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)

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 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)

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)

The Owl Mind

The Owl Mind by Valerie Parente

Nocturnal under the moonlight,
with visions of horror,
so many fears when it becomes night,
like a bad dream in color.

Intrusive images play in rotations,
amplified by the dark,
wide-eyed in your fixations,
as you perform your thoughts.

Something about the evening,
the howls elongate and stretch,
so foreboding like a demon,
so much worse when the sun sets.

Vigilant on treetops like a tower,
is it paranoia or being wise?
Everything is scarier after hours,
and yes, that includes my mind.

The owl mind is exhausting,
the owl mind you can’t trust,
but there is no other option,
dark will always follow dusk.

– Valerie Parente (3-31-2021)

There Is A Reason

There Is A Reason by Valerie Parente

Contrary to popular belief
I did not choose this pain,
it chose me.

I did not choose to fixate,
my mind was already made.
I did not choose to restrict,
it was in my genetics.

I did not throw my life away on that fateful day in ninth grade,
it was meant to happen to teach me about compassion when you rise from the ashes.
I was predisposed to every mental hoax so that my soul could know true spiritual growth.

– Valerie Parente (2-1-2021)

Being Abnormal

Being Abnormal by Valerie Parente

It’s just lonely…
when you’re not allowed to express pain
because you’re the mentally ill girl who can’t be taken seriously,
when you’re not allowed to drive the freeway
because no one has faith in the skills you’ve achieved,
when you’re not allowed to paint your face
because you never give in to a normal level of intimacy,
when you’re not allowed to respond to hate
because defending your mental state is a luxury,
when you’re not allowed to remember heartbreak
because normal people don’t take this long to grieve,
when you’re not allowed to cut to the chase
because only crazy people act with so much honesty.

It just gets kind of lonely inside my brain
when even your loved ones can’t understand how you operate,
because I know that my honest-to-God pain only frustrates,
adding a whole new layer to what should be normal heartbreak.
I guess what I’m trying to say
is that ordinary things like a broken heart or a common sickness
are a lot harder to cope with when you have a mental illness
because people always have a million rational reasons for why you’re incorrect
but your hyper-sensitive mind has never been dictated by such logic.

– Valerie Parente (10-9-2020)

Pick A Side

Pick A Side by Valerie Parente

I’m either a threat or I’m a mess.
This cannot be a dual process.
Because you say that I’m problematic
and then in the very same breath
that I have no influence on your conscience.
You cannot have it both ways,
I’m either intelligent or I’m crazed
and if you think I’m a combination of both
then you’re in support of the role I chose.

– Valerie Parente (10-2-2020)