This is the first poem I’ve been able to write since I started this cancer journey back in March, chemo brain is real ! enjoy !
We tend to push back the things we like
Like small children
And place them behind the things that we don’t like
We’re content with living joyless lives
And shucking money into the void
We’re told we can’t do the things we like
And support ourselves
So we spend all of our time doing the things we don’t like
Until every last drop of our joy is gone
And we don’t have the energy to pull
That small child out from behind the ugly things
And create something we do like
It had taken the footballers of Cedar High School just half a week to discover the new kid and about fifteen minutes to make him feel welcome. Unfortunately by welcome I mean upend in the nearest dumpster. Did I mention the new kid is me?
Dumpsters smell like sour milk and mothballs and battery acid. The smell mingles in your mouth and stays there, especially when it’s constantly reintroduced. The only way I’ve found to get rid of it is cigarettes. The taste of dirt does wonders.
To say that bullies’ tactics are cliché would be an understatement. At this point, I would find it refreshing for some dumb jock to steal my gym clothes or give me a swirly. But no. Dumpsters are all I get.
It’s usually the footballers who like to upend me, but depending on the school, it could be the lacrosse team, or the basketball team, even the theater kids. I’ll admit, that one was a surprise, but at a school for performing arts, someone’s got to be on top.
I find myself leaning against the cool stone façade of my current high school, popping a cigarette between my lips and lighting it. I blow the smoke out through my nostrils and shrug my satchel into a more comfortable position across my shoulder.
A group of footballers sashay across the front lawn, several of them looking familiar. Sniveling idiots with leather on their shoulders and rocks in their heads. They cast me wry glances before turning toe in my direction. Luckily, the first bell rings and they decide against whatever they were going to do, chuckling as they head inside.
I can’t help the eye roll that happens as I take one last puff and crush the butt beneath my shoe.
Week two has given me enough time to memorize my schedule, my teachers’ names, and my locker combination. I haven’t bothered to make any friends, there’s no point. I spend lunch roaming the hallways, turkey sandwich in hand. A display case catches my eye and I notice it celebrates the Cedar Baron’s winning streak. The football team’s trophies and awards dazzle under the small fluorescent lights above, but those aren’t what concern me. Mounted in the middle of the showcase is a team photo. The name plate beneath gives away my tormenters’ names. Tad Drake, quarterback, Dillion Powell, receiver, Franklin Weal, Line man. I narrow my eyes at Tad Drake’s glowing face in the photo.
A girl trips over my foot and curses at me as she hurries down the hall. I don’t even have time to apologize as she’s fifteen feet away by the time I register what happened. The bell rings and I throw the remaining half of my sandwich into the nearest trashcan before heading to science class.
The remainder of the day goes by without incident. Kids swarm the hallways, slamming lockers and buzzing about homework. I shove textbooks into my satchel and retreat from the building, using the chaos as my own cloak of invisibility from Tad and company. Feeling safe only when I’ve slid into a seat on the bus, I let out a sigh and turn my head to the window.
“I may be a criminal, but leaving her behind is by far my worst transgression to date.”
-A snippet from our currently work in progress. Coming soon!
December brings with it the end of a year, and I woke up this morning feeling an overwhelming urge to reveal who Turner Collins really are, to put an end to the secret. My best friend and I began writing together three years ago, but writing under the pseudonym a year and a half ago, back when we started this blog. We were new at the whole writing thing and we wanted to post without judgement. Sharing our work with you, our blog followers, has boosted our confidence in both ourselves, and the things we create. With your support, we took the plunge and self-published a novel.
At this point in our journey, we feel secrecy will only hold us back. We want to grow and move forward in an effort to be able to connect with you all in a more personal way. So with all that being said, we would like to introduce you to the girls behind Turner Collins.
Hello, my name is Tracey and I make up the Turner part of Turner Collins. I’m 23 and live in Calgary, Alberta. I am responsible for the Jacob pieces that you find on the blog as well as many of the short stories. Okay, and maybe a poem or two, however they don’t hold a candle to the resident poetry buff, Collins. I have been writing since I was able to hold a pen. When I was younger, I went through something very traumatic that I dealt with through writing. It started as journalistic pieces, well, as journalistic as a ten year old could get. Talking about the world and current events, learning as much as I could. Once I got into high school it turned into fleshed out novels and stories. Characters have always come naturally to me, they talk to me until I finally get them out into the world.
Other than writing, I have been doing photography since I was fifteen years old and received my first camera. I am an avid movie buff and read a book daily. I am no good at art, but I love looking at it. Music is a huge part of my life and it aids in most of my writing. There is a soundtrack for each piece and book that we’ve ever written on my IPhone.
In 2012, I started a job where I met my best friend and writing partner, Christina. One day, I decided to throw an idea her way: “Why don’t we write a book together?” By the end of that day, we had an entire novel plotted and ready to write. Five finished books and many, many story ideas later, here we are. Collins and I are both big fans of lists, so here is one with points about me.
-I enjoy museums and historical sights
-I have tattoos as well as piercings and plan to get more
-Some of my favorite movies are: Moulin Rouge, The Outsiders, and Life (The movie about James Dean)
-It’s my life mission to see all my favorite bands
-I want to travel
-I was a theater kid and did a bit of acting. As well as written and directed plays.
Hello, my name is Christina, and I make up the Collins part of Turner Collins. I’m 22 and live in Calgary, Alberta. I’m responsible for most of the poetry you find on this blog. I’ve always written, but it wasn’t until high school that I really began recording my feelings. I developed horrendous anxiety that made every day a painful struggle. The only way I found to cope was with pen and paper. Shortly after high school ended I began a new job, where I met my best friend and writing partner. The rest as they say is history.
Surprisingly there is more to me than writing, I’m also an avid photographer, macro and portraiture being my favourite things to capture. I paint a ton, generally watercolor or another medium I like to call ‘organic painting.’
I could go on and write paragraphs upon paragraphs, but let’s be honest, bullet points are the best. Here’s a few facts to get to know me really quick:
– I’m a huge history buff
– My top three favourite movies are: The Warriors, Logan’s Run, and Raising Arizona
– I could spend days inside antique shops
– I impulsively get it in my head that I must learn something new and follow through. Last year it was juggling, this year it’s ukulele.
– Indie music and k-pop are and will forever be my obsessions
– I’m the descriptive type, adding enough description to Turner’s dialogue to drive her nuts!
– As you can tell by the number of bullets I chose to include, my favourite number is 7
Now that that big reveal is out of the way, we’re excited to go forward and share ourselves with all of you. In putting faces to the name, we hope to connect with you all on another level. We all feel, hurt, experience joy, fall, get back up. Our hope is that our work resonates with at least one person.
They tell us times are tough
And we question how we got here
We make choices and shake ourselves down
Trying to understand what the hell they’re talking about
We try to tell them all the heartache is self-inflicted
That life can’t possibly be that cruel on its own
We create the illusion of destruction
We destroy ourselves
In the pursuit of some plastic dream
We see others break and bleed and call it winning
The wiser strap packs to their backs and hit the trails
Flushing consumerism and media from their systems
We ask how we got here again
And they place pills in our hands and tell us to get in line
Join in with everybody else
Because once the eyes start straying
The real destruction begins
No one has ever caught my eye enough to allow my blood to flow through their veins for eternity.
A teaser from a new piece we have in the works. Enjoy!