today will be a good day.

I havent updated for a little bit because I have been in total hermit mode for the last couple weeks. After the slam finals on the 14th I’ve taken the last 2 weeks off to chill out, and I have been focusing a lot on my 30/30 stuff (some poems more than others) and trying to mentally work out my next full length piece. I’m kind of glad the month is over so I can focus on getting our manuscript 100% together and presentable before the deadline in a couple weeks.
My focus on career things havent been too on point lately because of relationship drama, I am sorry to say (but at least it makes my life interesting I suppose)

in other good news, I had another ultrasound last week and it’s confirmed….BOY.
(expect a poem in the future about my thoughts about putting another white man on this Earth….)

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NaPoWriMo (1/2 way point)

hey everyone. It’s half way through April which means that it’s 1/2 way through NaPoWriMo and so I am going to post the poems i have written so far.
Here ya go:

“B is for…”
Bra.

Boobs.

Barely 9 years old and a

B-cup.

Back then

I felt excited.

My best friend and I had just made a check list

of all the things

we needed to be considered

“Women”

And I

was already winning the competition.

 

I remember writing about my exhilaration

in my pink-kitty-heart-vomit

Lisa Frank diary: “Now Finally

I’m a Woman

I’m a Woman

I’m a Woman

 

I’m Sexy”…

 

My Father used to leave me places:

Laundromats

Shopping malls

Hotel lobbies.

He said this

would help me be more independent.

 

A tall 10 year old

with a C-cup

twenty dollars

and 6 hours to kill.

 

By then

I had checked off two more items on

that list.

Left my best friend in the dust

As adult men

honked their horns

bought me ice cream

and handed me their business cards

Leering

Like flocks of patient vultures

circling

a corpse.

 

 

She entered our 6th grade class mid semester.

An outsider. Clothes just one shade out of season

Family just one step below status

 

she didn’t stand a chance

 

Some kids were just destined

to be the joke

the giggle

as they passed.

The name tattooed

to bathroom walls.

 

I spent that year breathing a sigh of relief

eyes fixed on hallway floors

just happy to survive

just glad

to be invisible.

 

 

 

First Crush(The Vintner):

 

I judge my health by my thighs.

 

When they’re strong enough to crush a man’s skull

like the last shiraz grape

found in vineyard

I know the season has started.

 

I keep the barrels in the closet

Aged French Oak.

The empty bottles wait in the cellar

thirsty for new contents

 

He rings my door bell

and arrives with orange zest

and dark chocolate

 

and when he’s going down on me

I contemplate this year’s harvest

 

What sort of wine

I’ll soon be drinking

 

and at just the right moment

 

I Squeeze.

 

You know I am quite fond of you.

 

I have a sequin pinned to my left ventricle.

With each heartbeat I feel more fierce. At age 16 I learned the art of self design.

And fell in love

with stage doppelgangers.
There once was a spectacled lemur

who always said the wittiest things. And lefts its paw prints

on music sheets

I was a tick waiting patiently arms outstretched to grasp his swagger.
There once was a worry doll

I used to smother under my pillow

when her nail-biting got the best of me.

She always reached a nerve.

 

I still have the accordion

It sits in the corner

in a coffin

along with adolescent infatuation.
But I had grown tired of bandwagons

 

and already drank my fill

of you.

 

 

Today they discovered a cure for apathy

Today the fairies came out of hiding

Today scientists discovered physical evidence

that unicorns exist

and the asteroid set to hit Earth

just barely missed.

Today the body of the LochNess monster

washed up on a shore in Scotland

Today the zoos opened their cages

The giraffes started their war on humanity

and the trees revolted.

Today we were able to marry the person we loved

Today they elected a 6 year old child as president.

And our hands were made out of abalone shells

so we could see what beauty we could find in our palms

instead of the power we felt in our fists.

Today our heads didnt feel so heavy

and when we opened our mouths

we didnt try to say the right things

just spoke in the language of our hearts

our tongues thumping.

Today the headlines were lifelines

and we could read our own fortunes

in our fingerprints.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the love letter you wrote

included references

to smoking bath salts

and eating my unborn baby

I knew

right then

that you “get” me.

 

It didnt take you long to unhinge

my padlocks

like an escape artist

loosening my straight jacket

 

I know sometimes I pull

the chains too

tight.

That I open my mouth too wide

yet you studied every groove

all the dragon breath

my mangled incisors

somehow making my crooked smile

seem

lovely.

 

I know sometimes

I squeeze

the fireflies too

tight.

Holding them

in the shade of my palms

forgetting the weight

of my greedy hands.

Forgetting the feathers

I’ve spent a lifetimes

scotch taping to my

skin.

Sometimes

It’s just too

hard

to be human

 

 

 

 

I opened “I never loved you” and out fell his heart

I opened his heart and inside was a hammer

I opened the hammer and inside was a brick

I opened the brick and inside was a fist

I opened a fist and inside was a tear

I opened a tear and inside was laughter

I opened laughter and inside was a girl

I opened a girl and inside was a crushed flower

I opened a crushed flower and inside was

hope.

 

  1. It’s the tooth’s need for flesh.

    a desire to see bone.

    to see what is hidden

    below the

    surface.

    Sometime the bite marks I leave behind

    are never deep enough to satisfy the craving

    like a beetle

    knawing the last bites of sinew

    I slither my tongue to the bottom of a smudged glass

 

this is where things get ugly.

 

  1. Why wont phone start ringing?

    I threw it in the corner

    like a punished child

    after the last message I left on your

    answering machine.

    Then stalked bar stools for substitutes

    collecting the phone numbers

    of your replacements

    like hungry fly paper.

 

  1. I’ve numbed the lights off

    forgot to set the mood

    threw his clothes in a pile

    fumbling and frantic

    like I were caught in a river current

    grasping at anything

 

  1. the next morning

            my bed is raft

            popping sleeping pills

            like blisters

            the sun doesnt deserve to see.

            faces like mine

were built for nights of regret.

      5.    You still havent called me back.

             I drag razors across my sins

             sometimes I pick scabs

             until they bleed red watercolor in the bathtub

 

             I feel nothing

 

             after emptying another bottle

             my throat explodes into a rasp

             like a broken wasps nest.

    

     6.     there are hooks in my spine

             I thread a single string through each one

             and tighten my face muscles

             so they can stand up right.

 

             this is the posture

             of someone who can handle

             anything.

 

             The strings snap

             constantly.

 

       7.   there was nothing more I wanted

             than for you to be unhappy

             it never seemed fair

             that I should carry

             all the bruises.

Other Woman

 

sometimes he wont tell you

or wont mention her

until the 5th or 6th date

 

will swear

you are different

 

that you are something

special.

 

Your relationship

is an orchard

of freshly picked scabs

 

an arm filled with gentle

self inflicted scars

 

your bed:

a vacation

 

and her’s will always be

home

 

he will always leave you.

 

you’re just

a new puppy

he can walk around the block

 

wagging your tail

 

still waiting patiently

by the door

 

for him to return.

 

 

copyright 2013 Melissa Rose

 

 

updates and such

I have been super busy the last week with work, personal stuff, etc, but I wanted to give some updates on poetry-related things that have been going on.

I did the last chance slam last week but didnt make it to the team finals. Surprisngly, I was a bit more releaved than sad. I would really have liked to go to Boston and represented Portland, and I had a lot of new work that I would like to share at Nats (not to mention seeing all the loverly folks that I love so much 🙂 But the more I think about it, and how seriously pregnant and (most likely) uncomfortable I would be (physically) in East Coast August heat…I think might have worked out for the best.

however, I am happy that at the last chance slam there were not only lots of women, but that all of them did first round poems that were not funny and dark or serious tones. This has been the first time I have seen that done across the board since I started slamming again a couple months ago, so I was excited to see that!

In other news, I have made the top 20 finalists for the write bloody publishing contest this year, but I dont really feel too comfortable talking about it because I dont want to jinx it 😉 That being said, it was news that both humbled me, and put a huge smile on my face this week.

I am looking forward to checking out the team finals on sunday. It’s going to be a great team this year!

semis part 2 aftermath NaPoWrMo 2013

i had a wonderful time at semis last night. i felt like everyone did a wonderful job and i was pleased that everyone brought their best work. That being said, I “called” the winners of the slam at the beginning of the night, and when my guess came true, i wasnt surprised based on the audiences’ tastes and the styles of those two performers. I didnt advance to the second round, which i kind of figured. i was faced with doing strategy and doing something funny and light like the other women who had gone up before me, but i decided to stick to my original plan and do an emotional and complex poem about rape and its affect on a relationship. i knew it was a risk, and since the scene and audience is male dominated, i knew i could be “isolating” some men when i do a poem about a man who rapes, and another man who isnt supportive of survivors of rape. in the past, and to this day, i think this: if a man has a problem with this poem, he either identifies with the negative qualities or things my ex said and did in this situation, or he is a product of rape culture and does not want to hear about female centered issues such as rape.
so i did this poem, and it didnt work,but i am glad i didit because i have been wanting to do it for some time, and since the scene doesnt really have lots of people going on stage and talking about more serious subject matter that is prevelant within our society, such as rape, etc. i feel like it is my duty not only as a survivor, but as a woman, to help make this slam a safe place for other people to share similar stories without the fear of stigma or shame.
I also noticed last night (and maybe i am nitpicking here) that both myself and another young lady, were not only the only two people (and both women) who decided to lead with strong emotionally charged pieces about very serious subject matter (she did an amazing piece about her abusive father that blew me away) but we were both knocked out in the first round….

i’ve said it before, and I will say it again. this scene (perhaps because of the age of the audience being on average under 25) will tolerate serious subject matter…to a point. whenever (at least from what i have seen in the last two months and what i saw back in 2009 and 2010) a poet decides to go serious, things never leave the shallow end of the pool. (although the writing may be fantastic.) this is not a scene that likes to hear about “bad things” or about things that go on in this world that are uncomfortable, especially when it is told in first person narrative.

unfortunately, this is bad for me considering all of my stuff is pretty much first person and darker and much more serious, and on a national level, that is what works, which is kind of unfortunate for the scene and is as crippling to it as i am crippled by it.

lately i have been writing “lighter” stuff in order to compete with topics and styles that are more accepted by the audience, but in doing so, i feel conflicted as an artist and do not think it helps me grow as a writer or tackle the subjects and stories i want to talk about  and should be heard (especially by those who dont want to hear them). Regardless of my success in the scene, i do feel like i am more at home there and serve a purpose(whatever that means) and will continue to perform there 🙂
if i dont make the team this year it is what is meant to be, and i suppose i will put more energy into making another show, trying to get things published, touring, or competing in individual competitions like IWPS or WOWPS next year.
I was also talking with another poet yesterday about trying to make the scene a safer place for women to be a part of considering it is male dominated. i am disappointed that there are only two women in the team finals this year and the lack of wanting to “hear” about womens issues when they are brought up on stage.  I would love to see a “women’s slam” at least a few times a year or even every month if possible.