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COPING WITH JOKES Poems of the self-conscious by Kelsey Wilkins


A Note From The Author: “You need more writing pieces,” they said. “Something that really shows who you are!” I smiled, nodded, and excused myself to go slam my head against a hard, concrete surface somewhere. I’ve written many poems, short stories, and dumb essays discussing the symbolism in Holden Caufield’s red hat. However, I’m far too self-conscious to showcase my personal writing because I fear judgement. A wise, drug-induced character from a movie once said: “Never take it seriously. If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt. If you never get hurt, you always have fun.”

This particular character may have had her stomach pumped at the end of the movie, but aside from that we share a similar philosophy: cope with your feelings by pretending you don’t have any. And thus, these poems were born.


POETRY If you make a lot of breaks in a sentence, and use frivolous words, like frivolous, does it make a poem?


PORTFOLIO REVIEW I’ll show this to you, and pretend like I don’t care when you hate it. But then, I’ll go home cry in the shower, and eat soap until the pain washes away.


CONTEMPORARY MUSINGS Emily Dickinson and I have a lot in common. We spend most our days lying in bed, counting the shapes in the ceiling, watching time pass. But what we don’t share is the fact that shall I die, I have someone who will burn all of my notebooks.


FOURTH MEAL ‘Tis the broken heart that suffers in sorrow, until it heals and once more accepts love. ‘Tis the empty stomach that leads to Taco Bell at 2 a.m., alone, as you contemplate your self-worth.


DOLLAR BEERS It’s so romantic the way you come from behind, grope my body and drunkenly whisper the soothing lyrics of “Get Low” into my ear.


HANGOVER The sun peeks through the shades, delicately; although you’d do anything to bask in eternal darkness as you peruse through the regretful text messages of last night.


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Coping with Jokes  

Poems of the Self-Conscious