“You Won’t Read This” (Poem)

Wait... is that a baseball diamond back there?

Wait… is that a baseball diamond back there?

Well, it’s been a time since I shared some poetry on here — what with law school and all — but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing it. It took gradual progress and drafting, but I started and finished this one after only a month or so into the winter semester! It sat on my hard drive for a while, passed around among friends, but I decided I should share it on here.

It’s about college, and part-time jobs, and literary journals. It’s about paranoia, and privilege, and not being totally sure who or what you want to spend life doing. It’s about girls — a million, or three, or maybe just one. It’s about videogames, the internet, and wishing you could talk with music and intense colors instead of text messaging and social cues.

Ironically, the poem “functions” best the fewer people read it — and yet, of course, I love to share my work and get feedback. So I hope you don’t take the title to heart too strongly when I say…

You Won’t Read This

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This particular piece felt like a leap for me at first, but in retrospect it was a pretty logical progression. During and after writing a “literary self-portrait” in English last year, “An Easier Way to Get Out of Our Little Heads,” I realized how natural, cathartic, and yet… well, artistic it felt to write in a prose-poetry style–flitting between ideas and images, figures of speech and cultural references, yet wrapping it all back around around a core of feelings and thoughts that read as personal and yet relatable.

Looking back, I started letting poetry take over keeping a journal around the end of high school — a few stray verses or a whole poem every few months (admittedly, of varying objective quality) as a way of condensing my hopes, frustrations, and a handful of powerful memories into a structured yet sincere whole. So with this one, I decided to take everything I’d learned — and experienced — in the past few year, and try it again. It may be too early to self-declare a niche for my poetry, but I feel like I really found it with this one (is “love and philosophy for Millenials” too long a moniker?).


Couldn't think of a picture, so here's my "quotepic" of "The Beat Goes On" by Beady Eye!

Couldn’t think of a picture, so here’s my “quotepic” of “The Beat Goes On” by Beady Eye!

Good grief, how long’s it been? One, two, three, four, five… six months? I couldn’t blame you if you jumped ship on this blog after that long–in this fast-paced age, I probably would’ve moved on to greener pastures of soft-focus nature photography and motivational fitness posts myself. Shoot, Tumblr really did get the better of me!

Well, that and law school — because yes, I am still clinging on for dear professional life at Cornell Law! Since last September, I’ve celebrated my first birthday without a proper family party, cleared the first semester with a 4.9 GPA, loved, lost, hovered somewhere uncomfortably in-between, and got on the fast track to study international law at the Sorbonne in Paris this summer. Regrettably, my writing’s slowed to a crawl since then, but (often, I fear, to my detriment) I never stop thinking and consequently taking notes on ideas for plots, quotes, general philosophical musings, and the occasional rap lyric. Also, Tumblr’s fun, but I owe it to myself to have a dedicated site for my writing work, how few and far apart it may appear — if only so y’all who bought my book don’t feel shortchanged for abiding by my advice to “stay updated” at Notes & Sketches!

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So on that note, I’d like to present a candid–albeit regrettably slightly truncated–video of me performing my slam/rap poem “Dour Number One” (link to the old PDF post) at Cornell Law’s 2014 “Cabaret,” a miniature festival of art, auctions, and alcohol put on annually by the school’s Public Interest Law Union. I’d performed it before, but never with a crowd this big — even knowing it by heart with some new tweaks, I got pretty shaky up there, so I apologize for losing the mic a few times!

Dour Number One – LIVE