Saturday, December 13

We used to have screaming matches on the playground. My friends and I would clench our tiny fists and squeeze our eyes tighter than exploding stars and let our vocal chords rip into the afternoon air. I always won.

There isn't enough real screaming in the adult world. It's all turned internal or into razor blades and bourbon. My lungs are aching and punching for a chance to let a scream slit the sky into shatters. They want to lacerate my ribcage and tear my esophagus into ribbons.

The killer in all of this? Our teachers would always run to us when we had our screaming matches and check our knees for scabs and our elbows for freckles of blood. But now if I let out a scream no one would come running.

via *

rock candy

Wednesday, December 10

He was so beautiful, that long haired boy.
Smelling like weed and guitar strings
And fogged up car windows in January.

Hot summer sidewalks. Blown out matches.
Skinned knees. Ice cream cones. Sticky rock candy
Now transformed to whiskey and cocaine.

The cobwebs now pull his mouth down,
Sand has settled in his cheekbones, speckled
His face with pretty lies and bad boy charm.

Everything burns him like guitar strings
Snapping against calloused fingers, iron
lowered into the flames of premature age.

Cigarette smoke and ashes curl and veer
Through his dripping hair and down my back,
Sparking on my spine, ripping me up.

He ripped me open on a night of velvet and
Fractured glass. He rips himself open every night
With needles and bass lines.

via *

constructing the interstate

Sunday, November 23

the body was made of pure cement.
each rib glued together.
thumb tacks lining the mortar between each nerve.
the hair was the hardest to pin down.
it was wild, covering the
body's face and obscuring the leakage
pouring from the blank spaces
where manhole covers were still needed.
holes for men to climb down into
the sewage lined heart,
the shit infested wasteland constantly
dumped on by countless men before.
the hair was the problem.
it made the body seem alive.
the hair must burn.
the body must be broken down
again. jackhammered.
traffic backed up.
the body reopened with each passing semi,
questioned if there was a reason
for this destruction at all.


Friday, November 21

Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By right we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam? 

Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for. 

Because when I'm feeling sad or confused or anything, these words help the most.

the first attempt

Thursday, November 13

Her name was Mary, but she was no virgin.
Her insides were made up of blackberry dust and
needles, memories of the day the ferris wheel froze.
It stood in the middle of the fair and made shadowed
cliffs across the snowy hills.

The voice behind her licked at the space
behind her knees, blew her kisses as the edges
called her closer and begged for a release.
"You'll die if you keep this up, little girl,
you'll die if you don't kill yourself first."

via *

battle scars

Tuesday, November 11

I dressed like Seattle that day, my hair liquefying into the Puget Sound.
I wanted to be my own home, built inside my own bones.
But inside his strong arms our lavender bodies fell together,
Struggling humans opposed to these falsely perfect people riddled with expectation.
He moved me, begged me to punch him in the ribs,
Find his heart- he craved determination and diligence.

Only screaming and breathing and breaking emotion down
Will let my skin know war, the last sentence he speaks in the dark
The last bullet hole of a bleeding turquoise sentence.
How do you know the distinction between lover of sex and sex addict when
Having the lights off makes it all so much more forbidden and foggy?

Send me right to hell. Send me swiftly right on down.

via *

scorpion venom

Monday, November 3

It was easy for ninety people
to drink eighty bottles of wine.

It's hard to paint
the tumors hot pink,
to let all of the venom in the world
eat up your blood and sting your
stomach lining.

It was so hard to feel my breath
and my bones turn to ashes
while I tried to look happy
to still be here.

In the violet hour before
it all begins again, I can hear
the other side calling so softly.
Like moths burning on a light bulb.

I'm so close- closing my eyes
is so goddamned easy.

But then they all come through
the door and I snap back to myself.
The weapons won't be laid down today.
Dying is much too easy.

Let's make Hell wish it could have me.

via *


Sunday, November 2

Agog, adj.

I cannot imagine how hard this is for her. To hear me down the hall and remember how my skin looked when it was pressed against him instead of her. And then she goes and lets me into her room and starts to dance. She moves her hips and sways her head. She grabs my hands and makes me move with her. She makes me let go and she lets me be with her dancing our hearts out.

Agglomeration, n.

The whole world is made of bones and crushed flower petals and empty bathtubs. His hands on his back. His nails already had bits of my flesh underneath them, why not add more skin from another to help bury me further.

I never made you love me. I never made you pretend. But you're the one who said it first. You threw me in the air and dropped me in the puddle and you said it. You forgot to take me out of the puddle before you hydroplaned right through it.

via *


Thursday, October 30

Feeling your mind expand and be molded feels exactly like speeding on an empty city road at midnight. That sense of wild freedom in a place that is usually so full. That feeling of recklessness, that wild and climbing sensation as you pull forward ever faster and faster, screaming with your car, hurtling at 90 miles an hour to a new destination.

It is so scary to grow and learn from people. But connection is such an intense craving in the marrow of our very human bones. Opening yourself, handling your heart to someone and hoping they will cradle it and not stomp it into the floorboards takes so much strength. But God, what a sensation and what a miracle when you finally do it.

I've always wanted to be close to my sister. I've wanted to be a person who could be having a hard day and immediately think to call her on the phone and complain and cry with her. The kicker is, we are ten years apart and so so different. She's medical, I'm English lit. She's Christian, I'm... other. She's so similar to me that I think I've been inventing differences this whole time in hopes that I would stop feeling guilty and disappointed when we weren't best friends when she came to visit from Texas.

But tonight for the first time we opened up to each other and I finally got to say some of the things I've been burying for so so long. I have had no one to tell these words to and it all came spilling out and finally, finally, after years and years I heard the one phrase I have needed from someone in my family. She's proud of me. She is with me. She sees me. And I am so grateful.


Monday, October 20

Some days (most days) it feels ridiculous that I am not 17. It feels so false that I live in my own house, that I'm not checking in with my mom before I go out for a night with my friends. It amazes me that my mother doesn't know my friends anymore because they aren't the people I have seventh period theater with or the people I walked to the bus stop with. It's ridiculous that I'm paying rent. And working. And going to college. And using a credit card.

When does living a life stop feeling like I'm playing house?

drinking shocktop on the hill

Thursday, October 9

The raccoons fighting outside of my window sound like children being lowered into vats of boiling water and the sound of this song reminds me of your face in my hands. The indent you left on the pillow and the smell that rubbed its way along me as I curled into the sheets on your bed. Over shitty diner coffee you come alive for me and I feel sixteen again with your name on my lips. The tears never dried and the rip inside of my vocal cords has never healed quite right after all of those lonely nights screaming into my blankets.

I told you once what you did to me. I told you of the six year marathon I ran to get to you. I told you everything and no one stopped me, even though they knew it was meaningless. But at least you know. You know I loved you and you know what you were to me. You were golden days and painful nights. You were tears never wasted and the reason for years of sad poetry. You were a novel waiting to happen that people will read and see you as I did.

Once you said you'd loved twice in your life and that I was one of them. That was a pretty lie.

via *

peaches and planes

Thursday, October 2

Her hands were always so soft, like
peach fuzz warm from the afternoon sun
in springtime.

The twenty rings spread across her ten
slender fingers tap dance along the pages
of the book she holds.

The planes are all meant to crash, she says
as she lets her brain march through the sands
of Mexico.

Here coke and lime is warm next to her,
condensation spreading as she questions why
life does little more than hurt.

via *

le premier octobre

Wednesday, October 1

Happy October! The air this time of year just feels so alive. There is the anticipation of season's changing and the anticipation of cold weather. That means more time inside cuddling up under a mountain of covers with a mountain of treats and cider. Also Christmas as well. But mostly Halloween. This year I will be going to Rocky Horror at midnight. Don't let me forget to share pictures with you guys; it should be a delight! But even more than all of that. It's almost Thanksgiving. Which is the most important day. Because gravy. Also my stepmom makes the most delicious cranberry sauce in the entire world and I could swim in it, which I basically do on Thanksgiving.

I feel like I haven't checked in with you guys in a while. I've been posting a bit more sporadically than I would like to post and I hope to fix that soon. I've been feeling much more inspired lately thanks in large part to the poetry class I'm currently in and a new wonderful friend I've made. His name is Tyler and he is flawless and lovely. He writes a lot like I write and so being able to inspire each other has been a wonder. He also has a blog and you should go leave him some love here. He's astounding.

So here's a bit of what I've been up to and just some general thoughts I've been wanting to share with you all.

  • I started working in the Writing Center at my University as a tutor and I adore my job. I get to help all sorts of students write all sorts of papers and it is so amazing. I get to read papers about Greek mythology, mathematical theorems (not really my favorite, but I feel really smart when I read them out loud), German fairytales, psychology studies. Everything. It is so cool. I feel like I am learning so much from these papers and these students. It's doing wonders for my own writing.
  • I've been so busy with work and school but don't think for one second that I am not reading your blogs still and that I don't adore each and every comment I receive from all of you. The little community I've become a part of through this blog and through your blogs is so incredibly important to me. You are all so insanely talented and lovely. Whenever I need inspiration I fall right into your words and I feel so much. Thank you all for sharing your beautiful gifts and for sharing in mine. You have all changed me and helped me more than you could ever know. 
  • I'm itching to get back to San Francisco. Or just to have another vacation in general. I'm hoping to get to Europe this coming summer. One way or another. 
  • I really want to be Alex Vause from Orange is the New Black for Halloween but this guy told me that I'm already too much like her for it to qualify. I was both saddened and incredibly flattered. 
  • I want some new blogs to love and obsess over. If you have any favorites, please let me know in comments. 
  • Also where are your favorite places to get sweaters? I need some new warm and cuddly things to wrap myself in.
Well, this was random but I miss checking in with you guys. How is your fall going? How's life? (I promise I'll get back to the moody writing now. Just wanted to say hey) 

Also this song sounds like fall to me. Got any good fall songs?

home and abroad

Sunday, September 28

I packed only the essentials,
laid them all out in front of me.
My tiny stuffed kitty, three nickels,
assorted lego pieces for protection,
fruit snacks shaped like sharks and monsters.
My small gummy worm fingers dropped
them into my baby blanket, yellow softness
and drenched in my smell.

I dashed to my dorm and threw
essentials into a plastic bag. 
Underwear, shirts, phone charger, baby blankets
still steeped in my smell, the tiny kitty too.
I had bruises etched into my collar bone
and was still bleeding between my thighs.
He'd had me for three months and no one knew.

The bundle was light and easy to
tie up on the broken stick I'd 
found in the yard. I was 
a 1930s runaway, ready to jump
into a boxcar and head to California.
I'd run to my aunt, the woman with
the same lips as me, the same
little rosebud smile and auroral eyes.

No one knew how his hand covered
my rosebud lips and stole the
glow from my eyes. No one
could see the Dahlia grin bleeding
its way to the surface of my cheeks
every time he touched me. 
It was time to run.

I slung the stick across my shoulder
and marched to the end of my driveway,
the orange September glow blazing.
Suddenly she called my name.
She started to smile as she walked to me 
but saw my determined brow and faltered.
Oh Emma, I'd never let you leave home, baby.
You'll always have my arms to hold.

I drove into the November chill and
called the woman whose arms 
were always there even
when I pushed away the most.
Three hours and I'm home, mom,
I'll need a hug when I arrive.
Oh Emma, I don't want you home.
I know what you've been doing and
you're not welcome here.

We sat in the family room and ate 
cherries until our fingers smiled red.
She unpacked my bag and
wrapped me in my baby blankets.

He was sitting in the dorm room
when the key jammed its way in the lock.
He sliced my bag from my hands.
He ripped my baby blankets. 

via *


Monday, September 22

It's dark when he goes to work,
darker still as he idles in his truck
outside of his own house, sure
he's scrubbed the smell of her sweat
out from under his nail beds.

The house sits dejected like his wife
on the edge of the bathtub,
the bottle of laxatives empty on the
counter, every inch of her
intestines scraped clean.

She can hear the truck in the garage.
The business trip was longer than usual,
longer time out from under his prying eyes.
His nose was once so perfect
and now it turns up at her, shoves her.

He's still in his truck, craving
alcohol he's never even had.
He craves the son he never had.
She was always so thin,
those birthing hips no use to him.

The truck engine cuts at last and
the shaking house is silent.
The words on the post card meant
for her husband are loud as ever,
a pretty script unlike his wife's.

She stands, stares at her broken
frame in the mirror and sees that
despite all efforts, the fat on her
stomach will not dissolve.
For two months that fat has grown.

The hallway is tighter than usual
as his form bombards towards the bathroom.
He pounds until his wife appears,
hands him the crumpled card from
the woman he hides in Colorado.

She tosses more words over her shoulder.
I'm pregnant.

via *


Sunday, September 14

Keep the boys away, Emma Jane,
you must know what you do to them.
My mother's fears of boys
eating up my smiles,
feeling my calve muscles
curve under their touch as
they ease my legs apart,
are borne from her self-loathing.
She's told me I'm unwanted.
She's told me I saved her
from becoming Sylvia Plath.
And yet I mortify her,
I keep her tossing all night long.

She hates knowing they've touched me.
She hates knowing I liked it.
She remembers me in my tiny
underwear, sticky little thighs
glued to the couch with
popsicle juice and messy toddler fingers.
She watched Jurassic Park with me
every day as I helped myself
to sliced hot dogs and macaroni
and she helped herself to slices
of Sam Neill. Imagined him
lowering his aviators and freeing
her from my tyrannosaurus father.
Imagined his dew-drop blue eyes feasting
on her flesh as I ceased
to exist in reality, a virtual
dream like the dinosaurs on the screen.

But I never went away.
My hair grew long like she
liked it and I chopped it off.
She stopped buying my underwear
as they lost their cotton to
make room for the lace. She saw
her doll leaving her, no longer
begging for Jurassic Park. No
more Sam to feed her insecurities
and fantasies, just the rumble
of water in a glass as my father
boomed home at night. Until.
A snowy day. A quiet theater,
solace amid a manic film festival.
She felt her hips fill the seat, cursed
herself for eating for the first time in days.
She touched her hair, cursed the frizz
that never tamed like her daughter's did.
She brushed her nose as she stood,
for fuck's sake why is it so big?!
And then he was there. Just behind my aunt,
dew-drops gleaming, smile wide as ever.
My mother's face flushed,
her thighs ached as they clenched
where she stood. He passed. Continued walking.

My aunt chuckled, swore he was looking at her.
My mother, breathless, swears it was at her.
But her hair is hideous, after all. Her nose enormous.
And those goddamn hips must take up
the entire theater. How could she
let herself out in public, she thinks.
How could she have imagined
his hands on her worthless breasts?
That night she comes home and
throws my training bras away.
She watches my growing hourglass dance
and knows that boys will fuck me.
The Xanax is extra sweet that night.

via *

easy girl

Saturday, September 13

It gets easier not to pick at your nails,
the incessant pluck flick pluck

It gets easier to shut your eyes at night
without checking for bodies in your closet.

It gets easier to listen to those songs
again, the songs imbedded with evil.

It gets easier making friends who 
understand writing and withhold judgment. 

It gets easier to ease words out
of your brain the more you write.

It gets easier to admit the word rape
even with the acid it leaves in your mouth.

via *


Monday, September 8

The shades were drawn and yet we held onto
the light that seemed to clamber through the dark
veils we had closed so suddenly. And yet
we stood, faces reaching for drops of sun.

via *

rock candy

Saturday, August 30

The cobwebs are pulling his mouth down,
sand has settled in his cheekbones, speckled
his face, a fractured mirror surrounded by

the memory of youth. Hot summer sidewalks.
Skinned knees. Ice cream cones. Sticky rock candy
now transformed to whiskey and cocaine.

Everything burns him like guitar strings
snapping against calloused fingers, iron
lowered into the flames of premature age.

Pretty lies dusting his murky charisma,
cigarette smoke and ashes curl and veer
through his dripping hair and down my back,

sparking on my spine, ripping me up.
Everything is numb and everything kills
him, but nothing can put him in the soil

faster than the bass line tearing him apart,
screaming his name until the world is dead,
torn open by the drugs that kill him.

via *

red cars

Sunday, August 24

The strings are cut, my nails are trimmed
and every day my hair grows inch by inch.

The red balloons drifted through the
April clouds, pulsed with the atmosphere

and popped before an unfamiliar God could
push them back down to Earth, to my arms.

Each fire engine siren grabs my still protruding belly,
screams into my ears like I screamed

on the bathroom floor as the tile
bloomed scarlet beneath me. I run.

To feed the demons, to shush them and
to obliterate the remaining fat that

grew with the early springtime bud.
One more mile. One more sprint.

One more inch to pull myself through
until my heart stops breaking.

via *

Dear Stephanie Perkins

Friday, August 22

It's been too long since I've had a book to gush about. A book that filled me up, made me it's prisoner, made me squeal like an idiot and made me believe in love and words. A book that sparks my insides and moves me to write and to read and to smile and to UGH very loudly.

Stephanie Perkins you win again. 

Last year I read Anna and the French Kiss swiftly followed by Lola and the Boy Next Door. I shared some thoughts on those two books here but to echo the sentiment a bit, these books moved me so much. These characters are just so alive and so beautiful and broken and unique. The way Stephanie writes is just electric and so full of love. You can feel this woman's passion and love for words and her characters soak through the pages.

She writes how I want to write. I love when you can tell an author loves their characters and I think Stephanie Perkins takes the cake there. I can almost feel her squealing with me when the characters kiss and getting frustrated with me when her characters aren't together. I like that I can feel how much love and care and attention each character gets. I like that the characters become my friends and that they are Stephanie's friends too.

I devour her books also. It's been a good summer for reading but good GOD I was not ready for the majesty of Isla and the Happily Ever After, the last book of her sort of, interrelated series. I don't want to give anything away by way of plot but here's the low down. Isla is shy and has always loved Josh, a broody hot artist who can't seem to focus on much. After a very awkward (and literally awesome) first official meeting over summer vacation, their school year in Paris becomes a lovely jumble of romance and sorrow and GUYS I COULD NOT.

One of the best parts of these books is that they truly transport you to the landscapes that they take place in. In Anna, you are swept away to Paris and you return back to Paris in Isla after some time in New York and some even more delicious time in Barcelona (STEPHANIE PERKINS I CAN'T WITH YOU). But one of my favorite experiences was reading Lola while I was in San Francisco last week. I mean, holy wow it brought the book to life in bursting colors. I drove through the Castro and picked the houses I though Lola and Cricket lived in and loved in. I bought some crazy dresses in the Haight and felt my Lola showing. She knows San Francisco and she paints each city she uses so lovingly and so beautifully.

My favorite line of Lola
I could gush about the intricacies of her books forever, how much I love the boys she writes (PS STEPHANIE PERKINS YOU ALSO SUCK BECAUSE I CAN'T PICK BETWEEN THE THREE OF THEM HOW DARE YOU), and how beautifully she writes her women. I can see pieces of all of them in me and that makes reading her books very fun and also very revealing. These girls have their faults and there are times when reading them revealed mine and I got so uncomfortable for a minute, but then so inspired. Like Isla for example. She is so hard on herself and she focuses on her past and Josh's past so much. I was so frustrated reading that until I realized that I do the exact same thing. Her books always seem to reveal me. It's because her characters are so damn realistic. It might seem easy to dismiss these books as easy to read or mindless romance but HOT DAMN do they get heavy and real and raw.

Stephanie Perkins is the writer I want to be and her words always wake me up when I need them to. I have been in the worst writing rut of all time. I feel like I have creative ADD. I sit down to write, feel so jazzed to be writing, and then I just can't. It feels empty and useless to try. I feel like I have nothing to say and no words to say anything. But her books excite me. They make me feel love and they make me feel a love of love in books. That feeling of getting so sucked into words that you cannot stop, you cannot and will not put it down. I want to write a book like that and Stephanie Perkins makes me feel like that type of writing is possible.

On her blog she has talked about battling depression. About how hard it is to write through it sometimes. I feel that pain so so much. Brains are assholes. Brains tell you you can't write or that you shouldn't or that people won't like you. And when that happens, bodies and words shut down. On one of her posts about depression, I left a comment for her about how much she inspires me. And guess what? She responded to me! :) She said "Thank you, Em. I'm so sorry that your brain is mean to you, too. I'm glad you're fighting it! Keep writing. I can't wait to read YOUR book someday. :-)"



ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I was dying when that happened last year. And something more, I know she means it because she is just the nicest.

I know this post is all over the place but in the end, it has one purpose. Thank you so much Stephanie Perkins. Thank you for your books, your characters (particularly the boys but... how can I pick between the three ugh), your hope, your words, being you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for giving me my writing back.

I cannot wait for your next masterpiece.

Flashes of the Bay

Tuesday, August 19

If you've been following my Instagram, you'll know that I just spent a wonderful week in San Francisco with my aunt, who is my favorite human on the planet. I have been feeling so stifled in SLC because of school and some recent drama of the heart. But that salt and sea air, those cookie cutter houses. They brought me life back and I feel so reenergized. That city has such a life and such a history and little did I know, my family has a large part in that history. For instance, my Great Uncle Tom once drove UP Lombard Street, the famously crooked and famously one way down street. God bless the drugs he was on that made him a legend there. My great grandmother also tended to frequent Haight Ashbury and played leapfrog with her friends in the streets from bar to bar. I'd like to think my great grandmother and I would have gotten along very well.

So here are some shots of my trip. Please do enjoy :) PS. This is a very large photo dump. Not sorry at all.

Leaving SLC accompanied by the sun
First stop, of course, City Lights Books
And what I bought there.
Midday Italian sodas stop
Cheese plate break at this fabulous establishment. 
Up to Telegraph Hill
View from Telegraph
The first of many houses I fell in love with 
Crossing the Golden Gate to my Aunt's home. I wish traffic would have stopped on this bridge.
Second day highlight: Ferry boat cruise around Angel Island.
Take me to the water. Leave me with the ferry boats. 
Ma tante et moi.
I discovered a love for sailboats on this trip.
Possibly my favorite picture from the trip. I do love Golden Gate. 
Palace of Fine Arts
My aunt lives right near the bay. This was during our walk to see Super Moon. 
Beach day at Muir Beach! Aka The Day My Sanity Returned 
The surf is the best place to be alone in the world.
Cheese tasting in wine country
View from the top of Lombard Street
If the person who lives in this house on Lombard Street chances upon this,
I will marry you for this house. 
The Haight. My heart. 
Same offer of marriage goes to the owner of this house. 
My last day was spent largely at the De Young Museum. A dream 
My favorite piece in the museum.
Spectator- Speed of Light by James Rosenquist
The view of the city from the top of the museum. Kill me. 
Now, the Painted Ladies are quite beautiful but... 
I'll take their neighbors down the street. 
I visited the house used in Mrs. Doubtfire on Steiner Street and
left a note for Robin Williams in his vast memorial there.
San Francisco Port- my true last stop.
View from the Pier.
The Cupid's Span sculpture.
The arrow found my heart and left it in the bay
Big ups to those of you that made it to the end of this post. I took hundreds of pictures and these are just scraping the surface. But I wanted to get it all out in one post, one beautiful post I can stare at whenever my heart stops beating. I love this city. There is truly nothing like it. Thank you, dear hearts, for sharing this little piece of my trip with me.

PS. This is also my 200th post. :) Here's to many more.