Poem of the Week: “See, I Can Do It Too”

This poem sat on my computer in various scraps for years. It started out bitter and detached but became inspirational… I think.

Maybe it’s still scraps. But I feel like it works.

See I Can Do it 2

See, I Can Do It Too


Beauty is a cold war


of cold creams and old dreams.

We’re in an arms race of allurement,

knee-deep in Vaseline and expectations,

dangling a lit match and whispering

you get indifferent first.


So no self-effacing, a selfie facing

those well-strung masks.

We can adopt Comedy, poise paralytic:

every post a pick-me-up,

every Snap a sell,

thumbs covering

the drunken nights and irreverent fetishes

so no one can confuse our appearance with our images.

Or, Tragic, revel in dishevelment,

photos filtered but cigarettes not,

for sadness the brand: Preaching peak minimum,

swaddled in ripped jeans, flannel,

and hashtag security blankets

knit in pocket supercomputers.

But either way,


fame is cheap.


Inflation does that.

It takes lots of work

to be concertedly ignored, or stir guilt

when glossed over.

Caked in Adobe clay, some wait

for the reblog of a lifetime,

the intentional accident,

the headshot launched, Voyager-like,

that’ll unlock their day job,

riding a stream of unconsciousness.


And the hope grows but flickers:

batting at shadows, Plato’s Allegory

of the gravely misjudged chances.

Freak flags lower to half mast.


But if the internet’s a big sweets machine,

I’d rather be a cake than a cog.

When it comes to popularity, I’m ashamed

to say I’m shameless—Better hell in the Top 40

than heaven with Pitchfork.

So I follow

models, vloggers, icons, artists,

and tell myself I’m a conscientious objectifier:

ready to Like unto others

as they Heart unto me.


But at the end of the day,

you’re still only ones and zeroes in my screens,

if not for minds then behinds,

set to amuse on the pot or the bus,

or when my desktop’s froze up,

en route to real life.

Pitch a show, rock a suit, tell a joke—

it’s all been done before,

there’s just quicker memes and more greenscreens now.

And it goes to show how


love is contagious,


not airborne.

The admiration to spur a fan page rampage;

to call a dox or charity drive with equal ease;

to lob a line or look into a crowd and have catchphrases

echo back at you like grenades full of validation.

And every comments section squabble, an exercise

in mutually assured instruction:

Pity or competition.

Learn your place or take his.


I’ve stared at UFOs less spellbound

than those accounts.

Beauty? Fame? Love?

What’s it take,

what strand to grasp

to untie this Gordian knot

or simply cut and run?

I could be you if I wanted to

the sloth’s refrain.

But the truth remains:


Bodies can be airbrushed,

voices autotuned,

words ghostwritten,

fashion provided,

and pasts smoothed over.


You’re known?

Good for you.

Address to the electric ether

or a mirror, depending

on my motivation.

Because I tell myself


it’s all about who you know.


Which means it’s all about who

you have the luck to be born of


or, just maybe,

the courage to call.



My Favorite Short Creepypastas, Narrated.

Just a brief compilation video of me reading my all-time favorite super-short creepypastas! Hopefully accurate timestamps:

1) “The Other Earth”: 0:08 – 1:01
2) “100,000”: 1:04 – 1:49
3) “Worms”: 1:52 – 2:21
4) “Baby Dolls”: 2:24 – 3:02
5) “Now, What Was I Doing?”: 3:06 – 3:34
6) “The Cabinet” – 3:36 – 4:08
7) “Genetic Memory” – 4:12 – 5:28

Original stories can be found here. No clue who wrote them, but if said individuals are concerned about this video, just say the word (also, hi, big fan!).

All photography by me. See more at TNW24 on Instagram!

Video made with the so-far surprisingly good/cheap Windows Movie Maker replacement Movavi Video Suite.

#WorldPoetryDay: My First Poem + Thoughts on the form

Trev Top Ten 15

Me circa the turn of the millennium, give or take a few years.

It’s World Poetry Day! This is, it turns out, not to be confused with National Poetry Day and National Poetry Month. To switch things up, I thought I’d take a step back and not write something new and ceremonious but simply reflect on my history with the form.

The first poem I ever came up with dates way back to 1998, at the age of 6. My parents were driving me somewhere and, as I stared up into the night sky, a quatrain just popped into my head:

A star is a sun

Waiting to be free

For when I had wished on it for life

It had wished on me.

At some point, a dictated copy in gentle calligraphy ended up in a little frame on my wall—and that of my grandma, too, ever the keeper of memories. At times, on brief trips back home for rest and respite between my studies and professional to-dos, I pause at those pictures. I reflect on how far I’ve come as a writer, and how far I still have to go.

I’ve moved through many phases of poetry since then, from goofy sing-song odes to my hobbies, to song parodies, to morose romance, to (I’d like to think) making the most of that English degree with deft imagery and wordplay. While I’ve never produced enough–or experimented intensely enough–to honestly define myself as a “poet” foremost, I still hold poetry in high regard as the purest form of expression. Music may predate it in using rhythm to strike a mood and captivate an audience, but language–by design–truly bridges the gap between thinking and feeling. Yet while grammar and syntax are useful, nobody thinks or feels the way we write an essay, a speech, a memoir, or even a blog post. Ambition isn’t utilitarian. Fears aren’t logical. Hopes don’t stall for commas and paragraph breaks.

And poetry runs on a spectrum; infused in storytelling, it’s what separates a paperback thriller from a literary classic, or a rote screenplay from an award-winning script. You don’t have to see the line breaks to know they’re there–and conversely, you don’t have to hear consonance, assonance, or clever spacing for it to impact how you feel when your eyes scan the page.

It doesn’t have to rhyme, or even make sense at first glance. It just has to mean more than it says. That freedom can be as paralyzing as it is exciting.

I welcome the challenge.


The Weekly Poem: “ISYMFS”

This is a poem ragging on someone I used to be.

Lifting Music


Self-pity is exhausting.

Setting up. Dressing down.

Hitting the bench and feeling the burn

of bridges and bones,

red-browed, tearing up.


No shuffle mode. Workout routine is key.

Purposeful discontent.

Warm-up: five reps of Radiohead,

creeping through the fake plastic trees.

But we’re just getting started.


Ed Sheeran works the chest,

an Iron-Man core of sweat as you power through

the half-hics, clicks of exes’ Facebooks

and photo albums unmodified for years.

Upper back: Motion City Soundtrack,

shrugging at exaggerated inadequacy.

Rack it. Congrats.

Selective rejection sets a beat

to push through pain.


Take a break in-between exercises

and stare down the ceiling.

Plead and need and

listen enough, and Achievement Unlocked:

Everything You Deserve.

(At least, that’s the plan.)


Legs day takes determination,

bipolar but still the same bar.

Brow furrowed, striding uphill, across town,

head light from wistful intents and retroactive rebellion.

Make it a day to remember—

keep your hopes up high and your head down low.


Arms are Snow Patrol:

Balled fists at kisses missed

and arm tensed, “V” for vowing

it’ll never be as good as it was back then.

Crunches: hunching over the PC,

a knuckle-gut feeling as you surveil

the blips and tickers, traffic-like,

for a flirty PM or Verified retweet

suggesting there’s still a chance.

It takes a lot of activity

to be inactive.


And Coldplay? Creatine, the chaser

to an evening well-undone.

Don’t forget to stretch

with some neutral Top 40 tune.

It’s okay to go tired to bed,

just not breathless.





But, you know what?


The gains never come

and the wait never lightens.

Personal trainers are costly,

and spotters hard to come by.


So, I’m thinking,

if you try to raise your spirits and it breaks your back,

take some plates off already.

It’s less muscles to smile than frown,

goes the cliché, so hey—

why strain something?


Yeah, things not working out is a workout,

but it doesn’t have to be a burnout.

Motivation goes both ways, and so it’s high time

you scaled back—slowed up—

eased down the dumb bells

and said “what the hell,”


It’s still your set,

and I know you can lift less.



“The Agents of Fear” – A Creepypasta Narration

I’m not afraid of anything. But you should be.

Hey, I’m getting serious about this whole YouTube thing now! Thus, welcome to the first in my series of story narrations. Emboldened by an evening thunderstorm, I took a shot at adapting my creepypastaThe Agents of Fear.”


This is my first time doing one of these videos (with little free time and a $0 budget), so I hope it turned out alright! Apologies for no cool illustrations/effects this time around–I’ll figure those out in the future.
Check out the rest of my channel by clicking through with the above embed or go here.


The Weekly Poem: “Vigils”

[Happy Daylight Saving Time! With it, I announce my new goal: A submission a day, a poem a week, a story a month, a book a year. Let’s do this thing already!]



Vigils are interesting.

Why always at night?

To be sadder, more dramatic?

People can mourn in the morning,

die during the day,

get introspective anywhere.

The candles wouldn’t even need to be lit

if the sun was up.


It struck me as

an inelegant elegy, a premature retrospective.

The funeral frontloaded and publicized.

A pat aftermath of fundraisers and belated favors.


Not insensitive, just intrigued.

Numb to the inevitable.

Always staring more than sharing

in a loss.


So when I did attend one,

the college President having passed to cancer a weekend prior,

I wanted to care—and did.

Still, a sense of intrusion loomed over me

as I marched to the plaza—

no tale to tell, no anecdote to impart.

As if spectating carried a scent

and out I’d be found.


But it didn’t matter.

It wasn’t cresting the hill

and seeing the place packed with solemn students.

Or the emcee’s invocation,

to thank us all for coming

and just wanting to say a few words before we all began.

Nor the moment of silence.


No, it’s the motions and emotions

only presence can capture.

Not the photographer’s exhibit of a tear-hardened cheek

or the paper’s front-page summary,

relegated to rusty coffee shop news-racks.

Sadness spreads,

and who we keep in our thoughts could fill a whole shelter,

but there’s no honor by proxy, no tristesse à deux.


It’s the prone canvas of handwritten hopes, thanks, and well-wishes

on a foldout table to the side—

the eulogy democratized, a technicolor tombstone.

It’s the tremble of a dozen hands as they pen condolences,

and the shades chosen:

Black (traditional),

orange for vitality, pink for love, blue for hope.

It’s a tall Tupperware subbing as a donation box,

aflow with crisp and crumpled bills alike.

To attend is free, but everyone will contribute.

It’s how a man speaks about What She Meant to Me,


and, candle in hand, my pedantry melts in kind.

The weeping wax is a quick pinch

of the thumb en route to concrete,

and I should have known


we sleepwalk through work, play, and three square meals,

only to truly wake in the lonesome, cold, and eerie hours.

Death is a tide that stains instead of cleanses,

and the waves crash by dark

yet recede by day.

We can’t stop the storms, but we can build each-other lighthouses.

One wick to another, pale palms raised

to signal shore:

Faith. Thankfulness. Perspective.


The band lilts, coaxing notes

to lay a hand on bucking shoulders.

A sheet of music draped over the coffin to come.

There are minds and souls here, but no body,

and nobody is leaving just yet.


We are one wonder less,

wonderless the world still turns.

Better to learn it together,

to feel around emptiness and still take something out of it,

because memory is not a spectator sport.

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