cold

First it begins with those most outward of places – 
fingertips, toes, nipples, tip of nose.

By January I have become accustomed to a fetal position,
curled, like a cat, by the radiator, craving warmth,
which I begin to mistake for love.

When the chill wind howls and night descends, batlike,
I brew tea, at least five cups a day to keep me going.
Now it runs in my veins, a better comfort than blood.

All night long I burn blue. I blaze cobalt, steel, mineral.
The sun mocks openly. The curve of her smile
glinting off the snow is just the angle of derision.

I am not as strong as a tree, nor can I freeze over
like a lake, protecting the life that teems underneath.

As the evenings draw in, I read the Russians,
feeling how wretched I am, how poor!

When the pipes freeze, at last I know
neither love nor down can save me.

moon, pond

In my memory everything is flecked with gold,
even the moon and the breasts of the singing birds.

Only the white birches are immune, and the black clouds
that drift over the moon, then assimilate into night.

When I feel lonely I like to come here. When I cannot
sleep the moon draws me into her distended embrace.

Moon, mother. Tell me what you have witnessed here or
elsewhere. Tell me where it hurts. Tell me, what should I do.

I have been wandering for many moons.
The corridors of my dreams are dark and lonely.

Of the two birches kissing between the water, I cannot
tell which is the reflection, for both are flecked
with gold.

2016: The Year in Review

For most of you, I’m sure 2016 has been a rather shitty year that you’d much rather forget; in fact, I too have only dim recollections of what happened earlier this year (for example, I almost forgot Donald Trump was going to be president), but I don’t think it has been entirely bad. For one, I got accepted early into one of my top choice colleges and will be starting there next fall, which is such a huge relief since I don’t have to worry about applying in the regular decision round. Some other notable things that happened this year were being selected to go to the New England Young Writer’s Conference, which was such a wonderful experience, and getting some awards at school. In terms of my other goals, I didn’t write as much or read as much as I had wanted to (seeing as half my poems were haikus), but I am taking a philosophy class this year and it is very exciting. I was at the same lab again this summer as last summer and I really enjoyed it, though I’m not sure if I learned very much. I think I’ve become a little more responsible, though. For the past week I’ve been exercising and doing yoga everyday, and I actually cleaned my room for the first time in over 6 months, and it seems to have also cleared up my mind somewhat.

I don’t know if I’ve really changed all that much this year? Honestly, it’s hard to tell, although perhaps I’ve gotten a bit more jaded, which was not my intention and probably something I’ll have to cure in the year to come. Another bad habit I’ve unintentionally developed this year is accidentally falling asleep at around 10 while doing my homework, waking up at around 4 or 5 AM, and subsequently panicking because I haven’t finished my homework/studied for a test/whatever. I seem to have procrastinated my new year’s resolution not to procrastinate. Oh well, there’s always next year, right? Anyway, how have your 2016s been? I wish everyone the best for a happy 2017!

Chrysanthemums in Snow

Everyone thought they’d die
by the time December rolled around,

when the chill hit
and Mrs. B removed her wind chimes
and the birds all flew South

We knew they were precocious,
wiser than their years
and ahead of their time,
and we were glad for them

But still –
Everyone thought it was a miracle
to see their bright pink heads
poking out in open revolt

dec 29

this year the snow came after xmas
and only a light dusting at that
     confectioner’s sugar,
          with none of the sweetness of a real snowfall

it is soggy;
     rain drips down from the eaves

there are many sore thumbs sticking out of our threadbare blanket
     grass and twigs and bits of leaves
          and someone’s trash – bright blood-red with a plastic film

so here we are again to welcome the new year
     the clean slate tricks us;
     we pretend we can start anew, vanquishing past ghosts
          which poke through,
          bits of leaves and twigs and grass

nothing gold can stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost

diary excerpts pt. ii
august 2015 – december 2015

august 3rd – “Everything is fleeting. Everything fades. And this moment – this hour, this day, this time – it won’t come again. This is all we have – a fragment of glass in the sand, the sparkling water under the bright bright sun. Nothing, not even the ocean or the clouds or the power and conviction of love can last forever. Everything fades; everything ends. Everything leaks through the cracks between your fingers. It’s future rust and it’s future dust.”

vlada_roslyakova_lina_scheynius_numero_12

august 5th – “Social anxiety is really a huge pain in the ass, and as much as I’d like to not give a shit, I can’t help it – can’t get over it – can only really be myself when I’m only with myself. But at least I’m writing out in public which is the first step. I also have the strong urge to walk to Au Bon Pain and get a snack or something. I’ve always had this mental image of sitting in a Parisian café scribbling down poetry and drinking black coffee. My current reality is sitting in the back of Au Bon Pain after work, eating a toffee cookie and trying not to get crumbs in the margins of my notebooks. I once read a quote that said poets in yellow would be preposterous – but why shouldn’t a poet wear yellow? It brightens everything – it makes you feel like you have a bit of the sun in you. I’d gladly be a poet in yellow.”

august 8th – “Life is very immense and I want to capture the slow gravity of everything like water pooling around my ankles. It is August and heat shimmers around everything and the colors dip their feet tentatively in the pool of the sky. Tilt and tilt – it is midnight and the stars wink out at you, friendly and alive and burning and unassuming. You’ve got an airplane heart about to take off and I have pages and pages to fill with the lovely star clusters of dreams.”

august 9th – “The phrase ‘Back to School’ drives the stake of dread into the pit of my heart.”

tumblr_nk3mogBHgO1spa4mko1_1280

august 11th – “Where does the wind blow when it’s afraid of the trees? Who sings the songs that the angels sing, and who dances the dance of the devil? When we are all rust and dust, will you be there to calm the frenzy of my decaying bones? Love is the antidote to everything, I think – it is what makes life worth living; I am very sleepy…”

august 20th – “I don’t like noise, but some people – my mother, for instance – have the need to to always be listening to or creating some noise. Maybe it’s because they’re afraid of their own silences.”

august 21st – “Today was my last day of volunteering. It was raining in the morning and we had to take the train. Thank God Dad is such a practical, reliable person and had an umbrella on him. We walked together in the rain through the damp, soggy streets and past oily, polluted puddles where raindrops fell in perfect concentric circles.

I told J how much I enjoyed working there and he told me how much of a help I had been to him, which is nice to hear. He took a selfie of us to send to his mom, whom he’d told about me, and then we said our goodbyes and he left to see the Meryl Streep movie. It was all rather rushed. Afterwards I felt empty. I sat in the lobby for some time drinking my peach iced tea and then I peed and then I sat around again, doing nothing, feeling the gravity of the realization that I would never see these people again. Sometimes people come into and out of the doors of our lives just in a flash, like big gusts of wind that blow through and ruffle pages and then when they leave, the stillness is so sudden and haunting. I wish it wasn’t like that.”

tumblr_njkzwh9ptK1spa4mko1_1280

september 4th – “I feel almost cheated out of life, somehow, or defeated, or without purpose, direction, focus. I feel sick almost – tired of my surroundings, tired of the air here, which is too hot, too still, too stifling. Now I hear the sound of someone in the kitchen, and they will come up here and they will persecute me, hang me, scold me, ask why and for what, demand blood sacrifice, say something. And now that I am back in school I feel more stressed out and bored and harried and lost and alone and tired and misanthropic than ever. Whenever there’s time there’s a need to fill it up. God, I don’t know what to do – I feel half-delirious and there’s a sharp pain behind my forehead, and I feel like I had something profound to say but now it escapes me. There’s thunder rumbling in the distance, and I wish it was still summer so that I could stay up in the dark and listen to the sound of the rain and fall asleep to visions of wonder in my head. Summer always seems to be so infinite and wonderful when you’re in the midst of it, but it always ends too quickly.

september 15th – “I was transported from the garish sunlight of reality into the velvet midnight of love and murder. The night spreads out around me – I gather myself into myself, collecting all the varied ephemera that had drifted away in the day.”

october 19th – “This was the day that I was dreading and now that it is finally over, I am not very relieved. So much work to do still, but at least I got into NHS! – at least that was a nice surprise, even though lately I’ve been on the edge of a razor blade, just waiting to get cut.”

november 11th – “I think I would much rather spend eternity saving the world from evil and chasing after my true love than having to deal with grades and tests and pressure and failure.”

december 25th – “I wish it would snow, I wish it would snow, I wish it would snow…”

lina_scheynius_fashion_summer_2008_11

I.
Into this blue promise I go sailing
with my arms outstretched in welcome
Into this soft green light I am remade
my heart quite full but not bursting

Here is a place where time takes its time
padding along with gentle feet
In this watercolor world, anything is possible
even the flowers, their glorious outpouring of color

I think the trees & wind must be good friends
they bend to the other’s will; they listen
I think they have pleasant conversations
gesticulating wildly

II.
Among people, time marches past you,
scattering and dispersing thought fragments
It bores quickly, opening and shutting doors
making a loud, misshapen fog

I think of how the trees looked in the winter,
the poor things, starved and bare and horribly lonely
As though they’d been electrocuted, turned into
beggars with hungry arms, pleading the sky

Now it is impossible to feel sorry for them
Things are satisfied in the spring,
asking and seeking nothing