Narcissistic Empathy

Narcissistic Empathy by Valerie Parente

The way I empathize,
is through narcissistic sight,
I know you have eyes,
because I have mine.

– Valerie Parente (6-19-2021)

That’s The Moon

That’s The Moon by Valerie Parente

Look up high
at the night sky.
See that? That’s the moon
it’s not an excuse
it’s an explanation
to something complicated
something I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand
but when I break it down as a symbol I stand a chance
to make sense of the voice inside
this methodically mad mind.

Do you see that? That’s the moon
and it belongs to you too.

– Valerie Parente (6-16-2021)

The Architect

The Architect by Valerie Parente

She who wears the claw of chrome,
upon her right hand,
can create worlds,
from a pathological plan.

It’s the illness in her defective bones,
that whispers the blueprint,
adjusting the world order,
to rebuild from the ruins.

She’s made it her grand mission,
to map out this pain,
now it’s her duty,
to make a home out of a maze.

With bright pink locks of hair,
she has your attention,
they agree with the task,
but don’t understand the reference.

She’s called a freak when she lays it out,
with her architectural mind,
but her cultural impact,
is an outcome that doesn’t lie.

She has an eye for constructing it all,
knows where to lie the stones,
knows where to build up,
knows where to dig a hole.

Everybody wants the stigma to vanish,
but rarely do they realize,
that to see past the roadblocks,
we need to open our eyes.

– Valerie Parente (6-16-2021)

Your Wardrobe

Your Wardrobe by Valerie Parente

They wrapped you up
when you were born
covered your autonomy
in societal norms.
How do you express yourself
when you can’t be loud?
How do you wear your psyche
while it wears you out?
How can this be you
but not what you’re about?
How do you untangle your episodes
from the threads on your clothes
wrapped in a neurotic wardrobe
when all you want is to be exposed?

– Valerie Parente (6-15-2021)

Nemesis (Not Me)

Nemesis (Not Me) by Valerie Parente

I’m finally happy
and my OCD still found me.
I see you in my dreams
with a tangible body
but when I go to defeat you
you’re the nemesis that continues
like a chain that keeps repeating
in a relationship so uneven.
I see you in so many forms
using my sweet slumber to return
and I punch, I kick, I scream
I wrestle to separate from the enemy
and I get oh so frantic
to justify my antics
begging the peers before my eyes
to understand that I’m the good guy
that I am separate from this disease
but then I wake up and it’s not a dream.
I still have this sickness on my skin
when I’m awake I’m still hallucinating
and it’s hard to believe I used to be afraid
convinced I’d be so lost without this charade
but now that I’m full grown I finally see
that this disease is nothing without me.
You’re just a sickness that attaches
used my puberty to take advantage
and I was far too young to understand
that your golden offer was a cruel scam.
How dare you stick yourself to me
even when my brain is asleep?
How dare you attack those I love
as if my entire psyche wasn’t enough?
And even though I’m so damn exhausted
by the nemesis in my subconscious
I’ve finally found my grace and solace
knowing I can manipulate you as an artist.

– Valerie Parente (6-13-2021)

Cosmic Web

Cosmic Web by Valerie Parente

No illustrations this time,
only words to sway your mind,
I want you to read and absorb,
into your own mental world,
the manifesto alludes my intentions,
tell me how it fits in your dimension,
because my experiences come from me,
but when spoken they fill a collective stream,
in this sense, we are all connected,
a cosmic web that needs no mention,
like a dreamcatcher catching dreams,
we’re all interwoven miraculously,
come, tell me your name,
come, into the infinite space.

– Valerie Parente (6-8-2021)

Catharsis

Catharsis by Valerie Parente

When she asked “How do you deal with the toxicity of the public?”
I said “Write, write, write,
channel all your frustration in creation,
create, create, create,
channel all your energy into artistic placement,
paint words into memorable phrases,
find meaning in the oddest places,
make a collection of your lessons,
help the lost find their blessings,
the hardship will always get better,
and the wisdom goes on forever,
find your catharsis and give it away,
translate the world that lives in your brain,
be the God you want God to be,
and then you will find your peace.”

– Valerie Parente (6-7-2021)

I Want To Be Heard

I Want To Be Heard by Valerie Parente

It’s not that I want to be famous,
it’s that I want to be heard,
and I know I can touch you,
if you get in touch with my words.

I took a lot of carefully constructed time
from a child to the adult I am now
I try my best to add a positive spin
a piece of beauty in an ugly crowd.

There is nothing more important than a voice
I realized that when I was a sick teen
and if you don’t like what you hear
you sure as hell have the right to intervene.

I saw a lot of talk about mental disorders
that glamorized the illness over healing
and I knew right then and there
I wanted to patch over the bleeding.

There’s are always silver linings to our pain
and it took a long time for me to see them
but the one thing that saves me every day
is the process of creating and artistic freedom.

I didn’t go through hell for nothing,
mental health awareness is the goal,
there’s a darkness we can manipulate,
shedding light in the shadows.

Make it meta, make it metaphorical,
make these poems layered infinitely,
I’ve got your back and that’s a promise,
if you’re kind enough to listen to me.

– Valerie Parente (6-7-2021)

Venus Fly Trap

Venus Fly Trap by Valerie Parente

I don’t want to, but I snap
so quick and so crass
locked shut from the past
a paradox I haven’t grasped
because if I wasn’t grabbed
then why do I feel attacked
involuntary and so fast
before I get the chance to relax
like a venus fly trap.

Years of tension so compact
maybe this is what lasts
when you’ve been broken in half
but now I’m more than that
so happy and on track
I guess the trauma stays intact
muscle memories I don’t have
these lips seal in a flash
like a venus fly trap.

This struggle is meant to pass
and I’m going to achieve this task
learn to bloom instead of clasp
I’m still a flower, if you must ask
blossoming among the grass
so much beauty in this craft
with a love so matter of fact
kiss me and I’ll kiss back
like a venus fly trap.

– Valerie Parente (6-6-2021)

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)