In the Mirror
I start with my eyes
I reassure myself that I am safe
in that stare, in that state,
I can trust what I see
and it’s all there. I am safe
In this moment
I see the line across my stomach
where the top half settles on the bottom
I remind myself that I am made
of sweet treats, green leaves,
juicy, crunchy, savory things
I see my breasts tremble,
see my nipples sprawl, totally at ease
I resist the urge to tease
I take a deep breath in
and rely on my beauty. Not what others have
told me is beautiful. This is supreme being
This is me.
This is who I have become
in times of struggle, but beyond the need
Any way at all.
My jaw softens naturally
My thighs roll out
I see the legs that have carried me
Through the mud and the storms and the trees
I see my sex, drooping pink, tender to the touch
To exact my body
To be exactly here, in this precious space
I will never exist somewhere else
Not on the scale, nor in the rope, nor the mirror.
I am here.
Photo by Inga Gezalian on Unsplash
#selflove #beauty #reflection
A Touch of
I think we romanticize
the mentally ill
but have you ever
gone five days
without taking a shower
or entered a room
and thought about how
it wouldn't take much
to never come out
maybe we don't though
and Sylvia Plath is at most
quirky for writing about Daddy
and sticking her head
into fumes that normally cook food
I think we all need a touch
of madness to stay alive
but damn if it doesn't
some days I want to do the breaking; a body
of water, a baguette,
my own heart, a sentence
The priest was good and God was great;
life was a holy mission.
They said my friends would burn in hell,
and then I had some questions.
Bringing the words back
I got another rejection this morning. Rejections are fine, truly; whenever you send a piece of writing to a publication, a rejection is the expected outcome, and that’s the math of it. I once heard thirdhand of a writer who said she aims to receive a hundred rejections per year, which helped me grasp how this all works. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some pieces accepted for publication, but there will not be some magical “made it” point where my quill develops a Midas touch; each time I see a message from a journal, I say the word “rejected” before I open it, bracing and grounding myself. Rejections are the norm and the price.
That being said, they suck.
As planned, I still sat down to write this morning. I’m a teacher on his last summer day before reporting for work tomorrow; my daughters are with grandparents and my wife is at work, so I need to make some literary hay while the sun shines. The rejection was a cloud, though. It was kindly phrased: “This one didn’t quite feel like a match for us, so we’re going to pass this time, but we enjoyed the read. The ______ made me smile.” It was a nice thing to say and a wholly expected outcome, and yet…
I contemplated killing an hour or so with Netflix.
Instead, I read a few pieces on Prose. @Huckleberry_Hoo made me laugh. @InLoveWithWords made me sad. @AlisonAudrey shared her writer’s dream. And by the time I had read their pieces, language felt vibrant again. I pulled up this lovely challenge by @TheWolfeDen, and I wrote.
I joined Prose in October 2019 because I wanted to write again and needed some help getting unstuck. I have kept using Prose through this morning because I wanted to write again and needed some help getting unstuck.
My thanks, everybody.
The Next Chapter
Greetings fellow readers and writers. It’s been some time since we last updated Prose. Today we’re excited to provide a peek behind the curtains and give you a glimpse of what we’ve been working on.
Over the years, as we’ve added features and functionality to Prose, the app and its codebase have become increasingly unwieldy. As such, we decided to reimagine and rebuild Prose from the ground up. It’s still the same site you know and love, insofar as a Toyota Camry is just as much a car as a Porsche 911.
We’ll have more exciting announcements in the weeks to come; but for now we hope you’ll give the new site a test drive and let us know what you think. You will find the next chapter at beta.theprose.com and we encourage you to share your thoughts at email@example.com.
Shanghai’d in Paradise.
I want to go somewhere and be desolate.
Out here, in the country
Isn’t far enough.
I need to be a stray in a city,
Alone in an empty crowded place
Like a phantom limb,
To do my best work.
We are fighting each other
Over our own seclusion;
So desperate for attention
We jockey for position
At the speed of rattlesnakes.
Venomous creatures live alone.
We want to be seen, and not touched.
We want to be heard, but not answered.
We want the esteem
Of being well-versed in literature,
But this era is too busy
For busy poetry.
We want something for nothing;
We want it immediately,
And we want it to change our lives.
It’s Vegas Baby!
And we’re all trying to win big
In a desert.
God damned the desert.
Just about anyone can be seen from the clouds
On a salt flat so shallow.
Now every washed-up prom queen gets to feel accomplished.
Is not meant to support new life.
Its purpose is to decompose
Every one-hit wonder and regurgitate.
Feed you like a baby bird.
I’ve been doing this a long time.
By now, I don’t expect anyone to give a shit.
But I have no right,
It’s hard to imagine Neal Cassady at the bar
Punching notes into a smartphone;
Or what Jack’s Instagram page would look like.
I doubt we’d ever know.
He wasn’t the type of Catholic to modernize.
And he sure as Hell
Wasn’t the type of Buddhist
to profess enlightenment on the internet.
#poetry #prose #nealcassady #jackkerouac #selfieculture #disassociation #alienation #vanity #society #technology