Friday, December 27, 2013

The Obligatory New Year's Ordeal: 2013

A premise: I get insanely obsessive with the new year. I have to read certain books, do certain things, and then I have to write a blog post where I muse on and on about the year. One of the little ritualistic things I do with the new year is 108 sun salutations (it's an old yogic tradition that has to do with prayers and renewal and the wholeness of existence) and I started thinking about sitting and meditating after finishing my 108 sun salutations on New Year's Day of 2013 and wondering what the year had in store. Now, as the end has come, I decided, for my self-obligatory New Year's musings, to make a list of things I wish I could've known in that moment.

Happy New Year, beauties.

13 Things I Would Tell The Me of January 1, 2013

1.) I’m sorry that I ruined your life. It’ll pass. Use it as a growing experience.
2.) You will get into your dream school. Your mother will cry almost as hard as you do.
3.) You’re going to be disappointed. You will have a flight to New York cancelled because of snow. The boy who takes you to prom will not kiss you. You will come in second place.
4.) And then, as they always do, things will work out.
5.) Stop pretending to hate yourself. Embrace the fact that you are beautiful and cool and good at yoga. You have impeccable grammar. Loving yourself doesn’t make you better than anyone else.
6.) As always, read everything you can get your hands on. Unsurprisingly, words will heal you and complete you and arm you with good conversation topics. (Re: Good conversation topics: Listen when Avery Taylor tells you about giant rats paralleling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the sewers of Iran. It will benefit you more than you know. Also listen to Hailey James. Always. And listen to your parents.)
7.) You will see Europe. You will speak French and you will throw up four times between Paris and Venice. It will be terrible, but you will be traveling the world and that will make it less terrible.
8.) You will not kiss anyone for a very long time. This will be good for you. Don’t rush it. Try not to call it a “drought” and try not to bring it up in the first five minutes of any conversation. You will fail at both of those things, but it will end well.
9.) You will move across the country, and it will be terrifying and beautiful and scary and smart and it will make it easier to breathe and easier to miss people. New York will make you happy. You will meet people who understand you and the way you walk and talk and move and think. They will complete you. You understand that happiness is not climate-controlled, but the city will fill you with life and when someone asks you, “Are you happy? Would you change anything about your life?” you will answer honestly saying, “Yes, no, in that order.” Look forward to this moment. It will make you cry.
10.) God is good.
11.) Be kind. But also: Being passive aggressive will not get you anything. Please, say what you really mean. This would’ve solved a lot of things in the past, and it will certainly solve a lot of things in the future. Living with strange roommates and taking the subway to 42nd street on a Friday at 7 pm will teach you this.
12.) You have so many beautiful things. The world loves you. Your family is better than you know. Your hometown is the most beautiful place in the world. You will realize this, though you have known it for a very long time, very suddenly, all at once, one afternoon in December. Look forward to this moment. It, too, will make you cry. This time in public. You won’t care.

13.) And finally, this: Every year for as long as you can remember, you have told yourself on January 1st that this will be your year. Every year has had great things, but no year has ever been particularly, innately special. Every year was supposed to be your year, and then no year ever was. But, darling, this year? This year is your year.

An epilogue: "Look up at the sky. Ask yourself, 'Has the sheep eaten the flower or not?' And you'll see how everything changes... And no grown-up will ever understand how such a thing could be so important."

"I said to the sun, 'Tell me about the big bang.' The sun said, 'It hurts to become.'" -Andrea Gibson
Addy Sue

Monday, December 9, 2013


I am SO FULL OF POEMS. And because this is my blog, I am going to give you more poetry, so you're welcome/sorry (but I'm not really sorry, because, again, my blog).

Okay, first of all, I am obsessed with this poem and it's one of those little miracle poems where I have read it like fifteen times and every time I read it it takes longer and longer to read because it's just so beautiful and everything about it feels new and perfect every time and anyway just read it. It's from a poetry series called Inflammatory Essays by Jenny Holzer and it's good.

As for my own poetry, I finished The Untitled Series and I thought maybe you people might want to read it, so I will give it to you. (I know you saw Untitled no. 1 in the last post, but I'm putting it again just for good measure so you can see the whole series.)

Untitled no. 1

Here are the things I am built of: legs and hips and hair – veins pumping with ink and caffeine, I am visual things like messy desks and messy hair and also other things like how hard it is to fall asleep in at night and then how hard it is to wake up in the morning.

I live with a girl who deals solely in self-hatred and I am dealing with misplaced guilt over the fact that I was raised by two beautiful people who taught me only self-love, never even handed me the word “loathing,” never let me experiment with its shape, and now life is a balancing act between loving myself and feeling like that’s wrong.

Someone called me Atlanta, Georgia and everyone else cried Provo, Utah, and I didn’t even bother to wait for them to ask my opinion, I just told them: I have fingertips and lips and hair teeming with words, I said, “Be a good listener, let me tell you how the world really is,” and the world looks like this: New York City, Center of the universe – but American Fork, Utah, home. This is the reason I am so good at airports.

I have built a life stretching across three continents, heart stitched onto the sleeves of everything I stuffed into a suitcase. This is the reason I am so bad at packing.

I am so fascinated with life, how it’s singed and smoked and solid gold. Please let me live forever.

Untitled no. 2

Hello. Are you listening? Pay attention to me. I know I have a lot of words, but these ones might be the most important. Give me a second to compose myself. Dim the lights. Ready the curtain.

My darling (can I use your name in this poem?), the curtain rises: I have spent so many years writing love poems where “love” was a very loose term. I once wrote a love poem for a boy on the train who never even looked at me. I have this sense that maybe these poems were more conditional on the fact that I wanted to write love poems and to have things to write love poems about. Again, these are loose terms.

The music is swelling because I am about to say something important and I want it set to music because I am built of some sense of self-righteousness that makes me feel like everything I say should be set to music. Okay. Here we go, fortissimo, my love: This is a love poem. It’s a real love poem.

The music stops.

The audience cheers.

The first time I saw you I couldn’t form words about you, which is so telling of the way you’ve made me feel ever since. You make me understand Shakespeare. You are my 18th sonnet. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Okay, here: Summer days rock.

My world is summarized in the sound of your name and the shape of your lips and I have to tell you that, inconceivably, I have never been able to write love poems about you. That’s a thing I still don’t fully understand, but I think maybe it’s because I wrote so many love poems for things that weren’t love, and then when I had love it just knocked me out. There is some stage combat here that is a reenactment of me getting knocked out. It is gruesome but interesting, like car crashes and people with very big eyes are interesting.

Anyway, I’m taking center stage again after that ordeal. Could I have a little more light please? Slow the music, because I have to confess a thing: This is take six of this poem. I am still rendered pretty much speechless and poem-less by you. You and I are built of muscle on bone and cardiovascular systems pumping blood to and from essential organs (or at least I think that’s how it works) but it doesn’t seem to matter because when I see you I turn only into something that giggles, a series of collapsed nerves, because I think I fell in love with you on a Thursday morning.

So I guess that’s sort of it. A one act love poem. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write, but it makes the most sense. Your mouth makes a lot of sense to me. You make a lot of sense to me.

This is my show, but please, darling, take a bow.

Untitled no. 3

And all I ever wanted was to be everything you ever wanted.

But I cannot be your housewife, my lovely, dark-eyed darling. I will burn your dinner, leave wrinkles in your shirts, and I want there to be a third thing I would ruin as your housewife, just for the sake of this poem, for the rule of 3’s but I cannot even think of a third thing I would try to do if I were.

I will ruin these things – and not for lack of trying, but darling, I will bake your cookies and think only of the shape of the word “cookie” until it completely loses its meaning and the oven fills with smoke, and to iron your shirts – oh, OH, to iron your shirts will only burn my fingers because I will not remember where your collars end because I will instead attempt to put on a one-woman show, thinking of every part I never played, my darling, my love, my dear, I need to be more than just yours.

These are the things I will burn: Your cookies, my fingers.

I would write you more love poems if I could. Please tell me you understand this.

So that's the poetry series. Happy finals week. You're all cool people.

"Say you saved yourself. Know it to be true." -Nicole Blum
Fun and joy,
Addy Sue

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Writing Poems and Running the World

A thing I need to say is that I had writer's block for, like, a year and a half. Like, if you go back through old blog there are just months and months of me writing about how I couldn't write and I sometimes wanted to rip my hair out over it and sometimes I just wanted to sob and sob and sob forever.

So then I packed up and moved to New York and I think that that's when this whole headache finally stopped. I owe 50% of my thanks for that to the city and 50% to my creative writing class, which is sort of cheesy, but it's actually the best class that's ever existed and it basically forced me to get rid of writers block and made me write stories and forced me into this new era of poetry and the whole thing makes me feel like hugging everyone in the world and also I am super starving right now but I wanted to come home and write more than I wanted to go get food and that hasn't happened to me in a long time and I feel like kissing strangers and poetry blogging (which I am) and also like listening to Beyonce (which I also am).

Anyway. I have my final portfolio due in creative writing next week and the last thing I am working on for it is a series of poems about a lot of things but there's a little through-line of the shapes of words but mostly how I'm having these crazy epiphanies of being and existence and how I have this life that is so uniquely mine and it's not my parents' or my friends' or anything it's just this life I built that's all my own and the series is about how I'm dealing with that and the people and things inside of it and where I want it to go.

I wrote this piece of the series today. I'm sort of fascinated with the first drafts of my poems because they are some of the only places where I can look at them later and see my actual mind working because I don't really think when I write (it just happens) and I draw a lot of arrows and cross things out and it's like seeing my own brain, like, set down on the table. It looked like this at first:

And now it looks like this:

I'm just writing poetry about how fascinated I am with life because I'm at this point in my existence where I have always been happy, but I don't know if I have ever been as happy as I am right now at any other stage of my life and that's probably the best feeling in the world.

Happy Thursday.

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." -Flannery O'Connor
Over and out,