fly underground

When the battery in my watch died, I still wore it. There was something about the watch that said: It doesn’t matter what time it is. Think in months. Years. Someone loves you. Where are you going? There are some things you will never do. It doesn’t matter. There is no rush. Be the best prisoner you can be.

—Chris Huntington, "Learning to Measure Time in Love and Loss"

Anonymous asked: You're absolutely right :)

maybe you are the same anon from before, but even if you are not, i love getting messages like this!

fact: my old college roommate, one of my closest friends, bought me a plaque that says, to say everyone some time, let’s just assume i am always right! 

so, i’m glad everyone’s on the same page, this is excellent :D

Anonymous asked: That was an amazing new poem! Hard but softcore, I love it! :D

thank you!!! i actually wrote that poem a while ago and felt very vulnerable posting it here, because it is a bit explicit. but last night, as i clicked through the abyss of my documents, i reread and i didn’t feel that scared vulnerability anymore. maybe when enough time passes from something we can care a little less. what i mean is, we stop feeling ashamed. 

five hundred and ninety three: Teething

I must’ve had twenty canker sores between the ages of 8 and 21,
that weird stinging pain,
and like any curious masochist, I’d lick the wound:
small, grey, open.

You love someone else now,
I get it. I understand.
I fall asleep tucked into the syllables of your name,
the way your chest moved against my back,
even your perfect feet. Your fucking feet.

Something about hurt.
Something about what my problem is.
Something about my mother, who insists, there is still time to change.
Nothing is forever, honey, not even this.

Do you remember how we used to brush our teeth?
Every night and then a laughing mint kiss. So much bite.
Your fingers hooked inside me like you found something
you couldn’t let go of.

But you did.

I touch myself now. It is almost the same.
I am almost the same.

neophyte-escapist asked: Wow, you graduated from Swarthmore.

I was lounging in bed, re-watching episodes of Pretty Little Liars, when I absentmindedly scrolled through my tumblr app on my phone. That was how I read this message: in my pajamas on an early Saturday night, a friend from Swarthmore crashing at my apartment, my mother making dinner, my focus on a trashy television show. There is a pile of thick GRE prep books in another room of the house. I am in the midst of correspondence with three of my favorite professors from college, negotiating recommendation letters. My inbox is full to the brim with information for my AmeriCorps job, things from NYC Service, things from my fellow NYC Civic Corps members; information from my host site, Hour Children, Inc. It has been about two weeks of this life. Waking up at 6, closing my eyes after midnight. It is unbelievable to remember that only a year ago, this hustle would have seemed quiet. Swarthmore was this bright, warm, hard thing. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t have something weighing down on me, an impossible reading, an intricate email chain I had to navigate, some piece of my distant future that peeped out, like a lost child: will you ever come find me? There were days when I worked so hard and days when I carried around heavy books all day, never opening them, instead laughing with friends. I miss my friends. I miss that unified sense of purpose, how if I walked into our only dining hall, I could make eye contact with anyone, anyone, and they would know what this pressure felt like. In the real world, the laughing is strange. People don’t carry big books. My purse always feels like it should be heavier. My mother tells me that I should take things less seriously, I should relax. But even that feels wrong, not like me. I have never wanted a life that is quiet or soft. I like my hustle, even this one, that presses down my eyelids before I sleep. I like my coming-closer future, like a stray cat: you fed me once, now feed me again. I graduated from Swarthmore. Wow. Wow. Sometimes, I still can’t believe it happened. Sometimes, I think: how could it not have happened? 

amanda-oaks:

We are all really stoked about this event! We will be reading round-robin style, all of us will have books there that wouldn’t mind going home with you. ;) It should be a blast!October 18th at 6pm @ A Poet Art Gallery, 4032 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104(Check out some of us here on Tumblr: alonesomes, brandonspeck, fly-underground, amanda-oaks + fleurishes!)We hope to see you there, bring your poems for the open mic! 

You’re probably thinking IS THIS REAL, so I just want to confirm adamantly THAT THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. It’s going to be an amazing night! You should be there!
(special note to all my friends and readers in the Philadelphia/Swarthmore area: you should DEFINITELY be there!)

amanda-oaks:

We are all really stoked about this event!

We will be reading round-robin style, all of us will have books there that wouldn’t mind going home with you. ;) It should be a blast!

October 18th at 6pm @ A Poet Art Gallery, 4032 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

(Check out some of us here on Tumblr: alonesomes, brandonspeck, fly-underground, amanda-oaks + fleurishes!)

We hope to see you there, bring your poems for the open mic! 

You’re probably thinking IS THIS REAL, so I just want to confirm adamantly THAT THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. It’s going to be an amazing night! You should be there!

(special note to all my friends and readers in the Philadelphia/Swarthmore area: you should DEFINITELY be there!)

inklustt asked: Happy birthday (in advance) to one of the most inspiring writers I've ever had the privilege to encounter. x

oh my god, this is such a flattering message, thank you!! i wish i could say that i’m doing exciting pre-birthday things, but i’m literally just organizing my room and rewatching the early seasons of pretty little liars. i figure once i’m 22, i’ll start living a more ‘grown up’ life, mostly because i start working the day after!

I’m turning 22 in 2 days!

Only two days until my birthday and I’ve been thinking loads about what I’d like. My best friend is going to hate this list, because the one I gave her was organized into type of accessory and mostly featured ASOS links.

  • Buy my book, Until I Learned What It Meant. Seriously, this is probably a strange request, because it involves buying yourself something as opposed to getting something for me. But it would mean so much to me. Think of it as me completely forgiving your book-buying gluttony.
  •  "But Yena I already bought your book!" – you say. First of all, a deep heart-felt thanks to you! It means so much to me and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. You can review my book on the Where Are You Press Etsy page, you can rate it on Goodreads, or you can do both!
  • "But Yena I did already did that too!" – you say. Thank you! It means a lot to me, to know how people felt about this book. I’ve read all the reviews and have scrolled through all the ratings: it makes my heart swell.
  • "That’s really all you want?" – you ask. Yes, friends. I’m really very lucky. I couldn’t ask for more than this. 

fly-underground turned 5 today!

i don’t normally celebrate my tumblr birthday, probably because it’s six days before my actual birthday (september 3rd helloooo), but five years is a long time! longer than college, longer than high school. my tumblr is old enough to be a kindergartener. it’s weird. it’s kind of cool.
fun fact: i first got a tumblr to have a place to post my poetry. it was initially only a poetry blog. no personal posts, no gpoys, no reblogs, nothing. my dashboard wasn’t a very interesting place, probably because i was only following friends from my real life, probably because five years ago, tumblr wasn’t as cool~
fly-underground has become a part of my life in a way that i didn’t think was possible. certainly my book wouldn’t have gotten published if not for this platform, but beyond that, i wouldn’t have ‘met’ so many really interesting, kind people if not for tumblr. i’ve learned a lot on here. it’s been a good place for me. 

fly-underground turned 5 today!

i don’t normally celebrate my tumblr birthday, probably because it’s six days before my actual birthday (september 3rd helloooo), but five years is a long time! longer than college, longer than high school. my tumblr is old enough to be a kindergartener. it’s weird. it’s kind of cool.

fun fact: i first got a tumblr to have a place to post my poetry. it was initially only a poetry blog. no personal posts, no gpoys, no reblogs, nothing. my dashboard wasn’t a very interesting place, probably because i was only following friends from my real life, probably because five years ago, tumblr wasn’t as cool~

fly-underground has become a part of my life in a way that i didn’t think was possible. certainly my book wouldn’t have gotten published if not for this platform, but beyond that, i wouldn’t have ‘met’ so many really interesting, kind people if not for tumblr. i’ve learned a lot on here. it’s been a good place for me. 

Anonymous asked: Hi! I think your poems are awesome.. I was just wondering how do you pronounce your name? It seems like a beautiful mouthful.

hello! thank you for this really kind message! hahaha, it’s funny you ask about the pronunciation of my name, because many of the people i first meet online all struggle a bit. i know it’s not out of malice or anything, my name is probably exactly how you described it: a beautiful mouthful. 

yena is pronounced like henna or jenna but with a y: YEN-a. 
sharma like karma: SHAR-ma.
purmasir, the toughest name in the bunch, has an emphasis on the first syllable: PURR-maa-sir. (when i say “sir” for the last syllable, i really do mean like the english word “sir.”)

i hope this little pronunciation guide helps! i am trying more and more not to take mispronunciations too personally and also to correct people before it can become too awkward.