Nobility

What is in a word, in this word, in any word for that matter? We speak and think and consume these words, this endless being of expression, but they always seem to fail us. We can’t even trust the dictionary. It gives us conflicting ideologies of “Well… the word means this, yet it also means this, depending on the context, of course.” One is truth, honor, goodness even, while the other leads us to negativity, to falsity, to that dark place we are all trying to escape with too much medicine.

So I am proposing a new idea: no longer shall we express ourselves and the world around us with words. Let’s sit in silence and speak with colors, with music, with weather and seasons. Let’s finally take advantage of the commodities around us and eliminate the noise. No longer should we accept the archaic acts of words when there is so much more out there to utilize our emotions.

Cry in color, write in harmonies, speak with the sun.

-Stacey Renberg

It’s Happening Again

It’s happening again. It’s happening again. IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN.

I am twenty-seven years old and after retracing old steps today, I realized that I have not progressed, matured, or moved on from anything that has ever happened to me.

I am five years old and alone in my neighbor’s backyard. I am surrounded by green trees and tangerines. I speak to the coy fish and my imagination leads me to the fear of Santa Claus, spiders, and sunny days.

I am still twelve, crying and alone in the school bathroom, upset that no one asked me to be in their picture. I have no friends and I spend gloomy June afternoons waiting for school to be over so I can daydream while the summer burns alive outside.

I am still fourteen, crying and surrounded by over-sexualized philistines who see me as weak, as the enemy. I run off only making things worse and wishing I were dead.

I am still seventeen, crying and sick on the phone with the boy who broke my heart. He’s trying to convince me he made the right decision, trying to convince himself he isn’t what he really is, trying to—bringing me over burritos and memories that were already dead.

I am still twenty-one, crying and screaming at my mother, threatening to jump out of the window. Words are flying out of my mouth, but they aren’t making any sense. I am pacing down the street, looking for a familiar vehicle, looking for sanity, looking for a reason not to end it all like Ben did.

I am still twenty-five, crying and mentally alone while a body sits inches from me, sitting silently and making the pain last far longer than it ever should have. The ideas run deeper this time: oven, pills, razors, overpass. I cannot stop.

I am twenty-seven, lethargic and alone, surrounded by sunny walls and cloudy thoughts. I keep returning to the same dark place. Different people pass through one door, two doors, but then you enter. You stay quiet to allow my jittery fingers to release their fears. You give me a kiss and ask if I’m all right. You tell me I’m beautiful. I take a deep breath and even though tense lips and the black wave returns, at least I was able to float on the surface for a moment.

-Stacey Renberg

Beach Bums

Let’s go to the Maldives. We can get a hut. It’ll be one of those huts surrounded by water on three sides with a long bamboo dock to lead us back to land when we’re ready. We can relax. You’ll finally be able to breathe and sleep. I will be tan, thin, and happy. You’ll sing me lullabies and we’ll eat fresh mangoes as the sun sets and the ocean waves us into slumber.

-Stacey Renberg

Meditation Monday

This plastic ring of mine is an endless circle of strength.
It knows no boundaries other than the one it makes on its own.
I know no boundaries.
This ring of beauty, grace, intelligence, and wonder.
It swallows me into a vortex of joy that never leaves,
Even when I must.
This never ending smile of mine relentlessly calls me.
Play, grow, amaze, and allow my fears to become just a thought
That disintegrates with every fumble.
This hula hoop of mine is my weapon of choice
In a battle against a sedentary, negative, unfulfilled existence.
My love to share.
-MA

Clementine von Radics

Capture1Clementine von Radics has quickly become one of our favorite writers here at You Are Remarkable. Her words have the remarkable ability to make you feel as if you can take on the world. Many fans of her writing have gotten tattoos to permanently wear her beautiful words on their bodies. It’s easy to see why one would want to carry her words so closely. When you read her words they almost feel as if they were written for you, about you, at that very moment. We are honored to be able to share her with you. Enjoy. You can check out our personal favorite poem here.

What is your name?
Eriel Clementine von Radics

How old are you?
22, nearly 23.

What makes you feel remarkable?
Accomplishing my goals, and then immediately setting higher goals for myself.

If you are having a sub-par day, what do you do &/or say to make yourself feel good again?Snuggle my cat and drink red wine.

Where do you think love hides?
I didn’t know it was hiding.  I’m finding it just fine.

When do you feel most loved?
When I’m at home.

What inspired you to put yourself & your poetry​ out there on the internet?
There’s no way to lose when you’re unknown and you put your work online for free. Either no one notices it, and your right where you started, or people find it and start to pay attention to you, and that’s how your career begins.

Do you receive much negativity on your tumblr site? if so, how do you deal with it?
Very little. Most of it is when I speak out for women or against ableism. I try to not let that become the majority of my interactions. I want to be seen as a writer, not an activist, but lately it’s been clear to me that I do have a platform and I should use it responsibly. People have started to listen when I speak, so I want to speak about the things that are important to me.

What is your favourite rainy day activity?
I live in Portland, Oregon. Every activity is a rainy day activity!

What do you think is the most beautiful thing about people?
Unbridled enthusiasm and joy.

When you hear the word “beautiful” what image immediately pops up in your mind?
My boyfriend’s face. (I know, I know)

When you started your tumblr what were your expectations? Did you expect to build such a huge following?​
No, I didn’t. I never had the confidence to believe I could be a professional writer, but writing became my full time job within six months of starting my blog. I am extremely humbled and grateful by that.

You tackle m​​any tough subjects in your pieces including sexuality, chronic illness, domestic violence, & the media’s warped perceptions, are there any subjects you won’t write about publicly?
I don’t write negative things about people who are good to me. I don’t write about problems with my family, given or chosen. Those are people who love me and support my work, and I’m not about to thank them for that support by airing our dirty laundry.

Why do you think it’s important to write about these subjects?​
I don’t always think it’s important to write about. I usually write on a subject because I have a lot of feelings that I need to process and I think that it’s something that will resonate with my audience. And then there are some that I write because I get angry that there is not enough writing like it in the world. Lately I’ve been very interested in trying to write about traumatic or divisive experiences without moralizing them.

What makes you feel hope?
“Anytime I see an interracial couple older than my dad, anywhere in the world, on a bus, holding hands,  I can’t help but think the battle is already won”
-Tim “Toaster” Henderson

Who do you think is a remarkable person?
Any female writer is my hero.

How much do you think you’ve changed in the last ten years?
I’m not in the 7th grade anymore, for one thing.

What is the best thing that has happened to you in the last year?
Getting my book deal with Andrews McMeel. All the traveling I’ve been able to do because of my writing

Where do ​you find confidence?
Personal style.

Why do you think feminism is important?
I feel there are very obvious discrepancies in equality and perception of roles in our society, and people of all genders are harmed by patriarchal thinking. I think feminism has to tie in to an overarching discussion of  social justice. The issues of all marginalized people must be part of that discussion. I am a feminist because I believe that dialogue is necessary and want to be a part of it.

What were your goals when you started Where Are You Press?
I liked the idea of bringing legitimacy to the online poetry community. I had a lot of success with my first book, and I felt I could help recreate that with other poets. I reached out to poets I had always admired, like Kristina Haynes and Meggie Royer, and it grew from there.

How has the reception been for Where Are You Press?
We’ve more than doubled in size in the past year, I hope to keep up that momentum

Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve written​?
I really like “For Teenage Girls With Wild Ambitions And Trembling Hearts

Do you have a favorite piece, from another poet, published through Where Are You Press?​
They’re all amazing. I have a soft spot in my heart for our first Where Are You Poet contest winner, Until I Learned What It Meant, by Yena Sharma Purmasir

What are your three favourite books?
I have a hard time answering questions like this, but right now, off the top of my head,

  • The Unexpurgated Diaries of Henry and June, Anais Inn
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
  • Angels In America, Tony Kushner

Where do you live?
Portland, Oregon

Tell us about your part of the world.
Come visit. There’s lots of trees and water and good food.

What should others do to make the world a better place?
Engage with it wholeheartedly in the ways you feel you can best contribute

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
There’s not a shortcut to being a good writer. The best mentor, pedigree, any of it, it’s  all useless without putting in the hours to learn and practice.

What is one piece of advice you would tell your high-school self?
Just knuckle down and survive, it’s going to get so much better soon.

How do you deal with failure?
Take time to grieve, then let it be a spike in your gut that inspires you to fight harder.

Any final last words for our readers?
Being tough and soft-hearted is really brave and cool.

“For My Mother When She Doesn’t Feel Beautiful”.
Don’t worry about your body.
It isn’t as small as it once was,
But honestly, the world needs more of you.
You look in the mirror
like you’ve done something wrong,
But you look perfect.
Anyone who says otherwise is telling a lie
to make you feel weak,
and you know better.
You’ve survived every single day
for as long as you’ve been alive.
You could spit fire if you wanted.

Happiness vs. Comfort

Happiness comes in fits and spells. Happiness is like a wave, it crests and then it falls, smashing to pieces and mixing with everything that lies below it. It becomes one small piece in an ocean of weight. Weight built on rage and joy and sadness and melancholy. Hate and joy. And life has plenty of both. Sometimes I feel like I could and should tear the world apart with hate and joy. Sometimes I feel like that’s all that lies on the edges of everything I know. Just hate and joy, and when the mania soaks the tissue of my brain they lay there in bed together, and ask me to smash holes in windows. To smash holes to escape, to escape out into the world out there or to escape, because I can’t feel the pain in my heart when there’s blood on my hands and my knuckles throb in pain. Then I can’t feel the indescribable, indefinable pain that’s been laid down by years and years of weight, the load, the straps ripping into my shoulders under the weight.

Happiness is a constant and moving destination, it is not definable and you can never rest in it’s comfort forever. For comfort is not happiness, comfort is comfort. You could tear yourself to pieces always looking for happiness, always searching, always picking up and moving, always chasing an always moving thing. So you must ask yourself, at some point in life, what it is you want? Happiness? Or Comfort? And will you have the will and courage to be faithful, like lovers, no longer searching, no longer seeking that which does not exist, but resting in the comfort of a voice in your ear when they put you in the ground?

Will you have the courage to lie in bed with the other, happiness or comfort and ignore all of the possibilities that lie on the other’s shore? Will you let your choice whisper into your ear until you’ve given yourself up to sleep, finally alone in freedom, or burdened by comfort?

-Chad Foltz