The Type by Sarah Kay (Poem#24)

The Type

by Sarah Kay

 

If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at,
you can let them look at you
but do not mistake eyes for hands
or windows or mirrors.
Let them see what a woman looks like.
They may not have ever seen one before.

If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch,
you can let them touch you.
Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for,
sometimes it is a bottle,
a door,
a sandwich,
a Pulitzer,
another woman.
But their hands found you first.
Do not mistake yourself for a guardian,
or a muse,
or a promise,
or a victim,
or a snack.
You are a woman,
skin and bones,
veins and nerves,
hair and sweat.
You are not made of metaphors,
not apologies,
not excuses.

If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold,
you can let them hold you.
All day they practice keeping their bodies upright.
Even after all this evolving it still feels unnatural,
still strains the muscles,
holds firms the arms and spine.
Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you,
admit they do not have the answers they thought they would by now.
Some men would want to hold you like the answer.
You are not the answer.
You are not the problem.
You are not the poem,
or the punchline,
or the riddle,
or the joke.

Woman, if you grow up the type men want to love,
you can let them love you.
Being loved is not the same thing as loving.
When you fall in love it is discovering the ocean after years of puddle-jumping.
It is realizing you have hands.
It is reaching for the tightrope when the crowds have all gone home.

Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt.
If he leaves you with a car alarm heart,
you learn to sing along.
It is hard to stop loving the ocean
even after it has left you gasping, salty.
So forgive yourself for the decisions you’ve made,
the ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night.

And know this:
Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours.
Let the statues crumble.
You have always been the place.
You are a woman who can build it yourself.
You were born to build.

Self-portrait with Hornets by Henri Cole (Poem#23)

Self-portrait with Hornets
by Henri Cole

Hornets, two hornets, buzz over my head;
I’m mapping and cannot keep my eyes open.
“Do you come from far away?” I ask, dozing off.
My gums are dry when I wake. A morning breeze
rakes the treetops. I can smell the earth.
The two hornets are puzzling over
something sticky on my night table
wiping their gold heads with their arms.
Ordinary things are like symbols. My eyes are watery
and blurred. Then I lose myself again.
I’m walking slowly in a heat haze,
my vision contracting to a tiny porthole,
drawing me to it, like flourishing palms.
I can feel blood draining out of my face.
I can feel my heart beating inside my heart,
the self receding from the center of the picture.
I can taste sugar under my tongue.
All the usual human plots of ascent
and triumph appear disrupted.
Crossing my ankles, I watch the day
vibrate around me, watch the geraniums
climb toward the distant mountains
where I was born, watch the blank worm
wiggling out of the window box,
hiding its head from the pale sun
that lies down on everything.
purifying it. Lord, teach me to live.
Teach me to love. Lie down on me.

That Night by Lang Leav (Poem #22)

That Night
by Lang Leav

It was one of those nights that you are not altogether sure what really
did happen. There are no photographs, nor receipts, no scaled journal entries.

Just the memory sitting in my mind, like a half-blown dandelion,
waiting to be fractured, dismembered. Waiting to disintegrate
into nothing.

As I close my eyes, the pictures play like a blurry montage. I can
see us driving for hours, until the street signs grew less familiar –
the flickering lamplights giving away to stars. Then sitting across
from you in that quiet, little Italian place. Your hands pushing the
plates aside, reaching across for mine.

The conversations we had about everything and nothing. And
kissing you. How I remember that.

It was one of those nights that my mind still can’t be sure of. That
wonders if I was ever there at all. Yet in my heart, it is as though
I’ve never left.

Sempre by JM Darhower: Book Review

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THIS IS A STORY ABOUT SACRIFICE… DEATH… LOVE… FREEDOM. THIS IS A STORY ABOUT FOREVER.

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco grew up under vastly different circumstances. Haven, a second-generation slave, was isolated in the middle of the desert, her days full of hard work and terrifying abuse. Carmine, born into a wealthy Mafia family, lived a life of privilege and excess. Now, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide. Entangled in a web of secrets and lies, they learn that while different on the surface, they have more in common than anyone would think. In a world full of chaos, where money and power rule, Haven and Carmine yearn to break free, but a string of events that began before either of them were born threatens to destroy them instead.

Murder and betrayal are a way of life, and nothing comes without a price-especially not freedom. But how much will they have to sacrifice? Can they escape their pasts? And, most of all, what does it mean to be free?

Publisher: Gallery Books

Date Published: February 25, 2014

Date Read: April 2016

Number of Pages: 528

Source: BookOutlet

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Buddy read this one with my beautiful sissy Pearl.

Finally I was able to read this book! I’ve been eyeing this book since it came out, but never got the chance to actually get a copy and so when I did, I read it immediately, the experience was more fun since I have someone to buddy read it with.

Mafia + Love Story is a sure recipe to capture my attention. I’ve been craving for stories like this. I am sucker for great romance with a lot of action, you know, the damsel in distress kind with a knight in shining armor but in a realistic and modern setting. The book’s premise was screaming all the right things I’ve been looking for in a book, so I succumbed and read it. Did it hold its end of the bargain? Partly, yes. Was I a tad bid disappointed? Well let’s just say this book wasn’t what I completely expected. Has it turned out to be a bad one? Definitely not, it was a good book, but then I was maybe looking for something else. I know, my expectations got the better of me – again.

The book started out really well, I could say this because the only way I could gauge a good book is when I was engrossed by it the first 100 pages. It captured my attention and I was able to read a substantial amount of pages in just one sitting (which doesn’t happen a lot these days, because I have the attention span worse than a 2y/o) so I thought I’m in for a great ride. But as the story went on, the pacing seemed to be slower than what I would have liked. I wanted action and heart stopping, breath taking scenes but all of this only happened during the latter part of the book, around 10% or so towards the end. So that was kind of a little disappointing for me, because it was a book concerning mafias, it is just natural to expect a lot of actions, but alas there were only a little of it. I would like to say that the focus of the book was more on the love story of Carmine and Haven, i’m saying that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however it could have been better if the mafia part was played out well. I love the love story though, it was cheesy when it needs to be and serious when the circumstances asked for it to. I loved how consistent the characters were. Carmine who had a bad temper but turned out to be more patient and understanding because of Haven, and Haven who was the shy girl at first but came out of her shell to open up. I loved how their characters developed and who they have become towards the end of the book. I loved how it centered on family too, how important love is and would take extreme measures just to protect the ones they love. Sacrifices had to be made, betrayal for a greater good, it was a mixture of good family values and human frailties making the readers kind of relate to the book. I felt it, the emotions that the book was trying to draw out from its readers, and I couldn’t discount the fact that not many books can do that.

I also appreciated the fact that it wasn’t too explicit or with contents that would make a reader cringe such as excessive use of profanities or abusive situations that one can  not begin to fathom. I have read my fair share of books with explicit contents, and I am glad that Sempre did not dwell on that completely, I’d say I expected it in this book, but this book proved me that a good book doesn’t need to have explicit contents to be a cut above the rest.

The reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars is that I was perpetually lost and confused, what with all the characters, there are so many! I seriously had a hard time figuring out who is who and their relation to each other. I literally had to write down the family tree and whatnot just to keep up to what was happening – but even doing so I was still left with too many questions, if anything I was more confused than I already am. There were a lot of loose ends. I had a lot of questions, and I thought the last chapters will wrap it up, but then it just served to add more questions to my already lost mind. I want to put every question I had in this review, but then it will become a spoiler, so I’d rather not spoil you of anything. I guess I would have to keep it to myself and just read book 2 to find the answers I’ve been desperately craving. So there’s that. Also there are parts that the book can certainly do away with. I guess the author could have condensed the book into a shorter one and not make it more than 500 pages. I understand that this was the debut novel of the author, but the book can really do some polishing, leaving out really important details that would make the book more coherent.

And oh, I would love to read more of Vincent and Maura’s back story, I wish the author can do a novella of some sort. That would be amazing. And also I wish there was more backstory as to what happened to Nicholas and Carmine, I was left wanting more. Maybe let’s put it this way, I wanted to see the whole back story of everything, of how everything really came about. There was something lacking, something I need to get a grip on so the story would come out real solid. Let’s see if Sempre Redemption could give me the satisfaction I needed. All in all this was a good read, and I could recommend it even to younger readers (okay not super super young, but enough to decipher the message the book wanted to convey). And of course I will be reading more of JM Darhower’s works, I heard her other books are just as gripping if not more. Looking forward to it!

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“Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy,
cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it. Once the thunderbolt hits, your life is
irrevocably changed.”
― J.M. DarhowerSempre

phonto

Years by Sylvia Plath (Poem#21)

Years
by Sylvia Plath

They enter as animals from the outer
Space of holly where spikes
Are not the thoughts I turn on, like a Yogi,
But greenness, darkness so pure
They freeze and are.

O God, I am not like you
In your vacuous black,
Stars stuck all over, bright stupid confetti.
Eternity bores me,
I never wanted it.

What I love is
The piston in motion –
My soul dies before it.
And the hooves of the horses,
Their merciless churn.

And you, great Stasis –
What is so great in that!
Is it a tiger this year, this roar at the door?
It is a Christus,
The awful

God-bit in him
Dying to fly and be done with it?
The blood berries are themselves, they are very still.

The hooves will not have it,
In blue distance the pistons hiss.

The Illiterate by William Meredith (Poem#20)

The Illiterate By William Meredith

Touching your goodness, I am like a man
Who turns a letter over in his hand
And you might think this was because the hand
Was unfamiliar but, truth is, the man
Has never had a letter from anyone;
And now he is both afraid of what it means
And ashamed because he has no other means
To find out what it says than to ask someone.
His uncle could have left the farm to him,
Or his parents died before he sent them word,
Or the dark girl changed and want him for beloved.
Afraid and letter-proud, he keeps it with him.
What would you call his feeling for the words
That keep him rich and orphaned and beloved?

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII by Pablo Neruda (Poem#19)

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII By Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

When Love Arrives by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye (Poem#18)

When Love Arrives

by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye
I knew exactly what love looked like…
In seventh grade

Even though I hadn’t met love yet
If love had wandered into my homeroom
I would have recognized him at first glance
Love wore a hemp necklace

I would have recognized her at first glance
Love wore a tight French braid

Love played acoustic guitar
And knew all my favorite Beatles songs
Love wasn’t afraid to ride the bus with me
And I knew
I just must be checking the wrong classroom

Just must be searching the wrong hallways
She was there, I was sure of it

If only I could find him
But when love finally showed up

She had a bowl cut
He wore the same clothes every day for a week

Love hated the bus
Love didn’t know anything about the Beatles

Instead
Every time I tried to kiss love
Our teeth got in the way

Love became the reason I lied to my parents
“I’m going to… Ben’s house”

Love had terrible rhythm on the dance floor
But made sure we never missed a slow song

Love waited by the phone because she knew if her father picked up it would be

“Hello ?” (*Heavy breathing*)
“Hello ?” (*Heavy breathing*)
“I guess they hung up”

And love grew

Love … Stretched like a trampoline

Love changed

Love disappeared… slowly
Like baby teeth, losing parts of me I thought I needed

Love vanished like an amateur magician
Everyone could see the trapdoor but me

Like a flat tire
There were other places I had planned on going

But my plans didn’t matter

Love stayed away for years
And when love finally reappeared, I barely recognized him
Love smelled different now, had darker eyes
A broader back
Love came with freckles I didn’t recognize
New birthmarks, a softer voice
Now there were new sleeping patterns
New favorite books
Love had songs that reminded him of someone else
Songs love didn’t like to listen to

So did I…

But we found a park bench that fit us perfectly
We found jokes that make us laugh
And now love makes me fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies
But love will probably finish most of them for a midnight snack

Loves looks great in lingerie but still likes to wear her retainer
Love is a terrible driver, but a great navigator
Love knows where she’s going
It just might take her two hours longer than she planned

Love is messier now
Not as simple

Love uses the word “boobs” in front of my parents
Love chews too loudly
Love leaves the cap off the toothpaste
Love uses smiley faces in her text messages
And turns out

Love shits!

But love also cries
And love will tell you, “You are beautiful”

And mean it

Over and over again (“You are beautiful”)
When you first wake up- (“You are beautiful”)
When you’ve just been crying- (“You are beautiful”)
When you don’t wanna hear it- (“You are beautiful”)
When you don’t believe it- (“You are beautiful”)
When nobody else will tell you, (“You are beautiful”)
Love still thinks… (“…”)

You are beautiful

But love is not perfect and will sometimes forget
When you need to hear it most

You are beautiful

Do not forget this

Love is not who you were expecting
Love is not what you can predict

Maybe love is in New York City already asleep
You are in California, India, Australia, wide awake
Maybe love is always in the wrong timezone

Maybe love is not ready for you
Maybe you are not ready for love

Maybe love just isn’t the marrying type

Maybe the next time you see love is twenty years after the divorce
Love looks older now, but just as beautiful as you remember

Maybe love is only there for one month
Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit
Maybe love stays
Maybe love can’t
Maybe love shouldn’t…

Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to
And love leaves exactly when love must
When love arrives say,
“Welcome, make yourself comfortable”

If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her
Turn off the music, listen to the quiet
Whisper,
“Thank you for stopping by”

Like Totally Whatever by Melissa Lozado Oliva (Poem#17)

Like Totally Whatever

by Melissa Loazado Oliva

Like Totally Whatever after Taylor Mali

In case you haven’t realized
it is somehow become necessary
for old white men to tell me how to speak
They like, interrupt a conversation that
isn’t even theirs, and are like
“Speak like you mean it.”
and like the internet is
ruining the english language
and they like put my
parentheticals, my likes, and uhms
and you-knows on a wait list
Tell them no one would
take them seriously in a
frilly pink dress or that make up
Tell them they have a confidence problem
That they should learn to speak up
like the hyper masculine words were
always the first to raise their hands

Invisible red pens and college degrees
have been making their way into the middle
of my sentences, I’ve been crossing things out
every time I take a moment to think.
Declarative sentences, so called because they
declare themselves to be the loudest, truest,
most taking up the most space
most totally white men sentences
Have always told me that being angry
has never helped like anybody,
has only gotten in the way of helping
them declare more shit about how
they will never be forgotten like ever

It’s like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway
were geniuses for turning women into question marks
It’s like rapes happen all the time on campuses
but as soon as John Krakauer
writes about it, suddenly it’s like
innovative nonfiction and not like
something girls are like making up
for like attention and it’s like maybe
I am always speaking in question
because I’m so used to being cut off
It’s like maybe this is defense mechanism
Maybe everything girls do is evolution
of defense mechanism
Like this is protection like
our likes are our kneepads
our uhms are our knives we tuck into our boots at night
our you-knows are the best friends we call
when we’re walking down a dark alley
Like this is how we breathe easier
But I guess feelings never helped anybody
I guess like tears never made change
I guess like everything girls do is a waste of time

So welcome to the bandwagon of my own uncertainty
watch as I stick flowers in your punctuation mark guns
’cause you can’t just challenge authority
You gotta take it to the mall too
teach you to do the bend and snap
paint its nails
braid its hair
Tell its looks like really good today
and in that moment
you murder it with all the poison
in your like softness
you let it know that like this
like this moment
it’s like, uhm,
you know me
using my voice

 

The Rival by Sylvia Plath (Poem#16)

The Rival

by Sylvia Plath

If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating
Both of you are great light borrowers.
Her O-mouth grieves at the world, yours is unaffected

And your first gift is making stone out of everything.
I wake to a mausoleum, you are here,
Ticking your fingers on the marble table, looking for
cigarettes.
Spiteful as a woman, but not so nervous,
And dying to say something unanswerable.

The moon, too, abases her subjects,
But in the daytime she is ridiculous.
Your dissatisfactions, on the other hand,
Arrive through the maillot with loving regularity,
White and blank, expansive as carbon monoxide.

No day is safe from news of you,
Walking about in Africa maybe, but thinking of me.