trinsy: (home)
The Ache

This is the house I grew up in
Sixteen years
Other people live in it now
They don’t know its history
But that doesn’t matter
I’ve got a new house
And it’s comfortable

So why do I want to walk up those front steps
Open the door
Reclaim this house?
Why do I feel like without this house
I’ll always feel homeless?

How can a building mean so much?
Just two-by-fours and drywall
A giant, hollow, inanimate object
“If these walls could talk…” we say
But they can’t
They’re just walls
And they’re mute by nature
Mute to everyone
(Mute to everyone but the ones who know them
Who knew them)

Why do we miss these things?
It’s not the superiority of the building
It’s the memories it holds
But buildings don’t hold memories
We do
We still have the memories without the building
But we value it anyway

Why do I still long for home?
How can that building hold it prisoner?
Why can’t it let it go?
(But I’m the one who needs to let go
Aren’t I?)

They say “home is where the heart is”
But they’re wrong
Or they just never tell you
That your heart can divide
Into so many pieces
So that no matter where you go
A part of you will always long
For somewhere else

They don’t tell you that a piece of you
Gets left in the past
Where you can’t retrieve it
Don’t tell you about the ache
That never goes away

It doesn’t matter what happens
What you do
Where you go
You can stay in that house
Until it crumbles around you
And you’ll still be aching
Because somewhere between childhood and adulthood
A piece of your heart breaks off
Stays behind
And you can never get it back

You think if you go back to that building
That first home
You can retrieve it
But a building’s just a building
And hearts don’t come when they’re called

So you learn to live with aching
With homesickness

It’s called growing up
trinsy: (I came back)

Women of the twenty-first century,
We’re told that we can have it all:
Be the hero of our story,
Be the beauty at the ball.

Have the powerful career.
Be the ideal mom and wife.
Be successful, be fulfilled
In our corporate/domestic life.

But ultimately, as we know,
(We learn the truth from our TVs)
The sole objective of our lives
Is finding a man we can please.

Our respect men demand from us,
(By which they mean, give up our own)
Leaving us with this paradox:
Need someone or be alone.

Woman’s real occupation
Is of course subordination,
For a woman who can save herself
Will never get a man;

And without a man, all is not well:
A woman is an empty shell –
She spends her weekends with her cats,
Finds solace where she can.

For man it is perfectly fine
To fall in love and keep his mind.
But woman gets the dreadful choice:
Lose out on love or lose her voice.

“But be content!” our TVs shout.
“You have the choice to go without.
That’s more than your grandmothers had.
And are things really quite so bad?

Keep your career, just on the side.
You might have to give up your pride,
But you’ll have kids, a husband too
(The natural destiny for you).

And if that is not what you want,
Then don’t complain about your lot,
Though we’ll all judge and pity you,
And speculate that you’re a shrew,

Of course it’s fine. Go do your thing!
We’ll look pointedly for your ring,
And do our best to make you cry –
But rise above it. Go on, try!”

But if we do try to stay free,
We’re told our lives misery.
They put us down, they howl with rage,
‘til we go willingly to our cage.

Enlightened women in our pantsuits,
We put on rings and keep our minds mute,
Ingrained with this phallicy:
We’d be unhappy were we free.
trinsy: (hug)

I have stood at the edge of the ocean
Before I could stand
The waves’ edges gently
Teasing my feet
Marveling because others
Told me to marvel
Too young to be awed by
The illusion of infinity

I have stood at the edge of the ocean
Unable to stand still
Darting forward then back
To the dry sand’s shelter
Playing tag with the forever
Reaching water
Too young to be frightened by
The power of nature

I have stood at the edge of the ocean
When the edge was not enough
Waded into the crashing waves
And overcome
Rising, falling, rising
In the deeper sea’s gentler flow
Too young to understand
The pain of going back

Now I stand at the edge of ocean
See it laid out before me
And wonder how I am expected to choose
Only one drop for myself
Or even just a handful
When all its vastness
Has never been enough
But I have become too old to ignore
The terror of possibilities
trinsy: (hug)

The dead don’t haunt.

They lie beneath the ground, quiet,
Encased in their wooden beds,
Or else are caught in the wind,
Scattered ash and bone,
Slowly breaking down,
Slowly forgotten,
Until even their descendants
Forget they existed.

The dead don’t haunt.

The dead stay still,
Changing only in imaginations
Of those they abandoned,
Faults or virtues melting
Away in the faulty memories
Of the living.
The dead stay dead.

The dead don’t haunt.

The living do.

The living can change
And never change.
The living can return
Just when you’ve become
Used to their absence,
Disrupt your emotions
And tear open the old wounds
Before they abandon you again.
The living don’t let memories
Slip or idealize.
They prolong grief,
Block the forward journey,
Pop up when you take a step
And force you back.

The living haunt.

The dead have no ghosts.
The living are ghosts.
Unpredictable haunting specters,
Hovering in the background
Or flying forward,
Forcing you back
Into insanity, until death
Finally claims and captures them
Enclosing them in tombs
To haunt no more.
Death is final.

The dead don’t haunt.

The dead can’t haunt.
Only the living haunt
And are haunted,
Haunt others and
Haunt themselves.
They imagine they see the dead
In an object or another’s face,
And they dwell on it,
Turning the illusion over
And over in their mind
Until they are driven mad,
While the dead they imagine
Are haunting them molder
Beneath their feet, still and silent.

The dead don’t haunt.
trinsy: (I can see that)
"A Married State"
by Katherine Philips

A married state affords but little ease
The best of husbands are so hard to please.
This in wives’ careful faces you may spell
Though they dissemble their misfortunes well.
A virgin state is crowned with much content;
It’s always happy as it’s innocent.
No blustering husbands to create your fears;
No pangs of childbirth to extort your tears;
No children’s cries for to offend your ears;
Few worldly crosses to distract your prayers:
Thus are you freed from all the cares that do
Attend on matrimony and a husband too.
Therefore Madam, be advised by me
Turn, turn apostate to love's levity.
Suppress wild nature if she dare rebel.
There’s no such thing as leading apes in hell.*

*this was supposedly the proverbial fate of spinsters; apparently in the 1600s they thought hell was full of leaderless apes?


Sep. 5th, 2007 11:48 pm
trinsy: (doctor and rose separated)

I had to write a sonnet for my writing class.  We were given the last word of every line and then had to compose the sonnet from that.  It was actually kind of fun, though I spent about fifteen minutes trying to get the right word order in line four, and line eight took me about five hours (mind you, I was doing other stuff inbetween, but it was always nagging at the back of my mind).  I'm rather proud of how it ended up, hence posting it here.  Also, any suggestions for a title would be lovely.

She wore a headdress made of island fruit
It swayed softly in the rhythm of her dance
The tapping of his freshly polished boot
Did not negate the cool pride in his stance
The torches cast a harsh, forbidding light
The shadows on the walls appeared to jump
The hypnosis of her hips was hard to fight
While in his throat there rose a nervous lump
Silently he exited the room
And on a garden bench, he found a seat
He waited for her, gazing at the moon
Envisioning when her lips his would meet
But he was doomed to wait for all of time
For she only existed in this rhyme

trinsy: (cold)
Southern California is having a heatwave, my dormitory does not have AC, and 95 degrees is stifling even if your room does overlook the ocean, so today I did something I've never done before and went to Starbucks to do my homework.

It was really lovely. I got a frappuccino (even more wonderful because of the heat), and sat in one of the big, comfy armchairs in the AC, and read Madame Bovary. And when I finished my coffee, I got ice-water, and scribbled down quotes from Madame Bovary while the ice melted on my tongue. I have to say that while the beginning is fantastically dull and the ending rather abrupt, the book is actually rather good. There are many quotable paragraphs in Part III, and while I think Flaubert over-dramatises Emma's emotions in particular, there are several parts of human nature he got spot on. But reading it reinforced something I'd been thinking about as I drove to Starbucks:

I'm not happy; I'm not sure I've ever been happy, really. I was thinking about this because my oldest sister is working for the Peace Corps in Ukraine, and half the time her water doesn't work, and she can't use a computer right now, and she has to walk everywhere. And she's happy almost all the time. I wonder about that. I mean, not that water and computers and cars automatically ensure happiness, but it's just ... when she was here -- when she was like me -- she wasn't happy either. And I wonder about that.

I wrote this poem in class the other day. I wrote it in about five minutes, so it's not very good, but it sort of gets at what I'm saying:

My life is like a melody
Sweet, but just a bit quirky
Notes all blending perfectly
Then dissonance begins.

My room is large
My problems small
But I don't know I have it all
The harmony unnoticed 'til
The disaster descends.

The thing is, I look back at my life and think that I should have been happy, that I should be happy right now, but I wasn't and I'm not. I remember little periods of time when I was happy, but it always freaks me out when I get happy because I'm so used to being unhappy and life just doesn't work the other way round. Happiness just isn't natural for me.  Everything just sort of blends into this weary discontent that I've known for so long I don't even question it anymore.  And I wonder about that.

I'll close with another poem I wrote in class. It's made up of (most of) my lines from the pass around poems we did the first day of class. It's a little weird, but I like it all the same.

Pictures of the Soul

The wind churned the leaves like an ocean wave
Glass shattered, the shards fanning across the asphalt
Living pictures on a 2-D surface

Birdsong starts and swells to meet the sunlight
Homesick for a place that’s nonexistent
But here there is no movement but the water
It pushes forward still, unrelenting
Never thinking, only feeling, always creating
No brain for speech, no heart for emotion
Is it the only real thing in this world we inhabit?

Should I reveal my soul to an objective world?
Or be forever homeless, flat, and small?

trinsy: (wall)
Today is my eighteenth birthday. I’m not very excited about it, to be honest. I liked being seventeen. Seventeen was an age that suited me: hovering on the edge, old enough to join in with the adults but young enough to avoid the responsibility, almost grown up but not quite there, in transit between child and adulthood.

Eighteen is legally an adult. It doesn’t make me one, but now more is going to be expected of me, and it makes the idea of being grown up even less of a distant dream and more of a frightening reality.

This is it.

Time flows relentlessly forward. I won’t be a child forever. The government considers me an adult now, and that means that someday in the no-longer-distant future real people will too.

And that scares me.

trinsy: (too late)
Real Acting

I cannot act,
I’m too afraid
Of looking like a fool.
‘Cause crying, wailing,
Fearing, failing,
Won’t make me look cool.

What if I laugh
And it seems fake?
Or I show poise instead of fear?
What if I cry
And yet my eye
Refuses to shed tears?

Or even worse,
What if I
Actually show emotion?
If something frees
And someone sees
My inner commotion?

What if the draw
Of acting isn’t
The spotlight at all?
If its appeal
Is being real
Before the curtain call?

It would explain
My stage fright:
I fear letting someone see
All of the tears,
All of the fears
That are inside of me.

Even someone
Who is not real
Is not a strong enough shield.
My heart is walled,
And if that falls
I fear it won’t be healed.

So I cannot act,
I’m too afraid
Of showing my emotions,
At least today,
So look away
From my heart’s deep commotion.
trinsy: (Default)
I’m going insane, going mad
Watching you, wanting to explain
Wanting to come out and ask it
Fearing the rejection
Knowing better
Knowing to maintain
The silence

Yet it’s such an unbearable volume

I see you so often
Smiling, laughing
Unaware that I’m watching
Unaware that I know
Your secret pain
I want to cry on your shoulder
‘Cause I know you’d understand

But would you care?

You’ll never know my secret
My burning desire
To go so much deeper
With you

I’m just as closed as you are

So we’ll both just laugh together
And it’s almost as healing
As tears

But never enough
trinsy: (Default)

If I could ask you one question,

I would ask you, “Why?”

Why did you ignore me?

Why did you always lie?


Why didn’t you make an effort?

Why did you never care?

Why did you always push me?

Why couldn’t you play fair?


Why did you get on your cell phone

Whenever I got in your car?

Why did you say you wanted to be close,

But always stayed so far?


Why did you keep harassing me?

Why don’t you leave me alone?

Why can’t you simply let me be?

Why can’t you move on?


Why is this so important,

When it never was before?

Why did you change your priorities

After you walked out our door?


Why did you insist on using me

As a threat, or as bait?

Why was it, when you finally “cared”,

It was too little, far too late?


Why can’t you seem to understand

I want nothing to do with you?

You’ve hurt me far too deeply,

And our connection’s finally through.


I don’t want to be around you

‘Cause you’ve always made me cry.

But if I could ask one question,

Then I would ask you, “Why?”

trinsy: (Default)

My inspiration’s waning

As I sit down to write.

Just to get a simple sentence out

Will prob’ly take all night.


My inspiration’s fading

As my fingers begin moving.

To stop before I start to cry

Would prob’ly be behooving.


I try to vent frustration

In free verse most of the time.

For some reason, at the moment,

I have the urge to rhyme.


It really hasn’t gone so well;

This poem’s an atrocity.

Besides, I’d rather write a book

That becomes a monstrosity.


But my inspiration’s disappeared,

Relocated, is simply gone;

I’m sitting here asking myself,

“How did it go so wrong?”

trinsy: (Writing)

When Did That Become “When”?

So now we’re standing here
Soon the miles’ll separate us
But that’s nothing to the gap between our hearts
Things have changed over the years
Lies and wounds have come between us
And we know that we’re better off apart

But before we say goodbye
There’s something I’d like to see
I just have one more question
If you could just tell me

Do you remember when
Love was all we really needed
And it couldn’t be defeated
Remember when we took a vow
That we’d fight side by side
Unitl the day we died
Remember when we held each other’s hearts
And all of them, here’s my question:
When did all of that become “when”?

Author’s Note: This sounds better if you know the tune!

June 2013

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