So, it has finally happened! I’m a published author now! ^_^
Or should I say, a published poet, since my first book ever to be published turned out to be a poetry book? Yep. I created this baby. Yes, sir. I started writing poems when I was 9, and 22 years later, bam! Here it is! My debut poetry collection, The Anguish of an Oyster. By Ecem Yucel.
Joke aside, this is something so incredible that I still can’t believe it. I was also terrified to publish it as if the readers were this really good-looking, great guy I’ve fallen in love with a long time ago, and one drunk night, I finally blabbered that I’m in love with him (my poetry book being this blabbering in this metaphor), and now I’m at that decisive moment when I’m waiting for this guy to either reject me and leave me dead ~ or say that he loves me back. Likes me back? Loves spending time with me? …
You sit over there;
and I grab some paper,
to catch the light to draw
a word picture of you.
Today, my muse is you:
the culprit of the painful wound
recently chiseled in me.
You wouldn’t know how my melancholy
has accidentally spilled all over the page,
and left dark smudges
only I can see.
I thought if
I loved you enough
you’d love me back.
All this time, I hoped
you’d see me.
But all you could see was yourself,
your own, invented glamour.
Of course, I had to love you,
such a natural response to your being:
don’t stray child, come and caress
my giant ego,
let me have you
after you strip your clothes
and your soul. …
The heartache we carried along, like a sixth sense,
the sharp knife of betrayal between our ribs,
the waning innocence, smiling with our cracked lips,
and getting our hands dirty for the scent of an iris;
The blood of our mothers we cleaned off the carpet,
the shattered hearts we glued in the apocalypse of our loves,
the orphanhood of our souls like lurking dark clouds,
and the momentary doubt sparking in mind, pre-leaping into chaos;
The loneliness we emitted among the cheery crowds,
the crafty lies we read on the skins of our darlings,
the carelessness we surrendered to when enslaved by cravings,
and that little, crying child who, nevertheless…
[Note from editor Mark Starlin: This is not a song parody. I hope you will read it anyway. Today, I posted a poem about creative writers on Medium in which I included Ecem. Although we have never met in person, I have long thought of Ecem as an honorary daughter of mine. She wrote this poem in response to my poem. I am honored to publish it here. In my opinion, it these kind of connections that make Medium worthwhile.]
I’ve focused on
all my life:
not on the melody
of the songs
I’ve listened to,
though I was
once upon a…
Even if I returned one day, wouldn’t remember me,
rooting in that old neighbourhood, my dear childhood tree.
Must have died and been born and died thousands of times,
all those fireflies that used to amuse us
by twinkling in the dark at the garden of my grandpa’s house.
I noticed the tiles at my high school had been changed,
thus, the memory of the weight of my steps was erased.
The toddler I babysat bloomed into a young man,
a coincidental meeting —
and he wouldn’t recall my face from then.
The old man closed his tiny record store one rainy day,
who sold me my first Paul McCartney album on a birthday. …
They follow me everywhere,
whether I live on the ninth floor
When the snow melts away
and the Spring finally comes,
they come too –
to weave their sticky, silky nets
outside my window,
which would have been cleaned
the previous day — like they know!
Usually, at first, there is one,
then a second one joins,
and one day, when you’re not looking
they somehow multiply:
five, six, maybe even seven
spiders on their hurriedly woven
yet, still, socially distancing
they leave their nets unattended;
just like the guests of a hotel
who would go hiking to see some touristic spots
the city they’re vacationing has to offer
or who would spend the day at the beach
swimming and sunbathing. …
There was a girl on an island once,
she lived all alone by the bay.
Her ankle was chained to the land,
she longed for wings to fly away.
She dreamt to see a thousand skies,
and laugh, and love, and play;
she wished to dance on every star
all night and sleep all day.
There was a boy in a city once,
too lonely among the crowd.
He’d often spread his wings from his back
and fly to the nearest cloud.
Restless, he flew from place to place,
in search of a treasured home,
where he could laugh, and love, and play,
and sleep under its dome. …
He called her “love.”
Not my love,
like a pirate would say.
He called her “love”
with the nuance in his voice
hinting as if
she was the very concept
Maybe he didn’t
call her my love
because he knew
he couldn’t own her.
That she never belonged to him.
In his fantasy,
she was walking the earth,
as the two-legged version
of love itself,
and he could do nothing
but to watch her, appreciate her
and in frustration,
call her out
by the name:
She wasn’t an impossible woman
or an unreasonable goddess
who was used to getting
everything she wishes
on a whim
as he accused her to be
whenever he drank a glass
She had nothing. …
The coin tossed into her cup made a clang, and Eleanor looked up. The man who tossed the coin was already walking away, but he left a two dollar coin with a five-dollar bill and Eleanor felt the pang of gratitude ~though she really hated gratitude.
She adjusted her sitting. She was sitting on the hard, cement pavement, under a footbridge, her back against one of the pillars coming down from it. She had her worn-out bag, plus her things filling a garbage bag on her side, her paper cup for the coins, and the rectangular cardboard leaning against the cup, saying, Hungry — anything helps! …