i can’t write: exercise #1

In which, I complete writing exercises for ‘fun’…

Write a poem about a color

troye sivan singing on stage in february
dancing in the night with maren in the park
my grandpa’s jean jacket, old and musty
my jean jacket, new and built with child labor
camille spinning around in a dress, smiling wide
the color of the sky when its early morning and cloudy and the world is electric
and you can almost hear the buzz in the air, because a storm is coming
the nostalgia, wintery chill
the snow falling outside, but being inside with warm blankets
the feeling of sand between your toes
laying in the tall grass watching the wind in the afternoon
ella singing a lonesome ballad on the guitar
hair standing up on your neck when she leans in and whispers sweet nothings in your ear
the day when i found out i was going to camp
midnight is remembering
cerulean is wistful
like forgetting the name of someone you used to love
the smell of salt in your hair
seashells littering the path
summer tans fading as the year gets dark
knowing that time is limited, but wishing you had more of it
to read books in the shade of a willow tree in a worn out hammock
to listen to bon iver when you’re feeling blue


put your records on: tobias jesso jr.

Well, have you lost your memories?
Did you wash ’em down the drain?
And did you have some help deciding
To forget my name?
Cause nothing I can say to you
Could ever ease this pain

from “How Could You Babe?”

Everytime I listen to Tobias Jesso Jr. I feel as if I am listening to some classic record from the 70’s, but his album Goon is only a year old. His songs are simple, but beautiful about love, heartbreak, the struggles of being an artist. They make me think about the romantic relationships that I have been in, and even though I am young, his songs make love seem old. Jesso sounds so forlorn, wiser than his age. He knows what loss feels like, and his music doesn’t try to hide that. Piano, guitar, and simple drums create a stark effect of his lyrics and drifting, wounded voice.

I have often wished that the lessons one needs to learn in life, could come without the strife so often associated with them. But is it ever possible to grow without pain? We can learn from others, but it is often our own experiences which teach us the most. I guess that is why love is so compelling. From Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata to Franklyn Baur’s “I Wonder If We’ll Ever Meet Again” to artists like Billy Joel, Tobias Jesso Jr. and Adele, we continue to write and sing about the one lesson humanity still hasn’t learned.

P.S. If you need some more music about love, I have a playlist which you can listen to here

lift you up

We are nought but dust
No one ever seems to love us
Lost in life and lost in trust

You said that you don’t care about the things
Pretty girls with wings
But how can one live without
The food that give us life, the bed to sleep upon

And money
Shiny and green and new
It is easy to say that you do not care about material things
Until you are starving on the side the street
Your scarf almost worn to bits
You said that you did not care for those with wings
But I would give anything to lift you up

Am I free?
Free of the things
The stench of the material life
Your body even must be cut
Because it is your outside covering; the scarf for whatever lies inside

I pack in another scarf
I am still lost

to listen and to speak

A Beginning

When I yell during an argument it is often because I do not feel heard. When others yell at me, I have often assumed it was also because they did not feel heard. Or rather they heard, but they did not listen, did not comprehend what I was trying to convey. This incongruity has plagued me for the past few months, that what I want to communicate is not often what is received. It is as if I playing a game of telephone with the whole world.

So to remedy this in some way, I have found a place to share my musings and thoughts, quotes that I like, song lyrics that I am working on; the words that have not been listened to. As my new year’s resolution, I hope to write something everyday all of 2017. Whether I will actually be able to do this is somewhat unpredictable, but the real purpose of this blog is to practice writing. There will be many poorly written words, but hopefully there will also be words of meaning and truth.

— Emma Johnston