day twelve: on exes, on facebook
I haven’t reblogged one of these in a few days and due to the recent influx of new followers (hi hello! welcome! thank you for following!) i thought i’d signal boost this project.
tl;dr, I’m writing 30 days of poetry about the internet for National Poetry Month. So far, I’ve looked at my experience with ancient internets like Audiogalaxy, LOLcats, AOL chat rooms, and The Palace Avatar Chat, just to name a few. I’m now working through a section on more recent internets, starting with Facebook. Spoiler alert, OKcupid & Tumblr are on the horizon for the next few days.
Here’s todays, on seeing exes on Facebook. It’s about the awkward moments when you realize that you never unfriended that dude you used to kiss. And end up facebook stalking the ones who unfriend you.
i don’t know why i’ve never unfriended these boys
these heartbreakers and broken hearts
the random fellows i kissed once or twice
the boys i lusted after and never met.
every once in awhile they’ll pop up on my feed
a small reminder of the poor choices i’ve made in my life
sometimes memories will flood back
from a shared photo or link, their god damn mannerisms
sometimes it’s fine,
a harmless status update about an upcoming show
the new compilation your band is on
or how perfect your new girlfriend is
but sometimes it hurts more
to see the ones that unfriend me
posting on someone else’s wall
forgetting the distant past where they crushed my heart
(i know i wasn’t good enough to fuck,
but now i’m not even worthy
of your facebook updates
about your record store, the 7” you’ll never finish.)
there are nights when i am drinking
and i unlock the piece of me that will always care,
poring over public profiles
like freshly borrowed books
i’ve found their new girlfriends,
their new lives since me.
taking in any information i can
to piece together their in-betweens
i make up fantastic stories
based on likes and comments,
digital footprints left out in the open
of how happy they’ve become
this happened earlier today,
the boy who came back to Facebook under another name
i caught myself browsing his posts,
looking for any sign of his well being
i hovered on his about me
relationship status: single
and for a moment i reveled in the fact
that the girl he ditched me for saw through him too.
i’ve missed out on asking people questions in the current memes, but i have one that i’d love to see answered if anyone reading is up to it:
What is the one story about YOU that you eventually tell everyone you know?
What story do you tell people as part of a way to explain you, especially in a particular time in your life?
i’m utterly fascinated by people’s mythologies — the key stories that define them.
Reblog/link me to your stories!
The most defining point in my life was in September 2007: Walking down a hill between dorms to switch my laundry, I tripped on a vine and broke my leg in half. Thankfully, it didn’t break skin but the tibia and fibia snapped clean in half. I remember watching the rows of blinds raise on my destination dorm as I yelled out for my housemate to call public safety. And also to bring my phone because I was chatting with some online friends and I needed to tell them I wouldn’t be back. I got to the hospital, completely in shock, where I was stuck in the kid’s ward and the fish on the ceiling began speaking to me in Swedish. I remember getting x-rays and asking the tech how bad it was. He told me he couldn’t diagnose, but it was pretty bad. Surgery bad. Metal bad.
The whole thing altered the course of my life in a lot of ways. Not only do I now have permanent metal in my body, it challenged me to complete a semester of college while recovering in order to graduate on time. I had to drop down to two classes and thankfully had understanding professors who took into account that I was heavily medicated the entire semester. My mom, who worked from home at the time, drove me to campus several times a week since my dorm was not wheelchair accessible. I am not entirely sure how I survived that semester or the four months I spent in a giant moonboot.
Outside of that, breaking my leg cancelled my plans to apply to grad school. I had to drop my honors thesis down to small independent study. I lost a lot of independence and had several complete breakdowns throughout the experience. It changed the course of my life completely, putting me on the path to library school and where I am today. As terrible as it was to go through, it also made me a much stronger person. At the time, I did all that stuff out of pure determination not to let a freak accident own my life — and because that semester was the one chance I had to take the Modernism senior seminar with my favorite professor, Neil Levi, and no broken limbs were going to keep me from that class. Looking back now, I’m not entirely sure what I would have become without the accident or where my life would have gone. The following picture is from right after my admission and is sad and hilarious. I still can’t believe my mom took it.
My metal parts are a constant reminder of a lot of things: that I will never have perfect balance or be able to master chair pose, that I will almost always set off airport metal detectors, and that I survived this freak accident, this crazy, life changing moment with five small scars and this story to tell.
I haven’t posted something I wrote in a long time.
Watching Howl reminded me of one of my favorite pieces from one of my college poetry courses
a quick check in new jersey
this is my dream, allen ginsberg:
tonight, i will meet you on the corner of green village and nowhere zen new jersey,
look out for a mint green four door with dim orange lights.
four am. we will pilgrimage to the only twenty-four hour place in town.
its yellow light will inspire our late april bones.
first, we’ll survey the scene. our playground is but a mere three aisles.
you’ll pick up a browning seventy-nine cent banana and lean into me,
“walt whitman would get this knocked down to forty.”
we’ll find bukowski in the middle aisle, catching him picking up ramen and women,
discreetly drinking from a brown paper bag.
i will stand in front of the energy drinks and grab your hand,
this is our america now, canned energy in a refrigerated aisle.
we will buy milkshakes and sandwiches with our good looks
before we get back on our mechanical horse
meandering through back roads lined with victorian homes and their wraparound porches,
looking for ways to articulate feelings i don’t know if we can find.
when the sun rises, allen ginsberg, we will find ourselves on our backs in a park, bare feet in the dewy grass
watching the world wake up, burning red through the treetops.
we too will envision a lost america of love, the dreams we’ve forgotten in our lifetimes,
but we will replace them with the words we cherish, our lovers and the memories of their touch and we will not feel absurd.
dear father, let us stroll. my courage-teacher.
this is our time.