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30 Aug

Sylvia Plath Purple Thistle drawing

I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.

Sylvia Plath

**Note: Plath is one of my favorite poets, and this is one of my favorite poems by her. It is my belief that her mental health issues and tragic suicide often overshadowed her raw talent. Whenever I tell people that she is an inspiration to me, they often wonder why I prefer to read poems written by a woman who ultimately committed suicide. As you can tell in this 9 syllable by 9 line work (and drawing featured above), Plath was so much more than the depression from which she suffered.


Summer Synopsis

15 Aug

Is it really mid-August already? I can hardly believe that the end of summer is nearly upon us. Other than having an amazing 25th birthday in June, here’s what I’ve been up to.

outdoorsMore so than in summers past, I spent some time in the great outdoors. As you can tell, I lost a few days beach bumming with several books during the first half of the summer. The time alone with the all-loving sun kissing my skin felt renewing and restful. Apparently, I posted about my beach endeavors on social media so much that my best friend felt it necessary to buy me a proper outdoor blanket. I am eternally grateful.

animal friendsI made some friends in the animal kingdom. The photo on the left is showing a hug I received from a dog upon our first meeting at a block party. After the photo, she nestled her snout in my neck for a bit. It’s beautiful to see how loving and caring our canine friends can be–even if they don’t know us at all. They’re always willing to give us the benefit of the doubt. The photos on the right show a fawn in our yard. The amazing part being that this is the closest I have ever been able to get to a baby deer. Usually they run away before I can get within ten yards (maybe I don’t have the quietest step).

Craft BeerI had more than my fair share of local craft beer this summer. I even had the honor of attending the Crooked Ladder Brewing Company’s opening weekend and received a private tour from the owner. Although a good beer never really has a season for an enthusiast like me, nothing beats kicking back with a cold one on a warm summer day.

Sookie StackhouseLastly, I managed to drag out my reading of the last Sookie Stackhouse book, Dead Ever After, for the majority of the summer. I did the same thing with the Harry Potter series…And the Twilight Series…And the Hunger Games series. Do we see a pattern here? The most unique part of this reading experience; however, is that I was able to read the book while simultaneously following HBO’s True Blood (based on the Sookie Stackhouse books…but I bet you already knew that). It was almost worse than that time during my senior year of college when I had to read two different Jane Austen novels for two different courses at the same time. Holy confusion.

But getting back to Sookie, since I spaced out my reading, and sometimes read the book the same night as watching the HBO series, I was one befuddled Lit Geek. There were so many times that I wanted to blame Warlow in Dead Ever After, and then realized a page or two later that this conclusion made no sense. Although confusing, it was both challenging and interesting to balance the two plots.

What did you do this summer?

The BIG 2 5

2 Jul

At the very end of June, I celebrated the quarter of a century anniversary of my existence on Earth. First, my family treated me to a Long Island Ducks game. They’re an extremely talented local minor league team. Oh, and my name appeared on the scoreboard for my birthday.


Afterwards, there were some pretty sweet fireworks.

fireworks collage

My actual birthday was on Saturday, so on Friday, my co-workers decorated my desk. The day of, I received some pretty great presents including a Salve Regina University Alex and Ani bracelet from my parents, a Tiffany’s key from my beau and homemade apple pie moonshine from my sister.

Birthday collageCombined, all of these things are more than any girl can ask for, especially when wanting a distraction from the unfounded feeling of aging and useless nostalgia brought on by the BIG 2 5.  But somehow, my sister found a way to bridge my path from childhood to adulthood in a way that didn’t make me feel as though I were in some type of age purgatory–not quite a full-blown adult, but certainly not a child.

Cake collageSo, she designed a triple-tiered Harry Potter themed birthday cake–complete with Harry’s glasses, a Gryffindor scarf, a golden snitch and Hedwig. The striped candles represent Quidditch posts including all four House colors. Everything but the owl and the candles were edible! And the second cake layer was tie-dyed! Overall the project took her about a week. When it came time to cut into the cake, it literally took me a half an hour to build the strength to slice into such a beautiful piece of art. After all, to me this cake was a symbol of my childhood. It helped me realize that I don’t need to completely change who I am in order to be a “grown-up.”

I started reading HP at the age of nine, and no one in the room thought it was strange that my sister made me an HP cake. The series helped me become the Lit Geek I am.

Becoming an adult isn’t so much about leaving things behind, but more about being able to embrace change and incorporate new experiences as well, and it only took me 25 years to realize it.

April is Ruthless

30 Apr

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.


I have never found T.S. Eliot’s words to be this true as I have in 2013.  “Why is April so cruel?”, I would think. The weather starts getting warmer, the flowers blossom and coats are no longer necessary in the majority of the Mid-Atlantic states. I believed that Eliot had really never seen the potential in April.

Well this April, I discovered why. In the fourth month of this year, I had my heart broken, and then hastily and arbitrarily pasted back together. My career changed (and not necessarily to my benefit). My canine nephew,Bosco, decided to hate me and never share a bed with me again. I basically turned my back on who I am by somehow avoiding reading, working out and eating healthily. Instead, I opted to eat Pop Secret Homestyle popcorn or barbecue flavored kettle chips while gulping down half a bottle of red wine.

Due to ridiculous and uncontrollable circumstances, this month I have obtained the least amount of sleep ever. When I did obtain sleep, it was terrible in quality. Not to mention, I discovered that I have a totally unlikeable personality. Four jobs in three years, and I felt that everyone hated me at every single one of them. Six months at my current job, and I see the same pattern again. Snide remarks. Whispering behind me. Hidden notes/emails. Is this adulthood?  Moreover, my heartbreak was caused by the discovery that my beau’s friends and family seem to dislike me, disrespect me, or just completely disregard my feelings altogether. I started to feel as though I should have taken a tip from Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, and tried at least a little to be more well-liked.

As the protective comfort of winter thawed, a culmination of unsavory scenarios unfolded. I didn’t read as often as I wanted to. I didn’t blog at all. I failed to really celebrate National Poetry Month. I felt unintelligent, unsuccessful, unwanted and certainly unfit.

And then, to make matters worse, I got even more upset realizing how self-absorbed and ungrateful I was being. My laundry list of complaints is considered trivial in comparison to the issues most individuals face on a daily basis. This very month, not too far from home, tragedy struck Boston. Several people were killed, including a child, and hundreds of others were injured, even to the point of losing limbs.Colorado

Well, for the remainder of spring, I will be less self-absorbed. I will let “comments” roll off my shoulders. I can’t allow the petty nonsense of others affect me to the point of gluttonous microwave popcorn consumption accompanied by a lack of physical and mental exercise. I won’t allow meager opinions to upset me to the point of turning my back on blogging and literature. These things all come together to make me who I am. I am a strong woman, and I will remain steadfast in my stance.

Note: Dear readers, thank you so much for allowing me to more honest and personal than I ever have been in the history of this blog. 

“A Dream Deferred”

29 Apr


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes

the Perks of Being a Wallflower

20 Mar

Lately I’ve been a little nostalgic for my adolescence. At the age of 24, I look back at being 15 as a carefree time. Instead of being worried about bills, my job or getting a better car, I was concerned about my friends, school and the possibility of getting a license and any type of semi-functional vehicle.  As part of my current reminiscent state, I decided to finally read the Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Chbosky instantaneously brought me back to that nerve-wracking period of being insecure and sad, yet happy, and then yet sad again…and then maybe content…sort of. It’s unlike anything I’ve been reading—to the extent that I felt the need to take notes Freshman Language Arts style (see below).


At first, I was extremely bothered by the fifteen-year-old protagonist, Charlie, who, at first glance, seems exhaustingly sensitive in an almost whiny manner (I was pretty sick of hearing about Aunt Helen before knowing any better). But as I dug deeper into the plot, the image of a sensitive and wise young man appears. He asks his college-age, football-playing brother if his new girlfriend is “beautiful in an unconventional way,” and he wonders “Why do I and everyone I love pick people who treat us like we’re nothing.”

The novel has an epistolary format, in which Charlie writes letters to an unidentified “friend.” Through his letters, we experience the dual nature of adolescence. He can be both sad and happy at the same time. At times, he participates just by being present. He notices how people who don’t “like” each other manage to “love” each other.  The book is heavily speckled with references to film, literature and music. It helps portray Charlie’s personality while concurrently underscoring what is truly important to adolescents in helping them cope with the human experience.


At one point, Bill, Charlie’s English teacher, asks him to read the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. He tells him to be a “filter” with little explanation. At times throughout the novel, Charlie appears to act as a filter in his own life. As he befriends a group of seniors, he observes everything around him, but doesn’t react or absorb it.  His letters give precise detail about everyone else’s behavior and speech, but Charlie rarely seems to participate. In fact, Charlie’s quest to “participate” more is a major theme throughout the novel.

To be honest, I was naïvely surprised by the explicit drug usage and instances of teen sex featured in the plot. Charlie has a few bad experiences, which I feel is very valuable to young readers.  He eventually learns that participating isn’t all about drugs or parties, but taking charge of your own life and speaking up about matters of the heart (and some Rocky Horror).

I finished the novel late on a weeknight, and ended up somewhat sad and nostalgic. Charlie is the kind of character you miss after you read that last page. He leaves a lasting impression.


“Barbie Doll”

13 Mar


This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up.

In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn’t she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.

Marge Piercy

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