You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Poem is About You

I was looking through old files (as per usual) and found this little gem of a villanelle, or what you’d call my younger attempt at one. I don’t remember why I was writing this (there were two versions in my folder), but I can guess that I had Snow White in the back of my mind. I think you’ll get why. 

A Villanelle Written for Ms. Kurzer’s Junior-level AP English class
from September 30, 2003 (I was 15)

Mirror Vainglorious

I am the most intelligent and wise.
My beauty is more luminous than she.
As eyes do see, I see in mirror’s eyes.

My charming shape is delicate in size.
And does he notice? Most every he.
I am the most intelligent and wise

When I smile, do smile’s lips entice?
For I do smile gladly upon thee.
As eyes do see, I see in mirror’s eyes.

My innocence, is innocent of guise.
I have not found seduction of the sea.
I am surely intelligent and wise.

Do I promise you I shall mask my lies?
For lies do seek the guilt, as hearts can be.
As eyes do see, I see in mirror’s eyes.

My lips are those to take for more than twice.
The looking glass is very smart to me.
I am the most intelligent and wise.
As eyes do see, I see in mirror’s eyes.

P.S. New story up in Inspired Mag! Type M for Murder: A Mystery Short in Graphic Design Terms. If you like it, comment on the site.

On Love and Lunchmeat

I do not love the way you lie.
—Me, on not wanting to burn like Rihanna

In four days (and some minutes here or there) it will be February—a month of brevity and breathlessness, prepped romance and popped hearts.

I can already see you, your personality, flippant; your hair, flipped. And I can feel my heart pounding, beating, drumming for a heavy metal band; then slow real girlie-like til it pauses, awaiting a kiss, three words, and a grab for a finger, then a hand. My little hand, because, boy, yours is always bigger. And then I catch my breath, blush burgundy, and laugh, because god only knows I’m either in love or ready for birds, bees, and tomorrow’s promise of pancakes. Blueberry or chocolate, baby. Please. But then you leave—because the day after just ain’t that special.

An on-the-spot poem about love gone wrong:

You gnaw at the chicken bones
of us,
exposing the shine of it,
this, this thing
all ripped jeans,
our love the hole in the knee,
stretched out
because they’ve been worn
high school.

And I’m waiting
here among lockers
and lunchmeat
watching clocks tick
or tock
until you knock me flat
and throw those jeans,
those chicken bones,
into the trash.

The Permanence of Pen, Volume III

These are the last, for now, of the journal poems. There are more in the journal (pages and pages of random rhyme) but I felt like you received an adequate representation of my high school poetry, of my attempts at being artsy in a sense. Please excuse the lack of punctuation and some of the terrible lines I used for the sake of repetitive sound. These poems are a mix of short and long, cute and contemplative. For what seems like the thousandth time, enjoy.

Wild Roses
by Alexa L., written from a place where flowers are probably artificial

A wild rose alone am I
I paint myself in every scene
A beauty I have always been
I’m loved by bee and butterfly

I bend my head to soak the sun
And bathe in nature’s golden light
Dreaming of the cool of night
And waiting ’til the day is done

My petals dance in subtle breeze
And play their own amorous song
Afraid of dancing much too long
And being swept away with ease

Basking in a moonlit field
I fool the light by growing more
And when the rain threatens to pour
My leaves are weapons roses wield

I dance in rain, I dance in heat
I dance when dancing hurts my growth
The dark, the light, I cherish both
My roots become my tangled feet

My thorns are not meant to be used
Unless my dance is somehow ceased
By ladybugs, or man, or beast
A rose should never be abused

by Alexa L., written in pieces

Why waste your thoughts upon the future
When the now is in your thoughts alone?
For every heart that I’ve left broken,
Your heart has in a million places grown.

Sorrow is always mourned when there’s no fortune
And angels cry themselves to sleep in bed
Their wings do keep their bodies steady
For sorrow leaves their tired wings for dead.

If you believe in love, it’s you I envy
For I had thought that love could not be real
And when your face had ever made me smile
A smile more I knew you’d try to steal

by Alexa L., written for no particular reason

I’m afraid of death, because I’m living
Even when the living is a lie
But I have promised always to be giving
My heart, my soul, until the day I die.

The Permanence of Pen, Volume II

The poems below are a little longer and a little more…well, I’ll be honest, I used to write poetry as if I were smart or something, as if I knew everything there is to know about life and death (so please excuse my past penchant for the dramatic).

And, plus, in addition, to add, furthermore…I think I was just trying to use big words and big ideas at that age. How outlandish of me. How extraordinarily peculiar.  

by Alexa L., written in high school

I’ve become a writing heretic
Sentences are too periodic for my taste
I do not conform to paragraphs
And all my poems are those I write in haste.

My essays are not following a pattern
My conclusions end with nothing to conclude
I do not conform to stylistic technique
And my language is not eloquent, but rude.

I’ve become a reading heretic
Novels are too lengthy for my speed
I do not conform to excess pages
One or two is all I truly need.

Boredom rests upon my very eyelids
It’s tedious to read another word
I do not conform to vapid titles
In reality, a book is just absurd.

I’ve become a speaking heretic
A thought can really cause me such dismay
I do not conform to words I’ve always spoken
And most people have run out of things to say.

My vocabulary’s shorter than a tree stump
And my head is filled with thoughts that shake the tree
I do not conform to lies or to fake values
For speaking can become the loss of thee.

The Reason
by Alexa L., also written in high school

I’ve always held a grudge against the universe
But I’ve never held a reason why
I guess, because of violence, lies, and sorrow
Or that people, in their destination, die

When I found I had been predestined for nothing
That my life, no matter what, would be cut down
I realized life is just unending circles
Where the ones who try to fly, will all fall down

We all survive in hopes of making futures
For generations we all know will pass away
The only reason why we are still living
Is to make a path for those who need a way

So life, in all its splendor, is quite useless
Our existence is for others to exist
But the world is full of love, and of emotion
Where death is what we often can’t resist

The Permanence of Pen, Volume I

In high school, I wrote a small amount of poetry in a journal. My process, the idea of revision, is more noticeable. My mistakes are still visible in black or blue pen (I don’t know why I didn’t write in pencil). I thought I’d be nostalgic and share some (and eventually most) of these pages. The poetry is rough and ragged. It clings to my former obsession—now, it is simply an adoration—with rhyme. This is my pre-lyric poetry. This is a younger version of me, when my grandparents were still alive and the world was a much less scary place (and yes, it is scary—terrifying, even). These first three I’m sharing are selections from my shorter poems. I hope you like them.

School and Conformity
by Alexa L., written in ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade

School is just conformity defined
By classrooms of students
Walls soaked in white
Endless lunch lines
The same clock that eyes devour
The same tick. Tock. Tick.
A final click.
And they all run.

by Alexa L., written when a date involved walking through the mall holding hands (and that was it)

While hearts beat, mine pounds
When hearts hush, mine sounds
While hearts breathe, mine sighs
When hearts break, mine dies

by Alexa L., written in a time when I still wore GAP sweaters in 90-degree heat (I was hiding from the world) 

Pictures put me in a frame of mind
That always develops badly
My front will look like my behind
And my smile turns down gladly.