Jackalope

Jackalope by Valerie Parente

You’re just a mythical thing
a hybrid through taxidermy
jackrabbit ears
antlers that pierce
formulated after death
a concept used to make sense
of the world we don’t know
my dear jackalope.

You’re just a mythical thing
you screwed me up that morning
that’s why I’m a creature of the night
but that pain will not define
the way you broke me down
so broken but whole now
a fusion of my dual states
dark and light in the same place.

You’re just a mythical thing
two real entities mixing
to make one hell of a tall tale
and my mind went off the rails
a little truth behind the love
a little make-believe teenage crush
you got out, never quite mine
I had grace but I was chaos inside.

You’re just a mythical thing
made from the backstabbing
you don’t know me
you know a girl so naive
when I had you in my palm
before we sabotaged it all
but I’m content tonight
I found someone that felt right.

You’re just a mythical thing
my omen, my warning
you don’t play God with nature
you don’t tamper with your maker
that’s when you lose your appetite
become emaciated over night
that was no way to live
nearly got myself killed.

You’re just a mythical thing
a story I was telling
now you’re a thing of the past
and I won’t bring that pain back
a little bit of truth combined
became a tall tale over time
and I’m okay letting go
farewell, dear jackalope.

– Valerie Parente (6-6-2021)

Cherry Blossom Scent

Cherry Blossom Scent by Valerie Parente

I always liked the cherry blossom scent
and how it made me feel in my adolescence
just a school girl with a crush
before I was too scared to touch
with potential towering so high
before I channeled it into a demise.

I died once before, so sickly thin and jaded
it changed my brain chemistry and how it operated.
Took over a decade to undo those patterns
never gone, never lost, but now I know how to battle.
I’m stronger now, from the inside out
it happened for a reason, I trust that now.

Everyone has a challenge, and this was mine
multiple mental illnesses, merging and intertwined.
It’s that smell of cherry blossom hand sanitizer
my mind goes back, but this time I’m wiser.
So it is, my perception, ripened from the strife
I’m here now, I’m breathing, and I wouldn’t change this life.

– Valerie Parente (5-28-2021)

Erudite

Erudite by Valerie Parente

I went to hell and back,
studying my mental turmoil,
started as a kid with a task,
to get attention from the whole world.

When you’re a confused teen,
you feel so damn invisible,
then one special boy sees,
that’s when life got difficult.

I was always obsessive in nature,
and my imagination was a priority,
a perfectionist that was insecure,
so I excessively daydreamed.

I had talent back then,
but I didn’t use it for good,
I delved in sickness instead,
when one boy no longer looked.

Ten years gone, ten years dismissing,
that’s what the anorexia did,
ten years studying, ten years witnessing,
all the trauma adolescence inflicted.

It was circumstantial and biochemical,
and now I finally understand,
if there was any hope for normal,
I sure as hell didn’t stand a chance.

Now I’m a young woman with a pen,
and I’ve examined my psyche well,
as an expert on where I’ve been,
I make art in the name of mental health.

Believe it or not,
I wouldn’t change any single thing,
all the anguish I fought,
it helped me see another dimension.

There’s compassion in the stories I write,
there’s understanding behind each phrase,
there’s a past that helps me empathize,
there’s a purpose that will never go away.

I no longer think in terms of “me”,
I see your conscience and its fight,
my every move doesn’t need to be seen,
but I’ll shed light if it helps your life.

This is our world to better,
we are the children of the moon,
using psychology we study together,
out of the lunacy we’ve been through.

I’m going to nurture someone, someday,
in a cycle I finally want to be part of,
and that sentient bundle can embrace,
a worldview where mental health is honored.

– Valerie Parente (5-22-2021)

Third Poetry & Prose Collection

Do you want to own a hard copy of my latest poetry?
My third poetry and prose collection is currently in the works and includes fan favorites such as:

Not Bionic
These Laurels Were Never Meant To Rest
The Spider Princess
Material Girl
Seascape

Like Fine China
Poetry: Sight and Sound
Fishnets
Pamper Yourself

Celestial Being

…and over 150 more pieces!

Make sure to Follow this blog, valerieparente.com, to stay up to date for the new book release!

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away by Valerie Parente

My deep-seated
obsessive need
to resolve every one
of my teenage dreams
comes from
my inability
to forgive myself
for developing a deadly disease.

I gave up a decade of my life
I gave up adolescence as a whole
I didn’t have a social life
I didn’t have a chance to grow
I lost important relationships
I missed out on milestones
I let good things get away
in the name of starving my throat.
Anorexia took half my life
in ways I will never know.

So when I suddenly reappear
and it seems out of the blue
when I recall my childhood
like it was yesterday’s news
that’s because the last thing I saw
before sickness came through,
the very last thing I saw
was a different version of you.

I’m 26 years old
and suddenly I remember it all
I’m 26 years old
and it’s nobody else’s fault.

Do not blame yourself
you did nothing wrong

that’s what I tell myself
when the regret comes along.

I don’t know if it’s because
the world is in a dire state
or maybe it’s because
I’ve hit a certain age
but this year I’m realizing
all of my critical mistakes
and my biggest struggle now
is not in what I delayed.
It’s not about getting back
what the eating disorder took away.
It’s not about finding romance.
It’s not about a psychological escape.
It’s not about fixing relationships
or finding new ones to create.
It’s about forgiving myself
for losing a decade.

So when you hear me say
I miss what was nearly mine
the one that got away
the one still on my mind
I’m not talking about someone
in front of my eyes
because the one that got away
was me all this time.

– Valerie Parente (12-4-2020)

No Appetite

No Appetite by Valerie Parente

Having an appetite is a luxury.
When you don’t have an appetite life is hell
because you have to eat
because you feel your body getting weak
you have to put fuel inside
but the pure disgust makes every morsel feel like torture
and to go through day after day just trying to figure out how much you can intake
when just the thought of food makes you want to purge
is truly a kind of hell that nobody deserves.

– Valerie Parente (5-22-2020)

Comparing Scars

Tiara

Comparing Scars by Valerie Parente

I don’t feel great when other girls talk about their pain
because I feel like I have to one-up them just to validate my struggle
and I know it’s ridiculous that I actually feel jealous
of someone else’s suffering as if it’s a form of currency
like it’s a competition of whose scar is more impressing
I feel the need to defeat her by showing a cut that’s deeper
because if I’m the one who’s talked about then maybe I’ll no longer doubt myself.

I know it’s sick and warped how much I crave to be heard
I’m longing for attention more than I long for redemption
I don’t need some comfort, all I need is to come first
some kind of stage or grand display to say my hardship wasn’t in vain
it’s not just about being different, it’s about justifying the infliction
all that I’ve carved upon myself instead of asking for some help
and I know this truth is ugly but I need to speak with honesty
because if I can’t at least be real then there’s no point to how I feel.

– Valerie Parente (5-19-2019)

 

An Inadequate Reflection

An Inadequate Reflection by Valerie Parente

From the very core of her being she illuminated every room she walked in. In her healthiest state, her effervescent energy reflected onto all that she interacted with.
Perplexingly, as she entered a room whose walls were constructed from mirrors, she could not project her inner light onto the conspicuously ideal environment. The only radiation of light transcended from her optical form, emanating onto the boundaries boxing her in. As her being translated to the sleek canvases something equally underwhelming as it was uncanny occurred. The mirrors absorbed her energy. But this energy was not the energy that regularly brightened the moods of those around her. This shallow light was purged off of the metallic surface at the exact same angle from which it entered.
She virtually saw her own image, yet her demeanor seemed like an astral projection inconsistent of her true being. Her thriving frame of mind could not be captured by the hollow frame of mirror without warping the truth along a lateral axis. Her silhouette was inverted and her essential nature was unseen. In this limiting dungeon of a room she looked to the parallel world mounted on the walls and saw not a reflection of herself but a collection of perfectly stable atoms mocking the very imperfections that shaped her existential being. Those atoms fought to mimic a material vision, a vision far less reflective of her inner light than that of her fundamental spirit. And in a strangely empty place where a shining sheet was no more than an inherently dark plane, the optical illusion of a light-bearing presence existed.
At that moment she stopped relying on the mirror for gratification.

– Valerie Parente (10-12-16)