I wrote this poem, “Like Fine China“, without fully understanding what my subconscious was trying to tell me. After reading it a couple of times I realized the meaning behind the words. Fine China is the symbol for making art (something beautiful) out of sadness. The sadness is a constant cycle that manifests itself like patterns on fine China, royal “blue” (sad) details that I’ve etched upon the surface (my writing). When I have days that I break down, the porcelain breaks down, and I could use the jagged pieces of sadness to hurt myself but instead I choose to use them to build a display out of the broken pieces in the form of a porcelain vase (art from my mental breakdown) and there I show off pretty flowers (rhymes through poetry). The problem that arises from creating art out of sadness, sometimes sadness that a 3rd party might see as “old news”, is that these emotions I’ve recited are as good as dead to the world, hence why the flowers in the fine China vase I’ve built are decaying. The wonder in this, though, is that those decaying flowers offer me, the writer, solace. The cycle of sadness and creativity continues as the decaying flowers become a beautiful floral tea that I turn to for comfort as a grieve the ongoing pain I’m still in. Other people don’t see the benefit of the flowers (writing about perpetual pain), but I do. The entire process from fine china to a floral tea is cathartic, as is the artistic process, and in the end I feel okay and like I can survive my own mental state. Alas, a new day comes, the sadness inevitably returns as I am overwhelmed with reminders from the real world, and the pretty pain goes back to being “too pretty to comprehend” (commentary on not fully understanding what I was writing in the poem itself “Like Fine China”). Thus the entire breaking down of fine china (delving into an artistic outlet) occurs again.
Isn’t it incredible how art can be completely mindless but reveal something so profound in the mind it spawns from?
How can one be so strong and indestructible yet appear like fine china, so fragile. Royal blue details drawn on clay art on top of an artistic display. Breaking as I break down, a million pieces so jagged and profound. I could use them to separate my skin instead I made a vase out of porcelain. I filled the china like a beautiful bouquet with flowers that had already decayed. And everybody calls me a sick freak because I can still see their beauty but it’s them who fail to see that dead flowers make great tea and I’ll sip it as I grieve remembering how it felt to be like fine china, too pretty to comprehend until they break me down again.
Do not get freaked out that everything you do seems to have a common theme. Be amazed that your subconscious understands the grand scheme. Because your mind is the universe’s method of making itself seen.
You think I’m devastated from losing you but I realize now, I never lost you, I lost the person I thought you were. I thought you were a best friend that valued my company, I thought you were a best friend that I could spend hours talking to about anything and everything, I thought you were a best friend that I could go on adventures with and learn what it means to be an adult with, and the most devastating realization of all is that I thought you were a best friend who would never dare hurt me in the way that you did… because you said you’d get back to me while I was struggling to breathe but as I was fighting for my breath you couldn’t have cared less and as the months came and went you replaced all the time we spent in a matter of seconds and now I realize with tears in my eyes that to me you were the person I wanted to share my life but to you I was just a fill-in-the-blank until you found a better name. I’m not saying you’re not allowed to grow up and have a life but, dear God, why did you have to make a game out of mine?
To anyone who’s cruel enough to call me a crazy bitch because I have to write it all down since I still can’t speak about it out loud then go ahead, do your worst, because I’m already hurt. If it makes me a lunatic to be devastated by losing the past few years to someone who left me hanging in my own noose then go ahead and cut out my brain, examine its flaws, because I’ll be the first one to say that I’m a lost cause.
For the past few years the only thing that got rid of my writer’s block was when you’d go and pissed me off so now that you’re dead and gone I’m struggling to remember how to start. How do I write a piece from my heart without getting your image involved? Because you were the one to break me apart and I know that contradicts my thoughts that I’m trying to write about moving on but it’s way too damn hard not to end this with a vicious remark a quick fuck you for affecting my art and a quick thank you for making me your pawn because that sick game you called my fault made a hell of a good poetic plot.
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 Hauntedis 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!
“Why do I create the greatest art
when I’m in the greatest pain?”
“Because the artist is a magician
taking something as ugly as heartache
and turning it into something beautiful.
That is the true power in you.”