Pseudonym

Ginny Brattle isn’t my real name, and I don’t even like it.

How am I supposed to pick a pen name?

Why is this even on the top of my mind?

I hate my real name, too, to be fair.

Ingrid, Ingrid Peterson? I.P. Introvert Playground. Intellectual Property.

I.P. I pee. Nope. Or yep.  Whatever.

Ginny Brattle, bah. Reeks of youth.

I want my author persona to be one of mystery and age, like red wine and balconies, not one of a whining teenaged poet.

Brattle. After the Brattle Book Store, which I’ve gone to a handful of times.

Creating a Persona. A Star is Born. If everyone knows I’m fabricated, does it mean I’m even fabricated? Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm). Ginny Brattle (born Ingrid Peterson).

What is your mother’s maiden name?

Answer: I don’t know.

And why a pen name, you ask? Because my book is bathed in controversy before it even hits paper. It’ll be judged and hanged before it’s even read. Mothers and teachers and “the man” will condemn it.

That is, if anyone even hears of it.

Am I damned to be a nobody? Will no one even know my pen name, never mind my “maiden name?”

My worst fear is not never being published, it is being published and selling 43 copies, mainly to family and friends.

Eulogy

How can I write you goodbye

While feeling fingers on my wrist?

How can I write that I miss you

When you don’t feel missed?

 

How can I explain the loss

The fever and the pain that you’ve brought me?

Your family has fought me.

 

They thirst for my words, for my soliloquy.

They thirst to hear of everything you’ve meant to me.

I thirst for your kiss and your breath and your love—

I miss you—but that isn’t enough.

 

They want my tears,

my choking,

my grieving of the things that we’re missing

My kissing

of the ring that I’m still wearing

They’re not caring ‘bout me

They care not about you.

They care only ‘bout the sadness brought on by our youth.

 

A funeral is a practice of saccharine drowning.

Of comparing your frowning.

Of parading ‘cross the town

In lines

and lines

and lines of black

Would any of you visit if he were to come back?

 

What right do you have to mourn my Clay?

Who among you would have come to our wedding day?

How many of his precious words have any of you read?

An artist’s only worth a damn the second they fall dead.

World Poetry Day

We’re all drinking shitty coffee waiting

Something’s happening that’s liberating

Wind that’s captured in our mouths and jars

Wishes falling flat before the stars.

 

We’re all drinking shitty coffee yearning

Wishing that repeating words meant learning

Teaching running kids the alphabet

We ain’t outrun tomorrow’s sunset yet.

 

Got the dress, we got the carbon rock

Call you California four o’clock

Wake up, seen it all, get out of town

No time left to start your breaking down.

 

Shovel in the dirt, dirt in the sky

Magni-quanti-puri-justi-fy

We’re all drinking shitty coffee thinking

We may be in a lifeboat, but it’s sinking.

All of my everything

All these charms but still no luck,

All this space but still you’re stuck.

All this air, my broken lungs,

No more words, just tired tongues.

All this wine without a corkscrew,

All these tears without a tissue.

All my truth, all your deceiving.

All my love, but you’re still leaving.

 

All that time, but I fight for more,

All your words piercing my core.

All our children, all our wealth,

All our scars, our mental health.

All this paper, all this ink,

So much silence, I can’t think.

All your doubt, but I’m still believing,

Lack of love’s not why you’re leaving.

 

All my things out of our room,

All this bed, and yet no you.

All my words and all my cries,

All my yells, and all my sighs.

All I ask—just don’t forget:

I haven’t given up just yet.

Even though I know you’re leaving,

I can’t stop my self-deceiving.

The Me-Shaped Space in the Universe

I find poetry the hardest of all types of writing, and I envy and respect poets highly. I am usually not a poet, because I find it so difficult to do, but I believe this topic is best spoken about through a poem. It was written a few weeks ago, when I was caught thinking about how matter is never created nor destroyed, it only changes form. It is one of those things, like how dinosaurs drank the same water we drink, or how the ancient Egyptian jewelry I wrote about awhile ago seems so modern, that makes me feel humble about the universe and my small space in it.

This poem is called The Me-Shaped Space in the Universe.

I fit the me-shaped space in the universe perfectly.

The rest stops at my skin and inside it is me.

I used to see me as a hole

As if I wasn’t made of organs and soul

But of not-space, and not-time,

A bubble in the universe, made of something else.

And I would see my skin as a barrier

Keeping the universe away from my emptiness

A shell to keep predators away from my oysterous interior

But I never saw myself as being a pearl.

I didn’t fill, but now I am full.

I was full before my mother grew fuller with my weight,

Before the food she ate created me

Because matter cannot be created

And I am as old as the stars.

I am not a hole of nothing, nor of something never seen,

I’m not a hole at all, it was wholly wrong to believe

That just because my skin is mine it always was my skin.

I am made of the things I consume, of the air I breathe in,

I can trace my roots like the veins in my wrists.

My atoms were made when the sun was,

There is nothing outer about outer space.

In truth I am not a hole, but a stitch.

The fabric doesn’t stop at me,

I am a small percentage of the universe.

When I die I will not be gone.

My body will become ash, or dirt, then plants

My cells and atoms will continue being.

I fit the me-shaped space in the universe perfectly.

I have stardust in my skin.

The interesting thing about this poem, on self-reflection, is how self centered it is. A common theme on this blog (I think I’ve already talked about it, if not, stay tuned for tomorrow) is/will be the question of self importance. Am I as an individual important, special, or am I nothing? Am I great or unremarkable? In this poem, I try to get across my beliefs on the matter, which are that while we are all important and valuable to ourselves and in our own lives, we are meaningless to the universe, because we are just a part of the fabric of life. Not an unimportant part, but one part of many. We are all, after all, parts of the universe. And that is both amazing and unremarkable all at once.