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Cara Losier Chanoine: Keep Writing

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 4.7.2021.

The Poet at Eighteen

wrote everything by hand

in a notebook bound in black velvet

and gilded her words in earnest

and unbearable melodrama

gave birth to language

in erratic moments of uncontrolled fever,

like something rabid

in the throes of a painful contortion

wore a black trench coat

a size too large

and sat in the windowsill of her dorm room,

listening to Spineshank

and trying not to be so insecure

and wishing not to be so insecure

stood outside with her friends

while they smoked clove cigarettes

cultivated a taste for insomnia

had a boyfriend who was much bigger

and much angrier

than she was

was always a little surprised that anyone

liked her at all

sat in poetry workshop, nauseous

in anticipation of being exposed as a fraud,

discomposed by how much smarter and better

everyone else seemed,

and trying not to be so insecure,

and wishing not to be so insecure

the poet at eighteen

took everything too seriously

and walked headlong into clichés

and ate too much candy

and read through the night instead of sleeping

and fell asleep in the library’s green easy chairs

and kept writing

About the Author: Cara Losier Chanoine is the author of 'How a Bullet Behaves' and 'Bowetry: Found Poems from David Bowie Lyrics' (Scars Publications). She is a four-time competitor at the National Poetry Slam and her work has appeared in DASH, Red Fez,The Threepenny Review, and other publications.


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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