from my excerpts:
I became the dolls on my bed and
In their small house in the corner–
I became their holidays and floral wallpaper;
I became the patterns of my behaviors-
trained, obedient, good.
I became the shell at the dinner table,
Sucking up silence like the ocean.
and Shane Koyzcan:
Look directly into every mirror. Realize our reflection is the first sentence to a story, and our story starts:
We Were Here.
“It’s hard to believe we were
so hollowed out, so drained,
only so we could shine a little harder
when the light finally came.”
“–Give yourself permission to write badly at first; all first drafts are shit–just write.”
When I was a little girl, I discovered that my way through the world was going to be through words. From the lyrics and rhythm of the music my mother played on the record player to the books and sentences and words I got lost in, I mapped my way into a territory as far away as possible from the narrative map my life was trying to chart for me. It was warm like morning light through pale curtains-opening the sour-smelling hardcover and into familiar inky stamped fonts that spelled, for me, escape. Because once I realized I had already been lost in what had once been familiar and “home” and childhood, catapulted into territory where I was the prey in relentless and immediate danger–getting lost in my own way gave me a sense of control that I could decide where I would go for sanctuary, and also a sense of self-advocacy. Funny I spent my entire first eighteen years escaping and dreaming away from what I would eventually dive into to understand. Facing down a past that I always knew was right behind me is yet another fairy tale in my mind, in metaphor, I faced the fire-breathing dragon that was only a mirror, the cracked castles around me were on the outside, my walls I’d built to protect myself, and on the inside in the chambers, the wickedness in this world had me pinned to the stone, and only long after did I realize I could get up and begin–if I chose.
“Difficult Degrees” (read the poem HERE–the “point”) is a reflection of my tale–of myself–and in it you will find the variance of degrees to which I suffered and grew, lost and succeeded-some places where parts of me died to save the rest, some places where only wondrous springs bloomed because of those deaths, and a sort of music plays for me. A song of my narrative is taking form, only the territory I demand be beneath my feet and of my choosing. I have faced what I spent 29 years escaping, and it all seems to unfold and then fold in on itself and unfold again–the constant ambition and fear of change and light–light like that early morning sun coming in my childhood bedroom window, only it is real and on my skin.
Writing out thoughts and drafts has been teaching me about myself–more like discovering. I write about anything because then it stops owning me (memoir/personal essays/poetry) and it’s kinda like
each one–each story, each poem, each essay and memoir draft–is a degree, a difficult degree
–that has changed and shaped me–in good and not so good ways. From sex, drugs and rock and roll to childbirth, a parent’s death, to break downs, hospitalizations, lusty affairs, dropping out of college to get published. To becoming the mother my daughter deserves and the woman I deserve.
Essays and poems have appeared in (see “Publications” page for links) a few literary magazines and journals and a couple medical journals including Word Riot July 2016 creative nonfiction piece; Frigg Magazine ISSUE 35, Frigg Issue 44, Third Wednesday, Psychic Meatloaf, Rose and Thorn Poetry Journal, The Writing Disorder and anthology, Haggard & Halloo, The Longridge Review, Aqueous Magazine, Blood and Thunder: Medical Musings, DMU’s “The Abaton,” The Woven Tale Press, Open Minds Quarterly, Two Drops of Ink and a few more.
I am an advocate at a shelter for women and children.