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Blank Page

It’s as if
This blank page
Is an armed officer

And all my thoughts
Felons

Escaping down dark alleys
To avoid being
Caught in a sentence

And there they remain
Hidden in the night
Immune to the officer’s ploys

Because in the dark, a flashlight
Speaks the loudest

A gun just makes noise

Anddd I’m back!

I could go into a long-winded explanation of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, orrrr I could tell you in pictures exactly what I HAVE NOT been up to:

This lake

Hanging out with my best friend

Hanging out with my sisters

Or even

Being raised as a feral child

I hope everyone else’s non-adventures have been equally fulfilling!

-Jillian

I like to think

I remember the day I left you
I had to duck behind a tree when I saw
Two giggling girls by the creek

Oh how the sun caught your red,
Red hair

But no sooner had the other girl caught it
Between her hands as she
Commented on its softness

I always loved the way your
Bouncy cherry curls and icy blue eyes fought
For attention

Like the two prettiest girls at a party
Throwing secret daggers
With their smiles

But I was too scared to see the show today

Turns out,
It wasn’t my choice

No less rooted to the ground
Than the tree beside me

I memorized the moment, as

This ‘friend’ let her head fall on to your shoulder, My shoulder
Carelessly letting her midnight locks mix
With the fire of my past

Almost as if her strands sought to
Extinguish all the light in the world
With one graceful sweep

One hand a fist
The other wiping
Away a tear,
I thought

How much more sense
It made to see the delicate
Girl’s hand draped over your shoulders

Than an awkward boy’s
Embrace you always
Shied away from

I remember the day I left you

It was the day you said you were hanging out with Cassie

Just hanging out.

Remember?

Cassie with her laughing
Eyes and voice that
Sung of September

Oh no, you probably only know her by her taste

Because her eyes were closed. And so were yours.

As your hand wandered from its embrace

I like to think
you turned around

When you heard my heart fall and break

Like a stone cast down from a mountain

Knowing it is no longer a part
of something great

I like to think
you turned around

But why would a mountain miss something it
Can’t even see

So though I cried and
Battled the branches

And Cassie scanned for the intrusion

You waved it off because you didn’t see

With your fingers in her hair
And lips to her ear,
You whispered

“It’s just the breeze. It’s just the breeze”

Because you couldn’t see

First Impressions

After having to pretend to understand obscure references, exchanging pleasantries with unpleasant people and having to eat the rest of my tomato soup after running out of Goldfish, there is nothing I hate more than first impressions.

The not-so-shocking problem with first impressions is that you only get one. I tend to think of the whole process as an interview of sorts. It doesn’t matter whether it is with an employer or not; the majority of first impressions are about selling yourself, whether or not you have a reason to do so.

The reason is that with every introduction, every first hello and every initial handshake, we are reaffirming our own self image. If you were to meet a person at a bar and tell them you are a musician at heart, but going to school on the side as a backup plan, you are evoking one image. However, the very next day you may be talking to a group of professionals over dinner and playing up how you are investing more time in school and putting music on the back burner.

You are not necessarily changing your story deliberately; everything you say is a part of you, but certain attributes express themselves at different times depending on a number of variables.

Like it or not, we live in a world of snap judgments. The main issue with this is that many of us are not living picture-perfect lives ready to be “snapped” at any moment. The pieces may all be there, but as with any puzzle, to see the true picture of someone’s life, they must all be arranged properly.

I like to think of first impressions as the first shot at a photo shoot. Anyone who has watched “America’s Next Top Model” can attest that it takes a few pictures to get warmed up. If the first frame is good and the rest are subpar, Tyra is sure to preach on the importance of consistency.

Why is it, then, that consistency is so often discounted when it comes to the frames that comprise the moments and stories of our lives? Some of the most colorful, insightful and hilarious people are the ones who take a little for people to warm up to them. Their first impressions may leave something to be desired, but their seventh, eighth and 59th impressions are unforgettable.

It cannot be denied that we live in a fast-paced world, and people feel the need to quickly decipher who is the best job candidate, friend or spouse from the get-go. And this is why no matter how challenging making a good first impression may seem, it is vital in today’s world.

The first step is realizing that no matter how valiant an effort you put into expressing your whole self, the only thing that can reveal all the sides of a person is time. The trick to a good first impression, then, is reconciling the fact that no first impression will completely give off the “true you” with the knowledge that you can still depict yourself in a positive light.

Knowing this truth takes a lot of pressure off. You just have to put yourself out there and hope for the best. Focus on what you want to express in your first encounter with this particular person and try to get that across as best as possible.

If you are successful at highlighting the traits that are specific to both what you want to convey and what the other person is looking for, you will most likely succeed in landing a job, getting a second date or making a new friend.

And once this happens, the first impression is out of the way and, with time, the other person can slowly learn about all of the characteristics that make you, you.

And now I wish you luck; in the words of Phil Dunphy, “You only get one chance at a first impression. I suggest Julia Child because it’s easy to do.”

Capture

They say writing a good
Poem is about capturing
A moment

But what if that moment
Feels lost
In its isolation

How can one prevent
The inevitable clinging
Closely to its friends

Even if one so callously
Severed those ties
Holes would present

Maybe not right away
But once the pretty prose
Is searched for meaning

And the lapse of time
Contains no amends
The moment will cry out for its friends
And holes will present

Pangs

Is this a dream?
He’s inclined to ask
Whenever he finds himself
In some good luck

Because working hard
And striving towards goals
Doesn’t seem like
It’s ever enough

He’s put in many hours and even more sweat
Paid more than his due
But this isn’t his doing, there must
Be something else
To attribute this to

Is this a dream?
So foreign a feeling, he must
Ask again and again

The moment slips,
Easily conquered by
The more perceptible pangs of pain

focus

just three weeks left

that’s all

he has to get through

just three weeks

until he finishes his shampoo

it’s these little signs

that remind him time is still passing

because when the days begin to blend and time begins to

pause

he knows he’s one conversation, one meal, one step away

from relapsing

just three weeks to go

but patience, not time, seems to diminish

focus

only one carton of eggs and two loaves

of bread away from being finished

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