it returns just the same and against your will
you hear yourself still breathing?
What about it?
What about those hazy sunday evenings
when the fine line between oh-god-make-it-stop
and please-god-let-it-end gets blurry somehow
and you don't remember how much you drank, or what?
What about those d
An Oath to My FatherAn Oath to My Father3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
An Oath to My Father:
The chill of winter is nothing, when compared to the cold inside my heart.
A fire, once stoked by the warmth of family, has quietly died, five falls past.
I dream of my father, who watches from beyond the realms - and my ancestors
Who fought against an endless army of giants, to win the lands we have today.
Just as a devout man honours his God through worship, I honour them through my axe!
Each stroke of the whetstone, each screech of the metal, brings me closer to them -
Even as I draw closer to my doom. Oh how I can feel him, for the anger in my blood
Boils evermore as I sense him approaching my camp. He is hungry, he is eager;
Slacks of drool hang from his twin mouths, as a jarring roar shakes the mountain!
Though I shiver at the sight, it is not from fear - I shiver in anticipation
Of the battle that is to come. My steel may rend his flesh and break his bones;
Or perhaps I shall be sent to glory - but it is useless to think about such things,
HopeHope:Hope3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
She waits for him
at the gates that stood when even the world crumbled
knowing that her own name will soon be forgotten
Where once she carried the weight of the world
now her strength is but the tiniest whisper
A single spark, left to crackle amongst the shades
until all is lost in the endless folds of time
It's getting colder
though she still continues to stand by the gates
She is getting older
and thus her memories must fade...
Angels gather to watch her in these final moments
and they bow their heads as a sign of respect
For even now, as the life leaves her body
Still she continues to wait...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 27th July 2012
About Honour"Ever worried about what the world thought of you?"About Honour3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Nope. I only worry about what I think of me."
"What do you think about you?"
"That I am a broken-eyed, converse-reject-wearing wise ass."
"Really? And what do you call yourself?"
"I call me proud."
"What do you call yourself?"
"I am the grade school version of the heartbroken girl, who can't play the guitar so she strums a ukulele instead, who can't paint so she draws terrible pictures in graphite that keeps giving way."
"I see you doing it again. Put the fucking pen down right now and stop it."
"What? I was just writin-"
"You're cutting yourself to pieces with shark-toothed words again. Just because a sword is a beautiful, glittering object of honour doesn't mean it always has an honorable purpose."
"Do you really think I am a sword?"
"Nope. I think you're beautiful, glittering object of honour. And the thing with honour is, it makes the world turn to stare in awe."
Skinny Wordslook:Skinny Words3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
he was winterish blue eyes and an autumn scarf dressed in an stupid pink summer sweater that made no sense on a spring day. His shoes were converse, the kind of the skinny intellectual who had just enough money to buy one pair of decent shoes. she never really liked skinny intellectuals, yet did find herself considering them sometimes, in the way she considered coffee that was tongue scalding (horribly and without excuse).
it is odd then, that she still doesn't regret his monsoon flavoured kiss, the kind that made your tongue bleed with its passion, its heat.
he drew in uneasy catches of breath as he snored in the heat of the summer night, nights when she would stay up and listen to cars that passed by, pretending they were a waterfall instead of the cold harsh truth of metal against concrete, just so she could sleep as soundly as him.
she took his breathing for granted.
he spent hours lost in the dry unending silence of his typewriter, of h
IndependenceOnce the wind caught on the seaIndependence2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
And its dress snagged upon the crests
Like a girl who couldn't help falling
For a boy with too many cracks
Then the wind tumbled between the waves
Crashing with the water when it couldn't find the sky.
I always wanted to live in the sky,
Wrap clouds around me--dip myself into the sea--
And wander into roaring waves
Of emptiness; Rush as the sun crests
Rush like wind and water into the cracks
Of myself, so that maybe I'll stop falling
For people who can't keep themselves from falling
Down, and who won't quit looking at the sky
So they can avoid all the cracks
In the sidewalk as they weave through a people-sea.
Well, I'm not used to riding the crests
Of others' success; I'll make my own waves.
So though my hair falls down in amber waves
I fear the strands will keep on falling
And my white-wash hands in lunar crests
Won't show you a spacious sky
Unless you want to see
Through star-spangled cracks.
Eyes and eggshells shattered, tiny cracks
And the tears stre
The TypewriterThe TypewriterThe Typewriter3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It began and ended with a word.
Not a particularly strong or powerful word, but a word that changed everything. It wasn't too long or difficult to spell. It wasn't uncommon either. In fact, it was a perfectly ordinary word, but, I suppose, its commonplace origin is what made it so special.
I loved that word.
But the word doesn't mean much without the story along with it and I was always one for telling good stories.
I ignored the call from the other room and remained seated. That tone wasn't unfamiliar. Taking a bite from my toast, I waited for him to call again. It wouldn't be more than ten—
"Sammy! Come quickly! I've gone an' done it!" he shouted. I turned just as he poked his head into the room with a bright smile across his face.
"What did you do?" I asked as I walked towards his study. Chris had said those same words nearly twelve times this week. Every other day he had called me in for some discovery.
I pushed open the door t
The ArtistThe artist knows that her teeth are a palette,The Artist3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
if only she could figure out the colour scheme
of her innermost thoughts. All she knows is that
they taste like Earl Grey with just a pinch of salt.
It jars her tastebuds and she paints a picture of seventy
shades of disapproval with a roll of her eyes, the slight
nod of her head. Two pupils widen when the brush slips and
injects colour - if only a burst - into swarms of grey
fruitflies lusting after an ashen peach.
She knows of all the colours in the spectrum
and knows their flavour, can persuade them to lay
on her page while she seduces them with detail.
She'll lend her ear to a box of paints as they crawl
into her thoughts and tell her to give them a life story.
She'll snap her brush when the sun between her teeth
bursts, shedding a million lights over a blank page.
Conversation"I am driving in a Hummer. I am on a two lane highway. I was listening to Counting Crows before panic threatened to cut off my air supply. Air supply is a band. I have no idea what they sing. I'm pretty sure they were a clue on Jeopardy once. I…I…have to pull over so I can breathe."Conversation3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Omar put on his blinker and steered the over-compensation-mobile to the shoulder of the road. He fumbled with the lock on the door and his heart felt like it was going to burst through his chest when he tried to get out of the car and couldn't. Seatbelt. It was just the seatbelt. His hands were slick with cold sweat by the time the belt whizzed cheerfully back into its place and he managed to slide out onto the shoulder of the road.
He was glad it was so late and glad that the highway was so deserted. He was trembling so hard that the change in his pockets rattled and he never would have been able to speak if someone had pulled up and offered to help. He hated for people to witness his panic.