October 26, 2015

Willard and Maple Underground

I have recently learned the news that my school's student run literary magazine has been cancelled for reasons that no one seems to be at liberty to discuss. The news breaks my heart.

I learned about the magazine, Willard and Maple, from my advisor and later on favorite professor during orientation, and I fell in love with the idea. I became a member of the editorial board and got to read an review poems as well as decide whether or not to put them in the magazine. I'm sure I blogged about it plenty, but it was just such a highlight of my freshman year.

This year class schedules conflicted and I wasn't able to attend the Willard and Maple class, but I recently found out that the submissions have been closed, the class cancelled, and now I hear that the magazine itself is permanently cancelled.

I even submitted a few poems to Willard and Maple at the beginning of this year. It was such a huge step to send my work out to a literary magazine that would actually publish it, only to find out that apparently no one is even going to read those poems. It's heartbreaking.

A couple of my friends and I are trying to figure out how to make an underground version of the magazine. We all love this school because of opportunities like Willard and Maple. It was a publication for poets and fiction writers, and it was a huge chance to grow as an editor. When I emailed to ask for details I got a basic, "I can't tell you any details but there's nothing you can do."

I refuse to believe there's nothing I can do. Somehow I'm going to get Willard and Maple to stay alive, even if that means creating a poetry themed blog for Champlain students. It won't be the same, but anything to keep publishing Champlain poetry and give ourselves a chance to be in control of something. I refuse to give up.

October 16, 2015

Skeleton Key

The leaves are starting to turn into fire on the trees here in Vermont. There's still a lot of green but as I walk I have to step over the leaves on the sidewalk and stop to stare up at the outlines of the trees against the sky. It's beautiful, but it makes me a little bit sad because it's not as pretty as I remember from last year.

I tell myself it's just too early still. I'm waiting for the days when the grass is all decorated in red and orange and yellow and the air smells like dust instead of rotting grass.

While the sunflowers bend over in preparation for the coming ice age, I've taken on a project called 100 Happy Days. I take a picture a day to try and find the happiness in every day. It's exciting, forcing myself to find the good instead of just saying that I had a bad day and letting myself feel upset about it. I have to find the good things. Plus I get to take a lot of pictures, and I love pictures.

School has been a chaotic mess lately. So much work, so much writing, so much editing that I should be doing but am not. How do I focus on fixing one story when I'm in the middle of writing three new stories and a proposal and a poem? I feel like the second I start to catch up twenty new assignments come up, or old assignments I had forgotten about.

Plus registration day is coming up and I'm trying to choose classes, which also means thinking ahead to study abroad and future semesters. "You're going to run out of writing classes your junior year." But I want to take the writing classes now. Then again, all the writing classes I want are all scheduled for Tuesday, and I can't handle five classes every Tuesday. I have about a week to figure it out. Most likely all the classes will be filled by the time my registration window comes around anyway.

College is stressful, though it helps to have friends who will sit in the cafeteria with me all morning, or beside the fireplace, or in various rooms around campus. I have a friend with a bed full of stuffed animals, and sometimes I go over to her dorm and cry a little into her raccoon's fur. I always feel better after I cry.

I also feel better writing non-school related things. Writing a blog post to de-stress with a poem that doesn't quite make sense and will probably never be edited and improved. It makes me happy, though, to drip words into existence instead of stressing about whatever assignment I didn't do...

Skeleton Key

Too often the key doesn't unlock any door
I'm left with just this empty metal bone
That I picked up off some dirty floor

It's like I've found the sword in the stone
But I guess I'm not the chosen king
'Cause all I can do is pull and groan

I like to think the world has all this meaning
But just I keep hitting up against a wall
I can't seem to make sense of anything

I'm tempted to just get one my knees and crawl
Dig down 'till I find the earth's core
Let my tired self just give in and fall

Maybe then I'll find the door
Understand the meaning of this key
Figure out what I've been created for

October 7, 2015

Raging Against the Light

I tried to write a blog post this morning but it sounded like complaining and I'm trying to avoid that. I decided instead of ranting about how much I need the upcoming fall break and the rest that will come along with two days of no class I will instead share a poem.

Warning: the poem is pretty much ranting also, but it's a villanelle so it's okay, right? Isn't that how it works?

Today the world is just a cage;
I woke already craving sleep.
My tired heart becoming rage.

My heart is far too old for age,
and my eyes opened just to weep,
because today the world's my cage.

I'm wishing I could turn the page,
because this story's far too deep.
My tired heart has turned to rage.

If all the world is but a stage
then the stairs are far too steep,
and so today the world's my cage.

Too many tasks for me to gauge;
I'm buried neath a heap.
My tired heart has turned to rage.

I wish that I could disengage,
and back to loving blankets seep.
Today the world is just a cage;
my tired heart has turned to rage. 

October 3, 2015

Icarus Uprooted

I am too full of words tonight.

I read too many stories for class: stories about sex and suicide and cannibalism and murder and drowning. I wish I could miss class so I do not have to talk about them anymore. I want these images to leave my head.

I forgot about all my responsibilities and enjoyed the company of good friendship, and I want to never forget how many friends I have. How surrounded by friendship I am.

Sometimes an uncomfortable question digs a deeper conversation. Who knows what flowers will grow out of the hole?

Equity Blue gets another go, but I still can't put enough words together to call these pieces art. I wish my brain could function in instants. One instant I am filled with ideas and want to write them all down but cannot because I'm in class or walking up the hill or sitting in church. Next instant I have pen and paper and laptop open and even typewriter ready but words just won't come any more. Too bad I can't intersect instances.

Happiness and homesickness sometimes seem far too similar. Every morning I smell the roses my boyfriend sent me. The orange ones included in the bouquet look like the sunset but I miss the sunsets I've spent with him. Hour long Skype calls with my best friend and two hour phone calls with my favorite travel partner make me smile more than ever and I am full and happy, but also left with a deep sort of hollow I can't quite ignore.

My family is moving my home. I try to remind myself how often it did not feel like home when I lived there, but all I can think is how much I want to get back. It's like they kept me tied to Mexico even when I left, and now even that piece of me is uprooted. I am uprooted.

Give me wings
and I will show you
I can fly downwards.

You keep talking about Icarus;
blame his downfall on his pride-

I think he didn't have a choice.

No one ever talks about that other fear.
Don't you realize
once you've touched the skies
earth won't ever be the same?

You can't go back,
not after you leave,
you can't be who you were
when you've become
someone else.

I can fly toward the ground
as often as I want,
but it still won't change
the sun I've almost touched.

I have my Icarus wings
and I'm too scared
to fly back.