Pet Peeve | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope all is well with you! The stresses and chaos hasn’t really settled down, so I’m on the verge of exploding. That probably explains the tone of this poem, but I’ll suffer through this. It’s what I like to call, being a student.

Pet Peeve

There’s a quiet rumble in the back.
An irritating one, if you want the specifics.
You wonder what they’re even talking about,
what they hell they’re muttering about, even though
it’s in a language we can’t understand,
it’s in a sound that we cannot bear to stand
in a classroom.

Last week, I told them to shut up
in a hiss as fierce as I could muster
“Can you stop talking? I can’t hear.”
And they would continue sneaking their conversations
between my glares as if I couldn’t understand
when I perfectly can.

Meanwhile, I’m getting more irritated
while they’re carrying away the conversation as if they’re at home.
“你做功课吗?”
And I wanted to shout to the class and professor,
“These shitheads won’t shut their pie holes, can you kick them out?”
I couldn’t say such a thing.
I don’t know their stories
or why they chose to irritate my ears.

So, I sit and continue to seethe
until the day finally passes me by.

Yes, I wrote this in class and yes, it’s inspired by real life events. I’m pretty confident that whoever I’m mentioning in this poem won’t find my blog, but if they do, I hope they get the message.

I have quite a few pet peeves. For example, I hate it when people scrape their forks/spoons across their plates since it makes an awful sound like nails on a chalkboard. I also hate it when my hair tickles my neck when I’m trying to sleep. Yet, one of my main pet peeves is when people talk to themselves in class or at a movie, a location where it’s inappropriate to have your own conversation.

[Alice rant begin]

In my class, two people who thought they were getting away with having a conversation in the back, irritated me to no end. I’m trying to hear my professor, but they wouldn’t shut up, so I told them off. The next week, I sat a little closer to the front, but I could still hear them. Do they even want to do well? From what I understood, all they did was complain. I honestly, don’t understand why they dedicated 80 minutes chatting about who knows what. It’s fine if you mention something to someone briefly, but not for 80 minutes, damn.

[Alice rant end]

I wrote this poem to control my temper. It’s more of a narrative poem since it tells a small story. I definitely romanticized it to the sense that I made it a little more nasty, although is true. In the third stanza, I put some Chinese characters to put some personality and background into the two people. “你做功课吗?” (Nǐ zuò gōngkè ma?) means “Have you done your homework yet? ” I wanted to give some sense of contrast with the two languages and how they purposely set themselves apart despite it being their culture and mother-tongue.

I guess the moral of this poem would be to not be that shithead in the back and if you ever encounter those kinds of people, don’t let them get the best from you. They aren’t worth your time.

Hope you have a good day!

Alice

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Satiated | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope all is well with you! Sorry about posting this a day later — things got pretty hectic yesterday.

 

Satiated

It’s quite strange how in textbooks and scholarly articles,
everything feels like they’re solved.
Dirt no longer cakes the many crevices in the hands
nor is there any constant worry about if my kids have enough to eat
more or less if they’re getting vitamin A, B or C.

I come from a humble background of farmers
who strain their backs, but strengthen their souls
as nothing is more satisfying than knowing that what is sown
will always fulfill the inner most needs of those who are closest to you.
For those who are lucky to escape the brutality of physical labor,
walking onto a shining campus is a gift.

Tuesday morning, the professor lectures through 50 PowerPoint slides,
discussing how workers would rather lose limbs
than lose the ability to provide.
I grimace as I imagine long lines of meat needing to be cut, but with only half the
strength that I used to have.
My classmates cringe as they try to brainstorm ways things could be changed
but all they could say is “we need to address certain policies.”

The world has been shouting about the benefits of kale, quinoa and avocados,
how you’ll look younger,
live longer and
have greater strength than you had yesterday.
People flex, smile brightly and preach,
“I feel better than I did before!”

The lights dim and my eyes are drawn to the screen where
my classmates and I watch a video clarifying what in actuality a food desert is.
And I see the strain in the mother’s face as she pleads to us
that she’s trying her best to feed her children
that she’s aware of the harmful effects that cheap food can bring
but she has no choice

My eyes refocus back to the professor and he prompts us,
“How does this make you feel?”
which is translated into,
“What can we do?”
The room falls silent as the obvious rings through our ears and as we stare at the food wrappers littering our desks.
The usual responses pop up,
“We need to change certain policies.”
“We should volunteer at the food shelter.”
Yet as we squirm in our seats, all we can think about are when we can get out of class rather than the necessary provisions and steps needed to take
in order to be
truly satiated.

As some of you may know, I study food studies at my university, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be a chef or a food critic. In fact, food studies has a lot to deal with food justice, sustainability and how food fits into various cultures. It’s quite interesting and on the rise right now. I’ve been in the major since I was a sophomore after switching out of Nutrition. This seemed like a better fit for me due to it not being as heavy handed in science. The classes that I sit in focus mostly on the ethics of food and expanding our knowledge of the issues that arise in the food system and the small things that we can do to help. We don’t carry a lot of power, but as they say, it adds up.

I wrote this piece for internship I was with this summer called NAFSN (North American Food Systems Network) and since I had a double major with Writing & Rhetoric and Food Studies, I got to incorporate both and write pieces, edit a newsletter and help with some organizational processes in my internship. To be honest, it was pretty fun to incorporate seemingly different majors together.

This piece is mostly about a heavy juxtaposition between being in the classroom and hearing all the issues as well as having the knowledge to enforce changes, but feeling slightly powerless. The point of view I take sympathizes mostly with the laborers within the food system, the farm workers, the people we don’t usually hear about. But then, the view point shifts to the student with the helplessness and feeling stuck of not knowing what to do even though the information has been granted to you.

The rest of the poem is pretty straightforward. I tried to make it linear, like a story. If you have any questions about something I’ve mentioned, then feel free to email me. It would be a win-win where I can review my studies and you can learn more!

Thanks for reading!

Have a good day!

Alice

 

An Every Day Thing | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope all is well with you!

An Every Day Thing

I carry them in my hand
their jingling and clinking
their weight, pulling and jerking —
just a casual sound.

Look at my keys
I swing them in front of me, threatening to hurt really bad.
Look at their weight, so many keys
I toss them from my right to my left, feeling each groove press into my palm.
I am so responsible
I think to myself as the keys jingle across the quiet conversation.

The door swings open and I pull out the key,
they dangle and dance together,
the truest testament to all the open occurrences in my life.
The weight upon my shoulders echoes in the weight
of the keychain, but it’s only an every day thing.

They clatter as they meet the table, the sharp sound
resounding just as each groove on each key
unlocks a singular door leading to bedrooms,
houses and secrets.
Look at my keys
as I start swinging them again,
my eyes follow and the weight
follows the weight of gravity
until I’m nearly weightless.

This poem was inspired by a bad habit of mine. Whenever I have my keys in my hand, I tend to fiddle with them and I end up swinging them around since they’re attached to a lanyard. It becomes quite dangerous when you realize that people are within the “danger zone”, the circumference of my keys. That’s why, I try not to keep my keys in my hands. But, being the dramatic poet that I am, I tend to take mundane things and spin them into my dramatics to make it into art.  Oftentimes, I think about if I weren’t a writer, what would I be doing? I’d still have my overreactive mind and thoughts, but they would still be too contained. I’d just be a weird person without any justification. 🙂

When it comes to writing apiece about an object, it’s important to take it back to the five sense, so you can fully relate and understand. Everyone knows what keys are, so I described my set of keys. And with keys, comes a locked door that could also allude to closed opportunities as well as the weighted responsibility that comes with having keys because you don’t want to lose them or else the locked door will stay closed for a while/your possessions will have a greater chance of getting stolen.

I’d like to think of each key as a different story. One could lead to a house while another could lead to a bedroom. There could be a set of keys that lead to a restaurant or the White House. With each key that you have, it’s like a long piece of thread holds you accountable to that lock that’s paired with the key.

These responsibilities may end up being opportunities and a small sense of empowerment because I am able to do such things or it can be a burden because of the sheer amount of responsibilities that might become unbearable. It all depends on the person and situation, but every single day, you’d have something to do and something to behold whether big or small.

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading! And please don’t wack people with your swinging keys.

Alice

Used | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I’m back again!

Used

I used to be a playful one,
a little child who loves to run and play.
The sky couldn’t contain me and the ground gave me lift.
A lion by my side and the speed that my feet gave me
I had no limit.

I used to give a damn about what people said
from how sweet their compliments felt
to how bitter their glances felt as they grazed over me.
I stared at my reflection, trying to see what they saw
and tried to put the compliments in my ears
but everything slipped out
and I turned the other way.

I used to tell people when they asked
“How can you read three books at once?”
I get bored easily, but in reality,
I wanted more places to escape to,
away from the poor grades and away from what I needed to do verses
what I wanted to do.
Away from what I had and what I didn’t have
and away from my quiet outside and loud inside except
how Suzanne found out that she had supernatural powers.

I used to offer my hand out to anyone
who is struggling in even in the vaguest way
even if they already had two hands,
even if I was barely dragging myself along.
Now I just put in my headphones
and pretend I don’t feel it all.

This poem is a personal one, so you’re going to hear a little about me. It revolves around the narrator, in this case, I’ll reveal that it’s me, going through some issues of dealing with being treated as indifferent. In the end, I just deal with it. You may probably interpret the last stanza in a negative way where I gave up trying to make people notice me, but you may also interpret the last stanza in a positive way where I got the strength to stop letting other people’s opinions dictate how I felt. I think I like the second interpretation better. 😉

Yes, when I was little, I had a wild imagination including an imaginary lion that would run next to me and be my protection. As I grew older, more pressure from school and grades came to me, pressure to conform to be like everyone else while promoting the idea of “uniqueness” and that pressure felt like it was crushing me and for a while in high school, I struggled with identifying who I was. It’s a normal phase for a teenager’s life, but it would’ve been nice if I had someone tell me “You are fine just as you are.” instead of “Don’t worry. Everything will be okay.” as if that solved anything.

It was in middle school when I really started getting into reading. I would be able to read three different books at the same time — dabble a little in one, one chapter in another and I wouldn’t forget about the plots. This was my way of hiding from the present issues in front of me and it worked for a while until high school.

Over time, I finally learned to grow a backbone and not let myself be spread thin. Still fine tuning it and it wouldn’t have been possible without my good friends.

I hope you liked my poem!

Alice

The Beasts of the Grey | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope this summer has been good to you so far!

The Beasts of the Grey

“I swear, it’s that squeaking fan.”
she mutters, glaring down the rotating metal,
clanking and blowing cool air around the room, yet
for some reason her mind remains hot and unsettled.
Down the street, she hears trucks driving
from point A to
point B with the latest summer hits, hotter than the summer sun
but her envious heart feels as cool as the end of Christmas.

Blood drips from her nose and she leaps to a start.
“What in the world! Why is my nose bleeding?”
The bright red color illuminating all life shakes her to the core
as she’s reminded of her origin story,
starting from two into a beautiful unification to multiplication.
She stares at the veins crisscrossing on her hands and
wishes she could see the blood racing around like messengers.
All she feels is the startling pulsating
and the quietness of her soul
and the words, stuck.

Thunder strikes the sky in frightening allure,
the roar quickening the pulse housed in her chest.
Her eyes remain glazed, glossy, gilded with a sheer covering of
tears, the supposed material of renewal.
Lightning flashes across the city, catching her eyes
as she looked for where it came from and all she could see
was a sea of grey, ominous and looming.
She wonders after a spark of color finally floods her fears,
drowning them and wiping them afresh.
“Where are the whales that swim in this sea?”

If you got a sad connotation from this poem, then you’re on the right track. This poem is meant to give off the vibe of helplessness in the ordinary, but with struggled attempts to better things. For those who have been reading my works, you’ll know that there is always a line where I tie everything together and oftentimes, that line is the spark of hope even in a sadder poem.

Basically this poem’s motive is to inspire getting out of a lackluster situation, specifically loneliness. We’ve all dealt with loneliness before ranging from you’re walking by yourself to being at a party, but finding no one you could relate with. With the narrator in the poem, she seems to be pretty trapped within herself especially with the act of pulling herself together. There are bought of frustration (the squeaking fan) and distractedness, yet in the end, the color comes back to life.

In the first stanza, it’s obvious that she’s envious of people traveling and doing things, but with the second stanza, she starts to ground herself and finds perspective in remembering who she is and where she came from. I took it literally and wrote about conception, the origin of life. And in the third stanza, the narrator is literally startled into a new state of thinking, breaking free.

This leads onto the title of the poem, The Beasts of the Grey. It’s meant to be a double entendre with the mention of the whales at the end of the poem and the “beasts” that can be anything that troubles you and the “grey” would be the mind. The main focus of the poem are those “beasts” that live in the “grey”, which often times we choose to hide instead of dealing with.

I hope you enjoyed the poem!

Alice

107.9 FM Summer Hits | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope your June is going well so far!

107.9 FM Summer Hits

I’m in love with the shape of you.
But she said, where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
‘Cause I got issues
But you got ‘em too
So give ‘em all to me
And I’ll give mine to you
Oh na na, just be careful, na na
Love ain’t simple, na na
My sunrise on the darkest day.

Top 100 hits
YouTube views scratching the millions
Commenters loving the singer, being the faithful fan, a first discovery
Interviews with Ellen, Jimmy Fallon and Conan — the big names
What an amazing performance!
And they glow with their perfect contours, hot swag and
go back to touching the hearts of teenagers
just wanting to feel the wild side of life
through accessible lyrics.

And my heart stops and my hand pauses
as I scroll through the FM and AM trying to find a drivable tune
only to hear a love confession that could only be
whispered to me in the dark, your lips brushing my ear lobe
being filtered through glamour lips
and my heart can’t help,
but swoon.

Can you guess which songs I put in my poem? They’re pretty well known at the moment, so I’m pretty sure you can guess. Starting from the first line, it’s Shape of You by Ed Sheeran, Something Like This by Chainsmokers feat. Coldplay, Issues by Julia Michaels, No Promises by Cheat Codes feat. Demi Lovato and Despacito by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee. Give them a listen and see if they speak to you in any way.

This poem is basically about how millions of people listen to these songs intentionally or unintentionally and one line or the entire song speaks to them despite it being so public, in-your-face, or mass produced. From the first stanza, I go from the particular lyrics that have spoken to me to the image that the singers have to the more individualist image of listening to the song and connecting it to a memory.

I think this is why there are so many “love” songs in the musical industry and why we just love talking about romance. We either lack it, so we want it. We have it, but our experience is always unique, but similar, so we want to share. Or we want to reminisce on a portion of our lives that was good. Whether or not we want to admit it or we like to proudly show it, these pop songs somehow make their way into our lives.

Which song do you like so far? Issues by Julia Michaels has been running in my mind lately.

Thanks for reading,

Alice

A Fragile Soul | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone!

I hope all is well with you!

A Fragile Soul

Yellow hats with a pineapple
Pink hats with a flamingo
Blue hats with a seashell
Black hats with don’t mess with me etched in neon thread
An expression of my soul.

Athletic pants worn when snacking
Red lipstick traced for a touch of boldness after a breakup
Sweatpants worn as comfort for a final exam
Undies under a sheet, watching a rerun of Friends, just because
An expression of my sorry ass.

“You don’t know my life!” she shouts holding a bowl up high
threatening glass shards exploding everywhere.
Hot tears flow down my face and a small relief mixed with guilt
explode as the bowl kisses the floor —
An expression of pain.

“You’re precious to me.,” he mutters after a long day,
sending flutters racing throughout her body and she holds him tight,
kisses him good-night before drifting into a blissful sleep —
An expression of love.

This poem is about how beautiful humans are and how multidimensional we are. I really love reading and writing poems like this especially when I’m having a harder day because these poems accentuate the simplest beauty of someone without them even having to try very hard.

I start the poem off with a simple description of hats. I’m a big fan of colorful hats with a small mundane (pretty exciting) icon on the front. It’s like a little demonstration of who you are based on the color of the hat and what the icon is, but you can never really tell who someone is based on their hat. From the simple description, I wrote an expression of my soul, something quite heavy to start off the poem.

In the next stanza, I poke fun at some ironic outfits (mostly at myself) and how we really love to get comfortable. Notice the trend? During the summer, I love to write about relaxing when in reality, I relax a bit too much to the point where my mind has melted into pudding. Moderation is key! 🙂 I’m sure most of us has found ourselves in these situations.

In the third stanza, I transition to more personal situations and this one is of anger and an impulsive decision. When I was a teenager, I would clash badly with my parents and have bursts of anger where things end up being broken. It was a bad point in my life, but I’ve risen out of it and now I know how to handle my anger better. In relation with you and the poem, everyone has had a situation similar to mine and while it’s not a pleasant time to reminisce, it has happened and shaped aspects of your life and those affected for better or for worse.

In the final stanza, I delivery my final blow — love. I’ve noticed that romance is something everyone wants to be involved in whether by being in a relationship, watching romance movies, reading romantic works or pampering yourself. It’s a definite necessity and there are two ways you can interpret this stanza.

  1. Cherishing your significant others and the small, loving moments.
  2. Remembering to love yourself, even telling yourself good-night and having a good mind set to try and have a good day.

Every one of us have a different persona, but we’re all beautiful and fragile souls, meant to be treated right and cherished. Love yourself! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Alice