the artist is gone, part II

the artist is gone, part II

a year since my grandmother’s passing

these mercenary words cannot hold

all of the feelings that I contain about this date

they do not carry the weight of my grandfather’s tears

my brother’s sobs.

they cannot hold all of my guilt and grief,

the lifting of a great burden off of my father’s face.

The artist is gone,

but I know what she would think about the mercenary words

that I repeatedly have to sputter out and sell to my friends and professors,

words that are like swords, for defense against enemies that are unseen

but unemotional.

The artist is gone,

but I know she is inside of me,

and it is the oddest feeling,

tracing her handwriting,

learning from the words she wrote years and years before,

when she is sitting in front of me in an urn.

The artist is gone,

but her paintings,

her prolific collection remain in our homes,

on the wall of my apartment next year, in my future showroom.

The artist is gone,

but I look like her,

in a way that is uncanny,

my face is a tessellation of hers at my age.

Her clothes quietly exist in my closet,

and I wear them feeling my grandmother’s hands on my shoulders

guiding me with our shared fashion sense.

Her thoughts about being an artist,

tracing her handwriting,

tell me how to be my own artist,

because she was truly her own.

I love you, Grandma Judy.

of age/ twenty/ two years.

of age/ twenty/ two years.

I turned twenty recently,

in the past,

I would be “of age.”

No debutante, am I.

I don’t feel more adult than I did

a week ago,

but looking back, I know I am.

two years ago

this blog began as

a place to

vent my spleen,

show my poor, lacerated teenage heart

to an anonymous and unknown audience.

Unbeknownst to you readers, I am more adult now.

Two years ago,

or even a year ago,

I would agonize over text messages to boys who ultimately did not matter,

composing them scores of love and affection that could never be reasonably returned.

Now I agonize over emails to recruiters,

and currently I am more anxious about

gaining a job this summer and a lease for next fall

than my nonexistent lovers.

I loved the balloons,

they were perfect when I chose them at 17, when I turned 18, and still good

when flew into 19.

19.

Brick wall, mountain to climb.

Window to jump through,

doors to lock.

Chances to take,

friends to make.

People to meet,

hands to shake,

hands to hold.

Felt abject terror,

love, grief, and compassion

after I turned 19.

Good bye 19.

I turned 20 recently.

Thank you for reading Poems by her.

Today is the two-year anniversary of its birth,

and I want to say thank you, whether you are a first time reader

or have followed me through the rollercoaster of absences and depression and pure joy and poems.

Thank you!

nineteen

nineteen

nineteen years of age spent flying.

crow’s feet come from falling off crow’s wings.

many flowers bloom at night, and die before the sun rises.

Maybe they were intended to be admired by only the bats and all the other things that stalk the night.

nineteen.

I write poems because when I experience the world I feel overwhelmed,

when I experience the world I notice so many small things that I think are

exemplary

special

and worth noticing,

and I don’t know if anyone else feels that that thing is worth noticing as well.

I write poems because things that are beautiful can be understood only by other beautiful things.

I write poems because it is in my nature to notice and observe and to love and to feel,

even though feeling is hard and love is hard and observations are dangerous.

I write poems because I love you and I love life and because I have to, because if I didn’t

how would I know how to feel, how would I know what has meaning, how would I know what was beautiful?

I write because I breathe and I live and not only am I just alive, but I am nineteen years old, and not old enough to live through everything yet, but old enough to live through some life,

and I am a human and I feel and do all these things like love and care, 

which aren’t efficient or “effective,”

but that’s not the point.

At my funeral, they will say,

she lived a good life,

not that

she lived an efficient life.

I am nineteen and I feel confused because by some I am old and to some I am young,

but I am nineteen and this is why I wrote poems:

To write and write well is not easy, but neither is living. 

 

“I write poetry because I am a member of the human race.”

-Dead Poet’s Society