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ns carmona Jan 31
lady of steel gaze:
let me learn your native tongue,
iron-clad and cold
i have literally never written a haiku
ns carmona Dec 2018
I am thirteen years old and a day
with anger I cannot yet phrase.

ATTEMPT 1:
I hate society: I wrote a poem about it and my teacher sent me to the counsellor. They should worry about the other girls - they only care about makeup... and clothes... and boys.

ATTEMPT 2:
I dreamed of being an astronaut; now I'm sure I'm an alien. The angst-fest rock bands are the only ones who share my beliefs so I guess wearing black is political. Adults don't care what I think since I "don't know love or pain or taxes" and therefore I must not matter but in town we saw a homeless man and my heart sank into my jeans while Mum and Dad walked on without the dignity of a cursory glance. I think I hate my parents - they give me no **** freedom! - if they've got free rule, I'm under a dictatorship, so I guess I hate the government. [A pause.] I want to change the world.

ATTEMPT 3:
It's not the girls' fault. We're learning urbanisation in geography: we watched a film about factory waste. The planet is dying and I want to save Earth from the rest of us. Why does our life have to revolve around stuff and purchases and goods? Why does femininity have to be outwardly depicted and commodified with "dusty rose" lip crayons and whatever new fashion craze H&M release; are we not allowed to just exist? Why is there a fast-food outlet on every corner while we have to take a bus to see grass and trees? Will there be trees when I'm twenty-one? When will be the last time?

[Somewhere in a corner of the universe,
a planet explodes and re-constructs
-- turns itself inside out, then back in again --
the astronauts blinked a little too long
and missed it.]

ATTEMPT 4:
...God, I hate society.

[My father chuckles,
pats me on the back
and welcomes me to life.]
i like this less than my others
ns carmona Dec 2018
Momentary
mourning peace.
Mama pours a glass of mulled wine,
lights a scented candle
                               (- "cherries on snow" -)
and drinks to ol' Joan.

Passed down with the jewellery box,
somewhere in the will, the daughters
receive the annual chore of roasting
the turkey (delicious!) and the veggies
(good job!) and (could you pass the?) breadsauce
for their brothers and husbands huddled
            on a threadbare sofa -- and a younger girl,
            barely there, staring at a laptop screen.

Mama's not festive - always too tired -
barely celebrates, but orchestrates.
Years barely there 'cause she's needed in their kitchen
and someone's gotta cook can she please get a hand? and
one chivalrous male puffs out his chest, takes one for the team, gestures to the girl with no discernible attention span and
half-laughs an "ay, one day this'll be you!
Best get in there while you're young!"

                                                       ­   ((A baritone chorus of laughter.))

"You outdid yourself on the turkey."
"S'great, ain't it? Pass the potatoes."

Sometimes here, sometimes Spain.
We stay over. It's tradition: we're
scattered across the country,
maid duties are the least she can do.
Never our kitchen or living room.
Tiny. Messy. Unwelcoming.
Come Boxing Day, Mama gives
a bear hug goodbye and an
"it's good to see you";
Because it is, she thinks.
Thank you for inviting me
to carry out your labour.
I'm just grateful to be needed.

A month of red 'SALE' tapes
scouring the clearance shelves;
overtime for extra cash
scraped to afford the food she cooks you;
paying half for gifts she'd brainstormed
while Dad buys partial credit on the gift tag.
We leave your house.
happy holidays! if you rub your eyes, it semi-looks like a christmas tree.
ns carmona Nov 2018
see, atlas nearly dropped the world at the first sign of tremors
and gaia would've blown her top with wrath
and it nearly toppled sisyphus' boulder til it crushed him
but the 'nearly' doesn't matter 'cause the world's still in his grasp

and if paris picked selene, we might've had a heart-shaped moon
but we got the trojan shitshow, millions died
and we nearly went extinct just 'cause some ******* greek was *****
but the 'nearly' doesn't matter since we just about survived

if i cared more about science, i'd be making tons of money
but i'm an arts kid who'll likely die on the street
and at some point, nearly get hooked on ******* just like my dad was
but if i pull my **** together, i might just afford to eat
eso sí que es
ns carmona Sep 2018
Fifty-percent illusion at any given time.
Your unintended muse will plead 'not guilty' to the crime
Of snatching back the quill and reshaping every line
into the role she wished to play
-- it seems the choice was never mine --

but the boy with the weighted wedding ring,
the self-appointed jury of the south;
him sheepish at the door with roses,
and the brute who owns this house.

Was it feminine mystique or was I crystal clear
while you blocked your ears and pretended not to hear?

A three-act structured tragedy.
All archetypes assigned.
"We've had this date since the beginning" --
if the part must be mine to play,
it is in my hands to manipulate.
Direct your blame to those who cast the roles.

Torn petticoat, blue piano;
flattered by the dimming glow --
oh, to be glossy pink and gold!
A trophy bride. A victor's prize.
(I snap awake and still see his eyes --
that ego swells him thrice my size --
with bruising force, he parts my thighs.)

Was it hysteria - madness? - or was I crystal clear
while you blocked your ears and pretended not to hear?

My fate was written for me,
in the frontal lobes of those who came before me:
down that narrative route, all bumps and troughs -- desire!
Fragments of an old Rossetti poem... o, vanity of vanities... the streetcar rattles and groans.
self-indulgent b-side to the prior poem 'i, ophelia'; honing in on blanche dubois (a streetcar named desire). excuse the rhymes, it's been a while.
ns carmona May 2018
i.
you wonder if somewhere there's a voodoo doll with your face stitched on
(and if it's covered in pins since god knows that would be the logical explanation)
who goes away in winter? he'd laughed and laughed
-- and in spite of yourself, you let him

you very patiently explain that with european winters
'the sun's still out but it's no cancer risk
and the air's still hot at night but it doesn't try to choke you
and what's more cathartic than a spanish caravan park where you're serenaded by crickets?'

playing it off as a quirk, not an excuse to be anywhere else

he'll never know the comfort in being
little more than a passing stranger
a face on a street or in a window or a car
transient, fleeting; the short-term memory lasts roughly thirty seconds
so you're a stranger in a yellow polo and then you're nobody:
it's the circle of life, but compact and mildly less terrifying

ii.
unexplored streets and brains are bigger than home:
you can only be your true self when you are not at home
eyerolling, rotting from air pollution and complaining about first-world problems
you're hardly ill at mind but you're jaded and sad and sufficiently middle-class
so when in doubt, you pack a bag and think nothing else of it

you buy the guardian and a kitkat from a sullen newsagent
whose hands look like your grandmother's
(why do you notice this stuff?)
the poor guy's only middle-aged surely - he can keep the change
counting coins is weird and confusing anyway

happy flying says the hostess with a ribbon around her neck
she means it and you know exactly why she'd taken the job on:
fixed addresses are awfully limiting
and the swarms of crying babies are probably worth it
to get to go everywhere EVERYWHERE

iii.
package holiday dj digs out his usual and plays 'come on eileen' for an aging crowd
your eyes are upturned to a foreign sky and you breathe warmth
the stars are out and you are floating quite carelessly at the top of a swimming pool

happy birthday
a narrative poem, i think? not sure where it sprang from. i just like trying to access inner monologues that aren't my own, because the ***** never shuts up
ns carmona Apr 2018
it's funny the things you forget
when asked for an 'interesting fact' --

you sleep on them for days
and exhume them from the ground
because they matter! so deeply!!
there's no metaphor that does them justice!!
it's poetry because it isn't!!!

i don't know my siblings.
my parents sleep in my dead grandad's bed
and i received his cupboards:
yeah, we're pretty much begging to be haunted.
let's be positive, it'd be nice to see him again.

thanks to reinforced childhood superstition,
i still pick up pennies from the ground
(yup, even with my germ phobia).

i used to write to the tooth fairy!
she warned me about gum disease.
her name was tiffy, but it turned out to
just be mum writing with her left hand.

as an internet-addicted hermit,
little me hated going abroad
since the only friends i felt i had were online.
there's thus a list of places to someday re-visit -
rotterdam is one.

i'd like to be somebody's muse.
if my life plan fails,
i want to work in a funeral parlour:
it feels as though i'd do it justice.

watching the same film more than once
just isn't something i do -- except grease --
exceptions can be made when it's on TV.

i mean, c'mon, it's grease.
(feel free to leave some interesting tidbits of your own life in the comments. you all seem fun enough.)
you can't make metaphors out of this stuff if you bother to write about it: they're just facts that are true. so let's chuck them all into a draft and call it a list poem. or free verse. or an experiment. hey, if 'anything can be poetry', so can this!
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