Not a poet, but here’s a poem:

Amsterdam

by Danielle Ackermann

 

Meet me down the cobbled alley

tell your friends to come along.

Let’s dance and drink and light a smoke

to an old, familiar song.

 

My feet are aching tonight

in these secondhand leather boots Continue reading

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A writer with nothing to say.

I was in love with you, Writing. How embarrassing, admitting that we are strangers again. How embarrassing to admit that the way I boasted about you in public, the way I flaunted our intimacy to others – has come to this.

Crumpled up papers. Nothing.

We were lovers once and passionate words burnt in my throat like the hand rolled cigarettes I smoke to avoid you now. Like a passive aggressive teenager, I’ll avoid you when we walk pass each other in the street. I refuse to make eye contact, and when a close friend asks how you are doing, I avoid the question as if we never knew each other.

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A Step by Step Guide on Hitting Rock Bottom.

Guess what folks, everyone kinda feels like they don’t have any idea what they’re doing. In recent times of melodrama and existential crisis’s, I have decided to channel my inner Hannah Horvath from ‘Girls’.

A Total Fuck up (1)

I hear her unstable voice in the back of mind saying “I have work, then a dinner thing and then I am busy trying to figure out who I am”.

So – in an attempt to not sound like I am a mess of bad excuses here is a foolproof  guide to feeling a little bit better about where you’re at in life.

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A letter of (un)motivation as to why you should pay me:

Suddenly, three years have passed by, like the countless nights that was set on fast forward by the double vodka lime’s. Now you’re here. In between your little pseudo adulthood, wrapped up neatly with a bow and the security blanket of mom and dad making sure you’re still okay – and the nitty gritty reality of the real world.

Now what?

I wish I had the answer – but instead, I will use my polished undergraduate humanities skills to try and romanticize my little existential crisis. If that doesn’t work, my next option is to deny the fact that I will ever have to face next year, and lastly, when next year hits me hard, like saturday morning hangovers, I will strongly consider becoming an academic and never leaving uni. – Sidenote: This would only be possible if I somehow manage to raise my class average to about 150% to balance out my neat, close cut 50’s from the last 3 years.

Another alternative, which is the one I am most drawn to (keeping the neo-colonialist teaching english abroad as a back up) is drawing up a letter to all future employers along with my CV (which will probably include me being class captain in 2nd grade).

It will read:

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Thanks Brain, you’re a dick.

The great thing about growing up is discovering all these different parts of yourself. I mean, basically any coming-of-age movie makes it clear that we’re all trying to ‘find ourselves’.

*spoiler – They find themselves.

*plot twist – I’ve never been very good at hide and seek.

So, whilst moving from one existential crisis to the next, we get to know ourselves, right? We start becoming familiar with our self in relation to the space we find ourselves in. The shitty thing is though – not all of our parts are nice. Not all of them want to be found, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind not-looking for them either.

One of the little discoveries I have recently made is the ease in which I fall into self-doubt. This little bugger, however, is not shy at all and it was never lost. It knows exactly where it can and can’t go and just does what it likes anyway. I never went looking for it, it’s just been around.

Now that I have (or at least tried) to acknowledge my little partner in crime, I am trying to distinguish between my actual flaws and the blatant lies my brain tells my body.

The most recent lie in the saga of my mind has been the reoccurring theme that, no one likes me, no one loves me, no one will come when I need them and as soon as I leave the room there is a basic unanimous sigh of relief from the universe in general that I am no longer paining anyone with my presence. Melodramatic, I know, but bare with me.

We start believing it, and as soon as it’s stuck, Mr. self-doubt feeds on everything and anything it sees. We start perpetuating it in the things around us.

*CUE THOUGHT* – “It’s been like 2hours, why hasn’t he/she replied, I probably did something dumb again, why are they mad, are they okay?” –

and then there’s the reality that they’re probably just busy dude. Chill.

Second-guessing and doubt will get you absolutely nowhere when it comes to the things you can’t control or the people around you. Also, I am pretty darn sure that if someone loves you – the petty things you worry about is not enough to make them up and leave.

Therefore, in order to keep my sanity – I am starting to be as kind to myself as I try to be to others. You are human, You are trying your best, you’re growing and constantly creating yourself. Breathe a bit and let the people around you prove the poo part of your brain wrong as much as they can – and people will, I promise.

D(r)aft Glory

“Authenticity” – That’s a word I like to through around ever so casually. Especially when it comes to writing. I frequently catch myself saying things like “unapologetic, raw, honest”. They roll off my tongue like the lyrics to my favorite song. Easy and well rehearsed.

Yet when asked about my blog, when writing, when socializing, even when getting dressed in the morning, I constantly find myself floating around in the metaphorical “draft” section of life. Just waiting, checking, rewriting, tip-toeing around my flaws until we see ourselves fit for publishing, influenced by our surroundings and the idea of how we think others perceive us.

Proofreading and editing ourselves to make sure we don’t sound too sad, that we don’t act too clingy, that we aren’t talking too much or too little. That we aren’t wearing too much or not enough. That we share too much or we’re too closed off. Ricocheting between what if’s and could have’s and maybes and maybe not’s.

So – Note to self and anyone else who has been keeping up with my incoherent trains of thought and ramblings. Post the drafts. Whatever your draft entails. Cause lately it has been far more terrifying trying to avoid error.

Things aren’t always good, things aren’t always bad either, but I know it’s a whole lot easier when you stop constantly wondering if what you do or say or think or write is good enough. Life is too short to wait until things are neatly typed out and polished, because I don’t think it ever will be. Instead, it’s a dozen papers lying around with a hundred thoughts, ideas, coffee stains and different colors from all the different pens that decide to run out of ink mid sentence.

And if we fuck up – that’s okay. Make mistakes. Let people question what you say. Learn from your mistakes, make them a few more times and listen when people tell you what’s on their minds. Tell them what’s on yours. Change your mind, change your plans and talk about things you don’t understand. I promise you aren’t the only one that doesn’t know exactly what they want or exactly what they are doing, but at least you’re doing something.

Bad at Blogging (and other things).

I lit a candle to ‘get in the mood’. The mood of a ‘writer’. I’m not quite sure what this mood entails, but somehow the closest thing to it, I thought, was a jasmine scented candle, which is now flickering next to the very bright light-bulb-charged bedside lamp.

“I write because, uhm, I can’t not write”. –  This sentence sat comfortably on the blank page in front of me for a fair amount of time. I laughed at how my own lumpy sentence seemed to be taunting me with its isolation, as if shouting “You don’t even know why you write, lol”. Charles Bukowski said, “There is nothing more magic and important than lines forming on paper. It’s all there is. It’s all there ever was”. I laughed again at my sentence and thought of how easy it would be if I could just repeat Bukowski’s sentence to anyone and everyone who asks me why I write (an easy cop out, I am aware).

The truth is though, ever since I can recall, my best days ended with the need to record the day’s events. Be it on the fragrance paper of my primary school diary, or the jotted down thoughts of a confused adolescent on perforated paper. Paper stuffed in the back of drawers and hidden behind a pile of clothes in messy cupboards. So, that’s what I do. I write, and my stories are messy and unpredictable and boring and happy and depressing and sometimes ordinary. Sometimes so beautiful I am left in awe.

I don’t know how to say the right words, my sentences are awkward and long, and I ramble about sadness too often. It’s senseless. Confusing. Grammatically incorrect. Awkward. Real.  Dwelling in every single emotion, saying things I don’t mean, being confused and feeling it and dealing with it. Whether the stories to follow are from personal experiences or about people halfway across the world. I want to write them and I want you to read them.