Saturday, January 31, 2009


"They have such an appreciation for love."

Emily Mostek

Brian Tennison

"If you do not talk, you become complacent. If you become complacent, you SUPPORT CRUELTY."

My friend Jeremy wrote this poem once

"Is it wrong that I should feel so good?
My heart filled-full to burst
My closing breath filled with soot;
Her smile as warm as a friend’s kissHer hair cool as morning dew;
I cannot help but fall on affection
That branches and births cousins of rejection;
That sweet tasted fruit, then tasted, now forgot,
Holds permanence; their seed that fell and grew
Promises and lies, all broken and untrue;
I bet on a soul, but I bet to lose."


Freedom comes from unexpected places. To wake up on a mattress as the morning sun leaks through hand-crocheted curtains, undoubtedly haggled from one of the local markets, and open a huge window to feel the pleasant, familiar smell of fresh bread from the bakery less than a football field away is freedom. To walk for hours and rest in fields of flowers is beauty, even when walking all the way home seems an unattainable task. Nature transcends calendars, alarm clocks, and computers and all necessities are within reach. The last time I visited my first hometown of Olsztyn, an enticing feeling of independence colored my young soul and illuminated my surroundings in a light that would bring me to what I am today. I found my most treasured aspects of life in a small Polish metropolis.
At the beginning, Olsztyn was simply another place to which my mother brought my older sister, Julia, and me. I always felt like a stranger to Olsztyn, unlike my sister, who was raised by the city itself, from her early years of playground-play to the beginnings of her teenage angst. After all, she was born there. My love for Olsztyn, however, began to grow only after my admiration for Julia, who slowly began telling me more and more stories, until my capacity of nostalgic thought was equally overflowing with memories of that northeastern city in Poland. I began to believe it was a truly magical place.
In June 2006, a week after my 8th grade graduation, I happily, yet anxiously, boarded an airplane, from Chicago to Warsaw. The unusual combination of my emotions that day allowed me to leave Chicago with ease and excitement. I knew the upcoming summer would be spent very well. It was my first solo vacation and I was ready. My mom’s friends scooped me up at the airport when I arrived and we drove together in their enormous white van for four hours along roads of poppies, grasses, and road merchants until we finally reached our destination. Arriving at the curb of the street I once lived on, my body, exhausted from the trip, leaped into sheer contentment and at once, I felt I was at a comfortable place.
Realizing that not much had changed since the last time I found myself there, I was reminded of the longevity of life; unlike the scenery of Chicago, which transformed nearly every month, there was a comforting aura of permanence. I spent the next several weeks exploring niches of Olsztyn I had only heard about when I was still too young to see them firsthand. Back in Chicago, I yearned for an atmosphere so gentle and subtle. The hills, endless foliage, and modestly beautiful architecture brought my spirits up every time I went outside. Though I forced myself to lock both front doors tight once night fell, because drunks often wandered the hallways of the brightly painted apartment building, I became braver than ever before, knowing the splendor outside my windows. At last, I felt independence poking out of me.
Many teenagers recall summer vacations with words such as “awesome” and “amazing,” conversing endlessly on the subject of how much they saw and did. I, however, experienced a summer of tranquility, characterized by the bittersweet loneliness of growing up and real-life struggles that urged me to learn what it means to be satisfied with being alive. I brought back to Chicago the liveliness of heart and indestructibility of spirit through which I have found my own personal freedom.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stay gold.

Typical Anna.

Hoka Hei

I woke up as I usually do. The sweet, springtime sun shone through my thick windows, illuminating my face. There were marks on my cheeks and arms from laying so long in the same position. I was happy with it; it signified how well I slept. Getting dressed, I hummed nice tunes from my neurological library and then ate an apple. The day felt nice. Real nice.
At his usual time, Randall honked his horn at my house and I walked out a few seconds later. Whoa, the air felt nice. I got in the passenger seat, as I usually did, Randall shifted the gears to D, as he usually did after I sat down, and we drove off to school. At some point on our way, Rand turned the radio down and he said to me, “You know, kid, today’s a good day to die."

I’ve had a few days like that. They were unusual, but they were so damn nice.

Happy Birthday to Me (Feb 15)

All eyes on the calendar
Another year I claim of total indifference
To here, the days pile up
With decisions to be made
I'm sure all of them were wrong

Into this song I send myself
And with these drinks I plan to collapse
And forget this wasted year, these wasted years
Devoted friends, they disappear

And I'm sorry about the phone call and needing you
Some decisions you don't make
I guess it's just like breathing and not wanting to
Yeah, there are some things you can't fake

Well, I guess that it's typical
To cling to memories you'll never get back again
And to sort through old photographs
Of a summer long ago
Or a friend that you used to know
And there below his frozen face
You wrote the name and that ancient date
And you can't believe that he's really gone
When all that's left is a fucking song

And I'm sorry about the phone call and waking you
I know that it is late
But thank you for talking, because I needed to
Some things just can't wait...

Je m'appelle Guillame Guillotine

What are we waiting for
If not for what's already gone?
Too cold to lose the clothes
Too chapped and uncontrolled

Can you guess which one of us
Will get saved?


"The government is best which governs least."


"The mistrust of heights is the mistrust of self. You never know when you are going to jump."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009



Monday, January 19, 2009

Heavy Hands and Shopping Bags

I've spent all my money
On reckless thoughts
Ideas that won't last too long
This mind's like a snowstorm
Heavy blow, mild aftermath
Quick and clean cut
With just a little bit of blood

Sunday, January 18, 2009

December 2007

i woke up to a broken phone.
an absence of communication.
messy hair and eyes swollen shut.
an overload of sweetness, of the momentary kind
nostalgic sadness for touchable things
that have left this part of me.
un-expectations surprising
word writings
messy face and little face
and people i have never really met.
febreeze covered smoke
that lingers in the air
muggy imprints
on these purple, disintegrating walls
what's your inspiration?
the cookie hasn't told me yet
the fortune's still waiting to be found.
these girls wear heavy hearts
i'll fall asleep to a cold hum
of a car and a highway
on my way to everywhere.
maybe one day, we'll hear it again.
warm whispers of a whispering world
maybe one day, this bed will warm up
and hold my body right again.
ready to fight
and surrender just as well.

Saturday, January 17, 2009



Morning Glory

“Wake up. It’s six,” was what my mother said to me that morning. She stroked my cheek gently, as if she were trying to give me a few more moments of sleep. “Baby, wake up.”
She jumped on my bed playfully, the way a toddler would as a cone overflowing with a cold, creamy substance covered with chocolate and sprinkles matching the milky flavor appeared before its unsullied eyes, yet she kept her softness.
I rubbed my eyes generously. The sooner I was able to see her face clearly, the better.
“Hey mom.”
Her reply was a smile.
You look terrible,” she said as she moved my hair behind my ears.
I examined my mother’s face as carefully as I did every morning. Every spot of tight skin, the wrinkles by her slender nose, and the incredible depth of her charcoal eyes were displayed gallantly in the light of the rising sun behind us.
She sure was beautiful.
I followed her through our winding rooms to the kitchen. I picked out an apple out of the fruit bowl and ate it, slowly cutting off slices with a long, thin knife; my mother drank black coffee. As it happened every morning, my mother and I looked away from each other during “breakfast,” a total reflex after the seventeen years we had spent side by side. By the time both the apple and coffee were gone, it was close to half past six, which meant is what time enough to leave for school.
I rode a bicycle, courtesy of a patron anonymous to me, seven miles to school on most days. It was, of course, my mother who pounded this information into my head, in attempt to avoid any mention of a man in our measly family. I have never even had a clue as to what my father’s name is or was. But who could have gotten me a bicycle other than long lost pa?
The white bicycle, stained with mud and sand, was leaning against the wall in the main corridor of our apartment. It had its own area in the foyer, where the handlebars left thick marks on the white wall. With a sun like we had that morning, my bicycle would have radiated with a shimmer of glittery white, but it was dirty now, the lower bar spotted with rust. I began walking it outside, down the steep stairs, dried-up mud flaking off onto each of the steps. I turned around while the front door was still in sight and took another moment to look at my mother.
“Have a good day.” She yawned, but she wasn’t tired. I remember that when I was younger, my mom always woke me up with her fidgeting and her walking around the apartment at four in the morning. It was a habit that persisted and seemed to have kept her fueled.
As I reached the outside, I looked back at the gray building in which I lived. My mother was leaning out of the window at the corner of our home, her body outstretched and her arms extended into the air. She appeared as though she was trying to embrace the wind, the graceful air; trying desperately to become a part of it. In a sense, my mother was air, able to go through and around anything and everything, at all times. She was, had, and did what she wanted. The world was her respirator and she was spilling out over its surface. Ma mere. I watched her often, a result of her penetrating magnetism, and she knew it well because... well, the air sees everything.

The weather outside was warm for a late November morning. The hills parallel to our home were covered by a sheet of green and stood tall against the painted sky. I rode past them, my pace quickening every few seconds. I peddled faster to let the light wind flow through my hair and to beat the clock against the lengthy distance. Though I kept my eyes on the road straight ahead, I caught a glimpse of the hills every now and then: they looked like waves of the sea, rising and descending, rising and descending. I imagined myself jumping into waves like that and sinking deep into their waters, just as lucid and transparent as the air itself.
The trip to school subtracted thirty minutes from my weekday mornings. Because my mother never learned to drive and the city’s public transportation system constantly emptied every kid’s pockets, I put the excursion to school on myself. I didn’t have a license then. Anyway, where I lived was a walking town; there was a blister on every foot, no doubt. But my trips were pleasant and California was rarely ever too cold for a ride. The road had not changed during the years I spent at high school. The fact amused me like the everlastingly fixed view of the ocean from a hill down the road in the opposite direction from home.
High school days did not last long; I was in and out of classes, in and out of school. I came upon numerous acquaintances with whom I worked or sat with, but never spoke to with a feeling of absolute comfort. I went there everyday thinking, “I was just here yesterday. Why must I come back again?”

That day in particular was much louder than usual. The wind whistled against my bicycle chain and frame, the two clicking at each other in a consistent rhythm. A group of fire engines roared passed the school grounds. In numbers larger than on any other day, there were students gathered outside in the school courtyard and nearly no one in the halls. There was ruckus and music and shouting heard from the side of the school building, some kind of dance beat rising into the atmosphere. One boy was trying to sell his homemade substances and a girl was kissing her boyfriend by a tree. These things I did not particularly notice before.
I entered the building to seek refuge from the party outside, walked to my locker, and immediately towards the back of the building, behind which there was a patch of grass I liked to sit on. The robotic cycle of school embedded into my head the idea that greeting the lockers every morning was a necessary ritual. So I sat on the grass and waited until eight o’clock.
Before I knew it, the school day was coming to a close. I spent it sleeping and daydreaming, thinking about my lack of academic motivation and working just a little. A few times, I tried to recall whatever moments I may have spent with my father but none came to mind. There wasn’t a single a face in my memory that I could match to his. I wrote down what I did not want to forget before the last bell rang, walked to my bicycle, quickly unlocked it, and rode back to the same house I left during the morning. The ride back seemed longer. I was always anxious to be home.

From the road a block away, I could smell the warm scent of alcohol traveling out of the open windows of our apartment and it hit me harder and harder with every meter that brought me closer to the front door. Carrying my bike, I climbed the stairs up. Our front door was open; the smell of cigarette smoke filled the corridor where I leaned my bicycle against its spot on the wall. As I walked it, a rush of at least those two fragrances entered my nostrils and lit my senses.
My mother was sitting against the back door, near the terrace, with two sleeping women and a man at her sides. She looked up at me and stared, then closed her eyes and reached for her glass bottle of Johnny Walker, but her hand landed on cheap wine. The man kept his eyes on my mother the entire time I stood in front of them.
”Don’t mind, baby,” my mother said. “Don’t bother.”
I felt an aching frustration and an itching to breathe easy so I left my mother and her companions on the floor, smothered by their smoke and reoccurring indifference. My bicycle was, gladly, at hand. I rode on it for two hours, until my calves ached outside of my body. I stopped at a hill with another spectacular view, one I did not remember seeing before. There I stayed; I ate a bagel I pulled out of a dumpster earlier that day.
When I got home, the dark had settled into the sky. The door was closed, but this time, unlocked. My mother’s friends were spread out in the apartment, all asleep or in a coma. It was all the same for drunks. The one with the long, red hair was on my mother’s Turkish rug with a towel wrapped around her body. A small bird stood perched on the windowsill of my bedroom and it hopped when it moved. My mother was not around.
The bird flew away.

I looked towards the field west of where I stood and there saw my mother, quite beautiful, among the grass and other plants. I took the rear staircase to the ground floor and walked to the field. Mother was sleeping deeply, like her comrades, bottle in hand, and a trail of spit rolling down her chin. Her hair was let loose and she wore only a t-shirt over her underwear. I did not shake her, nor did I say a word. I lied down beside her and thought about my father again. I felt a drop of rain and raised my mother up as best as I could without disturbance and carried her into the gray building we lived in as her bottle of whiskey dropped to the ground.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The reality and the poor girl

"If I stay here, I'll never know I'm free."


And god bless.

I have stories.