Tag: mfa

Allow me to reintroduce myself:

I’m Mandy. I’m two weeks away from my last semester in my MFA program for Creative Writing and Publishing Arts. Right now, I’m prepping my manuscript for said last semester. In the next three months, I’m going to finalize that manuscript, design a book from cover to cover, publish it, and promote it ……. Geez.

so I’m going to try to chronicle this last semester here. Already on here are a lot of old drafts of poems. Some of them might even be in my book!

In two weeks, I’ll be working three jobs and starting Thesis, so I’ve been working hard at revising and writing and designing while I still have room to breathe. Thus far, I have 32 poems that I have tentatively separated into three sections and ordered. This might end up being fruitless work, but it kept me amused during two days of 15 degree weather spent without leaving the warmth of apartment or changing out of pajama pants.

Pants are overrated.

so, Look forward to updates on my manuscript, possible designs, handmade elements, and how much I love my fellow poets that I have the pleasure of being in workshop with! I can’t wait to gush.

Advertisements

Poison in the pressing of skin

oh opium bud–my lips are fat with your poison
fat with your skin pressing

the pressing of skin is a precious thing
and so are your soiling words hushed
against my neck

against my neck     I use my breasts to brace
for work
for efficiency
they hold more than milk

you leak nightshade all over my sheets
all over my skin     the muscle
of your hands     the bend of my muscle
under your hands     fingers like oleander
petals pressing

and I am sleep love drunk
rolled in flannel
the fire escape moon silhouettes
on my thighs     on my thighs
on this skin     love like luck
could be a myth     and me

 

this is my poisonous flower poem. I’ve memorized it for recitation.

My life as a bat

My life as a bat: an abrupt swinging, pendulous
ticking between ducking in shadows of lace
cob webs and rebirth.

I entangle long limbs in the hair of a lover–build bird
nests out of frail bones. Bones,
mine waste away. They don’t fossilize well.
I carry them with me–bearing their feather weight
tucked beneath my winged breast,
but I don’t wear feathers.

A confused leather mouse I am made to be by
being half wings and half milk. Blind but
ever observant–navigating night alleys
by outstretched palms on pavement.

I am sacred. a separable soul, a delicate skeleton
that feasts on blood and flesh
of fruit. A white-winged vampire
sucking from its half-blood
step-sister. I am swooping shadows.
I rise in the wake of twilight.

 

 

I’ve been in Baltimore for just over two weeks now. I’ve finally started my MFA classes. Tomorrow is night two of poetry workshop and that guy above is my first product. We were given a random line that we had to use as the first line of our poem. Mine was obviously “My life as a bat.” We’ll see what happens in workshop tomorrow. We’re still waiting on our wifi box to arrive so more regular updates will happen when Comcast gets their shit together. (never, maybe?)

 

Three Months

In just over three
months I will wash my skin
of this city–this small
town with the farms still tucked
away behind the hills, country
splayed out fat and happy
with the creeping edge
of metropolis ripping out weeds
and burning tree leaves. In three
months I will sleep
with cement sidewalks
and the hum of the harbor.
Scrub my skin of this life.
Lay it out in words.

 

It Goes On

photo (8)

Life has been just nutty these past few months. The last time I shared a bit about my personal life I was still fractured from the break up, very confused and still timid.

Since then, an old friend and I have sparked a highly charged romance. We’re crazy about each other and he’s home for good in just two weeks. It was completely unexpected because this guy exited my life for nearly half a decade. Then he shows up at my door a few days before Christmas. We have drinks. We have dinner. Bam! We’re inseparable.

He’s in the Army though (that is, for two more weeks!), so he had to leave two weeks after we hit it off. I visited him in Nashville for his birthday in mid February. He visited me last weekend. I was prepared to wait until mid May, when he was supposed to be discharged… but he’s coming home early! I received this news today and I am a happy kid.

Other news I am incredibly and speechlessly happy about?

I got accepted into the University of Balitmore’s MFA program for Creative Writing and Publishing Arts. &I am finally going to go do what I have always dreamed of doing. I got the acceptance email exactly one week ago. I spent two months on the portfolio, right around the time I started seeing Matt.

I’ve always been incredibly insecure about my writing, as well the actual act of writing. I’m not sure why. It’s such a competitive field. That’s what I kept telling Matt when he told me not to be nervous and not to even worry. He didn’t even have a clear concept at first of what the program was or what type of writing I was working on. For someone that has been a very close friend of mine for ten years, he had absolutely no clue that I “write creatively.”

I sent him one of the poems I posted on here—one of the angry break up ones. Ah, it was the one I wrote in the chair of the bookstore before I actually broke up with my ex. I edited it for the portfolio and ended up texting it to him (FYI, that was a bitch). I was tempted to send him the one I’d written about him but decided nah.. that can wait.

He was so confident that I’d get accepted and kept telling me to have some faith in myself. I assured him I had some, otherwise I wouldn’t apply at all. I didn’t want to build up an expectation just to be let down though. They notified me only two weeks after I applied. Crazy. Matt was even in town when I found out. He was so proud of me. &I’m proud of me too!

Go me.

It’s terrifying though, absolutely terrifying. I am terrified.

but I’ve read, if the risks you take aren’t terrifying, you’re doing it wrong. so I really and truly believe that I’m finally doing it right. I’m going to have to quit my job, move out, find my own place, get another job. I get to live in the city, something I’ve always wanted… but I always resigned to living in this small shit town and pretending like I was okay with it… it wasn’t meant to be… I’m meant for small city life and teaching high school English.

VOMIT. No. That’s not for me. I want to study creative writing and get into the publishing industry and live on my own in a city. SWEET JESUS I AM HAPPY.

Sometimes I can’t even believe I had enough courage to break it off with my ex. Sometimes I’m driving in my car, windows cracked, seat warmer on, bad 90s music blasting and I can’t even believe that I’m single… much less setting up a future of my own. I never would have applied for an MFA program with my ex. I never would have moved out of my parent’s house. I didn’t even write, not unless the conditions of being with him made me so desperate and depressed I wrote to keep from my slitting my skin open.

Yeah, harsh. I wish he died from his brain aneurysm.

He called me last week. I was actually at a bar with Matt, drinking and getting annoyed at him. I left my phone at the hotel and saw I had a voicemail while Matt was in the bathroom. I just started crying after listening to it and immediately deleting it. He walked out and I just fell into him and he naturally held me. I guess he thought he’d really upset me that badly because I didn’t say anything.

I didn’t know how to tell him why I was upset. I’m not used to being able to tell a guy why I’m upset without some sort of accusation or embarrassment or being made to feel guilty for being upset. I didn’t want to seem melodramatic or ridiculous. I didn’t want him to get mad or upset because that’s the reaction I’m used to (that seems so ridiculous now that I see it in words. Goddamn my ex is a fucking jackass.)

I told him the only way I knew how… all whimpery and pathetic and blunt and to-the-point. &He did what boyfriends are supposed to do—hold you, kiss your head, wipe your out of your face, tell you that’s all in the past, try not to let it upset you, but it’s okay to be upset. &I still just can’t believe this guy’s timing. Every time I have absolutely needed him, he’s been there… even though he lives eleven hours away. Every Time.

He says he’s just lucky. I’m lucky.

&I quote Robert Frost,

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

That quote is just everything to me. It goes on and shit just fixes itself if you have the strength the endure the hardships. I sacrificed everything I knew four months ago and let my life fall apart completely… but life went on. It gets better. It goes on.