Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beatnik Rehab: How Do You Express Yourself?

I like poetry, but I don't like people who like poetry.  Do you know what I mean?  No offense.  I feel like poetry attracts some pretty eccentric characters, plus outsiders don't really understand poetry, so the game of rhyming gets an all-around bad rap (pun intended).  Maybe I'm a hypocrite, but I don't think I'm one of the crazies of poetry.  But I guess you can judge for yourself.  There's just a way about it that captures and expresses bits of my soul that nothing else seems to be able to accomplish in the same way.  There are other things besides this that I like to do, but they express a different parts of me.  What's something that you do that makes you just feel like you?  I'm really interested to know.

Some of my favorite poets are Elizabeth Bishop, Walt Whitman, Anne Sexton, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, and Robert Frost.  I also love quotes from poets (they know what's up): "Like a piece of ice on a hot stove, a poem must ride on its own melting" (Frost).  

I have recently caught some inspiration to write, which hasn't happened in a long while.  I had a specific sort of setting and imagery that I've been trying to portray in different ways (more specifically, the cityscape), and that's where this series comes from.  I write with the mentality that "[a] poem is a state of perfection at which a poet has arrived by whatever means" (Yvor Winters).  This is a piece of my perfection.  I'll only share two of the poems in this collection.  After that, you can decide whether or not I need to go to beatnik rehab.  

*Disclaimer: To those of you who immediately assume these are autobiographical (or even about YOU, how vain . . . ), know that I severely distort only fragments of reality; the rest I dream up.  

To a boy in the dark, deserted city

Part I

I find myself exhausting memories of you, 
blurring like long exposure distortions;
It feels good to forget, diffuse rather,
The false electricity you pulsed through my thoughts, like tire-splashing puddles and confused yellow lights and skate boarding hips on hands on crack after crack in the dark city where you never lived.
But don't worry; I still drink orange soda
when I pace past the cemetery and
forget how wonderful it never was.

Part IV

To my true love
who wears a button-up sky scraper and matching Metrolinks,
who dresses up at night with street lamps and tail lights
and wears Wet Pavement cologne by Ralph Lauren.
Whose voice is a low ebb and flow of a red-and-white ocean.
I tangle my fingers in the telephone wires
when we dance downtown with the traffic lights
'til the sun never comes up.

When I'm with him, I forget everything I ever remembered about past skylines.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Guys We Fall For

No, I didn’t receive “an embarrassing display of white roses” today (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days--really, Matthew McConaughey?), but I still love Valentine’s Day.  There's so much positivity floating about, plus I get to eat dark chocolate covered cherry Three Musketeers bars. :)

In honor of today, I think it’s time to address the topic of relationships and common experiences many of us have had  in the dating game.  Dating is both fun and aggravating, but where would we be without a little drama?

Recently, my roommates and I made a trip to the mall, and whilst browsing we came across different ads that seemed to capture the essence of the boy drama we’ve each been having lately.  We stared to realize that we’re attracted to (and seem to attract) certain kinds of guys: the Robot, the Douchebag, and the Clinger.  We'll leave it up to you to decide which type belongs to whom.

The Robot

Why we like him: He’s uber smart and can hold very interesting conversations.  He likes us for our minds and not our looks (even when they’re good looks).  He's not just a shallow jerk!

The Problem: Well, he doesn’t really express or feel emotion.  He usually has a disorder like Asperger Syndrome which means he can't really fall in love, so we end up falling in love without reciprocation.  He also, not surprisingly, has a hard time with physical affection, and we all know that’s no fun.

When you post a comment to a blog, it asks you to copy the text box it provides with the caption "Please prove you're not a robot."  We think there needs to be a test like that for these kinds of guys.

The Picture: The Robot is one with his scooter.  He’s totally enjoying the ride (probably busy calculating the trajectory of the moon and the sun or something) more than the presence of this cute girl.  And she, poor thing, is trying so hard to make him notice her.  And it’s not that he minds her being there; no, he enjoys her company, he’s just incapable of feeling anything more than platonic interest.

The Douchebag

Why we like him:  He’s charming and comfortable giving obvious flattery and attention (which we can’t help but like).  He usually has great style and knows how to dress himself, often drawing attention with bright colors and bold patterns. 

The Problem: Behind that false flattery is an ulterior motive to "hit it and quit it."  They prance around with the mentality that they get what they want, and girls become disposable to them.

The Juice Box (my sister's PG version of Douchebag) is all talk and no action, and will continually tell us he’s going to do something without any intention of actually doing that thing and try to pacify us with more empty promises if we ever call him out on it.  I feel like we ladies generally encounter this kind of boy more often than the other two.

The Picture: The first thing to notice is his style; cute, but it's the first sign of possible douche-baggery; he knows he looks good.  He's in the act of jumping over this girl--just another object for his amusement.

The girl sits there cooly, apparently disinterested, sipping her soda uncaringly.  Well, she cares.  She knows she has to play the game and pretend she doesn't care, but what she's really thinking is, "WHEN ARE YOU COMING DOWN?!"  Which, translated, means, "Are you ever going to man up and actually be as awesome as you think you are?" 

The Clinger

Why we like him: He's really sweet and attentive and makes us the center of his world.  He's always thinking about us, sending thoughtful texts and saying really lovey-dovey things.  He's just a hopeless romantic.

The Problem: He's a little too sappy.  In fact, he drips with sap.  And he doesn't seem to understand when we tell him that we're over it because we've been smothered in sap.  He doesn't stop calling, texting, or asking us out, apparently in complete denial that we are very much not going to go out with him.  Ever.

Now, let me clarify that being romantic is not a bad thing, in moderation.  It's the being smothered part that we don't like.  

The Picture: First notice that the guy has set her up on a pedestal (cute, right?), but then you notice her expression which says, "Really? Again? Didn't you get it last time when I splashed that drink in your face and stained your shirt?" This guy is trying so hard to get her attention with this enormous bouquet, and he doesn't even know he's making it worse.

Now, if you find yourself identifying with the "what we like" sections of the categories, that's not a bad thing.  Know that this is in no way meant to be a generalization of all guys in the world, but despite our best efforts, these kinds of boys seem to keep finding us.  All I gotta say is "I don't want no scrub."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Men, Do Tell: Long or Short Hair?

My grandpa shared this tidbit of wisdom with me over Skype the other day: “Miss Karlyn,” he said, “let me tell you a secret . . . boys like girls with long hair. It’s a feminine quality. It draws them in.” Thanks, Grandpa. Just because a girl cuts her hair doesn't mean she is trying to be masculine. I actually thought he would disown me when I chopped off all my long hair three years ago. So, what is it with guys and long hair? And is this an old-fashioned ideal, or does it prevail today?

So, I got my hair cut this week, trimmed rather, and my roommate got hers cut the same day. Naturally, being the giddy girls we are, we discussed possible hair cuts. She has pretty long hair, and she was contemplating chopping it off, which I am completely down for, obvi, but she was really unsure. One of the reasons she didn’t want to cut it was because she was afraid GUYS WOULDN’T LIKE HER WITH SHORT HAIR. She is gorgeous! There’s no reason a guy shouldn’t like her! Are guys really dumb enough to snub a beautiful, intelligent girl just because she looks GREAT with short hair? Or do they just stop at the intelligent part? But that’s another blog post . . .

I feel like guys have become a lot more okay with a variety of hair styles, and most I’ve talked to say that it depends on the girl, though their default preference is still long hair. But one (who will remain nameless) told me that if my hair (which is barely to my shoulders) were an inch shorter he would immediately be unattracted. Really? An inch? Okay, I admit, short hair isn't as fun to run your fingers through as long hair, but it can still be sexy. For example, Emma Watson has recently gone with the pixie cut and she looks amazing. Then again, she would look good wearing a meat dress. As a girl I can appreciate the aesthetic beauty of the short do, but at the same time I do recognize that she could be considered more attractive with longer hair. But heck, look how sexy short is on her!

So, guys, I need your help here. I’m perfectly secure with the length of my hair, no problem there, but if a girl wants to cut her hair she shouldn’t have to worry that some guy she might like won’t like her because she rocks a bob. Maybe this is no longer true of the overall male outlook, but even so, we girls still seem to be fed this stereotype. I also have the feeling that a lot of guys have a stigma against girls who dye their hair. Again, with the exception of the extremes where a girl goes with the super trashy-looking bottle blond or other skin-tone-clashing colors. I’m really curious to know where the young male population stands these days. Take my survey below (guys only, please) and let’s find out:

Men, Do Tell: Long or Short Hair?: A survey to dispel the general assumptions . . . or to confirm them.