Because I need to be here too…

This is a poem I have tried to write for some time now. It deals with the loss of a loved one, even though that fact is shaded within imagery of the city, any city, but I particularly had St.Louis in mind. As a writer, some things and people turn out to be incredibly hard to write about, even when you are desperate to find a way to. This poem is not complete, perhaps it will never be complete, because that word defines an ending and I don’t truly believe I can create within language all I feel about this person. I hope you enjoy!

Photo Credit: marcp_dmoz via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: marcp_dmoz via Compfight cc

 

Time takes from us what was never ours,

a soft cushion of a memory bends prints

through the searing pain of her haunting death,

the snow and ice took her and I believe it was very cold that stint,

the truck didn’t know what it hit or why

that person inside it suddenly felt something grow lighter

and drift away into what can only be the absence of that dark night,

 

Because that is the way it seems to be like, I see it in a picture,

a round frame and it plays itself over and over, but it is blurry and I can’t see her.

 

And then five years later, I am in a city and the lights beacon desire towards my empty palms,

grass struggles to grow through the cobbles and cement cracks,

people watch their clocks and the sound of fate in sirens round about curves quickly,

all is so instant and slow here it seems.

 

I walk through dark passages of streets with lost paintings on the side of brick buildings,

and I think how someone once raised themselves up and decanted a message I’ll never know or live through.

It peels off now, scatters itself with bad pronunciation and scratched grammar,

but I wonder whether she also saw these lost letters,

 

Perhaps she did when she lived in this place too and I see her there sometimes.

I see her in the urgent pose of the city, like fresh linen candles, like just born cascades of green or displayed art in a small park,

and for a time it is all what it should be and still alive, still blooming, still pretending,

 

still lugging itself about those streets with those paints that drip across the red bricks and run down bodies.

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Perhaps I Could

I hope you are having a happy Monday! Today I am going to be blogging about something a little different from my earlier posts, because today I am incorporating a poem. In the fall I will be going to graduate school at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for creative writing, specializing in poetry and so I think it will be nice to pop my greatest passion on here now and again.

I would like to share with you my most recent poem titled, “Perhaps I Could.” It is a poem dealing primarily with nature imagery, but also has whispers of cultural perception about what is right and beautiful. It has not been work-shopped as of yet and so you are reading it in one of its most raw stages. I hope you enjoy!

Photo Credit: sixbysixtasy via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: sixbysixtasy via Compfight cc

I turn this way and that all day,

feel the leaves crunch under my boots like delicate paper flowers cracking

and then he buys them for me, red and bleeding

and I am suppose to love them as they are deemed mine,

but I inspect the underbelly of deeper black shrivels

they act like shaky stilts underneath a healthy glowing hue,

the whole thing is dying.

I trudge past puddles of water piles,

they slouch comfortably into the rock and dirt,

they spread and soak the pricks of green stalks,

the russet leaves with their cracks lift and float,

in another world much smaller than my own

and my face is reflected disjointed and suspended in its reflection,

I could dig myself a place.

I lean against trees with hands like leaves,

rain trees that brush the hair from the face,

replacing it with its sticky sap and seeds,

I push into it with all my weight, peel off bits of stiff bark wrapping,

its voice lives in the wind’s whisper and wrath,

and it sizzles like hot water boiling,

threatens the clouds that roll into its top branches, starving it of sun.

I think I could,

perhaps I would like a puddle or maybe a tree that sighs,

perhaps I could place them both as armor and shackle my life,

I will close my eyes and feel what it is to be alive and I will have no flowers.

Engagement Shoot Fun

Two weekends ago, my fiancé and I were able to get our engagement photos done by Dragonfly Photography. It was a beautifully sunny day with just a little snow still on the ground.

Dragonfly Photography

Dragonfly Photography

We spent two hours taking pictures and making faces at each other. It was such an amazing experience. It was a time where we could just really focus on each other and our love, of course with a few laughs and dancing moves along the way.

We wanted to have most of our pictures outside because we like the natural lighting, but since I love reading, we decided to have a few pictures in a library as well. I am a bit biased, but I think they turned out beautiful.

Mike and I get married the end of May and we are so very excited to start this new chapter in our lives. Our engagement shoot felt like a reflection of that same love and excitement.

Dragonfly Photography

Dragonfly Photography

Dragonfly Photography

Dragonfly Photography

If you are planning your wedding and are on the fence about engagement photos, I would highly recommend getting them done. At the beginning of our planning process, I didn’t think I wanted them because it is just another cost, but usually wedding photographers include engagement photos in their overall price, so you might as well get them done and enjoy the day with the person you love!

Thanks for reading,

rosalieirene

Why English?

People always ask me what my major is and when I tell them it is English Literature, they almost always tilt their head slightly and say, “So…what are you planning to do with that then,” or they may make a joke of it and say something like, “Oh but don’t you already know English?”……..

English, just like most humanity “College of Arts and Sciences” subjects seems to get the short in of the stick, being perceived literally as a blunt ending to a lot of money spent at the University and yet in the job world today companies continue to desire more interpersonal and written communication abilities from their workers or potential highers. Companies put a lot of weight on the kinds of skills studying English gives a person, yet the field still is not typically thought of as being as important as ones like engineering.

Photo Credit: hoskarsson via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: hoskarsson via Compfight cc

In my experience, having English literature as my major has benefited me in more ways than I can count. The critical analysis skills required of someone studying in this field are tremendous and such ways of viewing literature and one’s own writing inevitably gets transferred to the way they view life. This not only makes for a person who does not take the world for face value, who questions conventional wisdom, but it also gives that person a way to articulate what they see in a professional and intelligent way.

Studying in this field promotes empathy, understanding and compassion because each literary text read demonstrates in some way the capacity of human lives, the struggles that exist in those lives, and simultaneously begs questions like what it takes to overcome adversity in a world such as ours. Reading literary text makes the reader part of a world they may have never known existed for a short while and asks of them to only truly see.

English is my passion, my love and it is what drives my ambitions and makes me feel whole. It forms my ability to understand the world. In writing I have found my voice, but in reading I have developed my ears, I have developed my inner sight, and I have found no better way to understand who I am in relation to everything else.

This is why I study in this field. This is why I would promote taking English courses to anyone who asks about them and I hope that you will discover the same amount of passion in these classes as I have. I guess the moral of this story is…well don’t count English out just yet!

Thanks for reading,

rosalieirene

Wedding – The Planning Balance

My Wedding Color: Purple

Photo Credit: AnyMotion via Compfight cc

Since I am elbow deep in wedding planning ( 68 days till the big day and counting ), I thought I would share with you some things I have learned about myself, about the wedding planning process and some planning tips. Let’s get started:

 

1. More than anything else, as the bride you have do what you love and what makes you happy. This can be hard when people pull you in all sorts of directions, but ultimately it is your wedding, your one and only, and it needs to be your definition of perfect.

 

2. Do your best to plan ahead of time. If you have a year, do not wait till five months before the wedding. I have learned this the hard way. It will help you stay sane.

 

3. Do not turn down help when you need help and at a certain point, you will need it. Make sure you tell these people how thankful you are that they are willing to put time and effort into your big day. Let them be your support network, but also be there for them when they have questions on how to do things for your wedding and always, always, always remember to not criticize these people’s handwork. They are doing it all for you and they wouldn’t have to…remember that.

 

4. Stick to budget. (Alas, make a clear budget at the beginning.) A wedding can be beautiful no matter how much money is spent on it, but realize that things may be more expensive than you think and everything, even the little things like chairs, cost money…..everything….

 

5. Try to remember that what is really important about a wedding is the people there, not the cake, table numbers, flowers, food, ect. Of course you want all these things to be beautiful and perfect, but at the end of the day everyone comes out to your wedding because they love you and you love them. It is a time to enjoy having everyone together. Remembering this should help keep all those “things” us brides worry about in perspective.

 

6. Planning a wedding can cause tension between people, especially if everyone wants to help, everyone wants to contribute, but some can more than others. Do your best to diffuse the tension, but also recognize that arguments between who has better ideas or who is helping most are not productive. Just try to be sensitive when dealing with this, because once again, the people are what truly matter.

 

As a side note, here are a few links that have helped me in the planning process:

Invitations/Save the Dates/Thank You Cards : Etsy has unique, stylish, and handmade cards based off any style and any budget. It is a great resource!

Wedding Dress/Bridesmaid Dresses/Mother of the bride and groom : David’s Bridal has beautiful dresses in all price ranges!

Men’s Tux or Suits: Men’s Wearhouse is affiliated with David’s Bridal so not only do you get discounts for using both stores, but it is easier to keep everyone’s attire in order.

Thanks for reading,

rosalieirene

Let’s Talk, Senior to Freshman

Happy Monday everyone! With my graduation from the University just months away, I thought I would do a blog post on some things I have learned the last four years. So without further ado, these are ten little bits of knowledge senior to (I assume) freshman.

 

Photo Credit: AstridPhotography via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: AstridPhotography via Compfight cc

 1. First, remember that you are in charge of your own education, not the teachers. Their job is to help you learn, but you have to be a willing student. A classroom is like a community and you are one of its most important contributors.
2. Don’t spend ALL your meal plan card on (put vice here). Mine was Starbucks. You’ll wish you hadn’t when at the end of the semester you’re broke and hungry.
3. Double check everything your adviser tells you. Don’t assume they know everything. They make mistakes too.
4. Try your hardest to get along with your roommate. You may be different, but part of the point of college is meeting people who are different from you.
5. You will get a lot of constructive criticism from teachers. Don’t take it personal and just try to learn from it. I know that is harder than it sounds, but it will benefit you in the long run.
6. If you’re going to join a sorority or fraternity, make sure you pick the one that aligns with your budget, morals, values, and time constraints. Greek life is expensive, so before jumping in make sure you have the means to pay for it.
7. Don’t do homework in a questionable state of mind (too much wine/beer/ect.). It will not turn out well.
8. Try to read the assigned material as much as possible. It is difficult to write a paper about a book you’ve only read half of.
9. Try your hardest to join groups on campus. You meet so many new and interesting people that way. It is worth it.
10. Remember why you’re there. In four years (give or take) you want to leave with a degree. Make sure the decisions you make and the money you spend on college get you to your goal.
Thanks for reading,
rosalieirene

Frozen Movie Review

Let me preface this blog post by saying that I am such a sucker for Disney movies of any kind. I love them and not only do most of them have the cutest story lines, but also wonderful songs. I may have a YouTube playlist with songs like “Reflection” – from Mulan, “Colors of the Wind” – from Pocahontas and “Make a Man Out of You” – also from Mulan. It is no stretch to say that I had high hopes for Frozen considering the kind of devoted Disney fan I am. Well, they did not disappoint.

First, some summary.
The movie follows two princesses struggling with their notions of love, power, and their place in the world. Both women must face their own self conflicts and downfalls as they fall apart and come together again. Along the way, we meet a few men who aren’t always as they may seem and the coolest “haha” snow man not to mention a wise “talking” Reindeer.

Photo Credit: Katarina 2353 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Katarina 2353 via Compfight cc

Also:
If you are as interested in the songs as I am, there are a variety of “stick in your head” kind of tunes, but in my opinion one sticks out among them all. The older princess named Elsa belts out a song called “Let it Go” that will chill you to the bone. I have sung it everyday all day for the past week! Oh, did I not mention that the person who sings it is none other than Idina Menzel, the woman who played Elphaba in the Broadway play Wicked. If you don’t know what I am talking about then you defiantly need to go check that out as well as Frozen

Side note:
I enjoy a good Disney love story as much as the next person, but I get tired of the typical princess narrative where she meets her prince charming, falls in love and rides off into the sunset. I highly enjoyed the way this movie not only put into question that stereotypical story line and expectation but also left these women’s lives to be made by their own doing and not be created for, saved by, and destined to be subject to a man’s world. They create their own. I like to hold onto things like this that give me hope in our society’s ability to go in what I perceive as the right direction when it comes to women’s equality. I know, that just got deep real quick.

All and all, this is a movie I will be watching again and again. I hope you enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

rosalieirene

*All Star Body Product* Johnson’s Baby Oil/Body Wash

I have always struggled with my skin and not just on my face, but on my body as well. I have had a difficult time finding products that are actually gentle enough. A clear sign that a body product will not work for me is that my skin will get red and bumpy, especially after shaving.

While looking down the normal body wash isle at my local grocery store, I realized that none of these brands (Dove, Olay) have done what they’ve promised, which is nourish my sensitive skin. There where brands such as Neutrogena that offered something that claimed to do so, but at twice the regular price and I would prefer to stick around the $3-4 dollar range.

I had never thought to look into the baby section of the body care area before, but that day I just finally saw it and a light bulb came on (always nice moments). I strolled on over and picked up this Johnson’s Baby Oil/Body Wash. The smell is slight, but a bit like coconut. They also have it in the original scent.

Photo Credit: Rosalie James

Photo Credit: Rosalie James

This body oil/wash is great to shave with, it does not break my skin out in red bumps, and it leaves it feeling soft and nourished. I highly recommend trying it if you have tried everything else and nothing has been gentle enough for you.

Who says adults can’t use what may have been designed for babies? I will never go back!

Thanks for reading,

rosalieirene

Ekphrastic Poetry Reading

Friday night, I had the privilege of sharing five poems with a wonderful group of people at the Duet Gallery in St.Louis. My friend and I have worked to set up a poetry event at Duet for some time and it wasn’t till after Christmas that we finally got a date set, January 31st. The night consisted of incredible abstract pieces of art surrounding the guests in the gallery, free beverages, and poems read by me and two other poets.

It was my first time reading my work in front of so many listening ears and I have to admit that I was a bit nervous. Everyone writes, perceives, and judges the thoughts and ideas in poetry very differently. It was my hope that I could express myself clearly and that nobody listening noticed my constant slight bodily shake of fear while I was reading.

If you didn’t know, Ekphrastic poetry is simply poetry written about visual art of any kind. It wasn’t a requirement that each poem had to be about the art in the Duet Gallery, just that each poet brought a few pieces representing Ekphrastic writing.

Ultimately, it was an amazing experience and I hope to get the opportunity again very soon. If you are interested in seeing what the Duet Gallery has to offer, the current exhibition will be there till February 15, 2014 and the new one will start March 15, 2014. It will consist of art by Yamini Nayar and Jerry Monteith.

I hope you enjoy this short video of me reading my poems from Friday night. My fiancé Mike Martin is due credit for video tapping: 

Thank you for reading/watching,

rosalieirene

*All Star Face Product*- Gly/Sal 2% Foaming Cleanser Review

cleanser

Photo credit: Rosalie James

It is no secret to those who know me that I am a little obsessive when it comes to my skin care. I have always struggled with my combination (more oily) acne prone skin and because of this, I have a tendency to try many products to balance it.

The Skin Dimensions Gly/Sal 2% Foaming Cleanser takes the cake for being the best cleanser I have ever used. Every time I venture away from it and try something else, I always come running back to this one.

This foaming cleanser is a gel like consistency and a clear orange color. It will lather on your face, but not excessively and it does a wonderful job of removing makeup and excess oil.

I know the common notion is to not spend too much money on cleansers because you wash them off anyway, but in my experience, spending a little money on a cleanser can significantly improve you skin’s texture, tendency to break out, and decrease excess oil production. This cleanser is $22.95 and worth every penny.

Since I have combo skin, this cleanser isn’t too drying for my skin type, but I do know it can be too harsh for dry skin. The good news is that Skin Dimensions has a variety of products for all sorts of skin types, so you can find skin care that suits you best!

Skin Dimensions is a cosmetics, but primarily a skin care and spa company. They also offer dermatologist services, something I took full advantage of when I was younger and struggled with my skin even more than I do now. Side Note: I know going to a dermatologist can be such a scary thought, but the doctors working at this company are nice and make you feel very comfortable. They are a good choice if you are thinking about getting prescribed products by professionals.

So if you have skin like mine, I would give the five-star Gly/Sal 2% Foaming Cleanser a go, but if you don’t then I would still check out the Skin Dimensions website and just take a peek at what they have to offer anybody and everybody! As always, if there are any products you are interested in me reviewing, just leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading,

-rosalieirene