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About Literature / Artist Member Grae MatternFemale/United States Recent Activity
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I've decided recently that I need to delete most of the old stuff on here. I'm probably not, but if you want to read poetrythen ignore all old stuff.

Thank you so much for either if you choose to favorite/comment.



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(Contains: ideologically sensitive material)
my cousin bets me that i cannot go a day without eating.
i am young enough to not know what anorexia is.
i have never seen my ribs. vaguely, i know i might have
twenty or so, but they hide beneath too many
layers of skin to let my fingers skim over
their ridges when I stretch.

i take him up on the bet.
i am sure now that this first time i think about
the starving kids in Africa or India or South America
or some other foreign place i will never step foot in.

i am thirteen. i am young. i have never gone a day without eating.
that night, we order pizza. It is easier than i thought
it would be to turn down the food, to ghost my fingers
over where my ribs should be and pretend that
i am not hungry.

the next day, i stand in front of the mirror and trace my fingers
over the bumps of my ribs. it is five o’clock in the morning.
i haven’t eaten breakfast yet. as i count my ribs for the first time
(twenty-four, twelve pair, split half and half) i promise
myself that i will not.

i am thirteen. i am beautiful. my cousin pays me
the five dollars. i have won more than five dollars.
i have won my twenty-four ribs, twelve pairs,
six and six and six and six, this cage of bone
that i am happy to be locked into.

my stomach, on my orders, folds into itself
and apologizes for the room in my body
it cannot help but to take up.
for years, i have been apologizing for the same thing.
i am glad that it’s someone else’s turn now.
i spend school lunches staring at my friends’ faces as they eat.
i have a cup of water most days. too much water.
a river or an ocean in my bloodstream. i am light enough
to float. no. i am light enough to sink. only fat floats.

my mother says that i have the most determination
she has ever seen in a girl as young as i am.
i wonder what she would say if she knew.
i am fourteen. my ribs stand out from my body,
hidden under my shirt, mouthing words in a language
no one can understand. no one listens anyway.
i learn the five syllable word that means you find it hard
to swallow and you find it hard to smile when you do.
i am young. i am arrogant. i toss grapes into my mouth
when someone asks me if i’m hungry.
i am never hungry. i am always hungry.

i am guilty. i love the idea of myself
too much to love what my body slowly turns into.
you could cut yourself on my collarbone.
i am a mess of problems even i don’t know how to solve.
i can count ten of my ribs, five on each side,
a cage with no key.

i am sixteen. this is my recovery. i am recovering.
i am an addict of nothing. i am afraid of
fading into nothing. i know this fear is illogical,
this whole sickness or practice or bet is illogical,
but i am sixteen and this fear is the strongest i’ve felt
in a long time. i am not pretty. i thought i was beautiful.
i was thirteen and in love with a boy whose girlfriend
weighed ninety pounds. i am sixteen and starting
to fall in love with myself. i pound against the cage
of my ribs. pound and pound and hope one day
i will break free completely and have the courage to rebury
the evidence. i thought i was beautiful. sometimes i still

struggle to eat pizza.
trigger warning: anorexia
no seriously, please heed the title, like i know this poem is very personal and because it's personal it's also very triggery, like when i was writing it i struggled a lot during and even a couple of days after. i just haven't written a poem about this yet so i really needed to.

and this poem follows with my journey through this mental illness, so basically all but the last stanza romanticizes the idea of anorexia, because that's what i was thinking every time i skipped a meal. romanticizing mental illness is really, really a bad thing and i'm not condoning it with this. i'm just being honest.
i don’t remember the first breath of air
these lungs took in. i can’t recall
the way it burned through my body, leaving a
trail of embers and lightning and ozone and
life. i imagine i cried.
but since then i have learned that sometimes
to begin to exist you have to burn all the old out of you.

let me tell you, i have never hated you more than i did today.
and i have never understood you more either:
you are not a boy who is running from something
he finds he doesn’t believe in anymore.
you are a boy who is turning into a man much faster
than he ever imagined, who knows he has to leave
but doesn’t know how to do it fast enough
for the pain to be minimized.

don’t go slow. don’t be afraid anymore, don’t be afraid at all.
don’t be sad, either. smile again, maybe. a lot. build
yourself a new smile no one has ever seen before,
out of all the stupid shit that has ever made you cry.
don’t lose your honesty or your faith or the selfish
things you’ve learned to take for yourself.

burn. build yourself a funeral pyre, light it and cast this life behind
you—you have always been more than what
you have cut yourself down to. so burn. then bloom. you wanted this;
you deserve this too. you deserve whatever it is
you find yourself running towards and i hope it’s good.
i hope it’s the very best.

i understand you and i understand you and i swear
i am trying to understand that one day you will put the key in the ignition
and gun it away from here and you will never have
to turn back. you may want to for a bit, but trust me,
i have known you longer than i have not known you and
i know that you never will need to.

but years from now when you have learned
all you deem necessary, when you have triumphed
where you once failed, when your feet itch with
the need to run again and your fingers grasp
for something they can never truly hold, i want you to
open your lungs and breathe in and remind yourself to remember
that this is how it feels to burn for the very first time
and i hope you cry, too.
re: "Stop Romanticizing Poets 2K14" summary

nascent (adj) latin=nasci: to be born- beginning to exist

(part of a short collection of pieces that I may keep writing that I like to call  "honest poems to people who deserve my honesty")
This is how I write my poems:
You’re blonde and you have blue eyes.
You’re the perfect subject for my next great hit,
a long rambling epic or a two page sonnet
which would start by comparing your hair
to rays of the sun and your eyes to the ocean
at daybreak. Even if you’re more of a dishwater blonde
than sun-colored, and your eyes are less ocean and
more sky, I swear I write this poem and think
vaguely of you.

But here is a secret: I’m not writing a poem about you.
I’m writing a poem about the idea of you.
And I don’t know if it will be a love poem or
a break-up poem or a “please don’t go home and
commit suicide” poem or one of those
heartbreakingly honest poems that feels like
you put your pencil on paper and bled.

I don’t write poems like that often.
No poet does, not really,
we write poems about you and your blue eyes
because we don’t like how bleeding feels,
and it is much safer for us to pretend to fall in love with the
span of your fingers over our chests as we exhale
poetry that ghosts over your lips before falling into the dip
of your collarbone and pressing its words into your heart.
To be honest, we are hardly ever honest with you.

No, seriously, date one poet and you’ve dated them all.
Next time you get a love poem from a poet built out
of pretty words and prettier promises, look at
the eraser smears, look at the crossed out words—don’t
ignore them because in the next line you are compared to a
nebula. Study them until you realize that poets care more about
syntax and diction than they ever will about you.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t fall in love with poets.
I’m saying that you have blonde hair and blue eyes and so
do millions of other people in the world. I’m saying fall in love with
the poet, not the poems he slips into your locker when you’re
trying not to look like you’re looking. I’m saying that
you do not embody the world, that it is not your job to rise
with the eastern sun like a phoenix kissing the world good morning.
I’m saying that all you are is human.
That is the kind of special that doesn’t make good poems.

But if you write that down and repeat it
over and over and over again, you won’t need poets
to tell you about the lightning rod of your spine
and the weather veins in your wrists.  You already will know
this, be able to feel the energy thrumming through your body.
You believe it, you become it, you make yourself
into the most beautiful poem you’ve ever read.
You don’t need poets.
We need you.
We need you to think that the only way you’ll ever be
special is if we tell you about the beauty of your soul,
about how big space is, how tiny you are,
how fucking incredible it is that your eyes are blue
and your hair is blonde.

Stop listening to poets. Be satisfied with your own
flesh and blood and bone. Love the dirt crusting your fingertips,
the scars marring your skin. Breathe and take another step.
Remind yourself to look at things for what they are.
You are real. And that is better than any poem
that a poet will ever manage to write.
Stop Romanticizing Poets 2K14
So I'm pretty sad today. Well, right now. Most of today was a really good day, but then I got some news from a friend and it just kind of turned crappy really fast. 

this poem really has nothing to do with any of that but whatever, enjoy this poem (and don't take this poem that seriously, there's a lot of lines that are really flowery and stuff and they sound really bad but they're supposed to be 'classic' poet-y lines) and have a very nice day!
1. i get up at ten.
this is an accomplishment.
by eleven, i’m awake enough to miss you.
to be honest, that part never goes away—
but eleven is when the typewriter grows fangs
and threatens to swallow everything i am
if i don’t put a name to the feeling. even the dog’s
tail does not wag. he keeps watching the door.
he will not even touch his food until the sun has
set as deep as possible. he is giving you every
chance to come back.

i try to tell him there’s no use,
that you will never come back.

but dogs don’t understand things like that,
don’t believe in the concept of ‘never come back’.
they believe in the sound of a key turning a lock
and the inevitable stomping of feet on the welcome mat
no matter how many times they’ve heard
the car engine start and the crunch of gravel as it pulls away.

2. this must be what missing you feels like.
i have lived lifetimes in the minutes i keep breathing.
i keep breathing. this is an accomplishment.

3. i would mail you a letter, but i do not know if
it can reach you where you have gone,
and i’m not sure if i’d handle it well
when it is sent back, unopened.

4. come back.

5. talk to my dog. tell him you still love
him, tell him you miss him like crazy,
tell him he should eat some food,
tell him he did nothing wrong, but if he did
you’d forgive him.

6. forgive me.

7. maybe we should all love like dogs do—
wholly and even when we know better.
maybe we all already love like that—
painfully and even when we’re alone again.
i don't have a dog
a poem with two of my favorite things: numbered stanzas and heartbreak

have a nice day
you guys give me a Daily Deviation??? I love you all so so much. I mean, seriously, seriously thank you. Every single one of you is amazing and perfect and just wow okay I'm still wow'ing.

And it's more than just a DD, you know, like, I'm super touched and flattered and all these other adjectives on the response "welcome to the real world" got. I loved reading your comments about how you perceive the real world and what you were afraid of when you were graduating college/high school.

Which is another thing. I can't even begin to describe how amazing comments like, 'I just graduated high school and I think I needed to read this' or 'Just finished college, this helped me so much'. Good. Thank god, because that's what I wanted that poem to do to you. I wanted people to read it and feel, well, maybe not helped, but at least not so alone. My oldest sister graduates college in June, and today is my other sister's high school graduation and today was the last exam of my sophomore year of high school, so we're all another step into having no idea what we're going to do later and I know it scares me and it probably scares them, too.

So I'm just really glad that people read this poem and liked it, or even if they read it and hated it, or read it and messaged me all the ways that I'm an ignorant, privileged sixteen year old. This is true. But like I said earlier, I wrote "welcome to the real world" so people could read it and feel like they're aren't the only ones facing these problems. Cause sure, from what I've seen the Real World sucks and it's awful and yeah, there's little bits of 'this is great' but it's mostly twenty-somethings wishing they were preteens again. And it would doubtlessly be better if no one thought they were the only ones going through the same adjustments.

I got off all track--I just really wanted to say that after the week of exams I've had and Ending Of The Year blues, this was amazing. Thank you so much. I'm still smiling.


MisfitableGrae's Profile Picture
Grae Mattern
Artist | Literature
United States
I hate talking about myself for any length of time. My favorite part of the summer is the fireflies. My mother doesn't understand why I like the rain so much, but let's just put that on the ever-growing list of things my mother doesn't understand about me. I don't know what to do about that. I do this weird thing where I don't reply to comments and don't tell everyone that follows me that I love them but I love them and on Bad Days, I reread the comments and look at my watchers and I smile and fall a little bit more in love with humanity in general. I'm allergic to every nut but peanuts. I am a horrible human being. But some days I can convince myself that that doesn't necessarily mean I'm not a good person.

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OfOneSoul Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hi, dear. :wave:

I just wanted you to know - I stumbled onto your piece "i don't have a dog" by accident and am SOOOO glad I did. I went to suggest it for a DD but then saw you've already gotten one in the last 6 months. I just wanted you to know how highly I thought of that piece. I read a lot of lit. on this website... and that poem was not only memorable, but touched me.

I actually recently considered the concept (of humans loving like dogs). Mainly because - I have a dog. My fiance and I disagree about him. I love him unconditionally and my fiance says he "hates" him. But then I thought to myself... you may "hate" him - but Rambo (my dog) still loves you.

I'll be watching for future amazing works from now on. Just wanted to stop by and thank you for sharing. :heart:
AcidSpades Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014
Look, I know you're probably not going to respond but your poetry is amazing and you seem like a really awesome person. I wish I could write as well as you, and maybe even make a biography that sounds pretty damn awesome as yours. I like fireflies too, although I haven't actually seen them
Before. I guess we
Can blame owl city for that. Haha. And the rain is beautiful too. And you like supernatural.. So that gives you a bonus on why I even decided writing this weird comment.. And I really suck at endings... So, yeah. That's all. :p have a good day!
iMariposa Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for faving my journal!
jadeshade34 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
keep up your amazing work, I hope one day you become even more famous and become a write. I love your poetry is very emotional and it tells that you are a strong person. havr a great day
Sannleikur Featured By Owner May 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
As I can see, you get this kind of response a lot but... I still find it oddly necessary to say something. You are an amazing artist. I'm not saying it from a technical standpoint, as I know very little of writing and especially poetry. In point of fact, I actively dislike poetry as most of it seems over done some how. I say it because while you are clearly a poet, I find myself drawn to read whats here anyway. You are someone who truly thinks as well as feels. I have the utmost respect for that, and as it is one of your qualities, you. Thank you for posting. 

p.s. If your mother really doesn't get your love of rain, than play storm tracks at night. It's incredibly soothing, and EVERYONE loves to sleep. maybe that'll clear the point up. XD
Kokorococoa Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Student Digital Artist
iMariposa Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You have an adorable smile! And your poetry is wonderful :love: :hug:
That-Red-Panda Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
Your work is simply amazing to read, you are extremely talented to be able to write the way you do, beautiful work.
locosquirrel Featured By Owner May 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, you just sound like a great person and the words that you write cut straight to the bone and that's awesome. Yeah. That's all. :) 
ButeoLineatus Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I love your work! It is absolutely beautiful
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