Emily’s poetry, a history

I’ve been writing poetry for years. My mother named me after her favorite poet, so why not carry it on? I started out with a composition notebook that I decorated with stickers. Everyone just assumed it was my diary, as if it couldn’t be anything but a shallow notebook with all of my deepest secrets and fears hidden inside. Nobody gave me enough credit. Boys would steal it from me, but I managed to get it back without any harm done. They were only teasing. Teasing is harmless, right?

After that was filled, I moved onto a pink camouflage notebook that had pens attached to the front of it. It was nifty because if I had an idea I didn’t have to hunt for a pen before being able to write it down. The pens were just there. That notebook was also known as my “diary” and even a teacher asked: “why do you bring your diary to school?” To which I simply replied: “it’s not a diary.”

I poured random thoughts and whimsical dreams into those notebooks. Within about a month, the pages started ripping out of the pink camo notebook, so I saved the paper, but threw the rest of the notebook in the garbage. It was time to move on again.

I found a regular old yellow spiral notebook and plastered it with quotes, stickers, drawings, and pop-up sunflowers that I ripped off a thing I had at home. Poetry was transferred from my head onto the pages of that thing for about a year. I entered the seventh grade with the same notebook, and only showed the ones I was proud of to my then English teacher (who is now a teacher in the high school). The boys in my grade grew up a little and stopped calling it my diary, and I continued writing.

For my birthday that year, one of my best friends (we barely speak anymore…) bought me a hardcover spiral notebook with puppies on the front. Said notebook lasted me for nearly two years. That notebook taught me something important. Because I wanted the notebook to last, I only wrote poetry when I really really felt like it and had a good feeling about an idea. I decided that I didn’t have to write about everything – but there are some things that I will always wish to remember. I still have one page left in that notebook that remains empty. If I fill it in, the notebook is done forever. I always want to have the option of being able to fill it up totally. It’s amazing to go from the earlier poems in that book to the last few. It’s like traveling through two years of my life in thirty minutes.

Eventually, I took a little notebook that was a party favor at some birthday party I went to (I think it was Carin’s) and ripped out the used pages. I then covered it with duct tape, and voila! New notebook.

Using the duct tape notebook, I rewrote some of the ones I am really proud of, but I also wrote a year’s worth of new material. I am still busy filling it up with my life, so it’s a work in progress. It’s crazy to see how much I have grown in the past year. There are some poems in said book that are extremely naive and young-sounding. I know I will say the same thing in the future when I look back at what I wrote when I was fifteen (the present… for now), but I like what is exploding out of my pen at the moment. Maybe I will post some examples in the near future (which is defined as: later today).

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“We are going to pick ourselves up, and dust ourselves off”

Today my brother and I were supposed to be at the orthodontist at exactly twelve o’clock to let them torture us. My mother called the office yesterday and informed them that we would not be attending our appointment. We all wished to watch Barack Obama’s Inauguration.

Every classroom I entered today had either their TV or their SMART Board tuned into the news, watching this historical event.

In 7/8 period Global, we sat down and began writing the thematic essays for our mid-term examination. I finished mine, and sat twiddling my thumbs (well, I read) until my teacher, Mr. Leous decided it was finally time to turn on his TV. “You can put your essays away now,” he said.

We watched. And watched. And watched. I mouthed the Lord’s prayer along with the man who recited it, and then Aretha Franklin got up and sang her heart out. The bell rang just as she started singing, so my friend and I hustled to the Chorus Room, and turned on the TV. We stood around the piano until Mr. Lerew entered the room, switched the channel to a station without any static and told us we could watch it for the whole period as long as he could have five minutes at the end.

Biden became Vice President (when they said “would everyone please rise,” we rose and when Mr. Lerew came along and motioned for us to sit down, we simply told him that they told us to stand), and then came the short performance with the lovely violin and Yo Yo Ma on cello. My jaw dropped, and at 12:01 it was announced that though Obama had not been sworn in yet, he was now our new president.

His speech was beautiful. I hung onto his every word and was thanking God that it wasn’t Hilary I was listening to at that moment. The way he talks makes me believe that he is an extremely smart man – there were and are never any stutters or silences. I had tears in my eyes as he spoke, and was so relieved that he is our president. I feel so much better about our country now that he is in charge.

I will never forget that historical moment for as long as I live. I sat in a choir room filled with friends and watched the TV with such interest as the subtitles (which we attempted to take away, but to no avail) echoed everything he said. When I am older and my kids are learning about this moment from their history textbooks, I can smile and tell them that I witnessed it as it happened. I will always remember what happened today.

Don’t “go with the flow”

These days I live in a world where people quote lines from movies constantly. Maybe I am bitter about this because I do not tell stories or quote movie lines very well, but it gets annoying when I ask a question and someone responds with a line from Stepbrothers or Juno or The Dark Knight. It’s as if there are no more original thoughts anymore… it’s like everyone has their own personal screenwriter. I guess people just piss me off in general.

Am I the only person in this world with confidence? When I first brought my knitting to school, everyone laughed at me – but was I discouraged? No. I kept bringing it to school despite what people thought or think. If you like something, don’t be afraid to express it. Liking something makes you who you are and what’s wrong with showing who you are? Watch me walk down the hallway in what people call my “hooker” boots and my adorable Tripp skirt. Sure, people will stare, but do you know what they are really thinking? I think that they are wishing they could do something like that; dress like that; be who they really are. I can tell when someone has their shield up…and it’s kind of disappointing. I am kind of sick of taking the initiative. There are too many people that just “go with the flow.”

I have a friend who has changed a lot in the past year. Sure, I have changed too, but I haven’t changed what I believe in or my sense of humor or anything. My friend (he has been a friend for years) recently discovered his love for God. He goes to this church that sucks people in (at least, I think they do) every Sunday, and for the extra teen things that they do. I think of it as a cult. Going to church (should church be capitalized? ‘Cause I really don’t think it should be) so often has changed him completely. It’s as if he thinks he needs to be righteous all the time and do the right thing. If we gossip around him he gets pissed off. Oh, but when he wishes to gossip, it’s okay. I really miss who he was before he became super religious. Before he started bugging me about going to church. I feel like he has a wall up, and it needs to come down. I wish to knock it down, but we fight everyday over stupid things, and I never get the chance. I am very opinionated, and he can’t seem to accept my opinion, so he gets all cheesed off when I say mine. When he says his, I consider it. I don’t really know about him anymore. He is a completely different person these days. I don’t know what happened.

Anyway, yeah, people piss me off. Most people are selfish and it drives me nuts. I may not seem like it, but I think about other things besides myself. I am concerned about world hunger (which is why I visit the Free Rice website often), the economy – I was even thinking about how I was complaining about having to wake up early to go to school this week. Then I thought about it and here’s what I came up with: here I am complaining about going to school to be with friends when there is some kid who has to wake up early to go to school and gets beat up everyday and comes home covered with bruises that his/her parents don’t even notice. Yeah, suddenly waking up early to go to a place where I have friends and am at no risk whatsoever of being beaten up (unless I piss someone off) doesn’t sound too bad.

I have scratched the two resolutions I wanted to tackle. I can’t just quit everything cold turkey – I will ease into breaking free from my habits. Right now I am trying to be extremely thoughtful. And people still piss me off.