Category Archives: Prose-Poetry

Nothing Turns out Like it Does on TV

I kind of always pictured myself being a teacher when I grew up

But I think it’s one of those jobs that look a lot better on TV

I thought I could be that teacher who really reaches his students

I think everyone else who ever watched teen dramas had the same thought

I never gave a lot more thought as to what I would do once I became an adult

I thought about comic stores and record shops but never a career path

I’ve yet to stay at a job any longer than about a year

I guess I’m still lost to the idea of any sort of career prospects

So instead of teaching I go Universities late at night

Scribbling words in a notebook while I get eaten by mosquitoes

I never got to go to a school that had a campus

My college was in the middle of a downtown development

Wondering what I missed out on not having the TV college experience

Almost turning thirty and I’m having a bout of nostalgia

For a time in my life that didn’t actually happen how I wanted it

Now I’m almost thirty with barely any real career prospects

Still being eaten by mosquitoes like they follow me wherever I go

I’m going off the trails and walking through the grass

I’m wandering off and going to find the quad

And with my fucking luck I’m going to wind up lost

I know if I keep heading north I’m going to find my car

I’m going off the grass and walking down the road

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Burning in my Throat

It’s like it’s constantly raining

And I’m constantly leaving my coat in the car

I know you’re sitting in the cafe

Swirling the foam in your cappuccino

Tapping your fingers on the table

And staring at the entrance

I’m stuck at a red light

And the wind’s blowing against me

And the drunks falling out of the bars

Are blowing smoke, trailing to my face

The water trickles cold along the tip of my nose

While you sit comfortably, keeping warm

Trickling along, through my shirt and down my neck

Into my eyes, stinging and leaving me blind

There’s a fire still tickling my throat

The feeling of porcelain against my hand

I try to stop and catch my breath

Choking as it all starts coming up again

The light finally turns green and I try to move forward

But my own feet are forgetting how to walk

Grab the sides with my arms and keep pushing forward

Slipping on wet ground and losing my balance

I’m hoping you’re still waiting at the cafe

Sitting with your legs crossed, twirling your hair

You’ll be the glimmer of hope that keeps me going

I’ll be the drowned rat disguised and looking for change

But though the door I see that you’re gone

My last chance walked out on two legs

Her heels clicking probably echoed through the room

Letting everyone know the drowned rat is doomed

I try to take comfort with the burning in my throat

The only warm comfort that I know

My Lingering Breath

I’ve stopped my march through the snow

My feet are freezing

And I can’t feel my legs

It feels like I’ve been marching for hours

My shoes barely grip

They slip on the sidewalk

I’m following street names and counting avenues

Guessing which way north is

Assuming I’m aimed in the right direction

But as my face goes numb

And my breath freezes to my beard

The sun starts setting in the distance

I should have arrived by this time

Kind of like how it should be warmer by now

Kind of like how the breath hanging in front of my face

Should have dissolved and floated off

Instead it lingers in front of my face

Like a thick fog blocking my view

I’m cold and I’m lost

My teeth are chattering

And my knees are shaking

I was told this is the right way to go

And I followed all the signs

And still I’m standing nowhere

Freezing cold, foggy eyed

With no idea where I went wrong

And I can’t figure out if I’m on the right track

Or if I should turn back

Dying of Old Age

I’ve got this thing for dying of old age

It must seem like a crazy liberal ideal

Or some sort of privilege reserved for the rich

But I’m not sure if I’ll be allowed to in my country

Abolishing something like long-gun registry

I just don’t see the need for semi-automatic assault rifles

While police only carry pistols and we farm all of our animals

And why this is a controversial discussion

You’re afraid of fighting big government

While you keep funding all of these big businesses

Who buy politicians like they’re trading stock options

You might think I’m crazy for not wanting to die

In some flashy blaze of glory like a tragic hero on TV

I think I’d rather read a book in my bed

Close my eyes and fall to sleep in the peace and quiet

Because there are no good guys

And there are no bad guys

There’s just a lot of confused people

Who’ve been given all of this freedom

But we don’t bother to educate them

And explain to them what this freedom means

I wish people would give money to schools

Like they give money to weapons manufacturing

I wish parliament listened to educators

The same way they listened to millionaires

I wish people would stop shooting

Before they looked at where they’re aiming

I wish I could die of old age

But I’m almost certain some neighbourhood watch security

Will follow me while I’m walking on my own block

Say I’m a threat because I’m tall and have tattoos

Assholes like my always get away with it

Or some other oversimplified ignorant ridiculous bullshit

Any reason to stand his ground and shoot

Living out his old west cowboy fantasy

Shooting the bad guy in a blaze of glory

And be deemed the big hero

He and his big shiny fucking gun

Maybe I’m just an idealistic Canadian

Who’d rather not see his country turn this way

And who doesn’t understand what’s so fucking great

About being able to kill anything

Or why anyone would want to listen to Ted Nugent spout on about

Shooting into underprivileged neighbourhoods from a helicopter

He talks so tough and he loves his guns

Don’t forget he dodged the draft

Along with Mohammed Ali

And Arlo Gutherie

And William Gibson

And Jimi Hendrix

And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

And Stephen King

And Bruce Springsteen

And don’t get me started on Bill O’Reily

And Dick Cheney

And Karl Rove

And Donald Trump

And OJ Simpson

And Newt Gingrich

And Al Gore

I guess that they all wanted to die of old age too

I’m not trying to oversimplify a bigger issue

I just don’t worry about big government knocking at my door

Because if it got to the point

Where this was something to be worried about

I’d rather not worry that the government at my door

Was paid for

By Halliburton

Streetlights and Mocking Birds

The streetlights are looming over top of me

Looking down and wondering what I’m doing

It’s four in the morning

I work in a few hours

And I have 45 minutes left in this drive

The streets of St. Albert are less than kind to me

The tree-lined roads through Sir Winston Churchill Road

Take me past 184 Street

And down 137 Avenue

And I drive through Edmonton’s North Side looking for the Yellowhead Freeway

The rain’s trickling along my windshield

And my wipers only leave streaks of water across

While I stare out with swollen red eyes

Trying to tell myself it’s only allergies

The wind’s picking up and wailing against my car

The glare of the road is burning my eyes

I need to keep them open though

I have a long drive ahead

And there’s nowhere to stop and sleep

The streetlights flicker with questions

And taunt me that I put some faith into

Another person when I’ve been

Burnt so many times before

And I turn hard to avoid a cat

There’s been enough blood on this car

And I don’t think I have enough room for

Another life cut-off too short

My trunk’s already full

I can feel it wearing on my shocks

The bumps feel harder and I hear you roll

And sliding against the cover of my spare tire

I find the Yellowhead and the Freeway is clear

Aside from a few overnight semis wailing their horns as they drive by

I’ve never seen this road this empty

The rain’s hitting harder

And the globs of water blur my vision

While a headlight burns out

While I try to shift lanes

I barely spot my exit across 82 Street

And clip a bird flying across the freeway

I wonder if the rain blocked his vision

Or if he had lost a headlight

And your voice carries from the trunk

Asking the same questions as the streetlights

The words flow through in unison

Like you were all given a script

You sing a chorus of confusion

Telling me you deserve something better

Than a few garbage bags

And a late night drive across the city

I try to ignore your song

Like noises of garbage in my trunk

But you only kept singing louder

Demanding an explanation

That I just simply don’t have

I don’t think you deserve anything better

Because I expect the same for myself

In the end we all wind up in garbage bags in the trunk of someone’s car

If we aren’t clipped while trying to fly across the freeway

You just wound up in my trunk

I make it down the 98 Avenue hill

And up to the James MacDonald Bridge

As the summer sun peaks out of the clouds

And the morning dew from the North Saskatchewan River

Carries up and makes me think of Spring

And the freshness of a secluded cabin

And you still ask me incessantly

Why did I bring you to the river?

The bridge is empty but in a few hours

It will be lined with cars sifting through rush hour traffic

I still don’t have an answer for you

I can’t explain any of this to you

All I know is I have three dripping garbage bags

That need to go into the river before the early risers start driving by

Even if I had an answer

It would make no difference

You’re still cold an dripping from some garbage bags

And you won’t be swimming out of this river

There’s no point in explaining anything

It won’t change a goddamn thing

And as you splash into the water

The streetlights shut off and stop talking

And I watch you flow down the current

As I spot two mocking birds on a highway sign

And they laugh at me

As if I’m standing on the bridge naked

Two mocking birds on a highway sign

Are laughing at me at four in the morning

Paul Kane Park: Because it’s Finally Summer

The fountains are still empty in Paul Kane Park

Kids take advantage of the smooth concrete

With skateboards and scooters while the grown-ups

Lie on the grass like they’re beachside in Florida

My office window overlooks Paul Kane Park

While I watch the trees finally bloom

Only days away from June

Edmonton’s downtown dwellers ditch work

To get outside and catch a whiff of those first budding leaves

The scent’s sweet smell is like a sugary summer treat

The workers will leave work well before five

And fill the bars’ patios drinking and talking and laughing

They wear sunglasses and undo the top buttons of their shirts

Sip on light beers and cocktails between bursts of blustering laughter

Like a celebration of another year of survival

Celebrating the blooming trees and the sun

Celebrating bright daylight well past nine o’clock

Celebrating summer like we’ve never experienced warm weather before

I walk down to Paul Kane Park

And find a bench overlooking the empty fountain

Where sidewalk chalk outlines pictures of suns and stars

And downtown dwellers lie in the sun and drink cheap beer

The windows to the walk-up apartments

Are open and I watch the blinds swing in the light breeze

A cool breeze that tickles the hair along my bare arms

And the leaves on the trees swing like the curtains in the windows

The streets are empty around Paul Kane Park

The cars stay parked, all the people decided they rather walk

With headphones in their ears

And sunglasses covering their eyes

All smiling and saying hello as they walk by

With a look on their face that says “We made it through again”

Sharing the celebration of summer

Like it’s the first summer they ever experienced

And the last summer there will ever be

And they don’t know when the sun will recede

And the leaves will start to fall again

And daylight ends when the sun sets at three

So they celebrate now

Like tomorrow there will be no sun

Or warm weather or patios

Or sweet smells from blooming trees

Like tomorrow, there will be no summer

27: How the Fuck did I get here?

How the fuck am I almost 27?

My body’s screaming like I’m almost 40

But my brain wants to run like I’m 17

I’m sitting in a bar at one in the afternoon

Because I’ll be napping by three

If I want to stay up past eleven

I got to more weddings than parties

And everyone asks me when I’m getting hitched

As if it’s something I have planned out on a to-do list

I think I missed the part when someone explained

When what is supposed to happen when as an adult

In what most people call a normal life

As if anything I’ve ever done is normal

I guess I did everything ass-backwards

But I can say with confidence I don’t hold a single regret

It’s just a little awkward when people stare at me

With their heads tilted to the side

Wondering what’s wrong with me and

What the fuck am I doing

Especially because I still don’t quite know

This strange assumption that everyone has it all together

I doubt there isn’t a single person who

Doesn’t go home to stare into the mirror

And wonder what the fuck they are doing

My license says I’m almost 27

But I never felt any older than 19

How the fuck do I have a degree?

How the fuck did I get a regular day job?

That doesn’t require me to stock dusty shelves

Or ask if you want fries with that?

When the fuck did I become an adult?

Why does it feel like if I had a kid

I would be on the next season of Trashy Teen Parents on TLC?

And why does it make me sick to my stomach to think

That I’m not getting any younger

And people expect me to get married

Buy a house and have some kids

When all I want to do is run and scream and play

I might be almost 27

According to these standards

I’ll never grow up

You Won’t be a Fuck Up Forever: The last Essay I Wrote for my University Program

I’m receiving my degree in about a month and I’ve been done classes since around Christmas, so this last essay I wrote has been kicking around in my head a lot. The assignment was to write a letter to myself from when I first started this school program. What resulted was probably the most brutally honest self-analysis I ever wrote. I tend to hide when I write, it’s probably why I’ve been gravitating towards speculative fiction as of late. I think there’s a kind of charm to this kind of essaying that I’m totally missing out on writing science fiction and fantasy; don’t get me wrong, creating political parables and inputting my own fears and insecurities into futuristic worlds is a lot of fun, but there’s an outlet to just opening up like this I feel like I’ve been missing out on over the past few months.

You don’t recognize me, do you? The grey along the side of my hair is a little more pronounced, the crow’s feet along the side of my eyes sink in a little deeper, and the stubble along my cheeks and down through my neck’s coming in a little thicker now. But I recognize you: I know where you come from, I know what you’re dealing with, and I know where you’re headed. Things have been hard and nothing’s been making any sense but most 22-year-olds have stood in the same position you’re in right now and you’re well on your way to clarity.

Academia didn’t treat you the best, did it? You worked hard, you studied and tried to understand, but you could never place where you would apply which Greek myth had an ivory shoulder, how the stratification ladder affected society, or why the parliamentary system of government works better than the presidential system. Abstract concepts and theories were interesting and all, but outside of writing it never seemed relevant to a world where the job markets are based on experience and business knowledge and the only value you can measure yourself against is how much money you’re making. Where you stood in academia, the piece of paper saying you know something was never leading to money.

The anarchist side of your brain screams that money shouldn’t be the value to measure yourself against. And it’s true, money only earns you so much happiness. But, no one takes the broke anarchist with bad tattoos very seriously. You’re tired of feeling stupid, feeling like a screw up, and feeling like you’ve been left behind while the rest of the world moves forward and makes something of itself. Worst of all, you want to say they all sold out but they’re in better, more legitimate places than you’ve ever been. You always talk about creating social change, but nothing will change if you keep working retail and gas station jobs.

You’ve already realized this, I know, and that’s why you’re giving school another shot: this time with more direction and an end goal in mind. It’s funny though that you decided on journalism as a career. You never saw yourself as a journalist, you didn’t even see yourself as a writer. You remember mentioning a few times in high school you thought about going to university to be a writer. It was a last resort because you knew you didn’t have the skill to go to music school. Your teachers told you that your essays were really good and you had a knack for writing good arguments, so somehow finding that career path as a writer seemed to make sense, but only because music may have not been an option.

Remember when you went to your high school guidance councillor, the one who was supposed to have all the information about all the college programs that were available? You sat in his office, it was barely after lunch and you could already smell the hooch on his breath. His white beard was scragglier than usual and he pulled up your file on his computer. He asked what career goal you had in mind and you mentioned becoming a writer. Remember his response?

“If you really wanted to you could just get an English degree, but I wouldn’t waste my time on that. Have you ever considered the trades?”

It’s not that you didn’t have the marks or the obvious aptitude for university and becoming a writer, but the high school you went to not only immediately wrote off academia, it wrote you off too.

Whenever you hear about the people you went to high school with, it seems like all the girls became nurses and all the guys found some sort of trade. Finding someone you went to school with that went into the academic or art stream was very rare. An entire graduating class convinced all that’s available to them in the world is manual labour and the medical field. Both are important, neither fit you well.

I really feel like what that guidance councillor said had an impact on you. After touring and playing music for a year, you gave academia a shot. You tried the liberal arts, sciences, anything that would get you a bachelor’s degree in this or that. Part of you feels like you worked so hard to only wind up with Cs and Ds, another part of you knows that you were completely apathetic and if it wasn’t for your essays you would have completely flunked out. Maybe there was something to this idea of being a writer.

The only job you knew writers had was being a journalist. That’s you really read anyways: a few magazines, newspapers sometimes, and you’re not particularly interested in short stories or poetry or books.

You and I both remember what Doc Brown said to Marty McFly when Marty tried telling him about the terrorists who were going to kill him in the future. Letting someone in the past know about their future could completely alter how the future turns out, and in turn, could create a paradox that could cause the universe to explode. You also remember that scene in Dude, Where’s My Car? when Ashton Kutcher says in a German accent, “screw the universe.” Well, screw the universe, I’m going to let you in on something.

It’s especially funny because this is exactly where you’ve been going your whole life without even realizing it. Do you remember a story you wrote when you were in third grade? It was for Mrs. Irons and she asked the class to write a Christmas story. Everyone wrote the usual what they wanted Santa to bring them and how excited they will be on Christmas morning. You wanted to do something different. You wrote a story about a futuristic world where Santa was captured by evil robots and turned into a cyborg bent on world destruction and only his son, Santa Jr., could stop him.

Mrs. Irons went to your mom and told her that you were going to be a writer one day.

In sixth grade you were assigned to write a story about the upcoming Y2K, or as it was called then, the millennium bug. The other kids chatted amongst themselves and complained that they didn’t care about some stupid computer virus but you saw it as an open invitation to go nuts. You loved the idea of a millennium bug and instead of simply a computer virus that would cause important networks to shut down, you pictured a literal bug being born of a computer virus and coming into our world through the computer screen to destroy everything. You were ripping off Lovecraft years before you read Call of Cthulhu.

Ninth grade was the last short story you remember writing. By this time being in a band was all you ever dreamed about, and in turn, became what you wrote about. You wrote a story about a small time touring band that stops to check out a dilapidated barn on the side of the road only to find it’s filled with nocturnal goblins. The plot wasn’t the best but your English teacher at the time, Mr. Welsher, told you it was one of the best stories that one of his students had ever written. He talked about how you described each member of the band in deep detail, how you smoothly moved through the description as a part of the narrator’s internal monologue rather than just dropping in the description like an abrupt brick falling from the sky, and how each band member had a distinct personality.

Sadly, after ninth grade, writing stories fell on the wayside. High school became about writing essays and your only concern became playing music. You weren’t the best musician, even today you realize that you played hardcore punk for a reason, but your musical work shone in such a different way. Your guitar riffs were always just there to back up your lyrics.

In music, lyrics were always your passion. You would spend hours with your nose in your notebook, scribbling frantically like your pen couldn’t keep up with your brain. Your frustrations, anger, anxiety, jealousy, and fears were splattered across the page for everyone to see and all you wanted to do was scream them to everyone and know that somebody out there gets where you’re coming from. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that even though music is technically out of your life, screaming your frustrations to people has remained a constant in your life: only now you call it poetry and spoken word.

You’ve always had an aptitude for writing and an imagination that keeps your mind occupied. It’s odd that you’re not that big of a reader. You read newspapers sometimes and the odd few magazine articles but junior high and high school left a bitter taste in your mouth for short stories and novels. I know the feeling of being so sick of those Canadiana “girl grows up in her rural town and dreams of the big city as she comes of age” type story that you never want to read again.

I promise, there are better things out there to read.

You’re going to find better things to read and you’re actually going to be invested in reading. You constantly hear people talking about the great books they’ve read and right now it seems like this unreachable culture that you’re not nearly smart enough for but it’s within your grasp. And your engagement with books starts when you rediscover comic books.

Comics are accessible and easy to read. In a few months from when you read this, you’ll be able to go through whole graphic novels between 30 minutes and a few hours. This probably seems ludicrous to you. Lois Lowry’s The Giver and Eli Weisel’s Night and Dawn (the only books you’ve read all the way through at this point) took you weeks to read. Remember trying to read Animal Farm? Remember giving up trying to read Animal Farm? In a year from when you read this you’ll be able to get through that book in a night.

The biggest shift isn’t that you can finally read at your education level but that you truly enjoy reading. You take pleasure in going through the plot and picturing what the writer’s trying to put forth and finding the rhetorical meaning and universal truths. You never saw a point in what you read before and that’s why you gravitated to newspaper and magazines: they have an obvious point. But you’re going to discover some amazing authors whose vision and point of view will mirror your own thoughts and ideas about the world.

You never discovered writers like this in academia. You never found them idly reading newspapers and magazines. And it will be years until you find writers that challenge your thinking and reveal real human truth to you in comic books. But they’re on their way. And you have to thank your school program for that.

As you read this your goal is to get into journalism school. You were rejected this year because you failed the entry aptitude test. That was a rough week and it felt like the world was crumbling around you. It’s a horrible stereotype to say something’s “a blessing in disguise,” nor do either of us necessarily believe in “blessings,” but in this case I think getting rejected worked to your advantage.

You teach yourself how to be a journalist pretty quick once you’re back in school. You start taking night classes and one of your classmates tells you about the school newspaper: Intercamp. This piques your interest and you eventually go to one of the meetings and take on a story doing what you do best: be an opinionated asshole. You’ll write a piece about Rahim Jaffer’s cocaine drunk driving and cocaine bust and call for him to be made a example that public officials shouldn’t be given special treatment for this kind of behaviour.

Jaffer will get off with a slap on the wrist but you wind up with a reputation for being an opinionated asshole. Your opinion pieces are eventually accompanied by your first few art pieces, more specifically, your band interviews which will earn you your strongest reputation throughout Edmonton.

You’ll start paying more attention to how magazine articles about bands are written and adopt that style to be your own. You figure out how interviews are conducted and what makes a good interview and just go for it. Something that people will continue to point out about your work is that you’re not scared and you don’t hold back; you just dive in.

Music journalism is how you’ll build your portfolio, but as you go through school journalism becomes stale and boring and you realize the pay for the amount of work doesn’t seem to add up. This is where not getting accepted into journalism school works to your advantage.

During said night classes you meet a lot of teachers and other students and you tell them about your aspirations for journalism school; no one will seem to understand why you want to only be a journalist. The journalism program is amazing if that’s the be all and end all of what you want to do with your life. Sometimes you can transfer the skills you learn into other career fields, but the path you’ll take sets you up for so much more than a journalism diploma ever could.

A couple of really amazing teachers will take you aside and point out the Professional Writing program. You’re not one-hundred per cent sure what a professional writer does, but your next semester of night classes focuses on this program and what it has to offer. You’ll quickly understand what these really great teachers were onto when they pointed you in this direction.

All the skills you thought had no use suddenly have a function: storytelling, attention to detail, aptitude for language and structure. Suddenly there’s a career path for these things. And best of all, the program offers a balance between the side of you that wants a career and the side of you that wants to be an artist.

Your next three years are going to be spent finding that balance between art and business. You’ll have the freedom to take short story and non-fiction classes that stimulate your creative spirit, while taking classes on corporate communications and public relations that feed into your desire to not work in gas stations anymore. You achieve this balance and you discover you’re good at it. In traditional academia, getting a C grade was cause for a celebration. A’s will become the norm for you.

While in academia, you never thought that high grades would be possible for you. You’re going to discover that you’re simply a different kind of learner. You’re the hands on, direct application type of learner who needs to be able to walk away from the lecture and know what to do with this information. That’s what the Professional Writing program offers you. You sit down, and the lesson becomes, “this is exactly what you’ll be doing in a job,” or “this is how a story works.” Opinions still exist and conversations do persist, but the education becomes something more concrete and accessible.

And education should be accessible. And the opportunity to find where you fit and how well you fit into there should be easily understandable. You’ll see brilliant people come out of school with a liberal arts degree and a high GPA managing department stores and it will frustrate the hell out of you that the world doesn’t appreciate these things anymore. But then you’ll be grateful that you found your place and you have the opportunity now to show the world that you’re worth more than the hourly wage handed to you.

On March 21, 2005, you realized that your high school had completely written you off and expects you’re only worth your weight in manual labour. On May 3, 2008, you received a letter from MacEwan University letting you know you’re on academic probation and that University wasn’t the right path for you. On April 25, 2009, you received a letter from MacEwan University saying that you flunked the written aptitude test and had been rejected from journalism school. Most people would have given up by this point.

September 7, 2009, you take your first night course in grammar. September 26, 2009, your Rahim Jaffer opinion piece is published. On November 3, 2009, you write your first band interview with Adrian Mottram of Sights and Sounds. On April 21, 2010, you get hired as the Arts Editor for Intercamp Newspaper. On December 10, 2010, you interview Matthew Ian Fox of Shai Hulud (your favourite band while in high school and to this day one of your favourite lyricists) and received your first freelance cheque from SEE Magazine. On April 30, 2011, you’re given your own page in Beatroute Magazine every month to fill with your own stories about Edmonton music. April 16, 2012, you start your first day of interning at Avenue Magazine. June 13, 2012, you receive your Professional Writing Diploma. October 5, 2012, you start your first, full-time professional communications job. Finally, December 12, 2012, you polish off the last 3,000 words you’ll submit for the Professional Writing program, sealing your place earning your Bachelor of Applied Communications Degree in Professional Writing.

If I had told you on May 3, 2008, that one day you’ll have a University degree and a career path while balancing the life of a creative writer, you would have thought I was huffing of ether.

You should have been a fuck up. Everyone up to this point had written you off to be nothing more than a ditch digger with a bit of an imagination. And I wonder about all the other kids who had been written off by educators and authority figures and how many of them will never experience what you’re going to experience. The Professional Writing program is no more, your class will be one of the last graduating classes, and in its place is an academic communications program based primarily on communications theory. And a lot of amazing minds will come out of this program, but losing the option for the other kind of learners is what will bother you. Your story isn’t unique, you’ll meet a lot of people who tried traditional academia and it didn’t work for them and they’ll be graduating by your side.

You’ve always had the talent to get where you’re going, but the Professional Writing program was the only vehicle you knew how to drive to get there. You’ve been through a lot and most options seem bleak, but I promise, you’re going to get to the point where you won’t be ashamed to see old friends anymore. The “what have you been up to conversations” won’t end with “I flunked out of school and pump gas now.” You’ll be able to look yourself in the mirror and like who you see.

A career is great, having a creative outlet is amazing, but finally finding that path that helps you not be a fuck up anymore is what you’re going to value most from your whole school experience.

You won’t be a fuck up forever – I promise.

Praying for Atomic Explosions

I can’t stand the silence

I find it deafening

Like road blocks in front of me

Stopping me abruptly in my tracks

No longer feeling what’s in my chest

Like everything’s stopped beating

And everything’s stopped moving

Without ever finding any rest

Feeling like I’m praying for the worst

Hoping for atomic bombs to drop

Just to pique my interest

And break the walls of silence

I used to pray for rest

Always trying to control chaos

Making sense of the energy surrounding me

Wanting to hold it in my hands

But now it’s in my grasp

Nothing will break that clasp

Except for maybe an atomic explosion

But the energy has slowed

It’s much easier to catch

I don’t think I want

To rest so quietly anymore

Because I can look out my window

And see atomic explosions

All across the horizon

Wondering who the bombs are landing on

Anticipating where they’ll land next

Hoping and looking to the sky

The next bomb will drop on me

I know I couldn’t survive

Seeing someone else

In an atomic explosion

And I know I can’t stand

Another minute of the silence

I’m rested enough

I’m standing in a field

Waiting for another atomic bomb to drop

Looking to the sky for broken silence

Praying the next bomb drops on me

Small Victories: Smaller Poetry

Holding onto small victories

And counting how many I have

Along my fingers on a single hand

Displayed on my wall

I’ll dust the frames

And polish the glass

See myself reflected back

I wonder why I’m settling

For these few small victories

Is this what I worked for

To be able to say

I could have sold out worse

Just to get through the day

Is it worth slowing down

Will I be bragging for years

My few small victories

Seem even smaller

Reflected back at me