Sunday, May 31, 2015

imperfections: (im)perfect

The final part of the anthology.
This piece was written as a slam poem, and performed at a school poetry slam.
Paired with this poem.


in elementary school, 
I learned to
be perfect at grades, 
to choke down 
instructions in pills 
made of chalkboard dust
that dulled crayon colours 
on the canvas
into black and white numbers
on the lined page,
to accept that less than 100% was to be 
less than perfect
less than whole. 
and I was addicted 
to the taste of empty praise
so I could forget 
the pill got stuck in
my throat every time I got A’s and 
smiley faced stickers on my homework page with
“great job as always”

because I was perfect

in middle school, 
I learned to
be perfect at socializing, 
to spend hours in the bathroom 
staring at my reflection fixing 
my hair, skin, teeth
until my face became the mirror itself
so I could parrot my classmate’s words and their laughter
and slot myself in their numbers 
to never be the 
odd one out.
I anchored myself
to a social structure
and sank into the deep 
of conformity
weighed down by the burdens of a million smiles 

because I was perfect

in high school 
I learned to
be perfect at hiding things,
to stifle sobs behind doors 
and bury shaking hands underneath long sweater sleeves, 
to grit my teeth and lie
“I’m fine I’m fine I’m fine”
but my heart was the eye of a hurricane 
made of procrastinated essays 
and report card grades
pushing me off a pedestal I had made 
for myself
and I was trying to convince everyone 
that I was just flying not 
crashing into a million pieces of ceramic


a few days ago 
sitting in earth and space class 
I learned
that when a nebula lets go 
of its restraint, 
all stardust and void colliding 
inwards in the flux of its own gravity
it does not die - 
it changes into stars,
into galaxies.
so I took a breath
and let perfection go

because I am imperfect.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

imperfections: bow

Part 2 of "imperfections"
Paired with this poem.


my heartstrings are strung
too tight 
and every chord 
plucked threatens 
to break
to snap

my first lover played
me like his piano
ribcage bruised against
the pedal 

so when he left 
the steel strings 
were frayed 
and I never thought 
I could be played again

but you learned 
instead to pull
across gently 
with your bow.

and you don’t expect 
the notes that 
come out
to be beautiful 
and you don’t flinch when 
it screeches instead 
you just keep 
on playing and 

that’s enough. 

I have never been 
my favourite song 
but you have always


Friday, May 29, 2015

imperfections: variations on the colour blue

I had forgotten I had written this.
This is part of an anthology of poetry called "imperfections" I had to compile for writer's craft, in which I had to juxtapose my poetry with a published poet's work.
This is one of the 3 pieces I wrote, meant to be paired with this poem by Andrea Gibson (a slam poet who I greatly admire).


blue is the colour of 
3 in the morning 
where sleep doesn’t reach

because blue is the colour of 
the hospital gowns and bedsheets
that my veins
lying beneath 
memories marked with
the scars of IVs 
dripping chemotherapy 
and the remainders 
of surgical thread 
running along my shoulder blade 

because blue is the colour of
the forget-me-nots 
in my hair 
whispering in my ear 
to always be thankful 
for being a survivor 
you’re not expected to win
against the disease 
if the disease is made of 
your own cells

because blue is the colour 
of the ink that 
slips out of the 
hollow in my throat 
onto the page in 
scrawls that 
bruise my fingers 
and dyes my bones
in words that I don’t 
know how to say other than
Mom Dad
I’ve never been afraid of dying
I’m afraid of living with it again

because blue is the colour of 
the lake, the ocean,
the waves that pull
at my feet
trying to lull me to 
the peaceful deep,
but I am afraid of drowning
myself along with the thoughts
the demons
and so I stay awake with the sting 
of salt on my scabs and 
and the taste of 

loneliness thick on my tongue

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Magnum Opus (Writer's Craft Summative)

Writer's Craft has consumed my creativity. Holy shit.

In the end, though, I managed to create a final summative project that I'm really proud of (although it took a couple of sleepless nights and a whole load of stress).

I'm hosting it on a free website right now, where you can play a soundless version of the game (since Neocities doesn't allow mp3 or other music files), or download the full game through a link there. You can check it out here.

It would be great to get feedback on it as well, since this is a pretty new medium to me. If you want to try your hand at interactive fiction, check out Twine. I've been wanting to try Twine and interactive fiction for the longest time, but this project gave me the incentive (and deadlines) I needed to actually finish a project (I have a couple of half-finished ones lying around somewhere).

Hoping to get back to the somewhat scheduled poetry, probably starting as soon as high school is over (only a month)!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

writer's craft prose

We did some freewriting in writer's craft the other day, which included the prompts of:
it's more difficult than you think/
quiet rain/
lost things

I decided to push myself and use all of them, and this is how it ended up (I feel like my style has become more and more fragmented and post-modern these days)


quiet rain against
cold fogged window panes 
of glass, 
spring day calling for 
us to stop 
looking outside and listen 
to the pattering of 
pencils against paper 
and the shush of 
teachers muttering behind 
closed doors

but we are lost
motivation lost
consciousness lost

to the sounds of water 
and promises it'll be 
over soon.
we had vowed to
ourselves on a sunny day that 
"of course not, that
wouldn't be us"
but it's harder than you think to
not fall into that

but perhaps it's 
for the better, 
so we can kick and 
dip our feet 
into different puddles 
before deciding to dive 
deep into one 
or two 
or more 
not having to come up for 
air because quiet 
water never 
hurt anyone and 
we'll always be able 
to surface when we 

and even if we 
can't those 
currents and undertows will 
carry us to 
unknowns and 
that's where we are:

on the brink of known 
and unknown, 
feeling water on our skin but 
dry land under 
our toes; 

quiet rain against 
our windows 
calling for us to look 
outside and