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)

Under My Skin

Under My Skin by Valerie Parente

They say “you used to be afraid
what is it that changed?”
and the truth of the matter is
fear still crawls under my skin
made from germs that stain
the touch censors in my brain
with adrenaline on the run
running towards my love
because there’s a difference
between hearing and listening
and I still hear it under my flesh
but I listen fifty percent less
there comes a time when I wash
much lighter, no more scratching off
those bloody knuckles are a thing of the past
because when you touch my hand I want it to last
that anxiety inside still cowers
but the person outside is louder
so I’m carving out the time
to be uncomfortably alive.

– Valerie Parente (6-4-2021)

The Giver (II)

The Giver (II) by Valerie Parente

You get what you give
and I’ve given so much
to this narrative
even when there was
a major plot twist
and that’s how you know
you can’t force a feeling
that’s how I know
this path has meaning.

– Valerie Parente (5-28-2021)

The Giver (I)

The Giver (I) by Valerie Parente

The gift and the giver are one in the same
because your company is the currency
that I’ll never trade
and I am enriched
by the space you take
deep inside
my pretty brain.

– Valerie Parente (5-26-2021)

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!

Bonus

Bonus by Valerie Parente

You are not my goal,
but you are a bonus.
I learned to live without,
so now I can live with.

– Valerie Parente (3-25-2021)

Silver Chains

Silver Chains by Valerie Parente

This silver-lining
made out of silver chains
I feel so lovely
but a little afraid.

Just like the moon
with a silver face
I feel the light
through the night’s haze.

For so long
I’ve been constrained
“Don’t feel too much”
now it’s okay.

My silver tongue
makes a new phrase
as my poetry
feels the change.

This silver-lining
made out of silver chains
like a pretty puppet
of the moon’s phase.

Don’t get me wrong
this is not a complaint
it’s my favorite problem
I’ve ever faced.

– Valerie Parente (3-18-2021)

The Guardian Angel Complex

The Guardian Angel Complex by Valerie Parente

When you lose a friendship, it creates a hole,
you notice all the places you used to go,
and a crater in the shape of another soul.
But when you lose the life of a friend,
there is a Guardian Angel Complex,
and you still feel their spirit in your chest.

This is precisely why my worst grief is not from death
but from the loss of a relationship.
I know that in death there is peace,
in death, you are still with me.
But when a relationship meets its demise
it fades with all the good times.

Wipe your tears, there is no need to cry,
at the completion of someone’s life.
In the physical world someone can fade away
but in death they materialize into an emotional state.
Do not make grief the enemy,
grief is the universe’s way of hinting at peace.
When there is loss of life and you feel disbelief
that dissonant feeling is all the proof you need
that the souls that leave with love, live on infinitely.

– Valerie Parente (2-9-2021)

Spellbound (Analysis)

Spellbound Analysis

A major project I have been working on in 2020 and 2021 is a fantasy series (to be completed). The poem Spellbound is not part of this series, but it is inspired by the same artistic process I’ve been using to write my dark little fairy tale. This process consists of me translating my mental struggles into fantastical terms and motifs. I was thinking to myself about the obsessive nature of falling in love or falling into fascination with a person, place, or thing as someone with OCD. It is an experience more negative and toxic than it is positive and enjoyable. And it’s something I get called “crazy” for a lot, so I wanted to write a poem in my own little self-aware way as a hypothetical rebuttal to anybody that weaponizes my OCD against me. With that in mind I started to refer to the that mind-altering moment when I fall into fixation with something as a “spark”. This spark, something that many people feel with “love at first sight”, is always exciting at its inception. In the mirrored fantasy version of my psyche the spark is, quite literally, “magic”. That spark has proven since I was a teenager to always end badly though, and that’s why Spellbound describes the origin of this spell as a blessing from a witch that has gone awry. “[She] struck my heart, but must have missed […] because I feel it in my brain.” This whole concept of feeling love in the brain instead of the heart is, well, at the heart of my experience with obsessive compulsive disorder. It’s a trick. It’s a gift gone wrong. It’s not the magical feeling that one feels in heart, it’s obsession, and that is the difference between OCD and real authentic love. One is felt in the brain, and one is felt in the heart. The one felt in the brain is a toxic version of the latter. And I’m no fool to how that spell has manipulated the way I handle social situations in the past.

Spellbound carries on to describe three stage of obsession in rhymes. First the excitement, second the longing, and last the devastation. This is pretty self-explanatory of how OCD feels in any brain that feels the initial “spark”. Then the poem finishes off in a closing stanza about the repetitive nature of the OCD cycle. OCD fixations happen in the following order: Obsession, Compulsion, a feeling of Relief, and then starts over with a new Obsession. This model for the mental disorder was directly referenced when writing the last stanza. The reason I even thought to write this poem was mainly due to the sentiment expressed in the last line, “It never works out and I get worse. A brand new spell with the same hurt.” This is where my frustration comes in, because I do truly feel like falling in love for most people is like a spell, but its a magical experience that is innately positive. I don’t feel that way as someone with OCD. This positive experience that seems so great for everyone else always goes wrong for me because of the way my brain malfunctions in an obsessive compulsive manner. I thought about this recently because I started to feel a new spark, and it was fantastic, but I shut it down as quick as possible. I just don’t have the energy or will to be spellbound again. Not now, at least. Someday I’ll figure out how to be spellbound in my heart instead of my brain, but that day is not today. I’ll stick to exploring psychological phenomena with a rhythmic fantasy backdrop for now.

You can read my poem, Spellbound, here.

– Valerie Parente (1-29-2021)