Sitting on Skulls and Bones

Sitting on Skulls and Bones by Valerie Parente

A pile of skulls and bones,
she sits on them like they’re her throne,
resenting the death that rots beneath
while presenting the depths of her beliefs.
So much destruction from perfectionism and ultimatums,
so in love with what she had, but love’s what made it complicated.
She was suspended in a bittersweet purgatory,
still existing, but never free,
not quite in heaven, not quite in hell
and you’d be surprised how bad that felt.
So she did what she does best,
she poured her heart out then she left
convinced there’d be a saviour,
but no one came to save her.
Now she mourns all the love she once had
while the things she loved don’t mourn her back.
It’s a truth she has yet to accept
so she built this throne out of death.
Coping by spinning gold
out of moping that has grown old.
So regal in all of her grief
turning life lessons into a trophy,
because there’s so much value in every loss
you don’t fully see it until it’s gone.
Now she sits here in grateful defeat
honoring the things she willingly reaped.
Dead and gone but not dead inside
because this gratitude is still raw and ripe.

– Valerie Parente (10-9-2020)

Noise

Noise by Valerie Parente

Chaos is noisy.
When you finally get out
Prepared for the silence of safety
But for some reason there is still noise
That noise is the trauma.
Echoes are normal as you distance from the moment of chaos
Music is normal as you feel newfound inspiration
But noise,
Noise is the sign of post traumatic stress.
If it is noisy instead of quiet, that is how you know you have been traumatized.

"Noise" by Valerie Parente

– Valerie Parente (2-19-2020)

Sad Truth

Sad Truth by Valerie Parente

“What did I do to deserve such disrespect?”

“You loved someone who doesn’t even love themself.”

– Valerie Parente (12-9-2019)

Games

"Roll the Dice" by Valerie Parente

Games by Valerie Parente

I’m not over you,
I’m over the games.

I’m over rolling the dice to see if today you’ll be nice, wondering if I’ll have to fight to bring out your good side.
I’m over the way you play me for a fool while I just play aloof, pretending I don’t see the truth but I know your every move.
I’m over showing all my cards like I’ve got the king of hearts but then you try to be smart and leave me at a loss.
I’m over not knowing what comes next because you’re shuffling the deck trying to create randomness before it’s my turn to guess.
I’m over calling all your bluffs and trying to earn your trust because you’re too scared to grow up and admit there could be an “us”.

Then you yell and you scream because you want to beat me but what you failed to see is we’ve been on the same team.

– Valerie Parente (7-10-2019)

Tangled

"String Me Along" by Valerie Parente

“String Me Along”

Tangled by Valerie Parente

All these tangled thoughts
have one common thread
twisted in a pattern
I’ve memorized in my head.

Stringing me along
with so much time spent
leaving me weak and worn
frayed and torn to shreds.

So much pretty yarn
it tells me where I’ve been
but it’s nobody’s concern
when I tie up the loose ends.

I wonder how long
until someone notices
I’ve been weaving my words
hoping that they’ll be read.

– Valerie Parente (5-31-2019)

the truth is, I’m frustrated

the truth is, I’m frustrated by Valerie Parente

"the truth is, I'm frustrated" by Valerie Parente

I’ve been the strong one. I’ve proved I’m smart, have a heart, and can read the mind of the most troubled. I’ve traveled, I’ve stayed, I’ve gone out of my way, I’ve done everything under the sun to prove that I am good enough. I’ve felt high, I’ve felt brave, I’ve felt the electricity every cliché claims. I’ve given time, I’ve given space, and left you so amazed. I’ve been brutally honest, I’ve been reassuring, even when my mind was hurting. I’ve been a friend, I’ve been family, I’ve been a team-player even when you played me. I’ve been wise, I’ve been right, and I understand your mind when I write my lines. I’ve been forgiving, I’ve maintained a good mood even when I should have been rude. I’ve been sweet, I’ve been grateful, even when I should have hated you. I’ve been impressive, I’ve been respectful, I’ve shielded you from my pain even when it drove me mental. I’ve gone above and beyond and I did it for what?

At what point did I go wrong?
I see a boy care about me then I watch it dissolve.

What is it about me that nobody wants?
Because every time I care I become the saddest person of all.

The truth is, I’m frustrated, and I think I have every right to be. Because I’ve been the kindest person of all and the girl God needed from me. So why the hell am I alone? Why the hell am I unseen? I’m right in front of your faces being the best damn version of me.
Call me crazy, why not?
But I think it’s a damn shame
when you’re there for someone’s darkest hour but they won’t give you the time of day.

All I want is to be loved.
And I think I’m fairly done.
Because I don’t know how much longer I can be the strong one.

– Valerie Parente (5-28-2019)

Intention

Intention by Valerie Parente

He was sick. Nose stuffed. Ears blocked. Miserable on the couch. His only movement came from his fatigued thumb gently scrolling through the phone.

“Open the door” came a text from his close friend.

His eyes burned. He hesitantly typed, “Door’s unlocked”

The floorboards creaked as the girl walked into the loft with a bright smile and a piping hot container clasped between her hands.

“I got you your favorite soup from downtown. Maybe it’ll make you feel better.”

He didn’t get up. He didn’t thank her. “Why did you do that?”

In that split second her eyes shifted from glowing to deeply hurt.

She didn’t shut down. She didn’t back track. She said what needed to be said. “What is wrong with you?” Those piercing words sounded more like they were begging for an answer than asking a simple question.

“I- I just don’t know why you’d waste your time-”

“Don’t pretend you have my best interest in mind,” she snapped. You never would have guessed that this was the same sweet and giddy girl that just came skating into the loft.

He knew he had a problem. He knew this was his problem but his mind was trying so hard to categorize this as her problem. His thoughts cranked away, trying to rationalize the panic coursing through his veins in a way that didn’t pin the blame on him.

The problem wasn’t that she did something nice for him. The problem was that she paid attention to what his favorite soup was. The problem was that she went out of her way to drive to his favorite take-out restaurant and then in another direction to his loft. The problem was that she thought, in her time alone, that doing something for him would be a worthy use of her energy. The problem was that she thought of him.

Before he could translate his thoughts into verbal daggers she called him out.

“How miserable it must be to be you,” she shook her head in disbelief, “How little do you think of yourself that you feel the need to stop or shame anybody for caring about you? Not just doing a nice favor for you… but really caring for you. Understanding you. Just because you don’t see your own value doesn’t mean I have to stop caring. You hate yourself so you project all of that onto me and I am so sick of it.” Her mouth quivered in contrast to how strong and stern her tone was.

He didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t figure out a rebuttal fast enough.

“I am NOT your punching bag!” she cried out with a voice so strained you could hear the exhaustion in her vocal chords.

He rubbed his fingertips on his bloodshot eyes up to his temples. Why was he like this? Hurting her feelings was never his intention. His intention… well… what was his intention? He didn’t know.

Her eyes were wet but she didn’t break eye contact. “I’m not going to apologize for having emotions just because you can’t handle your own! I am entitled to feel things when I’m around you. I’m not going to let your self-hatred stop me. I’m sorry but that’s not a war you’re going to win.”

He panicked, “I- I’m sorry-”

“I don’t want to hear ‘I’m sorry’!” she was crying now. “I want you to get professional help! I need you to! I need you to be okay! I need you to accept yourself! I need you to take care of yourself! I need you to understand your worth! And in order to get to that point you’re going to need to cry and hurt and feel a whole bunch of uncomfortable feelings and I need you to know that it’s going to get better… and I need you to believe me when I say that! Because if you don’t get to a healthy point then you’re going to lose… and if you can’t handle someone having emotions around you then you’re going to wind up alone.”

Alone.

That.

That was his intention.

A dominating part of him was trying to push people away. Not just any people. The people who care… really care. The people who get inside his head. The closer they were to understanding him when he couldn’t even understand himself meant the harder he needed to push. And she understood him and she got in his head and she saw all his flaws but still cared. That’s why this girl was getting the brunt of his insecurity-spawned and fear-born frustration. An unconscious facet of his brain was trying with full force to wind up alone… because being alone would be easier than handling the emotions that come to the surface when you have a real connection with someone.

– Valerie Parente (4-22-2019)

“In Touch” by Valerie Parente

I have officially published my first full length fiction novel, “In Touch”!

In Touch by Valerie Parente (Book Jacket)

You can purchase “In Touch” by Valerie Parente on Amazon.com

Buy “In Touch” by Valerie Parente


 

“Undergraduate physics student, Jef Sterling, has done enough textbook reading to know that the universe is home to countless mind-blowing discoveries. But Jef never expected one of those discoveries to be the mind of an obsessive compulsive writer sharing the same campus as him. After reading a poem by Lacey Parker about her personal struggle with OCD, Jef’s highly rational brain fixates on uncovering the mysteries held captive in Lacey’s highly irrational brain. Throughout the course of a school year these two students exchange ideas that merge science with art, reality with fantasy, and physical phenomena with mental phenomena. While learning from one another Jef makes it his mission to make sense of Lacey’s nonsensical disorder and all of its incredible ironies; how she lives by the notion of feeling everything emotionally but dreads feeling anything physically, how her mind lives to protect as it gradually wreaks destruction, and most paradoxically how both Lacey’s most rewarding qualities and most detrimental flaws manifest from the same brain. In Touch by Valerie Parente is a realistic fiction novel alive with intellectual discussion, mental strife, heartache, and anecdotal insight into the cognitive confines of obsessive compulsive disorder.”

– Valerie Parente (8-5-2018)

Potential In Action

Tarja

Potential In Action by Valerie Parente

To identify this catalyst felt right
I know that something special will happen
There is this lingering hope so well-timed
Like a tangible potential in action.

Magic hones the human existence
This sense diagnosed as divine intuition
We all can access its many promises
If we make the decision to listen.

Do not let your chance sweep by
When you are met by the extrasensory
That realm of “what could be” for mankind
stems from your instinct to detect destiny.

– Valerie Parente (3-19-2018)

Cynic

"Devil's Advocate" by Valerie Parente

“Devil’s Advocate” by Valerie Parente

Cynic by Valerie Parente

He has a very quick wit and he uses it to guard himself
Always the cynic, never fails to cast a doubt
Playing devil’s advocate to get a rise from the crowd
But I think there’s a twist he doesn’t want figured out
I’ve begun to notice that the words in his mouth
Are fueled by conflict but claim an impartial sound
He declares disinterest, yet he still sticks around
While using logic to debate rational grounds
This seems to contradict the face of a neutral account
Because no true nihilist has a belief worth caring about
I know when he reads this he’ll just shut me down
He’ll laugh and dismiss the complexity I’ve announced
With the same rhetoric that makes him so profound.

– Valerie Parente (3-5-2018)