Wanna know something cool (and weird)? In English, I write stories, but in Spanish, I write poems. And I don’t know why!
But I think I like that, because I’m such an amateur in this new language, the only way for me to express myself is extremely simply. You know? There’s no grab for fancy jargon (which often happens in English) because everything is just what it is. And saying something plainly — as honestly and succinctly as possible — feels really nice (for a change).
I’d like to pose a friendly challenge to you: Start learning a new language and then begin writing little poems in it… you’ll see exactly what I mean! It’s great! And then, you can do fun things w/your weird poems: hand them out to strangers or crushes (maybe they’re one in the same); post them on a bulletin board in your work’s break room; tape them to telephone poles; slip them underneath windshield wipers (unless that’s illegal — I’m not sure, although I did take a driving class recently).
Anyways, I’m sharing three recent “pieces” (eye roll bc that sounds so pretentious — I’m NOT a poet, I just love language) below. Numero uno recollects a dream while dos and tres are about a boy (the same boy — you know; the cute, free-spirited, jackass type). And I’m actually sharing a fourth also — my first Spanish poem ever; I wrote it back in March but don’t think I ever shared it w/you guys. (Sidebar: #’s 1 and 4 are about a certain dumbhead who works in a bakery, in case it isn’t totally obvious.) Tip: If you’d like to read any of these poems in English, German, or Japanese, paying a quick visit to Google Translate will yield a rough (but mostly solid) translation.
Before I share these poems, though, I need to share something else: I love words, and when I’ve fallen in love with boys, it’s happened because of their words.
With Charlie, it was when we were hanging out upstairs one afternoon, printing off chords for a song. I’d forgotten to pull the printer’s tray out, and papers started falling to the floor. I apologized quickly, setting my guitar down and scrambling up from sitting cross-legged. “No,” Charlie said gently, holding his hand up. “This is exactly what I wanted to have happen.” I loved him right then — right at that very second.
With Space Boy, it happened when we were stargazing. The falsa blanket was under us and the lights were over us, and right in the middle of pointing out some constellation, he paused. “You know, all I really want to talk about is black holes.” Bam. There you are.
And with Jackass, it was totally random; we were cuddling on the couch one evening, studying Spanish (independently but together — both of us working our own lessons on DuoLingo). He was absentmindedly repeating a phrase out loud, his voice different than usual, because he wasn’t thinking about someone listening. “Un… ves-ti-do… a-zul…” I could, by really hearing him, see him more clearly then, and I loved him.
There was another guy: Audio. I loved him but never dated him. He told me a story once, while we were sitting underneath the awning at the park (it was raining), about how he’d worked at this warehouse that was perpetually slow. “They used to let me sweep the store when nobody was in there, but then, I became confined to the ‘box’ — the area where the cash register was.” He paused, shaking his head. “So I started doing math.” Math? I laughed. He’d said it so seriously, and after confirming the word, he went on to explain that this was how he got a job working as a math tutor later on that year. That’s when I fell in love.
And then there was Christopher, of course. He’s the only one I loved before words. I just saw him one day, from maybe thirty feet away, and I felt something. It was a strange mixture of recognition, pain, and soul magic. My next memory of Christopher is me sitting next to him on a piano bench — him turning his head to the right, toward me; eyes half closed, fingers still tapping the keys, smiling.
lágrimas como nieve (inspired by a dream in late August)
Ayernoche, soñé de tú.
Estuvimos a una fiesta para nosotros… fue una celebración de cambiar. Ud. tomó mi anillo desde este dedo y lo puso sobre un otro — libertad. El fin. Todos estuvieron feliz.
Yo lloré y lloré y gemí en la sala, el jardín, y sobre el piso del armario. Mi madre sento aqui conmigo, y mi abuela también — mi madre enfrente de mi y mi abuela detrás. Solo ellas supieron mi pena.
Lloré los copos de nieve afuera de mis pulmones y supe: aquí viene invierno.
días pasados (inspired by a cute memory Jackass shared w/me)
estuvieron muchos libros en el carro
muchas peras sobre la tierra
tal fuego cerca al océano
tal viento en sus almas
quiero, sé (written after an informal breakup w/Jackass)
quiero ir a te
decir las cosas cálidas
mirar a tus ojos
y verlos ir
pero entiendo la verdad:
tú no piensas de mis ojos nunca
o se preguntas adónde los van
alma (written during a stronger-than-usual bout w/depression)
mi alma duerme en un vestido azul
en un lugar frío
yo sueño de un jardín verde
una primavera después de tú
de sangre fuerte y brillante – rojo como una rosa
una mente fácil…
un mar de estrellas debajo de la tierra neblinosa
al mismo tiempo, es difícil gustar un mundo sin tú