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'Postwar Chocolates'

by Iris 4 years ago in performance poetry
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I have finally published my debut collection of poetry, and here's everything you need to know.

This is shameless self-promotion from a girl who just moved to the city and needs to make rent.

I'm not sorry, because I'm proud of the work I've done to write and self-publish this book and the words I have written.

I know I haven't posted much on this site in the way of my poetry, but that's because I've been working so hard for the last year and a half to cultivate my first poetry collection.

But first, a little background on who I am:

I am Iris. I was born as a four-pound baby with a hole in my heart and an addiction to nicotine. I have an eternal love for everything beautiful—art, poetry, yoga, the ocean, the mountains, love. I'm 19 and have gone through hell to find myself in a sea of people who wanted to drag me down. I moved to Boston on a whim to get away from that which was familiar to me. I am not perfect, nor do I wish to be. I'm sarcastic and I have an attitude and I'm impulsive and I want to be self-made.

I started writing poetry because it satisfied some sort of hunger deep down inside me. It filled a void I never knew existed until I found it.

This book is my journey to self-awareness and understanding.

This book is my life, my love, my blood.

I am no Rupi Kaur. I am no Sylvia Plath. I am no Emily Dickinson. I am Iris, and that is all I have to offer you.

I'm dropping a few samples of my work from my book here for you to peruse and decide if I am worth your time.

Work in Progress

My name has four syllables,

Unless you ask my ex-boyfriend,

Then it’s five,

And he’s saying “Coo-rist-te-ah-na”

To his mother in the kitchen

And it’s every summer afternoon

We sat on the empty boxcar

Eating ice cream with one spoon

But I was your Goddess of Colors

And as spring and autumn faded into winter

The colors died

And you had no more reason to love me.

I’ve got ghosts in my house,

But they don’t open and close doors

Or appear over my bed

They’re in the bed with me

They’ve got butterfly wings


Stamped across their foreheads

Like some scene out of a movie

Where the main character doesn’t get better.

Ask my new man

And he’ll tell you my name

Begins with G and ends in Ess

He loves me like a bloom opening to the sun

My hair was pink when I wrote this poem

Like cotton candy bubblegum Thursday nights

The ampersand between your name and mine

Brings creases to my eyes and cheeks

My body is old and dying

My body is not beautiful in the traditional way

Call me the rainmaker

And I will bring spring to your doorstep

I will bring the war to its knees

Call me the ocean

And I will make the world turn

I will raise the islands you walk upon

Call me your lover

And I will kiss the back of your knees

I will go to rest at your feet.

Kind of Blue

Everyone has had love, and a goldfish that died in the first week. We were rotting leaves in autumn, and when spring came we washed away to the color of blood in urine we were everything but right. Take, for example, your rosé nipples and tell me I am not a poet of the body. Tell me I am not a poet of the earth. I would walk each inch of it with you in my arms if we could lay in the rust-colored sand together and let the air teach us how to breathe again. Let me give butterfly kisses to the butterfly. Let my dry lips cool the earth, how it roars and tears itself beneath us and we stand upon it not knowing the juxtaposition of our green grass to this mass’s hot iron core. We are but hair follicles on the skin of the earth. We are but a speck in the universe and if that scares you, you know not what it is to live. Let my arms rest heavy on the earth. Let my throat open farther to drink in all the sky there is to swallow. Let me kiss the back of your knee in forgiveness every day until I die. We are but two aspens. We are symbiotic and our roots are that which holds us together no matter how much we grow apart we are one pair of lips ever resting upon each other.

Coffee Shop in Belfast

So often I feel like a passage rite

Boys take me out for a spin,

Like some lovesick drive in the dark at night.

Your leather seats feel like butter,

And my hair is down and my wild eyes

Catch stars,

And in that moment you might

Really think that you love me.

But I have long since learned

That I am a game you boys like to play.

I’m the girl who fixes you up

For somebody else to keep.

You taste like blood on my lips,

And my bad sleeping habits are going to break you.

I practically caught you

Pouring sugar in water that morning

When you tried to say you’d never leave me.

Where are you now?

You’ve long since emptied the cookie jar

Behind my back.

Your sweet tooth took you to a girl

With honey in her hair.

And even after I said “let’s just be friends”

You must have decided you couldn’t associate

With a girl who had no sugar left to lend.

I was sweet until you took that away from me.

You couldn’t handle the taste of black coffee

The depth of dark chocolate

Bitter lemon

I am more than a honeysuckle girl

Sooner or later she will give you a stomach ache

Resting Bitch Face

I never learned how to shut my mouth,

And at 5’4” you’d think

I would be frustrated

That nearly everything

Is out of my reach.

I am not,

And I am not afraid of failure.

I am that loud bitch

Yelling in the hallway.

I am the girl who still

Has not learned to think

Before worlds tumble out

Of my mouth like choleric bees.

My tender heart is overflowing

With nectar and mercy,

And I am the sprinkles of rain

That splatter across your cheeks like freckles

That tells you a storm is about to come.

I always have been the harbinger.

I don’t smoke, but if I did

I’d smoke a pack a day

And I don’t know you, but if I did

I would love you so much

You could tear me limb from limb

And I would still ask

If there was anything more

I could give to you.

Because I don’t do things halfway.

I never have,

And I don’t know how.

One day I hope

To wake and find that my

Legs and toes have stretched

Into the earth to form roots

And my arms and hair and body

Have changed into limbs and leaves

Of a wise old eucalyptus tree-

My exterior, my leaves are toxic

But I will provide warmth and shelter

If you can just get past my foliage.

And as I am coniferous

I will not waver

Until the day I die.

I am the prickly-pear cactus

Whose fruit is syrupy sweet

Once you get past my needles.

I’ve got resting bitch face real bad,

But baby, if I kiss you once,

I won’t be able to stop.

I don't offer explanations or apologies for my writing. I wrote and self-published postwar chocolates fully knowing I would probably never sell more than 20 copies. It was born purely of a need to share my writing with other people. And it's a tad bit imperfect, just like I am.

If you're interested in picking up a copy of my debut collection of poetry, you can find it here.

It costs $10 plus shipping to wherever you live, and I'd never think a moment about charging more than that.

Thank you for entertaining me and my ridiculous self-promotion.

Thank you for purchasing my book, and if you didn't, thank you for reading my article.

Thank you for letting me be Iris.

performance poetry

About the author


Writer - Musician - Businesswoman - Astronaut

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