Featured Writer of The Week: Paige McPhee

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I got lost in the met last Summer.

During a week in July where the air was as thick as the mobs on the city sidewalks, I became separated from my Mother and Sister in the icy cool of the Metropolitan, sifting from one room to the other like a grain of sand in an hourglass; seamlessly, without much effort or control.

As I developed my own current and flowed from work to work, I found myself thinking that if I were to become truly lost, I probably would not care. There were worse places to lose oneself, than around pieces of priceless art in a bevy of likeminded strangers.

There is a painting I specifically remember of a forest fire. Initially I was drawn by the bright red and yellows of the flickering flames, but it is the green that resonates the with me the most. The low hills coated in modest moss, untouched by the fire, furthest from the creeping tongues and crawling char.

I always found that funny as a child, that when building a fire you could not use anything green.
“Nothing fresh off the trees, girl. they just won’t burn,” my Uncle said, snapping brittle branches in his steady hands, and feeding them to the fire.

What a strange resilience life has to destruction.

I imagine it is that same resilience that keeps blood flowing when a parent loses a child, air passing through lungs when a wife leaves a husband, when a company becomes bankrupt, a building bombed, a city flooded.

With the setting of suns, and rising of stars, there is an otherworldly continuum that seems to spin the globe. to rise bodies out of beds, minds to mend, and hearts to heal.

and although we may not feel inclined – those mornings where our bones feel of steel, our chests heavy and heaving under the pressure of an empty hand, wallet, or car seat – it is the green that keeps us going.

Green that we may find in the smile of a stranger, a passage in a weathered book. the embrace of a loved one, an image in a dream.

We must remember, that although we may feel defeated or alone, beaten by brutality unwarranted and undeserved, or simply absent in the presence of our own person, that there are things that even fire cannot burn.

Copyright © 2015 Daniella Beca MyCompositionNotebook

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I’m Still Here by Beth Hallows

I’m Still Here – Beth Hallows

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I sit and watch the people from my window seat.

I could sit and watch strangers for hours. Somehow, it calms me

Admiring what they are wearing, wondering where they are going, questioning why they are laughing; it brings me peace.

I find inspiration in the strangers I watch. I wonder if they are like me. I wonder if they are sad.

The city is buzzing with runners and joggers, drivers and j-walkers. But to me, it is quiet.

People are so interesting; I become intrigued to know why a couple is carrying cardboard boxes filled with bubble gum pink gift bags.

I want to know

Why some people look so angry. Why their steps are so deliberate, why their faces are frozen.

People shout, people smile, and I want to know what for.

But some people look different

They are sad. It’s in the way their shoulders hang

And suddenly, I am with them.

My coffee gets cold, but still, I sit and watch

Because guessing the lives of these strangers makes me feel so much more

More than a cup of coffee ever could.

I think I see people I used to know, and a double take makes me realize they are not but

I wonder where everyone is going

How they got there, where they plan to go after it.

I wonder if people are lost; not just in the metaphorical sense, but literally too.

There is something in watching all these people move forward, that catches my attention

Because I am stuck; I’ve got no idea where to go.

But these people do. So for a brief moment, while enjoying my window seat,

I can imagine I am someone else; somewhere else, with some exceptional place to go.

Copyright © 2015 Daniella Beca MyCompositionNotebook

Saudade

“I’ve never heard that song before, I like it. Play it again would you?”
“Why? It’s not going to the sound the same” – an excerpt from Diary of an Awkward Girl. 

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The word Saudade in the Portuguese language, means to long for something. Nostalgia. That’s not quite the word for it, but it’s close enough. There’s no word for Saudade in the English language, I’m not making that up.

We will never have the same experience twice. How do I know that? Because driving through Times Square at 8pm on a Monday night will never feel the same, ever again. It’ll always be a beautiful sight, but you never get that first euphoric feeling back. So you have to shut up, sit there, and take it all in. Think about the way you’re feeling, how hard you’re digging your nails into the palm of your hands out of excitement. Your heart’s racing, and you can feel it as your fingertips are pressed against the glass. Remember that. 

We will never appreciate that moment of clarity, where it stops taking us 10 minutes to get out of bed. Because it eventually becomes a routine. How messed up it is it, that getting over someone becomes a routine. It’s even more messed up how many times the average human has to pick themselves up repeatedly. What’s even more messed up, is that in an instant we can relapse to that person, to any instance that feels like home. But the slightest gust of wind creeping through the window, reminds you of the cold February air, and how somethings don’t fit as well as they used to. 

I picked myself up again, and assumed I was more than ready before my heart could tell me otherwise. Until I’m seated in a restaurant, in a city that is about to steal my heart, and suddenly that familiar guitar riff echoes throughout the dimly lit space. The waiter drops a coaster off in front of me that says Saudade, and I question fate, signs, and all that  jazz

I question how I came home in August to the notion that a new kind of beautiful mind, whom never read a damn line of my work could potentially be what’s best for me. That every single time this year I drank about you, or drank until I was in front of you was happening for a reason. That this ideal human being, was never going to break my heart. Because don’t I deserve that?

But you should know better. You should know me by now.

So it doesn’t escape my mind, and I’m driving through the city thinking that you’ve walked through these same sidewalks. I wonder if it was the city that changed you.
I wonder if you wonder about me. I wonder if I made you see the world differently or in its complete form. And I wonder if I make you Nostalgic? Or something like that, not quite, but close enough. 

Daniella

Stained Muse by Adriana Moraes

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You like your girls clean
Unscathed
Untouched
Pristine
Porcelain skin canvases for you to paint your sins
You decorate them with your stencil blade
Lock their pores in
Blood and Liquor and Tears
each medium a delicate selection from your palette of regrets.
In the mornings
you set your unfinished work free
Half human
Half yours
It walks aimlessly through a city of Murals and Museums
but nothing compares to what you’ve done.
A starving artist
who feasts on clean girls.
Until you met me.
I’m not a clean girl.
I have unruly hair
sprouting from a skull with opinions.
I have a contorted mouth
bruised
from voicing my thoughts.
I have tainted eyes
bloodshot
from unmasking
pretty
deceiving ones
like yours.
I’m covered in myself.
There is no room on this stained skin left for you to ruin me.
So I’ll ruin you instead.
And I’ll leave you in the morning.
This time I’ll be the one
with the stench
of Blood and Liquor and Tears
lingering on my fingertips.
Walking straight lines through the city.
Avoiding eye contact with your art.
– A.A.M.M

 

Your French Needs Work by Kristina Pantalone

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This week I’ve decided to post a few featured pieces that have been emailed to me, as I try to finish up the final stages of my book. Kristina’s story was incredibly familiar, and put my friend group in disbelief once I shared the email with them. The piece of writing that came with it was even better. I spent Saturday afternoon with her and our mutual friend Emily (who does a mean Chris Brown impression,) and because they’re both writers, I showed them two efforts of mine that aren’t making it to the web. The more I surround myself with like-minded individuals, the more grateful I become. This is just the beginning for Kristina. Ladies and Gentlebloggers, I give you “Your French Needs Work”

* * *

Think of the theatre when you think of Goffman,
She says, and the skeleton in my peripheral laughs,
Tickling her ribcage as it bubbles
Up and outward –her hidden
Injuries reflected in the shininess of his forehead as he grimaces the flu away
As well as the fluorescence

It’s half-past two when we talk about space
And the existence you exist in

It makes me wonder why everyone started wearing hats inside
-Flu season?
But the draft doesn’t explain why you only act human in your sleep.

Be kind, my father said to me
And my mother, not unkind,
Told me to let go or at the very least, be smart,
When letting go has always eluded my sensory perception

All my life, I try to listen
As I think, maybe I’ll get there one day

But broken hearts are serious things;
They splinter without precision,
Crack away at the meat of it
And bleed slowly out while you liquidate
The savings at the local bank

Your father waits for you in Nice
But I’ve always been patient, though tiny,
So not nearly heavy enough to keep
You on the ground

Cash? No, check, please, but please use lead
To carve the digits into me
Because I won’t spend it all in one place.

Shall we say bon nuit
Before I say goodbye?

The Rum Diaries

It’s 10:15pm on a Sunday, my Bleachers vinyl has situated itself in its new home, and I’m in a good place. 

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April’s flowers have bloomed, and I’m quite content with the direction in which things are going right now. I realized that when I was sitting in a Cab with my best friend, who was incredibly sober, and had to put up with me singing Gospel versions of Alt-Rock songs. Sponsored by Beck Taxi.

I think that’s my favourite part of the night, you’re sobering up and coming to the realization that you’ve had a good night, and you’re surrounded by individuals that have the potential to inspire you, even when you’re holding their hair.

I tend to create some of my best work, in these Taxi Cabs or the Washroom Stalls. I am the reason for Gracies’ bathroom line ups.

For good reason of course.

I’ve chosen the best pieces, and I’d love to share them with you. It’s my most honest work, with a lot more Grammar and Spelling mistakes.

January 18 2015

He seems disinterested in the world
But looks at me under the glow of streetlights
Like I matter
Hm

February 6 2015

I’ve written to you everyday
I write to God, I beg for answers
And when I’m mad I question his existence
I turned to religion, but Lord knows I’m begging for a Sinner.
I lose myself in bottles half empty, because I’m trying to fulfill the void you’ve left
(Ouu dark)
I asked the cab driver to give me a sign in hopes that he would bring me to you
But even I didn’t know where I was going
Or who I was going home to

February 19th 2015

People ask me what I see you
I tell them that you’re a Rock God
That I’m front row at every show
You started tuning out, technical difficulties I guess
What a rush you get from the attention of the audience
Your encore glare could kill a man
Leather God
Leather God
A rock song just came on the radio,
That’s odd

February 21st 2015

A homeless man asked my father for a quarter
and because he was used to the idea of expecting less
from people, he was shocked when my dad gave him more than he asked for
Whilst asking “Is this enough?”
When you told me that people perceive you in a different way
That it’s never going to be enough for people to shift their perceptions
I questioned how I could go from being a 3am thought
To sending you in my direction
And the more I drink, the more I repress, and the more I try not get nostalgic
The more I wish I could ask you how much is enough
And if you’ve had enough

March 28th 2015

A boy asked me today how I could write a dozen and more pages about a person
Why does the world need to know about this boy?
How could someone so quiet, silently expose so much
Because I could devise up a series
For someone that won’t publish their emotions
And it doesn’t take a well written heart
To write a best-seller
And I’m not an artist
but I could draw the way you looked in my eyes
And it still wouldn’t suffice

April 8th 2015

He was looking at me, adjusting his watch
Staring at my lips
and just by looking into his eyes, I knew that it was the type of gaze
That would haunt me as I was drinking tonight
It was the type of gaze,
“Baby I’ve already broken your heart”

April 23rd 2015

I think your favourite song just came on the radio
People often curse their loved ones favourite songs
Because it makes them nostalgic
I just want to sing them out loud

Until next week,
Daniella

Featured Writer of The Week: Diana W. Smith

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Next to Stephen King, Diana is one of my favourite writers. I didn’t know of Diana’s God given talent until I stumbled upon one of her posts on tumblr and realized that it had over 200,000 notes. We’re having breakfast at Cora’s, and Diana’s enjoying Tumblr fame, and her crepe at the same time. Now I look forward to all of her posts, and constantly applaud her on her vulnerable, but incredibly brilliant pieces. During my hiatus, I knew immediately that Diana would have to come bring her wisdom to MyCompNotebook.

Here she is:

There are some things our parents fail to tell us in life, simply because we are meant to learn them on our own, in our own way. There are some things that happen to us that have no reason behind them, no explanation, no way to move forward. We are encouraged from an early age to try and try again to fumble for what we need and understand what we don’t, to fulfill our wishes but to accept that not everything will go as we’ve planned. We love and we lose and find ourselves shine in our darkest moments, and it is a summation of those moments that we should give ourselves a huge pat on the back for and finally smile back at ourselves in the mirror because we did it. We achieved something great by believing that we are capable of doing something even greater, whether it was finding the strength to pull ourselves out of bed this morning or winning as Oscar. But what about the moments that we’re too afraid of trying to fix? What about the things that seem impossible to overcome, the heartaches too embedded in our hearts to let go of, the lost friends and the feeling of giving up? What about when the smile on your face is too forced to convince even yourself that you’re doing okay anymore?

I have been blessed to have as encouraging and supportive of a friend in my life as Daniella Beca. Not only is she an incredibly talented writer who can light up the darkest room, she has supported my love for writing from my very first Tumblr posts and has been brave by showing her work to the world, even in times that it may have been a little bit scary. This one’s for you, Daniella, for me and my little fears of letting more than just internet surfers read through my work, and for anyone that needs a soulful little piece of writing to show them that it’s okay to be scared, because facing our fears inspires us to bring out the best in ourselves. Someday you’ll look back on the person you were too, and realize how much more you love the person you are now for the things you’ve been able to overcome.

TO THE LONG LOST FRIEND:
You sat by the window every day painting pictures that made no sense to me and still I praised your work for all you had done and where you were going in life until one day I just realized that you were painting pictures of what was once you and I
A concoction of colour, an effortless vibrance
And all that was painted and left unsaid on canvas
Came through when you gave me that painting straight from your hands and said
“I’m just not sure I want to paint this picture anymore”
And I looked down at an empty canvas

TO THE DEEPEST HEARTACHE:
you’re probably going to dance with another girl who will taste like fresh picked strawberries and smell like flowers blossom in her hair

and you’re probably going to choke down 5 shots of straight vodka and get the thought of me out of your head and focus on the girl dancing with you who wants to be your apple pie but you can’t see the diamonds in her eyes because you’re staring at the ones hanging around her neck and you can’t feel her pull you in closer because she’s reaching farther behind your head of dark hair and tapping shoulders of random guys she’s never even met

and when this happens I hope you run to the dingy bathroom and splash your face with dirty water and vomit up the words you never said because while you’re out drowning your heart in things I shouldn’t care about I’m here looking at the moon whispering how much I love you

and if you take her home I swear to God the moonlight will keep you awake no matter what time it is and you’ll watch it shine across your bedroom floor where we danced and laughed and I almost told you that you are my night sky

and I hope the light catches your attention more than the sight of her would and I hope when you wake up all your remember is that roses are my favourite scented flower and you can’t escape the light of the moon

TO THE “WHAT ARE WE?” PERSON IN YOUR LIFE:
He gave her a ring with the word ‘temporary’ engraved on the inside, and she asked him if this is how love always ends. He took her hand in his and said, “Nothing lasts forever, so why believe that love is any different?” And before he could blink, her tears turned her into a puddle that he quickly tried to collect in his hands, saving up any parts of her that he could manage, and in doing so he came to realize that in convincing himself that love doesn’t last forever he lost her even sooner than he’d expected.

TO THE ONES THAT LEAVE BUT NEVER FADE:
There’s a soft spot in your heart for every person that left. Like the taste of an old cigarette, like the ache of coming across an old picture, like the cut on your hand that reminds you of falling apart on the bathroom floor. There’s a spot in your heart until there’s nothing left.

TO THE ONE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH:
He’s going to stay awake however long it takes just to hear that you got home. He’s going to learn how your voice shakes when you’re sad and he’s going to ask you to tell him what happened. He’s going to fall asleep next to you and wake you up with a kiss on the cheek in the morning and he’s going to hold your gaze towards him when you’re crying about old memories that still hurt and he’s going to fall in love with you. Hold on to him as long as you can, for this is the one we wait forever for, but don’t squeeze too tight. The harder we hold on to the things that take time to grow, we only stop them from growing at all. He’s going to fall in love with you but just give him time, and when he does you’re going to know why you finally let love grow.

TO YOURSELF:
If we could go back and tell ourselves what we know now
1. Pain does not equate to love. If it hurts to pretend, you’re cheating yourself happiness by pretending, and you’ll wish you could take it all back but you never will.
2. You can’t be friends with someone who broke you 
3. You should’ve searched more to find what you were looking for
4. They say time heals all wounds so be careful with the ones etched too deep in your skin
5. One day you’ll feel comfortable in your own skin. Maybe not a bubbling confidence, but you’ll feel it some day.
6. The past might scare us so much that we live always looking behind our shoulder, waiting for the next problem to come up. We do so hoping that the things that scared us never catch up to us. And they never do. They spring up on the ones who didn’t learn from it, and need another lesson.  
7. We think drinking will help us forget but it only produces great writing material and nostalgic regrets
8. We try our best to forget our old selves but like a tiny scar from the night you fell apart or a ticket from the train ride that changed everything, the things that made us feel the most, good or bad, will always be with us.
9. They say people don’t change, but if we grow up and grow apart, is anyone to blame? Learn from the people in your life that give you a good reason to remember them, and if you are to go your separate ways, don’t beat yourself up for it. Things change, and we can’t stop those changes. But we can control who and what changes us.
10. Just tell yourself that it doesn’t matter because once it matters, you’re in too deep. Just let it go. Keep letting it go until it just doesn’t matter. That way, if you lose it, it won’t hurt so much. Let it go until it’s yours to keep. Don’t forget to breathe.

Sincerest regards,

Diana Whistance-Smith

(hopefor-thehopeless.tumblr.com)