Rather Be Haunted (A Poetry & Prose Collection) OUT NOW

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Love. Heartache. Death.
Rather Be Haunted documents a dark period for the poet. Emotions linger like ghosts. Interpersonal relations cause palpable frustration. Death breaks the heart but in the most beautiful way.

Through chronological poetry and prose you can feel all that haunts the obsessive compulsive writer’s psyche as she tries to understand her hyper-sensitivities through rhymes and clever lines. As frustration builds, so does resilience, making the struggles that define our humanity all the more remarkable. After all, isn’t the struggle to make sense of emotions the grandest mark of being alive? What makes us human hurts; that is the gift of the universe.

Rather Be Haunted is the second volume of poetry & prose by Valerie Parente, featuring Mannequin Art alongside writing pieces. You can now own the collection in Paperback or Kindle!

Valerie’s Thesis

Valerie’s Thesis by Valerie Parente

If there’s one goal in my social life it’s to enchant another person’s mind
The perfect interaction is a transaction where I teach you and you teach me
Just promise you’ll teach me without being preachy
because I thrive on being enlightened and I die when you condescend
so help me understand the world outside and I’ll translate the art sitting in your psyche.

Nothing bothers me more than when someone thinks I’m just a dumb girl
because inside my mind is a large web of things that make me obsessed
and I know that comes across like I can’t find my thoughts.
The truth is I just struggle with my words when I have to speak them into the world
but give me paper and a pen to write and I promise I’ll blow your mind.

I know it sounds pretentious but if I’m being perfectly honest
I’d rather you read what I write than see my picture and click “like”
Yes I still have an aesthetic but that’s just the visual poetry of my intellect
If I have to post my face to get your attention and enter the conversation
then I’ll gladly pose in place only to switch your direction to mental reflection.

I believe our minds are a never-ending storm given a body in this crazy world
that God gave us physical anatomy as our way of making sense of mentality
The pain that comes with having an ego serves to recognize the other in a collective soul
So you better be damn sure that if I find another mind that can discuss this even one time
then I’m going to hold onto that conversation like it’s my most valuable human connection.

– Valerie Parente (4-16-2020)

Cruelty & Credulity

Cruelty & Credulity by Valerie Parente

sunlight brings out my dark side

Not knowing what is normal has become the norm for me.
And not knowing what’s real has become my reality.
I’m trying to be mindful of what’s fabricated in my mind.
So the cruelest thing you could do is make me believe that my perception is make-believe.

– Valerie Parente (1-31-2020)

Matryoshka Dolls

laceMatryoshka Dolls by Valerie Parente

I am an artist.
I was born to create.
I was created, to create.

We are infinite stories within stories.
Entire populations,
Entire worlds,
nested in mind after mind after mind after mind…

– Valerie Parente (1-21-2020)