When our breasts arrived
as a kind of currency, we’d tug
our camisoles low, use
our newfangled bodies to haggle
with the ice cream man. The winner
was the girl who received her chocolate cone
for free, who sucked on candy cigarettes
the same way she wore a training bra.
That summer my pockets grew forests
of hand-tied maraschino cherry stems:
tampered evidence that I might one day be worthy
of kissing. In exchange for rides
on the handlebars of their bikes,
we’d let the boys bite
the beads off our candy
necklaces until the chokers
resembled punched out teeth.
From their slobber, blue and violet
stained my throat where the sweetness
had once been, so I suppose,
Your Honor, I was preparing
The Problem of Fiction, Marie Ponsot.
all the twenty-somethings in the room should read this.
She always writes poems. This summer
she’s starting a novel. It’s in trouble already.
The characters are easy—a girl
and her friend who is a girl
and the boy down the block with his first car,
an older boy, sixteen, who sometimes
these warm evenings leaves his house to go dancing
in dressy clothes though it’s still light out.
The girl has a brother who has lots of friends,
is good in math, and just plain good which
doesn’t help the story. The story
should have rescues & escapes in it
which means who’s the bad guy; he couldn’t be
the brother or the grandpa or the father either,
or even the boy down the block with his first car.
People in novels have to need something,
she thinks, that it takes about
two hundred pages to get.
She can’t imagine that. Nothing
she needs can be got; if it could
she’d go get it: the answer to nightmares;
a mother who’d be proud of her; doing things
a mother could be proud of; having hips
& knowing how to squeal at the beach laughing
when the boy down the block picked her up & carried her
& threw her in the water. If she’d laughed
squealing he might still take her swimming
& his mother wouldn’t say she’s crazy, she would
not have got her teeth into his shoulder till
well yes she bit him, and the marks
lasted & lasted, his mother said so,
but that couldn’t be in a novel.
She’ll never squeal laughing, she’d never
not bite him, she hates cute girls, she hates
boys who like them. Biting is embarrassing
and wrong & she has no intention of doing it again
but she would if he did if he dared,
and there’s no story if there’s no hope of change.
I want to sit and spoon up our lukewarm soup together and cry big salty tears about how frustrating and horrible it is to want companionship from these guys who just… God, they’re nice people, they really are, they mean well, even, but they barely even have souls yet. Is that unfair? This isn’t really about them, is it? It’s just so heartbreaking to be young and to want a real match, a real friend, and to be alone in your house, among your unpacked boxes, wishing someone were really, truly on your side. That’s just so sad. And why shouldn’t it be?
from rabbit blog (via tarts)
In Which I Reflect on a Middle School Situation, Publishing a Work I Will Read in Shame in a Matter of Years
If you’re not already familiar with the term “grinding,” it is when a bunch of kids stand in a line, closer to one another than they would be on a class field trip, and grope like there is no tomorrow, while adult chaperones stand nearby in a panic about the youth of today. Usually reserved for the Cool Kids (or so I’m told,) last night it defied the politics of lunch table seating arrangements, making the lyric “this is why I’m hot” seem less timely than an all-inclusive “This is why WE’RE ALL HOT! Yay team!” The argyle sweater vest-sporters grinded with the girls in Pink perfume. Girls who won Most Likely to be a Philanthropist grinded with the dudes who felt so passionately about the Cubs vs. Sox debate. […] the room was alive in the best ways and no one seemed terribly self-conscious. No one stood in the corner and whispered. No one cried in the bathroom. No girls who grinded were called sluts. And there wasn’t even just grinding; people were actually dancing! Donks popped, locked, and dropped with confidence. Everyone was very firm that they fancied a bad romance over just being friends, and were in agreement that shawty had indeed gotten very, very low. Up went hands in regard to the single ladies, and our heads and hearts were truly on the dance floor.
Tavi, The Style Rookie