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Poetry by olive1736

Poetry by Ninja4Akemi

Literature by newsiesfanforever

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Submitted on
August 15, 2013
File Size
5.8 KB


215 (who?)

i’ll be honest with you;
there is a certain authority to being
a writer.

somebody said once that writers struggle with reality
because we spend all of our time
constructing our own.

the truth is, life may be impermanent
but the details are not.
time has one direction
the past cannot be revisited
and history cannot be redone
with a red pen.

what happens, happens.

we are walking permanent records
that can never be expunged.
no matter how many orphans we pull from fires
no matter how many dying children we sing to
we still made our mother cry once
we still let our little brothers find us passed out
on the front porch when we were nineteen.

imagination is our primary retreat
because there, that boy does fall in love with us
and our first kiss is not spit on our chins
or misses landing on our nose
(maybe there are waves crashing in the background)
and we say everything right.
there, we have crafted a version of ourselves
that lives perfectly.

“if i could,” someone says.
“if i could i would change this.”

if i could do it over again.

if i could.

(and see, i don’t like that phrase.
it’s nice to dream
but prolonging it only makes it harder
to eventually wake up.)


when i was twelve, i had a recurring nightmare
i’d get trapped in an elevator shaft
and that i’d scream for my parents.

years later, there is a part of my brain that is still
in that dream, screaming

and i guess
i don’t have the right to tell you that the door to the past
is firmly shut
because i’m still struggling to accept that
there was a time, once,
i was really calling for them

and there was no answer.


let’s suppose i had a way of changing this.
if i could.

and if i could, i would answer myself.

i would take the tiny hands of a twelve year old
with bright eyes into mine and i would tell her
to be her own hero.
i would say, “keep a sword on your key chain
and when that boy in the eighth grade touches you,
punch him in the fucking face.”

i wouldn’t have the guts to tell her that she'd have to be,
because the people sworn to protect her
simply wouldn't.

i wouldn’t have the strength to admit that, eventually,
the corner in our mind would tire and that part of us,
begging for contact, would die,
energy gone,
door to the past now
quietly clicking shut.


if i could
i would change my illness.

they say there is a definitive link between bipolar disorder
and creativity and

my therapist says that, because of it, on occasion,
i write nice things and

my friends say that at least, something so horrible
has given me a gift and

my brain whispers quietly, in my ear, i’m here to stay

timothy chang, the boy who triggered it back in middle school, said
that i should feel blessed he almost assaulted me because
who in their right mind would ever touch somebody so ugly?

here’s what i say:
if there was a choice between feeling normal and,
on occasion, writing pretty poems,
in the spirit of timothy himself,
i would erase this fucking disease forever
and i would not look back.


if i could
i would remove the lump that sat in my throat
so i could have told my mother what was wrong
each and every time
she asked.


if i could
i would wrap my body in police tape.
i would cut my wrists beyond recognition.
i would flatten my curves down with tape.
i would let ugliness consume me like a disease

and i would take away every man’s excuse to yell out a car window,
hey honey, wanna suck my dick?


a few days ago i asked my dad what he would change
if he could do it over

and he said
he wouldn’t have become an alcoholic.
(believe me, i’d like that the best.)

then he said that he wouldn’t have divorced my mother
because he felt like so much hadn’t been resolved
between them
and i cannot even fucking describe
what hearing that felt like.

my father’s footsteps were clearly plotted out to me then
and i do not intend to follow in them.

it brings me to tears even imagining a life
where the biggest mistake i ever made can stare me in the face,
telling me it’s my weekend with our daughter
while kissing my replacement
on the cheek.


life does not have an edit function
or a backspace button.

life moves forward and sometimes
we can’t keep up.
this is where “it’s not the end of the world”
comes in and that’s what’s so fucking hard

life will go on, without you
even if there are days you just can’t hold on.

your script will smudge, your story will be imperfect,
mistakes you can’t erase and i’ll tell you,
i can hardly stand to think “if i could” because

there is something much too painful about
"If" is one of the biggest words in the English language, and it only has two letters.
Add a Comment:
xxEmi-AnGeL-chanxx Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hi, I'm here from Grammar Nazi Critiques!

Firstly I want to say that I really like this poem, it's so pretty and it covers a great concept. Writing is such a great form of escapism, but we do need to be careful to not go too far, after all, our past is what shapes us into the person we are today.

I like this bit especially, "we are walking permanent records
that can never be expunged." but then there are so many good bits, like when she holds her twelve year old self's hands...

It is VERY long for a poem though, and there seem to be two poetic ideas intertwined with this poem... there's the "what if" and losing yourself in dreams strain, and then there's a whole new theme of sexual abuse/mistreatment/sexism... which I'm not entirely sure contributes much to the main poetic stem. Part 6 sort of comes out of no where as well and is quite a harsh contrast to the feeling of the rest of the poem. I don't think the harsh language completely fits?

I really like the end of verse 7 and the whole of verse 8 "life does not have an edit function", so true!

Overall I think this is a really great piece, incredibly resonant and reflects what many people face in today's society.

Please remember that all of the above is just my personal opinion and ultimately it is your personal satisfaction with your art that matters most :) good luck in your future writing!
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014   Writer
Beautiful poem! 
colbalt-rain Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014   Writer
Thank you so much. :heart:
streetcamera17 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
All I can say is that this is amazing and gut-wrenching to the point of absolutely brilliant. It runs so personal and so raw that you can't help but be drawn in and mentally live out the lives (yes, liveS because you're that bloody fucking good that I felt a whole universe in your words.) that've been immortalized in between these lines.

Just really great, man. Really good. I'm absolutely impressed. :thumbsup: revamp 
colbalt-rain Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014   Writer
:la: Thank you so much! That's so sweet of you to say. 
InDecentSeas Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
First of all, if this is as personal as it seems, then thank you for spilling your guts. It is striking, moving, beautiful, tragic... it is a fantastic piece.
If this is a fiction piece or written through the eyes of someone else, it makes it no less fantastic, and I would still thank you for writing such awesome words for me to ingest. 

I enjoyed every second of reading this. No Regrets is the name of the tattoo parlor I frequent since I started working on my sleeve a few years back. I want so bad to take that tired phrase to heart in everyday life, but it is simply impossible for me. I'd love to die like every other fictional character that mutters, "I regret nothing." However, that would make me a liar, and I wouldn't have learned nearly enough lessons at my age if that were true. Hoping can be painful in a sense, but without certain hope we wither. That is something I refuse to do, as should you.

On another topic, did you consider using "wishing" for the last line?
colbalt-rain Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013   Writer
I actually did not consider using "wishing." But I could edit it.
And yes, this is all true. :) I'm happy to hear you liked it as much as you did.
idknotish808 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Student
You're such an amazing poet--ur really good at turning emotions into art like this.
just reading through the comments proves to me that you touched so many people and probably helped them get in touch with their feelings, too....
this was so beautiful.
colbalt-rain Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013   Writer
Thank you so much! :D
Unfuck-the-World Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Student Writer
I'm speechless
I want to curl up and cry
But then I want to give you so much praise
It's so emotionally fluent...
Ugh ;~;
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