:: Article

two poems

By Jillian Clark.

this poem made my mom cry a little


wake up

lay in bed for awhile

get up


drink coffee

eat waffles, a bagel, toast, or cereal

drink coffee

get dressed

make sure i have everything i need so i won’t look stupid

go outside

wait for the bus

think about something

think, “look at me, i’m waiting for the bus, i’m horrible”

maybe write something down

wave to neighbor

get on bus

sit down before i fall down

put knees on the back of the seat in front of me

stay like this

look out the window

look at everyone else and realize that they only look at each other inside of the bus

wonder why i look outside instead of at everyone else

decide that it just means i’m smarter than they are

get off of the bus

feel embarrassed

think, “look at me, i’m getting off of a school bus”

walk quickly to photography

sit outside of the room and read for twenty minutes or so

avoid conversation with everyone

smile a little

get to work

process negatives, print pictures, or get on photoshop

talk to a few people

cut pictures out of magazines and hot glue them to the wall

burn arm on hot glue gun

walk to biology

think about the pig dissection coming up

hope that my teacher remembers that i am refusing to dissect a fetal pig

she won’t remember

take a lot of notes

write some things down in my notebook about neurotransmitters

go to civics

try not to fall asleep

talk to thomas and sam

think about food

think about food

think about food

think about food

think about food

think about food

think about food

think about food

think about food

think about food

think about food

think about food

supreme court cases

think about food

marbury vs. madison

think about food

think about food

plessy and brown v. board

think about food

get ready to reach into lunch box

quickly grab a granola bar

put it on top of my desk

close text book

get up after the bell rings

eat granola bar

think about what other people are thinking when they see me eating a granola bar every day

walk to theatre

avoid conversation

study lines

read “spring awakening”

give people hugs

think about food

go to lunch

sit on the sunny bench

sit alone on the sunny bench for two weeks until people start to come over

talk to people sometimes

but mostly avoid conversation

talk to people about clay aiken

walk to spanish

quietly sit in the hallway so the french teacher doesn’t yell at me

laugh at people

that part of the day is boring

i am skipping some parts

go to math class

pay attention until about the last ten minutes of math class

draw a fish on my friend’s wrist

get x by itself

look at the clock

drop my pencil a few times

think about all of the times in life i will need math


read or something

ride the bus home

think, “look at me, i’m getting on the bus”

get off of the bus

eat food

eat food

talk to people

think about the day

think about what i would do if i could stay home

2. if i could stay home

sleep until whenever

wake up

sleep more

wake up

think, “i should get out of bed”

sleep more

wake up and think, “i want some tea because i can do whatever i want today, today is my day”

walk into the kitchen

maybe skip a little to the kitchen

open the cupboard

select a tea

get a mug

let the hot water run for a minute

think about actually boiling water

decide to just run the water until it’s really hot

put the water in the mug

put the teabag in the mug

put a saucer over the mug

wait a few minutes

take a spoon

put the teabag on the spoon

wrap the string around the spoon so that the tea has flavor to capacity

add sugar

sip tea

maybe eat some fruit or a bagel

watch sci-fi

watch roswell

stay home for a week and watch roswell

think about aliens

think about people with secrets

lay in bed

never get dresssed

take a shower in the evening

walk around the neighborhood

laugh at buses passing

they might think i’m a badass

go back to bed and watch roswell

get up too quickly and feel dizzy

get up slowly and feel dizzy

try to determine whether i am physically sick or if i have made myself sick

punch something

kick something

pet a cat

capture all of the cats and put them in one room

capture all of the dogs and put them in one room

write down observations

listen to devendra banhart

listen to neutral milk hotel

listen to belinda carlisle

but only because itunes is on shuffle

think about ebay

think about taking up a crack habit

think about writing something down

fetal pig worksheet

in biology i did not hold a fetal pig
or cut it open with a knife
instead i got a worksheet and said “okay”
i walked to the library
when someone is giving me constructive criticism
i try not to nod my head or say “yeah” too much
because this seems defensive
i googled fetal pig dissection
i looked at the pictures of the organs
they had numbers
i could not tell where the arrows were pointing
and this reminded me of my whole life

when people ask why i did not want to cut open the pig
and stare at its organs
i say “i have been a vegetarian for almost ten years”
or “i’m squeamish”
i say “it’s just a personal thing, just like how i don’t like eating eggs”
saying “it’s not political, it’s personal”
makes me a #1 vegetarian assface
a girl came over to me with her pig worksheet
she said “i’m a vegetarian from now on”
i said “yes”
i looked at pictures of the pig in the library
it was a little blue in the library

there were brick walls
and i wanted to talk to someone about abraham maslow
in a library people are calmer and generally nicer
like when ordering food at waffle house; it is somewhere
you have never been but have heard that it is both beautiful
and disgusting; that flies get into the waffle batter

because you sit right at the counter
and it is the type of restaurant where you can see
things happening; that once my mom cried
in a thai restaurant when she heard someone’s iphone
ring a duck noise; because she thought a duck was crying
in the kitchen

that in a forest in japan lots of people kill themselves
because they are depressed, abused, in debt, lonely, rich, or bored
that maybe some people do it just because other people have
that if everyone programmed their iphone to ring
a duck ringtone simultaneously
my mom would laugh in a thai restaurant


jillian clark is the author of ‘if i am in a room full of people, i am not having any fun.’ she likes horror movies and words that sound complete on their own. she rescues turtles when she sees them in the road. she lives in north carolina.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, June 11th, 2008.