Naked

An experiment with projective poetry that I started for my creative writing class. Inspired by the work of Robert Creeley.

Rocks indent

my skin, I heard

a train sound to

the night, goosebumps on flesh,


you say you like

it, I know.

Flesh keeps

no secrets.


I remember how

naked I felt, my clothes

in place, except the black

thong around my


ankle, stuck on my

heels, out of

place in the rocks.

This is a picnic,


under the optimistic stars.

The dark of summer night,

not deep

enough to shroud us,


looming deeper with time.

A red bra strap

peeks from my t-shirt,

seeing myself in squares,

small sections,


the mirror of a sun-visor.

The radio,

singing of love,

a hand reaches


out for a safe

harbour. It

finds nowhere

to anchor.

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Finding the Perfect Word

Words are under valued. They’re thrown around casually with little appreciation for the awesome tasks they accomplish. Shakespeare argued “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” To which I say “nay!” The name rose possesses meaning. A name is simply the word something is called. When I write rose everyone who reads it conjures an image of that flower and not, for example, a lily. A rose scented candle and a lily scented candle don’t smell equally sweet. Without words life would be a constant combination of pictionary and charades.

Even with words, it’s sometimes a struggle to accurately convey thoughts. I think these thoughts that are perfect. Thoughts that form music and art in my head but I can’t express them with my limited language. I can differentiate between angry, mad, and hurt. I have those words. But there isn’t a perfect single word for the feeling when I’m hurt that I’m angry because it’s mad to be mad yet I’m inevitably enflamed with emotion. In picture form that’d be someone getting burned while simultaneously kindling and smothering a fire. I just don’t know a word that conveys that emotion. I hate it. I can’t draw or paint or sing. Words are my best avenue of expression. So I learn as many as possible.

I love meeting new words. That beautiful feeling when I discover a term that conveys my exact sentiments. Usually I found new words in books and television shows. However I’ve recently come to the point in my Chinese language education where I’m learning terms that don’t necessarily exist in English. It’s like magic. This happened to me in Chinese class the other day with the term 知音 (written zhiyin in pinyin).

Finding someone who is 知音 means finding someone who understands the music of your soul. It’s sometimes compared to the english concept of a soul mate but it doesn’t have the romantic undertones often associated with a soulmate. It’s not another half of the same soul, but a complementary sole. According to folklore the word was inspired by a skilled Chinese musician. He played music every day and many people praised him for his skill, but only one person could listen to his songs and identify exactly what he was thinking. The man would play a song and the other man understood exactly what he was thinking. When the second man died the musician cut his strings and never play again because it wouldn’t be worth it if no one understood.

Needing to be understood is a universal feeling. That need can be explained in English. It means your person. That person who gets it. The person you’d call to hide a body. The one who knows when “I’m fine” is a lie. Chinese just says it succinctly and with poetry.

Sometimes another language does a perfect job of conveying a concept. For example the often used phrase Carpe Diem. Lately it appears the English equivalent of this is YOLO (You only live once). I prefer Carpe Diem. Let’s steal more perfect foreign phrases. Has anyone else ever experience that discovery of the perfect word (in either English or a foreign language)? I’d love to hear about it.

Best of luck,

Caitlin

Aside

Love lessons from Netflix

Dating people is like choosing what to watch on Netflix. Seriously. Maybe I’m doing one of them wrong, but I think they’re quite comparable. Both tend to make people fatter and more likely to spend the night in instead of going out with friends. Each requires looking at a bunch of options, taking in the available data, and then hoping for the best. I’m not incredibly successful at dating, but I’m great at Netflix. We’ve been together for almost six months now and we’re quite happy. So I’m going to apply some of my rules for choosing what to watch on Netflix to my dating life and see how that goes. Here’s the new rules:

Nobody has perfect reviews. 

When I first got Netflix I’d read a ridiculous amount of reviews about each movie before I watched it. What a huge waste of time. Just because someone else does or doesn’t like a movie has little bearing on how I’ll feel. Now if a bunch of people said the movie was a cheating jerk, that’s probably true. However, one bad review isn’t the end of the world. Not everyone who writes reviews has very good taste. In the words of Hannah Montana, “everybody makes mistakes.”

It’s okay to have guilty pleasures.

If watching Vampire Diaries on Netflix makes me happy, I’m going to watch Vampire Diaries. Go ahead and judge me. I don’t care. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy Vampire Diaries for its steamy goodness. As long as I remember that Vampire Diaries is a guilty pleasure and not a show I’m taking home to meet my parents everything ends happily ever after.

If the movie sucks, turn if off.

There are millions of shows in the proverbial sea, well, internet. If I’m watching a movie and it starts out awful the chances of the movie realizing I’m a great viewer and it should shape up its act are slim. Go back to browsing. There are too many movies and my time is to valuable to sit around watching something I don’t enjoy.

Keep stuff in your instant queue.

I’m not encouraging television whoredom, well maybe I am. Just because I’ve found one television show I like doesn’t mean all other television shows cease to exist. LOST and I dated for awhile. Everything was great. I thought we were happy together. Then the last season came out and I wished we had never met. I loved and lost. It was not better than never loving at all. Good thing instant queue was there with a dose of Dr. Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

No good choices occur after midnight.

If a Netflix show only holds appeal after midnight when an empty bed reminds me that a life forever alone with cats would suck because I’m really a dog person and cats aren’t that loving once they stop being kittens, I probably shouldn’t watch it. Morning will come. Waking up to the sound of construction and looking all bleary eyed at the judgmental laptop lying next to me is not my ideal morning.

That’s the new rules. Hopefully it works. If not, I recently discovered Mad Men so at least Netflix and I will remain happily together.

Best of Luck,

Caitlin


How to say I like you

Words can be fun. This proves especially true when trying to describe romantic feelings. Personally I like to blush and stammer when discussing feelings. I imagine it’s endearing in a Zooey Deschanel in New Girl kind of way. The reality probably isn’t that smooth, but I’ll embrace denial.  Feelings are doomed to be awkward no matter what. Think of middle school where I asked if boys “likeliked” me or just “liked” me  which was entirely different and temporarily heart breaking. I haven’t gotten much better at expressing liking since middle school.  However, I have a new tool that I was lacking in middle school, the internet. Sometimes it helps me express feelings. For example this:

Cake!

I like cake and people, but in different ways.

This would work really well, except what does it really mean. I like you in a way that feeds my addictive habit, but I probably also hate you for enabling my poor life choices. That doesn’t seem like the ideal feeling. I enjoy the idea of comparing emotions to other things I like. This is doable. Here’s some “I like you like” situations that I’ve had in my life.

I like you like I like cake. This is much better than I like you like a fat person likes cake because cake and I have a pretty good relationship. I thoroughly enjoy cake. At least every once in awhile. It’s not really a relationship form of like. I don’t want cake every meal. That’d probably result in my being a fat person and completely change this simile.

I like you like I like nap time. This person is nice. Comforting and a generally good part of my day. Maybe not the part I tell stories about, but a part I enjoy. It’s a nice liking, but not a very sexy liking. Potentially a friend liking.

I like you like I like a really great outfit. This is a shallow liking. Generally summarizes feelings towards those people who are attractive but have very little else working in their favor. It’s fun to take this person out on the town, but when alone with them it’s that feeling of being all dressed up with nowhere to go.

I like you like I like a project. A really awful way to feel about someone. It’s that weird urge to fix people and make them better. As if I have any right to decide what constitutes better. I’m not proud of having felt this way. Dating people to change them is never a good idea. Some people do this consistently, driven by some constant need to help people who don’t want or need help.

I like you like I like a good book. Personally, this embodies my favorite type of liking. It piques curiosity and has many different feelings involved. Books fit many genres and move from touching to steamy with the flip of a page. I want to read all of the pages of this connection, then go back and read them again. Every experience is a word I want to soak in and ponder at my own leisure. The only downside of this liking is that I love to speed through books to find out what happens. Not exactly the best idea with people.

I love you like a love song. Just kidding, that’s Selena Gomez’s thing. Also the like word is scary enough and this post isn’t ready to go into love territory. I do however fully support listening to Selena Gomez’s song.

Some people think quoting Shakespeare is romantic, but I’m all about comparing my emotions for people towards my emotions for inanimate objects. I’m sure it’s quite healthy. I like you like I like people who read my blog. It’s a healthy and enjoyable kind of liking. I promise! What kind of likes have you experienced?

Best Wishes,

Caitlin

The awkwardness of classifying relationships

            It’s easy to introduce people as a friend, significant other, family member, or spouse. What about the many other forms of human relationships? I can’t be the only person who sometimes gets stumped trying to classify a relationship. It’s often a tricky matter and an awkward one. Who actually enjoys the “what are we” talk? Not me. There aren’t enough options. Relationships (I don’t just mean in the romantic sense) are complicated. I don’t know you’re life and can’t classify relationships for you, but I’ve compiled a list of possible relationship classifications to give us all more options. 

  • Fellow Humans <-this works in case of all fellow humans
  • Acquaintances <-someone you’ve met before (possibly a few times)
  • Hobby In Commoners <-someone you have some sort of hobby (I’m including books and movies in this) in common with and thus share a bond and possibly dialect
  • Co-workers <-someone with whom you share an employer and commiserate the misery of having employment
  • Fraternity/Sorority Brothers/Sisters <-someone with whom you did strange rituals, spent lots of time, and probably sing chants
  • Facebook Friends <-someone you’re friends with on Facebook
  • Internet Friends <-someone you talk to on the internet but not in real life
  • Friends <-someone whose life you are at least mildly interested in and whose company doesn’t make you hate the human race
  • Substance Friends <-someone you like while under the influence of a substance or for the purpose of obtaining a substance
  • Major Friends <-someone you talk to a lot because you’re in a bunch of classes together and need to complain about these classes or study for them (though complaining is probably more likely)
  • Skill Friends <-someone you’re friends with because they have a skill you like/want/need such as cooking or juggling bears
  • Twitter Friends <-someone you like enough to hear about minute details of his or her life in a limited amount of characters
  • Bros <-someone with whom you chill in a manly manner
  • Hos <-someone with whom you chill in a feminine manner
  • Best Friends <-someone you like without pretending and can be sarcastically mean to, usually a relationship full of inside jokes 
  • Super Friends <-someone you are friends with while wearing a cape
  • Friends with Benefits <-someone who you are friendly with and obtain benefits from of some sort (usually the semi-scandalous sort but other sorts of benefits exist too)
  • Test Run Friends<-someone you have the intention of dating but are currently still testing them out
  • Boy/Girl Toy <-someone who is fun to play with (hence the word toy)
  • Fuck Buddies <-someone who is a buddy with whom you fuck
  • Significant Others <-someone who you’ve agreed to be together alone with
  • Spouse <-someone you’re pledged to for life (with or without a piece of paper that says so)
  • Family <-someone you share bloodlines with not by choice but you love them anyways
  • Super Human Friends <-someone who used to be human such as a werewolf, vampire, or zombie who you’re still friends with despite supernatural maladies

Hopefully this helps define your relationships. Often relationships fall into multiple categories. Feel free to comment with additional classifications.

Best of Luck,

Caitlin

Facebook and puppies

One of my favorite books as a child was The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy. It tells the tale of an adorable puppy that wants a boy for Christmas. I love that book. SPOILER ALERT: It’s great because the puppy finds a whole group of boys that love him for himself. I want to talk about how the modern world makes it hard for the puppy to be loved.

Mostly, I blame Facebook. Facebook ridiculously complicates the process of meeting new people. In the Facebook age the boys would probably add the puppy, find out he likes some movie they hate and not be his friend. Or maybe the puppy had a bad hair day, someone tagged him a photo and now they don’t think he’s as adorable. Or maybe the puppy has one picture in which he looks a tad intoxicated and the boys think the puppy isn’t qualified to be their puppy despite his undeniable cuteness and people skills.

The poor puppy probably feels exhausted from constantly catering to the digital celebrity that everyone deals with today. Don’t get me wrong. I love Facebook. It’s great for sharing information with friends and family. It’s significantly less great as a resume. I’m not just talking about employers looking at Facebook (though that happens). People use Facebook to decide if someone is friend/date/lover/co-worker/partner in crime/whatever material. It’s not healthy. People possess a complexity that Facebook just can’t capture.

The way people look on paper (or in this case, computer screen) differs from how that person exists in real life. You know, real life, that thing that happens while people aren’t on Facebook. I’m not addressing this issue from a morally superior level. I Facebook creep. However, I’m going to try and stop. It leads to people shopping. Maybe I’ll be one person’s friend because Facebook says that person likes dogs and the other person likes cats. Everyone knows dogs are cooler. This is true, but a ridiculous tidbit on which to base a friendship. Maybe the cat person is the love of your life and the dog person is a vampire who only likes puppies because they’re delicious. It’s a crazy world out there.

ImageSo I vote we stop. Stop treating Facebook like the Classifieds. I’m giving up reading someone’s about me section before talking to that someone. I want to live in a world where the puppy finds his boy.

Best Wishes,

Caitlin

The obligatory Valentine’s Day post about love

I don’t want to be a jaded cynical cat lady. So I decided to use Valentine’s Day to reflect on all of the reasons I’ve loved people. Not just relationship love, all kinds of love. Silly love, serious love, senseless love, fleeting love, creepy love. It’s all here baby. Hope you enjoy.

People I Love

            People who hold open the door for me. People who make small talk in elevators. People who jump in elevators because it’s silly but fun. People who like the same shows/books/movies as me. People who sing in public. People who dance like no one is watching. People who shake what their momma gave them. People who partner with me in games that I’m not good at. People who don’t get mad when I get mad that they messed up my hair. People who wear bright clothes. People who look cute for no reason. People with funny laughs. People with funny sneezes. People who tell knock-knock jokes. People who wish on shooting stars. People who wish at 11:11. People who speak foreign languages. People who share snacks. People who point out when I have food in my teeth. People who still have stuffed animals. People who are optimistic. People with dimples. People with pretty shoes. People with fun colored hair. People with accents. People who smile when I awkwardly make eye contact while walking down the street. People who are really excited about something. People wearing mismatching socks. People with puppies or kittens. People who laugh at the number 69. People who laugh when other people eat bananas. People who open bananas for me because I can’t. People who play peek-a-boo. People with funny slogans on their t-shirts. People who do the hokey-pokey. People who are ticklish. People who make funny faces in pictures. People who don’t like foods that I do like and then let me eat that food. People who kiss on the cheek and on the neck. People who reach things off of shelves for me. People who dance on tables. People who smell nice. People who tell me I smell nice. People who suggest good music for me to check out. People who check me out. People I check out. People who wave enthusiastically. People who make yummy food. People who volunteer. People who answer questions in class. People who sit in front of me in class and look up funny things. People with cool ringtones. People who use proper grammar on Facebook. People who inspire me to do good things. People who inspire me to do bad things. People who inspire me. People who share the covers. People who use big words correctly. People who are good tippers. People who hold my hand during scary movies. People who hold hands. People who sing loudly in the car. People who blush easily. People who make me blush. People who kill spiders for me. People who give really great hugs. People who raise a pinky while drinking tea. People who tell nerdy jokes. People who tell dirty, nerdy jokes. People who say “that’s what she said” at the opportune moment. People who enjoy playing with bubble wrap. People who color outside the lines. People who still color. People who eat peanut butter straight from the jar. People who make tent forts. People who dance in their underwear. People who put lots of marshmallows in hot chocolate. People who talk to inanimate objects. People who eat ice cream straight from the tub. People who take bubble baths. People who wish Hogwarts was real. People who shave when kissing gets itchy. People who send flirty text messages. People who reference insides jokes I’m in on. People who let me in on an inside joke. People who dance in the rain with me. People who jump in puddles. People who wear scarves to hide hickeys. People who read my blog posts. People who rock freckles. People who are nice. People who are silly. People who wear bowties. People who scare away my hiccoughs. People who play board games. People who promptly respond to text messages. People who text me good morning. People who text me good night. People who think getting drunk off wine is classy. People who read comic books. People who reenact silly scenes from movies like kissing upside down in Spiderman. People who wear polka dots. People who French kiss really well. People who are French and French kiss really well. People who are sappy. People who are wild. People who are free. People who like picnics. People who enjoy nature. People who make mistakes and carry on. People who don’t mind leaning down to kiss me. People who jump on beds. People who post funny things on Facebook. People who say exactly what I was thinking and though they may never know make me feel less alone in this giant world. People who make me believe in love in all of its glorious messy chaos. Thank You! For that I’ll always love you.

Best wishes,

Caitlin