Winter Song | Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in ‘sadness,’ ‘joy,’ or ‘regret.’ Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, ‘the happiness that attends disaster.’ Or: ‘the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.’ I’d like to show how ‘intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members’ connects with ‘the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.’ I’d like to have a word for ‘the sadness inspired by failing restaurants’ as well as for ‘the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.’ I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever. - Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex
Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does. -Allen Ginsberg
If you’re reading this, if there’s air in your lungs on this November day, then there is still hope for you. Your story is still going. And maybe some things are true for all of us. Perhaps we all relate to pain. Perhaps we all relate to fear and loss and questions. And perhaps we all deserve to be honest, all deserve whatever help we need. Our stories are all so many things: Heavy and light. Beautiful and difficult. Hopeful and uncertain. But our stories aren’t finished yet. There is still time, for things to heal and change and grow. There is still time to be surprised. We are still going, you and I. We are stories still going. -Jamie Tworkowski
You keep tragedy stored in your bones,
Dense and impenetrable
Like the memories I keep of you,
Forgathered and fashioned in my head.
Your love was only convenient in our time of need;
Too sacred to waste, and too weak
I could feel it in my blood—
How it boiled when you said
That you had met someone else.
Only then, would I admit that I had missed you.
Only then, that I realized I did.
Your breath, it matches the wind—
How it hisses and brings life to everything it touches.
I have seen you at your darkest
And still loved you just the same.
I can scarcely remember how you taste,
Caught in the middle of your every mantra.
The days age into years, while
Unerringly, your heart has always been at the tip of my pen.
Unerringly | VEB