Tag Archives: body image

i see me best

take a look at my body,

can you see it?

 

I am a slow-dying series of rainstorms

drowning in the possibilities of me

 

I hide in washes of spiked holy water

and the hazy feel of

hands on these hips,

suddenly they are the gentlest waves

 

look at me in moonlight

it’s forgiving, that cosmic candlelight

my breasts

they’re almost worldly then

 

in the dark

I see me best

in the dark

I make shapes

like a goddess

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realism

there’s no map in my pocket

not somewhere to fashion

big red bull’s-eyes

every time I feel

 

inadequate.

 

it’s all etched in

my half-smile

full skirts

too many glasses

of red wine

red lipstick.

 

you yell out

I shrink in my seat

suddenly these flowers

in my hair

yoko ono sunglasses

look so ridiculous

 

whatever you think you know

well, you don’t know it

you are as insignificant

as insignificant gets

your words spill out

like a dripping faucet

down

down

down the drain with you.

 

my fist is dripping

with striking realism

there’s a mosaic of glass

at my feet

and I can’t remember

how I got here.

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My House

my house is young

the wallpaper is paisley

it warms every room

it’s only an old soul,

my house

 

there is a snaking scar

in the foundation

of the eggshell ceiling

it looms just over the

bouquet of roses

 

only a shifting

a timely settling

 

there is an aching draft

that invades my house

sometimes I wedge

blankets at the bottom

of every door

 

there is a certain window

in my house

where I watch the sun

rise and fall

I dream through the glass

 

when night comes

I weave through my house

jiggling locks and chains

I straighten photographs

until morning

 

I hang words and shapes

over the puncture wounds

of my house

it breathes regardless

it’s reliable, after all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rose

 

Rose buried her voice

in their garden,

it was after midnight.

 

she shoveled out a shallow grave

placed the mess inside

patted the dirt with the back of her hand

felt her way to a flat piece of earth

somewhere to mourn in silence

(all she had now).

 

the moon went up, she drifted

somewhere over

waves of breath she heard him,

remembered the way his chest

would vibrate with every important word

she never focused on,

only felt with fingertips.

 

Rose was a child for

all twenty six years

so eager

in her mother’s high heels

she slipped thin limbs

around his waist

she hung limp like

an eager girl.

 

masquerading as a woman

had left her with a man that

let his arms fall like a dying avalanche

from her hips,

the worst of this life,

a fading love.

 

in one last

flailing attempt

she threw on her black boots

took her insecurities from the

kitchen drawer and

trekked to the garden

(tiptoed past the gardenias).

 

she kneeled in the soil, Rose

and admitted

for the first time

that she was beautiful

roughly, pathetically, beautiful.

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she wasn’t so unlike the others

 

the girl came to be

as an unnoticed list of

what-evers,

of who cares,

in a two-toned,

dried up land:

 

brown hair, small wave

pear shaped, round faced

stale laugh,

stoic collarbone

 

helplessly female.

 

in blacks and navies,

maybe reds when she’d

try to turn faces,

she climbed through

most years with a

white flag on her head.

 

falling into beds was

easy

for the girl

no one

wanted anyway,

just to say she did,

just to say she

wasn’t so unlike

the others

bathed in gold.

 

so she ended

how she’d began,

closing her eyes,

lying back in that

porcelain throne,

pinning on the badge of it figures

to a chorus of

oh well,

so what.

 

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Hold Your Tongue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve always known myself to be a patchwork of spindly arms and legs, a little thicker in the center, a little fuller in the cheeks. My appearance see-sawed from plump to almost sickly throughout high school, scrutinized nonetheless; kids are, were, so uninhibited, so cruel, always heaping together like frightened mice then breaking apart, only then with a few less pieces of themselves. Undaunted bumper cars they are, always coming back together again. Adolescence is frightening that way; either we befriend those who whisper about us in the locker room or we spend lunch with the only other kid who decided to trade loyalty for self-respecting loneliness. No one realizes at the time that he is the only genius in the room – he’s already glimpsed the future, where high school is just another burning bridge.

After mucking through four years of rolling emotions and even a bit of education, I was working my first job behind the cash register of a small store with bad lighting; the green rug was always covered in lint and everything cost a dollar. Each time I walked through the door the slightly stinging scent of powdered dish detergent met my nostrils and it was like plunging straight down to the gates of Hell, only instead of the Devil himself I was always met by half-deflated Mylar balloons and an old gumball machine.

One hot afternoon I was glued to my usual spot, twisting the ribbon attached to a nearby balloon, when a woman with a short haircut and an unlit cigarette hanging from her lips approached the counter. She mumbled something I couldn’t make out, but her voice was deep and grainy. I don’t remember her buying anything, I only remember thinking she was on drugs, and the hazy way she laughed after asking if I was pregnant. After that, I can only assume she stumbled out of the store while I hid my face and tried to swallow the bowling ball that was forming in my throat.

Before that, my broken body image had always floated cautiously at the forefront of my young brain – the usual watering hole for self-consciousness in most girls (and boys) – but after that day I realized it must have been lurking in the shadows, begging for that perfect lapse in my own awareness where it could make its move and upgrade to the penthouse that is my here and now. That shattered reflection is now an invisible yet so perfectly noticeable extension of me, like a missing limb; I’ve learned to function again, but the damage is permanent.

I talk to myself sometimes, forever the struggling mentor. More, similar experiences piled up after that one – each putting another notch in my psyche’s bedpost. At times I shrink so far into my dark wallowing that I need hands that aren’t my own to lift me out, and then the cycle can begin again.

If there’s two things I’ve learned, it’s that every human experience, no matter how miniscule, is shrouded in possibility; and that words aren’t just noise we send out into the world – instead they are the foundation upon which we see ourselves, how we see others.

So please, hold your tongue. Because somewhere, just now, a young girl’s world has gone dark.

* * *

Click the image below to check out this week’s writing challenge over at Yeah Write!

challenge154

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pretty soon

http://www.etsy.com/listing/113717613/at-the-end-of-the-day-8x8-conceptual (Please check out/purchase this girl's amazing artwork.)

http://www.etsy.com/listing/113717613/at-the-end-of-the-day-8×8-conceptual
(Please check out/purchase this girl’s amazing artwork.)

 

there is a sign taped lazily to her back that reads judge me,

swollen black letters that spiral out at every edge of the page

like beautiful wedding garland.

 

she is so perfectly aware

of the eyes that aren’t on her

it’s like they’re

all on her at once,

tracing the weakness of her profile,

having philosophical discussions about

the beauty mark underneath her left eye.

 

she parts the hand-stitched draperies

every morning

and steps outside to collect the milk,

to chirp good morning at the sun,

always dressed in golds and greens,

always dancing for her illusions.

 

on a scale of

one to twenty

her back aches three times her age

and when she isn’t sure

where to look

she stares at a finger, a shoe,

twirls a strand of too-short hair

like a telephone cord.

 

someone speaks and

when she opens her mouth

only dust comes out.

 

pretty soon she’s bound to

dig up something more than rubble.

 

pretty soon she’ll strike gold.

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Daily Post: Syncing the Selves

Look in the mirror. Does the person you see match the person you feel like on the inside? How much stock do you put in appearances?

 

I’ve blogged about body image before; when something sits on your shoulder from the time you wake to the time you close your eyes, how can it not wiggle its way into your writing? My feelings about myself are on my tongue, in my fingertips, in my hips when I’m shimmying into a pair of jeans.

So, does that girl I see in the mirror match the girl in my chest? Sometimes. Only sometimes. They like to tango back and forth, one rising to the surface while the other sleeps for a while. I could catch my reflection in the kitchen window and smile at how my hair curves just above my eyebrows that day. But then, the lights inside could simultaneously be off and that version of me just below the skin could be stumbling blindly around trying not to stub her toe on anything.

Other times I find myself glowing so brightly I’d swear you could see the sun behind my eyes, but looking in the mirror you’d only guess I was hurting. Straight lips, slumped shoulders, bad hair, bad outfit. I like the way I look just after a shower, fresh faced. Thankfully the mirror above the medicine cabinet doesn’t allow for anything I wouldn’t like to look at. Being short has its perks. Out of sight, out of mind. Sometimes.

It’ll be a forever-struggle, desperately trying to sync up those two layers of self. Once in a while there is a glimpse of that girl – a complete 360 of courage, confidence, happiness. It’s like the possessed, floundering in moments the Devil loses his grip and allows them to break through and cry for help, before going under again. Maybe that’s a bit much, but you get the point. For some it’s that serious.

As for stock in personal appearances? I fully believe that how you look on the outside is sometimes a reflection of how you feel on the inside. I also believe that we sometimes cover what we believe is inner ugliness with nice clothing and lots of lipstick (if you’re a woman…but even if you’re not, too!). But who doesn’t immediately feel somewhat better when they slip into a cute outfit?

I want to embrace my imperfections and rename them as gifts that are only mine to have.

xoxo,

Nicole Marie

How do you feel when you look in the mirror? How do you feel on the inside? Is it a perfect match?

 

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Of Me

This poem was a hard one for me, but so very, very easy to write.

I have questioned my own size and shape since I was thirteen years old. After a school nurse was disappointed with my weigh-in, I went home and buried my face in my mother’s chest and wondered what I was “supposed” to look like. Too short, too tall, too thin, too wide. I drink and I eat sweets, but not a moment goes by without me questioning my shape and my own self worth along with it; these thoughts are a plague to those struggling with self esteem issues, from the time they climb out of bed to the moment they undress at night. And while each day is a struggle, I have managed to find small pockets of peace within myself. We are all different, and we are all beautiful in our own way. Who wants to look like everyone else? What a boring world we would be living in. I try daily to remind myself of all the other things I like about me. To all those others sailing along in my boat: take a deep breath, throw your shoulders back, and make the mirror your new best friend. After all, confidence is sexy.

xoxo,

Nicole Marie

bruised

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such rough patchwork

on such a young thing,

no glass smooth flesh

just marble valleys

on a pale pink landscape.

 

those smiling lines on her back

aren’t the wings of a butterfly,

those glowing highways

on her thighs

don’t twist with assurance.

bwme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a real life caricature

all lowered brow, all rising forehead,

the living reflection

of a fun house mirror

she looks away as she dresses.

 

cemented tongueless

in a wavering cave

the elements get in easily here,

she hides her breath

until the flooding stops.

 

nothing matters

when the roadway

is littered with flaws,

she only trips

over the rubble.

 

all is wrapped in silence

when she wakes,

eyes shut tight

no shedding litters

the bedroom floor.

 

how can she grow

when her sight

is a fogged mirror,

when words fall so hard

from a slapping screen door?

 

that soft skin,

gathered like wrinkled blankets

beneath each arm,

it is not a sign of prosperity,

she does not raise her chin.

anatomy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

no other is in want

of a hard bruised shook up

stretch of pale and bone

holding some view of the world

in her wide-knuckled grasp.

 

i am, she says,

a well-wrapped box

of weeds and good intentions,

worn at the seams,

no card attached.

 

but she will never learn

the weight of her own gravity,

she will never see

the blue of the sky

if she never raises her eyes to it.

bwwedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem originally featured on ChowderHead.

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Of Me – A Chowderhead Production

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My good friend Chowderhead, AKA Adam, recently asked if I’d like to be a guest blogger over at his place. Did I say yes? Of COURSE I did. The man is hilarious, and an amazing writer.

Adam’s only request was that I write about something very important to me. And that I did.

So please, if you have a moment, click on this link and read about something very near and dear to my heart. And stay for some other amazing guest posts, Chowderhead’s own hilarious posts, and some beers, duh.

xoxo,

Nicole Marie

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