Thursday, August 21, 2014

Appropriation of Me

This is Mine. With an M, I capitalize.  Read: Make the Most.  Love.  Born like Aphrodite, from god and thunder.  I'm from the Midwest.  Sex.  Best--like what you can't have: Me and Mine.  I sweet talk unspoken words.  Abstract.  I'm an impressionist.  Monet.  It's My way.  Sex.  Best.  Like this.  Those legs entwined under the covers are Mine.  Sex re-appropriated for love.  For Me: Mine. 

Monday, August 11, 2014


This is how you smile pretty.  This is how you apply lipstick.  Don’t wear too much makeup.  This is how you wear mascara.  This is how you kiss a man.  This is how you have sex.  Don’t be too easy.  Don’t be high maintenance.  Don’t be a slut.  Don’t be a bitch.  What are you—a feminist?  This is how you make him feel like he’s the best you’ve ever had.  Don’t mention the porn he watches.  No, of course it doesn’t bother you.  This is how you drink champagne.  He wants a lady.  This is how you drink beer.  He wants you to be able to be one of the guys.  This is how you order wine.  Don’t drink too much.  Learn to tell when he’s had enough.  You are ready to go when he is ready to go.  You are never too tired for sex—unless he is too tired for sex, then of course you don’t want it.  This is how you make a meal.  This is how you rub his feet.  Stand up for yourself, but don’t be too demanding.  Let him feel needed, but don’t be needy.  Wear that dress he likes.  This is how you paint your nails.  This is how you shave your legs.  This is how you walk in high heels.  Be considerate, he’s under a lot of pressure at work.  This is how you say a hard thing in a sweet way. Always remember to smile—you’re prettier when you smile.

Royal Flush

You pass judgment like godliness is your cross to wear.  To bear.  Bare.  Like sex.  I wear Love on my sleeve.  I’m queen of the cards I’ve been dealt: Hearts.  I’ve got crowns in spades.  Now I set the rules.  I had a boyfriend who handled me like Twitter. Do you follow me?  He liked me better from behind.  I prefer this retrospective.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I’m wearing the Emperor’s new clothes.  Do you like what you see?  Watch the way I turn phrases like tricks.  Sex.  I’ve got my watch set to Finally Time To Be Happy.  Let me pass like your judgment.  On to the next one.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Matches Without Candles

Somewhere in the darkness you bury your hope.  And you let God be a cross for some other soul to wear around their neck.  And you close those books that made you believe in love and ever after—and you put them on a shelf where they will gather dust.  You know now to count only on time.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


F words coming from my lips.  Like Fuck and Forever and Fought for something.  They say nice guys Finish last so why the hell would I want to be nice?   I want to be First.  Make that my F word.  Put me on your middle Finger and point me out.  Stop telling me I’m not a good person.  Stop telling me I don’t deserve a nice guy.  There’s no such thing as nice.  Everyone is terrible.  And everyone deserves to be touched gently, to be held dearly.  I deserve what you deserve: to be loved with sweat and teeth and mad hope.  I want F words like Friendship and Family and Forever.  And I don’t give an F about what you think I don’t deserve.  I say hard things with an easy smile.  And you think that makes me easy.  But honey, at heart, I’m still that sixteen year old with black painted Fingernails, middle Finger to the camera and heart set on happily Forevermore.  F-words.  Hard things.  Like hard Fought Forever.  Sweetie, I’m Fun because I don’t give a Fuck.  I was seventeen once.  I put my Finger up enough For life.  Flipped so hard and I landed on my Feet.


:  able to discern objects at a distance   
What is there in space?  Planets and stars.  Galaxies.  The Milky Way.  Your way.  Be mine.  Get close enough to trace my constellations.  Don’t you feel the gravity?  I don’t even want the world.  I just want to be someone’s.  Wish upon a falling star.  When you’re going down, where do you land?  What are you looking for?  In space.   

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Where am I in love?

In undergrad I had a professor who’s advice to a writer faced with writer’s block was to “write through it.”  I find myself applying that phrase to the hard times and tough questions life poses.  I write blogs to get myself through the day.  I write in order to make sense of my life.  I write to hold onto who I’ve been and map where I’m going.  I impose a narrative on what Joan Didion called “the shifting phantasmagoria” of my actual experience. That is why writing usually helps.  Writing makes meaning out of things which, if left on their own, may very well seem senseless.  Writing lets the writer pick and choose instances from their life, order them in a certain way on the page and then say, “Look, that’s what it was all about.  See how what happened then affected what happened later?  See how it was coming all along?”  

After writing a whole nonfiction thesis about my life, writing has come to feel like a pick-your-own adventure story in which my life is the adventure and it plays out the way I choose it to—on the page.  Only on the page.  I think a lot about where I choose to end my thesis.  At the point in time I placed the final period.  I ended things where it looked like they might work out.  

Time, however, moves forward long after you type that last period, hit save and print.  Though, I think, that is one of the reasons I have always been drawn to writing.  I like control.  I like being able to leave things in the moment before they fell apart, in the moment that was so heavy with hope that it would later break under the weight but right then you thought you could bear, thought you could hold it forever.   

I am writing this now to mark the point at which I was reminded that time moves forward no matter how many periods you place on a page, no matter how much you write or want or try to hold onto something.  There is a grand delusion that both the beginning of summer and new love can create of timelessness—or, perhaps more accurately, of being impervious to time.  When the days are long and bright and warm it is somehow possible to forget that any other sort of days ever existed or might ever exist again.  The world will be sweet forever.  Of course, the days inevitably shorten and cool, autumn falls and winter slips in soon after.  Winter, which brings with it the bitter cold reminder of impermanence, of mortality and darkness.  There is a certain predictability in loss, even though you never see it coming.

I wanted to write this to talk about how I don’t know how to write anymore.  Upon meeting someone new last weekend, a mutual friend said, “Molly is one hundred percent writer.  It’s who she is.” What I mean when I tell you I don’t know how to write anymore is that I’m not sure how to be who I am anymore.  At the time, I smiled and nodded my head in what was perhaps real or perhaps feigned modesty.  But privately I thought maybe it’s not a good thing to be one hundred percent a writer.  I know myself as I write myself to be on the page but I leave things out.  I rearrange myself to be a good story.  

And what good is it to be “one hundred percent a writer” when you’ve graduated with an MFA, have no published works, no real job prospects and a bunch of people in your life that would rather not be written about?  Am I one hundred percent a failure?  What good is it to be so very much a writer than you sometimes have trouble being in the moment?  Am I one hundred percent a misfit?  Sometimes when I am in a crowd of new people—like at a party—I find myself almost inherently removed, taking notes in my head about who they are and how I can use them to illustrate how the world can be and who I can or cannot be.  

Sometimes I don’t want to know people in real life, only as I will later write them to be on the page.  Sometimes I don’t want to let people know me in real life, but I elate in being known on the page.  On the page I can tell you anything.  I can talk to you about rape without crying, sex without demurring.  I can tell you about puking on my shoes and washing blood out from between my toes and how long the bruises took to heal and I can sound strong in my vulnerability.  You won’t hear my voice crack.  You won’t hear what I don’t say.  

But am I one hundred percent myself on the page?  Or am I one hundred percent the person I write myself to be?  Where am in the words?  Where am I in my nonfiction?  And where am I when I step away from my computer and back into the world?  And where is the truth?  Who am I? Who am I off the page?  Who am I outside of my head?  Who am I in love?  And where am I if I am in someone’s arms and I believe it will last and I write it as if it will?  Is it summer?  Where am if I am never entirely in the moment?  Is that what it means to be one hundred percent a writer, to never be entirely anywhere?  To never feel entirely attached to nor entirely separated from anyone you’ve ever loved?  How do I be myself off the page?  But aren’t I already that person if I’m writing about it and I write nonfiction?  And how do I be myself in love without becoming the love?  Some things you can’t be one hundred percent because you can’t put them on the page.  Where do you put love?  And where am I at my best?