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raw with love Mar 2016
we lay on our backs smoking cigarettes
the summer sky full of stars right above us
and i wanted to kiss her *****-tainted lips
and trace the curves of her face
of her collarbones
to lie between her hips
and taste her
i reached for her hand
fingertips away from hers
and she held it
and it was enough.

we sat on my bed
her head in my lap
and i braided her hair
her warm laughter spilling out
her budding lips, rolling off
her sweet tongue
and she played with the hem
of my skirt
i wanted to lean down
and press my mouth to hers
and make her mine
i pressed my lips
to her forehead
she beamed
and i thought
it might be enough.

we sat on the swings in the park
the wind played with her hair
her tiny feet in mary janes
scraped the dirt
and her arms wrapped around
the chain of the swing
i wanted to grab her face
to bruise her
to kiss her hard and
to leave her
i pushed the swing
she squealed and my name
was on her lips
and it was
quite enough.

she cried in my bath
her cheeks mascara stained
her hair sticking to her face
her words slurred
mouth delirious
she shrieked and sobbed
and i held her body
close to mine
pressed my lips
to the top of her head
as she screamed
and it would
never be enough.

we danced in my backyard
barefoot on the grass
her sundress swirled around
her knees
her sunburnt skin hot
and rough and
we drank strawberry daiquiris
she said, "tell me what heartbreak tastes like"
i told her
i loved her
i told her
i wanted to make her mine
i wanted to show her the stars
i wanted
to be enough
i wasn't enough
she kissed my cheek and left
heartbreak tastes like her.
raw with love Nov 2015
(Yes, better than Harry Potter, get your pitchforks ready)

My first encounter with THG was approximately four years ago, when I had barely turned fourteen, did not consider myself bilingual and was romantically frustrated. Naturally, I made several mistakes at the time. First off, I read the series in translation, since I'm not a native English speaker, and missed out a huge chunk of the significance of the story. Then, as I said, I was romantically frustrated and thus paid such a monstrous amount of attention to the romance aspect of the story that I want to bitchslap myself. Finally, at fourteen, I was still ignorant and uneducated about so many things that I read the series, got hyped for perhaps six months or so, then forgot all about it, save for the occasional rewatch of the movies. In retrospect, this is probably one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. Now, at the ripe old age of eighteen, a significantly better-read person, waaay more woke, as well as socially aware, I decided to finally read the series in the original and am finally able to put my thoughts together in a coherent, educated review of the series.

The Hunger Games has continuously been compared to a number of other books and series, occasionally put down as inferior and forgettable. In those past few years I managed to read a great part of the newly established young adult dystopian genre and am able to argue that A. The Hunger Games is undoubtedly universal and unrestricted to young adult audiences and that B. it is, without the slightest shade of uncertainty, the best series written in our generation.

While many people draw parallels between The Hunger Games and, say, Battle Royale, the similarities end with the first book, which, while spectacular in execution, seems unoriginal in its very idea. As the series unrolls, however, it is hardly possible to compare it to anything, save for, perhaps, Orwell's 1984. The social depiction and the severe criticism laid down in the very basis of the story are so brutally honest that it fails my understanding how the series was ever allowed to become this popular. What starts out as a story about a nightmarish post-Apocalyptic world works up to be revealed as a cleverly veiled portrayal of our own morally degraded and dilapidated society (if you're looking for proof, seek no further: as the series was turned into several blockbuster movies, public interest was primarily concerned with the supposed love triangle rather than the bitter truths concealed in the narrative). Class segregation, media manipulation, dysfunctional governments are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the realities that The Hunger Games so adroitly mimics. If I were to dissect, chapter by chapter, all three books, I'd probably find myself stiff with terror at the accuracy of the societal portrait drawn by Collins. I strongly advise those of you who haven't read the series between the lines to immediately do so because no matter how many attempts I make to point it out to you, you simply have to read the series with an alert sense of social justice to realize that it doesn't simply ring true, it shakes the ground with rock concert amplifiers true.

Other than the plot that unfolds into a civil war by the third book (the series deals so amazingly with trauma survival and with depicting the atrocities of war that I am still haunted by certain images), the characters of the story are what makes it all the more realistic. Though Hollywood has done a stunningly good job in masking the shocking reality of the fact that these are children - aged twelve through eighteen, innocent casualties paying for the adults' mistakes; children forced into prostitution, fake relationships, children forced into maneuvering through a world of corruption, media brain-washing and propaganda.

Consider Katniss. She is a person of color (olive-skinned, black-haired, gray -eyed, fight me if you will but she is not a white person), disabled (partially deaf, PTSD-sufferer, malnourished), falling somewhere in the gray spectrum both sexually and romantically. As far as representation goes, Katniss is one of the most diverse characters in literature, period. Consider Peeta, his prosthetic leg (which, together with Katniss's deafness, has been conveniently left out of the movies) and his mental trauma in the third book. Consider Annie's mental disability. Consider Beetie in his wheelchair. Consider all the people of color, as well as the fact that people in the Capitol seem to have neglected all sorts of gender stereotypes (e.g. all the men are wearing makeup). There is absolutely no doubt that the series is the most diverse piece of literature out there. Consider this: the typical roles are reversed and Peeta is the damsel in distress whereas Katniss does all the saving.

Furthermore, the alarming lack of religion (in a brutal society reliant on the slaughter of children God serves no purpose), as well as several other factors, such as the undisputed position of authority of President Snow, is suspiciously reminiscent of the already familiar model of a totalitarian society.

The Hunger Games, in other words, is revolutionary in its message, in its diversity, in the execution of its idea, in its universality. I mentioned Harry Potter in the subtitle. While this other series has played a vital role in the shaping of my character, it has gradually receded to the back line for several reasons, one of which is how problematic it actually is. This, though, is a problem for another day. (The Hunger Games is virtually unproblematic and while it may be argued that the LGBTQ society is underrepresented, a momentary counterargument is that *** has a role too insignificant in the general picture of the story to be necessary to be delved into this supposed problem). Where I was going with this is that, at the end of the day, Harry Potter, while largely enjoyed by adults and children alike, is a children's book and contains a moral code for children, it was devised to serve as a moral compass for the generation it was to bring up. The Hunger Games, on the other hand, requires you to already have a moral compass installed in order to understand its message. It is, as I already said, a straightforward critique of a dysfunctional society, aimed at those aware and intelligent enough to pick on it.

As for its aesthetic qualities, the series is written, ominously, in the present tense, tersely and concisely, yet at the same time in a particularly detailed and eloquent manner. It lacks the pretentious prose to which I am usually drawn, yet captivates precisely with the simplicity of its wording, which I believe is a deliberate choice, made so as to anchor the story to the mundane reality of the actual world that surrounds us.

That being said, I would like to sum up that The Hunger Games is, to my mind, perhaps the most successful portrayal of the world nowadays, a book series that should be read with an open mind and a keen sense of social awareness.
raw with love Nov 2015
It’s 2:39 in the morning and
I’m sitting on my fold-in couch
with my toothbrush hanging from my mouth.
This is not a poem.
This is the realization that hits me
out of nowhere
so suddenly,
so unexpectedly,
in the midst of something so ordinary.
This is not a poem.
This is me, at 2:40 in the morning,
realizing that you were never good enough for me.
That I chose to put myself down, to ignore
my wishes and desires
so as to please you.
That I made up all these excuses for you,
that I came up with all these reasons to justify
why you were manipulating me,
that I kept telling myself you’d eventually
admit to having loved me all along.
This is not a poem.
I do not need a metaphor to tell you
that I realized I do not need you.
That I realized I never really did.
Right now, at 2:43 in the morning
I have never felt more alive
than in this very second
now that I am free of you.
This is not a poem.
This is a goodbye letter to the me that thought she loved you.
This is me, at 2:45 in the morning,
knowing my worth.
I am made of a billion universes
scattered inside my eyes,
I am a billion trembles,
I am nebulous,
and it’s 2:46 in the morning,
I’m sitting on my fold-in couch
with my toothbrush hanging from my mouth.
This is not a poem.
This is the realization that hits me
out of nowhere
so suddenly,
so unexpectedly,
in the midst of something so ordinary:
I am so much better than anything you’ll ever be.
raw with love Nov 2015
To F.

You're not the first person I've kissed but you are the first person I want to spend the rest of my life kissing. And it scares me so. I've never been loved - just rejected, at all my attempts of loving, and ever since then I've been afraid, down to the bone, of commitment. Of opening up to someone, of feeling love, of letting myself be loved in return. I've been used and abused, and manipulated, and made fun of. I'm telling you all this so I can emphasize how big a gesture it is on my side to admit that I have feelings for you, that I am willing to make myself vulnerable to you, and to you only. I've been strong for so long that I crave being weak for a little while. So, I'm baring my chest here, and handing you a knife, hoping you won't carve my heart out like the rest of them, scrap whatever remnants of a heart there are from the hole in my ribcage. I've never been domestic, so you need to understand how big a deal it is that I crave your intimacy -- not just having ***, it's not about having ***. I crave waking up next to you, with your arm cuddled to my body, with your leg thrown over my legs: I crave exposing myself to you. Hearing something on the radio and thinking, *Oh, I need to remember this so I can tell him
. Seeing something in a window shop and buying it for you just because I know you'll like it. Your being able to order takeout for me from any place, without ever hesitating. Going jogging with you early in the morning, before I've had my coffee and you - your tea. Curling up on the couch watching stupid movies. Touching you just to reassure myself that I'm safe. This, to me, is more intimate than ***. This, to me, is scarier than ***. I used to think I was just lusting after you. Until you held my hand and I knew no one else's hand had ever or would ever fit better in mine. Until you pressed the side of your body to mine like you wanted to be closer to me that physics could allow and I knew I would never feel safer. Until you ran your fingers in circles over my bare knee and I knew this was the most intimate I'd ever felt with someone. Until I read my poetry and you looked at me like I'd put up all the stars in the sky. I am terrified. I am downright cold-blooded terrified of what I feel, and all this, this want, this need that creeps up my body, in every cell. It scares me more than death, more than oblivion, and what scares me even more is that you will take the knife and sink it into my chest down to the hilt, and won't even blink. That you will hurt me like all the rest, that you will leave, or make fun of me, or that you will never love me back. I don't know if love is the right word but I want to know your greatest fears, secrets and desires, and I want you to know mine. I also know I'll never send this to you because I've learned to be strong and to hide my feelings, and to tell myself that this, too, will pass. I'm a coward, because I'd rather be torn up by the pain of watching my love for you die a slow, tortured death than face rejection. I'd rather suffer from the unknown than from the dull, numb hurt of knowing you don't love me. And I will be alone, always. I don't have in me the bravery to face my greatest fear, so I'll let it eat me up. I'll keep myself warm on candlelight because I'm too afraid to light a fire.
raw with love Nov 2015
I don't like to tell stories. I like to tell people. Personally, I believe anyone can tell a story - be it a good or a bad one. Stories are simple. What makes a story alive, however, are the people in it: they make it come alive, they make it pulsate, and breathe, they become the story itself, with its bumps, with its ups and downs, its hills and mountains and oceans. Its veins, its lungs, its heart, its brain. Even the most simplistic, uncomplicated, dull story can turn into a blossoming flower, alive with the passion and hatred of the people in it. I like to tell people. The human soul, stripped to its bare backbone. The human soul violated, mutilated. The human soul in all its earnestness. I like to dissect human emotions, to trace back ambition, desire, fear, eagerness, disgust. To take all that makes us human and to carefully twist and bend it to my tastes and preferences. I do not care for the story. I care for bravery and cowardice, I care for cunningness and lust, glutony and barrenness. I care for the living, flowing blood of a story: namely, its people. You tell a crime. I tell the criminal. I tell her deepest desires, her greatest fears, I tell her insecurities, her pride, I tell the way she takes her coffee, I tell what she dreams of at night. You tell a love story. I tell the story of love itself. I tell the way a heart beats against a rib-cage, the way it flutters like a bird trapped; I tell the way palms sweat, throats dry. I tell the way dopamine and serotonine pump through the veins and make pupils dilate. I tell emotions. I tell humanity. The story matters little. The story is a shell, a mere curtain dropped before the real show has even begun. What interests me, what fascinates me, what makes my brain moan with pleasure, is the fate of the human soul, bared of all pretence. So tell your stories all you like. Tell your petty complicated mysteries and your unrequited loves. I take the soul and bare it, and eat it raw. The soul of the story itself: its people.
raw with love Sep 2015
i'll come over at 3:27 am when you call me
your voice shaking
and i'll know you've been crying
even though you'll try to camouflage it
with a smile.
i'll drink with you and then
i'll let you bury your face in my thighs
and scream, scream it all out
and even though you'll dig your fingers into my flesh
until i'm bruised,
i'll still run mine through your hair,
i'll hold on to you as you scream,
scream until you're blue,
until your knuckles are white
and your lips are numb --
and the rain will be pouring,
thunder and lightning tearing the sky apart,
and nothing will hurt as much as
seeing you broken.
i will hold your hand
as you dive into morpheus's realm
and watch your purple eyelids flutter:
you are a ship and i'm the one supposed to gather the wreckage.

i'll wake up at 8, stiff and worn out,
and i'll let you sleep, and i'll go buy eggs and milk
because you will have, as always, forgotten,
and i'll come back soaked to the skin;
you'll push back a wet lock, then give me a dry shirt;
we'll make pancakes and omlette
and your hand
will wrap around my hand
and your face
will fit in the crevice of my neck
and darling, we won't be okay -
but sunrises after storms are always the brightest -
and we'll be as close as can be.
  Sep 2015 raw with love
It's funny how you meet someone
And suddenly
You like blondes.
I never used to like blondes.
Not particularly.
And suddenly,
I just do.
It's funny
How the imprints of certain souls just
With you,
Behind your eyes.
How they color the world.
As if the thought
Just bends you toward a stranger
Just the thought
That they look or sound
Or move
Like somebody else,
Why special?
Why her?
Why any of them?
And yet
Even as I try to look elsewhere...
I like blondes.
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