thank you and goodbye

date posted: 2024-04-14

word count: 1,160 words

themes: misogyny, mental health issues, music

notes: i wrote this in one sitting and it got sad. also my first poem. unless you count the acrostic poems i wrote in elementary school which are long dead and buried

elsewhere: superlove, dreamwidth

download: pdf (33.9kb), epub (10.8kb)

All the girls I’ve ever met are in love with misery
I think I am too
between how much I talk about wanting to cry
between how much I pointedly do not cry

All the girls I read about are miserable
or want to be
between their romanticized ideals of abuse and
dreamed imagery of the battered girl
with her mascara running and her eyelashes fluttering

coquette, they call it, being coquettish, cute,
and I want to believe there is something cute and shy about my misery,
as my hair gets greasier,
as my friend checks on me every day,
making sure I’ve taken my pills,
and I lie sometimes, because I do not want to worry them
but I already have

and knowing you’ve worried someone is like stabbing yourself in the back
the lies and the pained reality etched into your back
like a careful incision with the precision of a surgeon
all cold and sterile and latex gloved and masked

and I mask myself outside every day
fear a second skin to me
my imagined misery a blanket
like the guitar strums of tortured artists ringing through my earbuds and into my ears
because to hear oomori seiko sing the words of idols,
“I & YOU & I & YOU & I”,
in such a pained voice, like a dying cat,
despite all the people she’s harmed
despite how her abuse hurts me too
even though I was just a fan
and I’ll never know her
I felt like I did, through her music
and I still felt the stab of her betrayal etching itself into my back
when it had no right to
when she was busy beating her words into her poor idols
sharpening her teeth
with the words sung by idols
two years before I opened my eyes to this world
screaming and stuck in my mom’s uterus
my sister waiting impatiently for me to be broken free
because I lacked the fury to break myself open at age nothing

and at nineteen, almost twenty,
I realize,
with delicate guitar strums in my ears,
the threat of the hospital over me again,
as my hands shake while I type,
and quiver,
and tremble,
as I hold out my hand in front of my therapist and inadvertently show him I hadn’t actually eaten the snacks I said I ate before the session,
that I still lack the fury
to rage against my own misery
to drown in my own prescriptions
to avoid and run from my responsibilities
while creating more for myself
because I want so desperately to be seen

and this is a depressing poem
this is my first poem
and I want to quote oomori seiko
to end things neatly
but she has never ended things neatly
so I won’t either

I think about all the musicians that have shaped my identity
because I lack the fury to shape my own identity just yet
and I think about the artist I am listening to right now
as she sings All my days I wait for something more
and I think
I do too much of that too, don’t I
and flower face is right, I learned all my sadness from watching TV
but I grew up in front of a laptop screen
so that’s not quite right

and nothing is ever quite right
as I walk outside and past wars of stickers and posters ripped apart and stuck atop each other,
graffiti and illegal weed shops and all of it,
hidden away from my ears plugged by earbuds too loud,
too hipster, with my music player like it’s 2006,
like I was more than a toddler that year,
like I know more than I actually do,
like I’ve experienced more than I actually have

but I still walk every other day
to class
to therapy
with my mask on
with my earbuds in
and I listen to tortured artists sing about horrifying things
and the images in my head go wild with tortured images
because imagination is what we cling to most in our misery
and for me
misery only loves the company of its ideals

I think I get it now
why girls escape into coquettish aesthetics,
all pink bows and frilly dresses,
all evocative of the things I dread so much,
the things I rage against as I call myself a fan of young girls,
and get side eyes and weird glances from everyone I know for it,
as I believe so faithfully
in the merit of these equally skilled and talentless girls on stages
in front of older men

because to cloak yourself in these aesthetics,
you surrender your misery to a higher power
all those lolita images coquettes covet
because they are married to their misery

but I think now as I write
that I could never willingly subjugate myself like that
because I couldn’t rage when I was about to be born
and I can’t rage now because I don’t have it in me
but maybe I do
maybe I have some of that rage in me as the frustrations boil over in me
as the tears come to my eyes thinking of the girl I was just five years ago
but five years is a lot
and I rage now as I write
the friction coming naturally
as I rage against my own boredom and inaction

I think of those violent images that come to my head outside and walking
with those tortured lyrics running through my ears to my head
and I think now while listening to oomori seiko sing
about the color pink
and rage in a desperate fit of anger and frustration and passion
that despite everything
I still love her art
and maybe that’s callous of me
maybe that’s disgusting of me, actually
given what she has done
but sometimes the art we love is wretched this way
and maybe some day
I will reconcile that

but for now
I write in my word processor
and listen to an album released in 2014,
that I own on cd,
that I have written too much about,
and all those passions come back to me easily,
crashing into me like waves slipping out from a crack in between rocks and stone,
in a dam that’s about to break,
and I don’t know how to end this poem,
I just hear oomori seiko screaming in my ears,
and I wish I was as eloquent as she is in her rage,
even though I shouldn’t wish to be anything like her,
the idea curdling in my stomach,
oomori’s guitar strums too delicate for such a disgusting person,
but her art still means something to me,

and that has to count for something,
just as the idea of tears more than their presence,
has to mean something, anything,
for me to be able to accept the idea
that I don’t cry as much as I want to