not sorry

i would like to say i’m sorry
there are a lot of things to apologize for
for leaving
for not picking up
for hanging up
for turning my back
for not giving us a chance
but the funny thing?
i’m not sorry
not even a little bit
i probably should be sorry
because i know that it hurt you
but i’m not
because when i think about it
(and i’ve thought a lot about it)
you hurt me too
and i know YOU aren’t sorry
you’ve never been sorry
for telling me that i would die alone
for telling me that my feelings don’t matter
for telling me that my friends (my REAL friends) are weird
for telling me that my family is smothering
for not accepting the person i have become
you have always put me down
and for some reason
i’ve always let you
but no more
i’m tougher now
i’m not afraid to be alone –
to die alone…
i don’t need you anymore
and i’m not sorry for that
and i would talk to you
if i didn’t think that it would only hurt us both more
eventually you will understand
why i won’t apologize
it’s not that i don’t love you
it’s that i love myself
and my friends
and my family
a whole lot more

no longer you

it has always been about you
it took me this long to realize
it was never about me
you always came first
you claimed that you loved me
you claimed that you needed me
and maybe both those things were true
but they no longer are
i think you loved me because
you loved who you became when around me
i think you needed me because
i made you feel like you mattered
and i don’t mind that i made you feel these things
but you need to understand
that for me?
i never felt those things when i was with you
being with you became an obligation
something i had to do
because you loved me
because you needed me
being around you sucked the life out of me
it became hard to breathe
i couldn’t be myself because
you had to matter
we only worked because for a long time
i was lost
but i’m not anymore
i found myself
despite your best intentions to smother me
i have found the strength to leave you
because i know who i am without you
i hope that one day you will understand
but something tells me
you won’t

the boys

they march across my mind
in single file
to a beat that i no longer hear
they filter in and out of focus
their features blurred
because i no longer see them
they come and they go
they represent bits of me
a time i could have said yes
a time when i did
a time when it was better to say no
a time when i walked away
they are the boys
the boys who have mattered
even if they don’t know it
the boys who made me laugh
the boys who made me cry
the boys who made me feel special
the boys who made me want to be special
the ones who ignored me
the ones who left scars
they are all still there
in the back of my mind
marching to a beat
of what could have been

Review: An Oxford Holiday: An Ingenious Mechanical Devices Short Story by Kara Jorgensen

When my Amazon account alerted me to the new book by Kara Jorgensen, it was like Christmas (and subsequently my birthday, which will be this December 24) had come early. This 8,000 word follow up to Jorgensen’s The Winter Garden was the perfect morsel to tide me over while I wait for her third novel to land.



          An Oxford Holiday finds us a few months out from where we left Immanuel Winter and Adam in the second An Ingenious Mechanical Devices novel. Immanuel has gone back to school and Adam is visiting him for the weekend. Despite the roller coaster of emotions that The Winter Garden took us on, and in preparation for what I’m sure will be a whirlwind of emotions in the third installment, An Oxford Holiday is a peaceful read. We see how Immanuel and Adam have grown together and how their relationship has faired since Immanuel’s ordeal in the last novel. We are also introduced to Adam’s uncle, who is also Immanuel’s professor. Elijah Martin was an almost silent character in The Winter Garden, but in 8,000 words, Jorgensen brings Elijah to life and infuses him with a seemingly endless sense of knowledge and an “I have seen it all, nothing can surprise me anymore” attitude.

Despite the 8,000 cap, Jorgensen treats us to her usual eloquent language and in-depth detail. We are also treated to more political history in the form of Immanuel and Adam’s relationship and the fight of one American lawyer to bring girls to Oxford. I like how Jorgensen approaches Immanuel and Adam’s relationship. She manages to make it seem like the most normal thing in the world, while also making me very nervous for them because of the dangers they face should they be found out. As for the American lawyer fighting to allow girls to be admitted to Oxford, the weariness and anger that emanate from this character is remarkable, mostly because we don’t meet her until the very end of the story.

Jorgensen’s short story An Oxford Holiday won’t take you very long to read. So what are you waiting for? Go read it already! And then join me while we wait for her third novel. Which should drop very soon…

my girl

this is for my girl.
she is the absolute best.
you wish you knew my girl.
go ahead – be jealous.
it’s nothing i’m not used too.
who is this girl?
good question…
her laugh makes me laugh;
her nose crinkles,
and her body curls in,
and when air becomes necessary,
she sucks it in and snorts
(just a little bit).
her eyes are blue;
bright like a summer sky,
and clear like glass,
and they twinkle when she looks at me.
(the twinkle at anyone she loves, really).
her hair is thick,
and like spun gold,
and it flips out, naturally, at the ends,
like it did in the 60s.
(she also has killer calves, just fyi).
she gives amazing hugs.
it’s unreal, for a tiny person.
it feels like being wrapped up,
in your favorite blanket.
my girl is the best.
thank goodness we found each other.
she’s a godsend.
i hope she knows this.
all the faults she points out,
all the faults she owns up too,
no one sees them.
they are what make her unique.
they are what make her mine.
she is the missing puzzle piece.
she helps make sense of the chaos.
not sure where i would be without her…
probably walking in circles,
and talking in circles too.
i would happily share my girl,
if it would bring peace to the world.
probably, it would.
a joke and some honesty…
we all need that sometimes.
for me?
i always need what my girl brings.



she has this light –
it’s what draws me in.
i’m like a moth to a flame,
any closer…
i will burn.
but it will feel so good.
if only she would let me get close…
can’t she see?
i have so much to offer!
why doesn’t she see?
her smile blazes like a sunrise.
her eyes twinkle like stars.
her laugh is infectious.
i want to get sick.
she is intent,
makes me feel like a…
specimen under a ‘scope.
i have never met a girl like her.
probably, we only meet one in our lifetime.
i should be so lucky,
that she chooses me.
(oh, how i hope she chooses me!)
her light has guided me to shore.
it has banished away all the shadows.
it has burned out all the cobwebs.
her light.
i need her light.
but the tighter i hold onto her,
the faster she slips through my fingers.
holding onto her is like trying to…
hold my hand to a burner:
which means, i can only hold on for so long,
before i have to step back and clutch at ice.
am i destined to hold ice forever…?


being with him –
it’s like standing on the opposite side of a gorge.
there is this distance.
in order to reach him,
i have to cross.
i grow wings,
fly to him.
he shoots me down,
and forces me back.
(what is he hiding?)
i cry tears,
form a river
to swim across.
he sinks me with stones.
(why is he so scared?)
i toss a rope,
to swing across.
he cuts it.
(does he realize how tired i am?)
i cup my hands,
shout across to him.
nothing, he says.
just you.
…but isn’t that everything?

Dear Grad,

So you’ve graduated. Congrats! That’s a really big deal. Despite what the statistics say, making it to the finish line is not something that everyone gets to accomplish.
Now that you’ve finished your academic journey, you are probably busy celebrating and reveling in the fact that you have absolutely nothing to do. That your life, once busy with club meetings, tests and paper deadlines, is chock full of Netflix binging and OnDemand channels. And it’s OK, healthy even, to relax and gain back a little of your sanity.
But you have another adventure waiting for you: the rest of your life.
Scary, huh? Don’t worry. It’s not as bad as I make it sound. But you need to remember a few things:
First: Do something that you love. If this is what you went to school for, good for you! Go out there and change the world with your degree. If this isn’t what you went to school for, don’t worry. A lot of people graduate and realize that they have no idea what the fuck the last four years were supposed to mean.
But do something that brings you joy. What is joy, you ask? It’s that feeling of time flying when you’re working on something. It’s that content feeling you get when you have nowhere else you would rather be. It’s that sense of peace that is the knowledge that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Many people search for years to find this joyous job. Some people know right away that walking dogs, taking care of babies in the NICU, or fixing someone’s car is exactly where they are supposed to be. So search. Go forth and find what makes you happy. And don’t worry about money. It is better to be happy and poor, then trapped and rich.
Second: Love yourself. You may think that this is easy, but it can actually be really hard. Ever seen the movie The Runaway Bride? It’s the story about a woman who literally runs away from men she loves at the alter. She runs because she’s afraid. She runs because she loves them, but she’s not really sure they love her. So before you can find your soulmate, you need to learn a little bit about you. How do you like your eggs? What makes you happy? What pisses you off? How are you when you’re hungry? What are you like when you’re single? Who are you? And more importantly: do you like the person who stares back at you in the bathroom mirror?
Third: Take a chance. Do something that scares you. Make a colossal mistake. Date the wrong person. Move across the country. Hell, move across the world. Disconnect from technology. Drive without a GPS. Take a vacation alone. Do what you want to do, when you want to do it, and make no apologies. Now is the time to be stupid. Now is the time to forget to pay your rent. Now is the time to pack your bags, quit your job and travel the world. Because now is the only time when you are unattached. Now is the time when you are the only person you have to worry about. Now is the time when you don’t have a mortgage, orthodontist bills to pay, and a dog to walk. Now is when you can take that leap off that mountain ledge and hope to God that there’s something (or someone) there to catch you. So jump. Because you’ll never realize your limitations until you break them.
And finally: Be kind. This may seem trivial, but I mean it more than just a “be kind to your neighbor” kind of way. I mean it like this: be kind to the environment. Don’t litter and pick up litter you see around you. Be kind to animals and adopt, don’t shop. And if you can’t adopt, at least donate to your local animal shelter so that they can care for the animals you can’t call your own. Pay it forward and help that senior citizen with their groceries. Because somewhere out there, your grandparents are struggling with their groceries and someone else might be helping them out. Be kind to your family and your friends. Remember to put them first and to listen to their problems. Be kind to cashiers and food servers and public employees and cab drivers because they’re probably having just as hard a time as you are, if not an even harder time and we could all do with a little kindness. Be kind because you can be kind. Don’t be kind because you think it will pay off and get you into heaven (although it can’t hurt). Be kind because it makes you feel good and because being kind is good for the soul.
So go out into the world, new graduate, and make a difference. Change the world or change one person’s life. Smile, head up, shoulders back. You are the future, and the future is calling you. You are the next doctor, the next CEO, the next teacher, the next President, the next everything. You matter. And what you do, matters. So be kind, be smart, and be yourself. And like my dad always says: Don’t fuck it up. You got this.