Yesterday and today I’ve spent some time looking over old shit. What is the feeling you experience when you read things you wrote when you were a wee teen? Is it horror? Revulsion? Sympathy? Shame? Raucous amusement? I want to reach back ten years and pat myself on the head and tell myself that it’ll be all right. I also want to shake myself and tell that stupid girl that it’s ok if not everybody loves her, it’s ok if she has deep flaws because really everyone does and she’s not so special, that she really does have some good qualities and she shouldn’t let the things she’s not good at get her down. I want to tell her to look around and try to get out of her bubble. I want to tell her that she is too proud and too ignorant. I was also really horny all the time, judging by all these poems about wanting people to kiss me, and I want to tell this 15-year-old who’d have her first kiss two years later and be totally disappointed by it and detest the song “back at one” and herself for the rest of her life that it’s not really that big a deal and she should relax. I mean, I wrote a flimsy poem about the death of love. That’s pretty emo if you ask me. My mom says she showed it to a lady who was a kind of mentor to her in Taiwan who now lives in San Francisco and is actually a poet, and the lady said I had a special sense of humor and was a promising child. I keep forgetting to ask my mom who this lady was.
I think the funniest old writing I’ve had was from fifth and sixth grade, when my writing skills were ahead of my thinking skills. Specifically amusing were a science project (in which we had to create a version of an animal that would survive after a great flood) and a belligerently pacifist poem.
But I also wrote a beautiful emo poem of which I’m still proud.
At 16 I too wrote a pacifist poem, but it was whiny and helpless. It was like “I wish you could delete stuff in real life, like you can delete stuff from computers” and ended with the line “we will achieve peace one day.” It’s horrible.
After making this post, I found the only three poems I have written since 2000. They were for an assignment for this american poetry class I took with Robert Haas, who I love. Here they are:
To tell you the unadulterated truth I’m really proud of these three. Like, really proud. Also I really, really love Marianne Moore, like, so much. zomg. Show me your kid-emo poem and I’ll show you mine /titillated
Hello old friend!
You found me on Xanga, so now I’ve found you on LJ.
I forget, were you the Empress, Queen, or Tsarina?
I think I was the Czarina. And Skank #2 and a half?
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 I've missed you sooooo!!!!!
I prefer sometimes to read letters that other people wrote to me. Cuz, at least it’s not me writing it so i can’t cringe as much, yet it still makes me remember being a teenager.
AAAAg, bad kid poetry is too embarrassing to reproduce!
“At this juncture I would like to announce that I have pooed every day for a week…”
“Yesterday and today I’ve spent some time looking over old shit.”