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

Interacting with the Bates Motel

2 Mar


Calling all horror freaks and fanatics! A&E is premiering its new series, Bates Motel, on March 18th. The series will explore the motel and the Bates family as a prequel series to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Viewers will get the chance to dive deep into the twisted world of Norman Bates, and hopefully learn a bit about what makes him tick…and stab…and slash….and dress up as his dead mother. In the meantime, A&E is kind enough to let us explore the 12 rooms of Bates Motel here.  It’s awesomely eerie. And once you’re done checking into your room, you can “check in” either on Facebook or Twitter, and unlock a cool sticker (like the one below) for all your friends/followers to see.

bates_motel_coming_soon_meet_dylan_massettIf that extensive marketing plan doesn’t sell you on the series, click “Dig Deeper into the Show” to see trailers, meet the cast and view exclusive photos. You know where I’ll be at 10 pm on March 18th!

2 Mar

101 Books

I recently got turned down for a contributing writer position on a popular book website. To be honest, I was surprised. I’ve worked with them before, and even though they received hundreds of applications, I thought I had a pretty good chance.

So when I got the “You Suck” email (which, in actuality, was kindly worded), I had a moment of “You’re Kidding Me? How could you turn me down?” It was an ego check, if I’m honest with you.

But, really, life as a writer is just a series of mountaintop moments and rejections and ego checks. You have a run of bad luck, maybe several rejection letters from magazines, you question what you’re doing with your life, then a publisher/magazine/website finally bites! And they pay you for your work. Imagine that! How exciting!

Then you start to have a little success. One article turns into another article. Your…

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Lumineers “Stubborn Love”

27 Feb

I simply love this song, and I just had to share it…with everyone…everywhere. The lyrics are beautifully poetic and penetrate into your soul. It’s my cleaning song, thinking song, writing song, being productive song. Well, I’m basically playing it on repeat until further notice.

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

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