Featured Writer of The Week: Adriana Moraes

I wanted to start off by thanking everyone for their kind words last week. Last week’s post was petrifying but exhilarating all at once. Had I not posted it, a lot of you wouldn’t have reached out. But we’ll focus on that in 3 weeks. This week I’m handing it over to Adriana Moraes. 

I met Adriana at a Playwriting program in 2013, and almost instantly knew that there was an immense amount of talent coming from within her. Disclaimer: This is not a personal piece, just a well written artistic effort, and I’m incredibly proud of her for it. 

Ladies & Gentlemen, 

Organ Transplant

***

Onetime I let a boy inside my ribcage

I warned him upon entry that the path to the     space     between my lungs was a oneway ticket 

that I had never smoked a cigarette,
but the walls inside me were tar-filled

and sick

that sometimes my heart failed to beat with my brain and instead fell into
perfect
uneven
synchrony with the faucet

where I threw-up cherry red the other night.

Onetime I let a boy with a knife inside my ribcage

and I had seen the knife

and I didn’t care

he climbed inside me so gently
like he belonged there and was just taking his place

like a missing organ

he made me his home

reassembled my insides

vital pieces of me now resting on his body,
depending on his body

one hand on my heart

the other on my throat.

Onetime I let a boy with a knife and a bottle of bourbon live inside my ribcage

he cleaned the tar off the walls
but didn’t cure the sickness

I think he liked the smell of it.

One night he carved his name everywhere

spine
clavicle
esophagus

and I pretended to sleep

cut
nick
slash

he tried to claim me
he tried to clean me

but lost souls can’t be claimed
and I’ll never be clean enough.

My heart follows faucets
not boys

and that scared the boy

so one night he poured the bourbon down the throat he held

and I didn’t stop him

and I almost drowned

gulp, gulp, gulp
slash, slash, slash

cursive illegible sorry’s
over every spot he had once cut his name into

and he kissed the wounds
and I woke up heavy.

Organs are worthless without their host but

Onetime I watched a boy tear his way out of my ribcage.

Knife and empty bottle in his place,
nothing’s been working right in there since.

I haven’t let anyone in there since.

 

Follow Adriana on Twitter: @mendozadrianaa

If you would like to have your work featured on MyCompositionNotebook email me @daniellacdsb@gmail.com

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The Poetry Slam That Could Have Been

It’s 6-am on Monday, March 23rd 2015. I just came to the realization that my 8am class was cancelled, but the sunrise is luring me in. I found myself humming along to “Here Comes the Sun,” another 24 hours. I always tell my friends who are the midst of a bad night to sleep it off, and wait until the day renews itself. Today was one of those days, I planned on letting the day renew itself, and renewing my mindset. 

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Does anyone else develop a kind of stutter when they’re nervous?
When you have to speak out loud in class, or in front of a crowd and you stammer on your own words even though you know what you want to say.
I do that often.
I’ve sung on stage, danced Portuguese folklore in front of hundreds (don’t laugh), I’ve done monologues, and even acted out my own character in a play, I mean…you’d think I’d be comfortable by now.
I don’t understand why poetry would be different, but it is. Because it’s fresh.
It’s a fresh wound, and I’m out of bandages.
As soon as my Professor suggested I compete in the Poetry Slam, I thought it’d be a great idea considering I had enough material to work with and I’d be 100% invested in it because of my mindset that week.
However, as I’m writing this the night before the Poetry Slam (Late February), I’ve decided against doing it.
I’ve got something to work with, and according to Diana it’s tear-inducing, something a lot of my work has been capable of doing lately, but I probably wouldn’t be able to read this out loud. The nervous stammer is the least of my worries.
It’s more than that.
It would be a room of people who have zero idea who I am, considering I’m not very active in the English department of Ryerson, and it’s not what I’d want from the piece.
Being $100 richer would be nice for my closet, but no amount of money would suffice for public vulnerability.
(Says the woman with a blog)

I’m in my 3rd week of March, and the last time I edited this post was February 27th. I sat in the basement hallway of Lisa Marie on Queen, and wrote out a bit of the rough draft on the wall, after staring at it, I decided that it was time to post it. My pieces have connected me with such wonderful individuals. I have friends of mine using this blog as their safe haven. People send my blog posts to their love interests because somehow I’ve been able to write what they’ve been trying to piece together and say. Unfortunately I’ve decided that after this post, I’ll be taking a One Month hiatus until exams are over. Instead I’ll be posting featured writers, and their efforts. I’m so close to 7000, and I am incredibly thankful for everyone who’s inspired posts, and clicked them even if they’ve given up halfway because they’re too long. (Don’t walk away from this one!!!)

So here’s to the poetry slam that could have been, artistic freedom, and self love.
A rare kind of self love, where it’s selfless. Not about the necessity of the other being showing you love, or affection.
But rather you showing it to yourself, and being content with the idea of your own kindness.
Thank you for reading this, I’ll see you in a month.

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****

I thought love at 11 was remembering the Ralph Lauren Shirt he wore the first day I met him. Whilst he was sincerely shocked at how I remembered such a small detail about him.

I thought love at 13 was showing features I didn’t have, and wearing too much make up, too young
Even though he was never really looking, just browsing.

I thought love at 15 was serious because I was in High School,
and because I started writing.

I thought love at 17 with the same love from 11 was going to last,
because I would’ve done anything for him, and never for myself.

But love at 18 was different,
because I took the time to love myself.

Now at 19, when someone’s asking me if I’ve ever felt love.
I shake my head politely, because with every new being.
With every age, I experienced a different kind of love.
A different kind, at 19.

Because at 19,

It became a 30 minute anxiety attack, on the bathroom floor of a house party, and not being afraid to tell him that your body shuts down sometimes, and that you feel like you’re going crazy.
So he replies with, “Then that makes you the most sane of them all”
and without hesitating, you say it.
“Drink Responsiblelely”

It’s sitting a table with your friends defending him of the things he’s done onto you before, swearing that it will never happen again, because you see him in a different light now, and they listen to you give them an annotated bibliography of his accomplishments, and the biggest one of them all being him stealing your heart.
“I hope to God he doesn’t prove people right”

It’s finally being able to let someone look you directly in the eyes without turning away in fear of your complexion. It’s studying his facial structure, and coming to the realization that what was once flaws in your eyes, became what you admired the most.
“What?”
“Nothing”

I could keep on going,
but as I’m writing this, It’s considered dwelling
It may not be your perception of it.
It also faded faster than my only tattoo.

At 19.

19 remembering his middle name, and his favourite movie quotes because those were key details.

19 wearing turtlenecks and mom jeans every time you saw him because for a year
It wasn’t about that
but it became about that,
and we got caught up in that,
and in this day and age it just gets like that

19 and writing, writing and getting vulnerable with it and putting it out there because he stopped listening and you’re not done speaking. Kind of the way he did. 

19 and knowing that it wasn’t going to last so you kept him waiting, because it takes time for you to open up and he wasn’t one to wait, but he sat their patiently, and once you sat down. He got up.

19 and him telling you that you’ve got the darkest soul he’s ever seen, when you were trying to find batteries for his flashlight.

19 and still being present because you realize that he’s becoming more of who he actually is, but still searching for the good, always searching for the good in him.

19 and selflessly praising his newfound happiness, hoping that it’s genuine because it’s better than his fears and self-loathing

19 and not treating him the way he treats you, but instead trying to understand his actions because that’s a sign of maturity and your mother taught you so

19 and a stranger telling you that you give him so much, something that’s rarely ever given to him, and that’s why he doesn’t know what to do with it. “You’ve become a relit cigarette, they don’t taste the same”

So you reply with someday, someone will give him the right kind of love, and I hope her fingers tremble at the notion of writing about him, and her throat burns after fighting with him on the phone, and that she reminds him and reassures him constantly that he is not alone, and is far from disappointing.

But in the event that someone ever hurts him, and he thinks of me at 19 just know that I still see his face in crowded places and tapped every man on the shoulder
Watched them turn around and realize it’s not who I thought it was
That’s when I realized that the man I fell in love with is also a stranger.

Did you see her blog post? Yeah she said “love” fml…lol – Daniella Beca

“Date Someone?”

“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickins was written about the expectations the citizens of the Internet have set for others. 

Imagine?
The Internet, although filled with numerous answers to our daily questions, can’t always solve everything.
Sometimes, the Internet is very demanding.
I see this a lot on Tumblr, and it kind of bugs me how many expectations there are now.
I see posts saying, “You should date someone who..” and I sit there, head tilted, thinking,
“How do you know?”
“What do you know?”
Or, better yet
“Why?”

These posts are quite unrealistic, and this is coming from someone that isn’t a realist.

So when a hopeless romantic is put with a realist,they start to see the world in a different manner.

The Internet dictates over and over again, “Date someone who does this, and date someone who does that”
If we can’t manufacture how we feel about people, why should we manufacture how they act?

I’ve found a few lines, and I was interested in dissecting them.

“Date someone who meets you halfway”
That says nothing about the individuals who are on two different levels, who can be on one another’s team.
Sometimes they both have a hard time getting up in the morning, for two different reasons, being physically, and emotionally exhausted.
Nobody is walking around singing, “A Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield 24/7, if so..they’re being prescribed something we’re not.
Sure, in a perfect world you meet someone that has their shit together, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work with someone or work on one another whilst learning to emotionally grow together.
It could be a rough time, therefore you don’t see it.
Maybe one puts in more effort than the other, but if you take a step back and revisit the last couple of weeks…you’ll see it.

“Date someone your ex hates, and your mom loves”
Your ex probably hates them because they realized that you’re a lot happier, and maybe more comfortable than you were with them.
This weekend, I was privileged enough to reunite with my favourite boys Richard, and Marji and I reminded Richard that he sparked my interest of writing Poetry in Grade 9, after I reminded him that I wrote poetry about him before he started modelling.
Since Grade 9, I kept journals and fell in love with short stories, but it was only in Grade 12 when I put my school play out there, that I became incredibly invested in turning this into a career.
It was only until last year that one of them had asked why I never wrote about them, some didn’t even know that I loved to write and questioned if anything was even real. Just because my he(art) wasn’t into it.

“Especially date someone who your friends tell you to stay away from.”
So you can learn.
I read this in an interview the other day, and it was spot on.
“Do not listen to your friends, listen to your father. He knows best.”
As much as I love the gossip circle lunches, where friends warn other friends and provide their guidance, I take all their concerns, and keep quiet until necessary.
Your mom will love them to their face, and pretend like she doesn’t watch you check your phone constantly.
Whenever one of those dramatic, romantic scenes comes on in a movie, my mother would always watch my facial expression, and I’d give her the little semi-smile and shrug. Because as you grow older, you realize that someone wrote that script, and someone directed it in such a way that they have envisioned before in their mind. It happens to some, it doesn’t happen to all .

“Date someone who’d rather spend a Friday night watching movies, than out with 50 people they barely even talk to.”
Also known as “lock your boyfriend in your basement and send him water and crackers once awhile”
Once you start making them seclude themselves from their friends, they start to resent you and as do their friends.
Date someone who’d rather spend their nights alone sometimes, and comfortable with their own surroundings.
Because once you depend on someone, you’ll forget how to be alone.

So what the Internet, and all of its glory are saying….is to choose someone who basically has their shit together.
Without any hesitation or idea as to what may happen to the people who don’t.
(Nobody dare say Forever Alone, we are grown ups now.)

This is where it gets important
At this age it’s almost vital that we make mistakes. Those gossip circles I had mentioned before are prime examples of girls/boys giving advice to their friends, that they almost wish they could’ve gave themselves.
If you gave me these “Date someone” tumblr text posts at 16, I would’ve said “Omg!!! ok…I will.” and as harsh as this sounds, I would’ve dated someone based off of their capability to give me all of that. I also would have broadcasted the text post on BBM and lurked around for that special #bae.

At 19, you’re not so lucky.
We live in the generation of disappointments, and mental exhaustion because we’re supposed to use these four years, (maybe even more if you’re younger and reading this) and plan out our future.

You might meet someone who could be dealing with mental illness
You might fall for someone that doesn’t have a great relationship with their family
You might meet someone that doesn’t have a great relationship with themselves.
You might come to terms with your sexuality

We don’t know, and we’ll never know.
There’s a great Woody Allen quote that goes with this, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
Sometimes we’ll figure it out too late. We’ll start waking up at 3am and have to remind ourselves to go back to sleep because you are not where you were before, and neither are they.

So, coming from a realist/hopeless point of view….I’ve come up with an alternative “Date Someone” statement piece.
But let’s get that word “Date” out of there because that’s where the pressure comes in.
Ironic right? There’s people my age getting married, and people my age that fear the notion of dating someone.

(Side Note: did you know that Oprah isn’t married? She’s just been dating the same dude since 1986)
Admire someone who doesn’t wake up in the mornings, because they probably had an interesting night, and everyone lives at different points of the day.
Care for someone who teaches you to grow, and recognizes it in your moments of weakness.
Choose someone who’s not afraid to tell you about their faults, and don’t forget to sew the wounds others have left unattended on their skin.
Respect someone that can argue with you, even after copious amounts of arguments they’ll still get riled up at the idea of you fuming from the other side of the screen.
Be taken by someone who prefers to be by themselves, because that’s their most comfortable state of mine, and you have to respect that.
Think well of their art, if they need a little push to put themselves out there give it to them, if not. Let them find their own way.
Appreciate their physical structure, their skin, their imperfections, and stare at them the way you wish they’d stare at themselves, and the way they should be stared at.
Treasure their past, any childhood memory they tell you about, hold onto it.
Value their morals, and their mindset. Do not attempt to change a person’s thought process so that their beliefs do not contrast with yours. Try understanding instead.
Regard someone that walks away, and commend them if they come back. Still commend them if they keep walking away. In hopes that they’ll find happiness.
But also, take all of this. Every last sentence, and apply it to your own self. Before you lose yourself in another person, or your art, please remember who you were prior to them.

Don’t be afraid,

Daniella Beca.

This week I wanted to feature a few of my favourite pieces, and start putting writers out there that have inspired me.

This week’s theme: Bravery

This was written by Damon, a really cool dude and we have spent hours at a time discussing rap. Today he’s written a piece for his anniversary with his girlfriend, and I wanted to commend him for being brave. Someone give this guy a good beat so he can release this!
https://instagram.com/p/zdFJSbgRQq/?modal=true

Nataley’s finally launched her own blog and I love reading it. It’s rare to be so open and vulnerable in your writing, but she does it so well. (Find out more by clicking the link)
http://firstmorningcoffee.wordpress.com/

Diana, as you all know gets it, she knows what’s going through our minds and knows that sometimes we can’t put it on paper, therefore she does it for us. You’ll probably see Diana’s posts every week here, but she had a killer final line this week, and I had to give her recognition for it.

“Sometimes we’d just lie there, looking into eachothers’ eyes for some time, not really saying much, but having hour-long conversations with our eyes and mouths. It was never a lack of communication that tore us apart in the end, rather our inability to communicate with what we’d lost back then.” http://hopefor-thehopeless.tumblr.com/

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This Is Not A Thought Catalog Piece, But It’s Close Enough.

I’m so used to writing Instagram poetry about how I’m feeling and although it’s risky to really get vulnerable and let people in through your social media outputs, it’s also quite a relief. You see, the thing about social media, is that once people feel like they’ve been given intel on your life, they think that suddenly they know what goes on behind closed doors, but they don’t.

Today’s lesson:
1) Don’t filter your feelings out of the fear of what others’ may say
2) If you’re feeling something, it means you’re alive, AND HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT?
3) Please, be brave.
4) There’s such thing as being somebodies and somebody’s.

A lot of people have asked me how I could do it, just put it all out there without thinking of the consequences. Because someone out there is listening, and someone out there really needed to hear that, and I don’t put a name to my muse for the sake of their identity (and my reputation) (just kidding)

About a month ago I watched this Tumblr video, about the idea of falling for a man at his worst by Lindsay Young and I shared it with almost everyone I knew.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebzozCR0WN8
(I recommend it for you all to watch)
Then I found myself watching Poetry Slam videos for 4 hours straight, and realized that if I didn’t stutter every single time I got nervous…I’d do that.

But that’s why there are blogs, and that’s why I’m here.

A year ago I sat in my favourite Coffee shop and created MyCompositionNotebook (a.k.a. this) and it became my place to rant, be comical, and well…be a blog writer. As the year went by I started to use it as a place to talk about things without the use of gifs, and realized that I had a lot to say. A lot that wouldn’t fit on Instagram. (I didn’t think i’d have over 4,600 viewers!!!! thank you)

Lately people have been showing my work so much love, and it keeps me motivated to keep writing for the sake of reaching out to people and telling them (even if it’s in a text edit post) that you should take advantage of every single feeling out there that makes you feel alive. Because we’re human, and because we can start sentences with because.

I remember the game, and I remember how much fun it was in Grade 9 to listen to Taio Cruz’ “Break Your Heart” and laugh about how easy it is to toy with the male race. But at 19, on your walk home at 9pm at night, the dark isn’t scary anymore, it’s the notion of seeing something so clearly, that terrifies you.

I admire the women around me that can express themselves, and that’s why I’ve chosen to follow in their footsteps. To the girl’s that can be somebodies and somebody’s. Friends who express their love of Veganism, Art, and cruelty against animals. Friends that are so passionate about the equality of women, and demanding respect for those who are afraid to ask for it, and the friends of mine that have fallen in love with a man on the other side of the world, and using their writing to inspire young women around them, and most importantly themselves.

I hope that with this, I can do the same.
Disclaimer: This didn’t fit on Instagram, and I wasn’t going to cut it down. Also!!! You don’t have to strain your eyes to read it, so we’re all winning here.

***

Some nights you don’t know if he’s alive. Sounds morbid, but I can explain.
Most nights you beg him to smile. and sometimes you have to use your hands
To force the muscles on your own.
And once you rest your hands along the bottom of his jaw
You realize how it heavy it feels
Because there’s so much intellect in there, waiting to be set free.

He needs shelter, but he never sees the light
And you tell him how much you love the idea of a room full of windows
Because the view from your bedroom is a brick wall.
And he doesn’t remember the last time he’s seen the sun.

And even though you aren’t made up of chemicals
You were once harmful to him, and for that he was hooked
But once you pumped your heart of all it’s toxins
and tried to get his soul sober, you questioned whether or not it could all be over

And he was afraid because you belonged to no one
And now you’re afraid because he’s become someone
And they write songs about boys like him
And our mothers warn us about drugs, sex, and rock and roll, and for once you don’t listen.

So why waste your time? Some people ask with a confused face and an eye-roll or two
How much time do you have?
Because I have no problem telling you
However please let me know if I’m going to waste your time talking about my time well wasted.

That I’ve seen him at his worst
So I know that there will be a day I’ll see his best
Everything hurtful will be laid to rest
And that’s why I’ve started to say yes when something lights a fire in his eyes
Because anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing right?

And there may be an army of people wanting to talk and take him down
And some things a filter can’t fix
And you sit there standing waiting for the walls to come crumbling down.
“Don’t wait standing”

But when did it become a crime to root for someone because you see a type of potential that comes in sharp megapixels, and to others may have the lowest quality.
So you ask them to take care of themselves, because there’s someone on the other side of the bed that doesn’t want to roll over onto an empty space.
And he may see the world in cynical sense, and you see beauty in everything
but he can still make you feel like you matter.
No ifs, ands or, buts.

****

Thank you to Sarah, Sydney, Lisa, Bianca, Renee, and Mina for giving this a read and watching me lose myself in my art at 3pm. Thank you to those who also were very loving and supportive of yesterday’s bare-faced photo, that was one of my many acts of bravery for the week, what are some of yours? Join me?

Until next time,
Daniella.