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February 23, 2001: He loves me, he loves you not

Hello, again.

To make up for my prolonged absence, (I just started a full-time internship and consequently have even less of a life than I did before) I give you a very special and the first of (unfortunately) many editions of: Diane’s Poetry Corner.

In case you didn’t already think I was a complete tool, I will now reinforce it by giving you the half-written poem from mid-February, 2001.

Back when I wore bedazzled jeans and karma beads on a daily basis, I used to think of myself as Quite The Poet. I had a lot of Feelings, and I thought I should express them in stanza form. I rarely rhymed, because rhyming was for conformists who cared more about getting syllables right than expressing their inner angst. A few brushes with perceived classroom success (my poor teachers!) made me think I was The Shit, and so I took every opportunity to stare out the window and brood, scribbling bits of ridiculous metaphor on notebook paper instead of paying attention.

I remember I was picked to be part of a county-wide writer’s workshop. After taking my ego up about ten more notches, I proceeded to pick my best poems and adhere a fake nose stud to my face. Earlier that week, I’d conveniently picked up some fake crystals to put on my nails (don’t even judge me) and proceeded to use some of the nail glue to place one of the larger crystals where a nose ring would be.

I walked around like that alllll day. You know I was awesome.

I probably wore something like this to the writer's workshop, picked especially to coordinate with my fake nosering.

I remember being particularly impressed when some blue-haired guy (oh god, bad choice mini Diane!) complimented my poems. I remember we discussed poetry afterward and it was quite possibly the greatest thing ever. He probably just wanted to hit it. I shouldn’t have been surprised, considering I attracted the fake chain necklace and fake Japanese dragon shirt-wearing dudes even then.

Those writer’s workshops went on throughout the year. I remember loving them, because it proved there were other artsy/fake-goth/ridiculous kids in my area. I desperately wanted to go to one of the alternative high schools in the city, so I could be with others who ~understood me. When I took acting classes in ninth grade, I so badly wanted to be part of the tiny, artsy school located in a renovated warehouse behind one of the city’s teen centers. However, it’s a really, really good thing I didn’t end up there because I completely turned my shit around by mid-10th grade and I would’ve gotten my goody-two-shoes ass beat by some girl in eight-inch platform shoes and a Jack Skellington hoodie. Sigh.

Anyway, enough about my almost-life as a mini hipster.

Here’s “My Poem” (yes, that’s the only title – and it’s scrawled in cursive while the rest is in print):


My Poem

I’m always in the shadow,

Looking to the light.

Watching you across the room

Until the time is right.

I never know what to say,

or think or feel or do.

All I know is my world fades

When I’m standing next to you.

Here we have a rare rhyming example! We can obviously assume this poem is about David B., given the stalker-sounding phrases. Other than that, there’s not much to say except that it’s humiliating and I suck at poetry.

Don’t worry, we’ll have many, many more intricate and awful examples to come! Just wait til the summer between eighth and ninth grade. I had way too many feelings and way too much free time. There’s a little black notebook just filled with these gems. Get excited!

Also: before you judge my poetry too harshly, let’s take a look at Billboard’s top 10 songs of February 2001.


I bet my eighth grade self knows more about rhyming than Shaggy.

And Dream, oh Dream. I did enjoy them. I remember listening to that song in BFF Emily’s van on the way to Border’s. (Where we were likely picking up the next Simon R. Green novel.) The fact that they were dancing around in iridescent pink pleather pants did not seem unusual to me.

Oh, 2001. You were kind to no one.