Sunday, January 12, 2020

Poem: Homesick

People don’t often talk about reverse culture shock. But it’s been on my mind for the past several months. Since moving back to the United States from Europe, I’m still learning how to readjust. If I’m completely honest, my first impression of coming back was mostly negative for various reasons.

First off, many of the buildings in the US are just plain ugly, especially compared to the Bavarian-style structures I’m used to seeing everyday. Sorry, not sorry, America.

Then there’s the over friendliness. If I’m going out grocery shopping, people want to talk to me for some reason. I just want my apples, so please, please leave me alone. One stranger even tried to offer me a job when I just wanted to go through the checkout line, and I actually enjoy my current job, thank you very much. (Leave me alone!) I miss the blunt, honest fashion in Germany where people mind their own business.

I am learning to adjust though. I like my house, and I’m super excited that I can do whatever I want to the garden come spring! It’s a huge garden. And did I mention my job is awesome? The other day, I had a kid fold me a little paper crane, and it was the sweetest thing.

Enjoy my poems from 2019? Be sure to vote for your favorites here or comment below! Categories include your favorite, best imagery, and most heartfelt.

Update (14 Jan. 2020): Vote for my poem "When I was Little" on Little Infinite.


Is it possible to get homesick
for a place I’ve never been?
To hear the hollow echo in the pit of my heart
as the revelation settles in,
covering my arteries like a coating of dust
speck by speck
—this realization that I’ve never truly belonged.

I miss the way the forests reclaimed the city,
and even though there was still smog,
I could bike to work through the woods.
I don’t like how now I look out the window
in this sticky refrigerated restaurant
and see a boxy convenient store, a cemetery, a street.
Is this what they call a view?

I laid in the grass beneath the blanket of sunshine
to escape the throngs of people
yet a lady still found me,
and asked me how I was.
Why are the people so nice here?
What do they want from me?

Ask me where I’m from one more time,
and I just might tell you—
I don’t know.

I don’t know anymore.


Let’s chat! What did you think of the poem? Have you ever experienced culture shock or reverse culture shock? What was your favorite poem of mine from 2019?

Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020 Reading Resolutions

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020!

I don’t know about you, but these have become one of my favorite posts to write, and I actually use them as reference points throughout the year. Last year I actually met my goal of book types, so I’m excited to be starting even more reading!

1 Book 700+ pages

I’m a huge overachiever.

On my To-Be-Read list:
  • Words of Radiance (Stormlight, book 2) by Brandon Sanderson—at 1,087 pages, I’m mainly putting this one off because The Way of Kings (Stormlight, book 1) was just so depressing, and I don’t want to see Kaladin or Dalinar hurt any more than they were!
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas—at 1,276 pages this book made it to my TBR for reasons unknown. It’s been there at least since 2012.

I’m not going to read them both this year. Probably…

3 Classics

They’re classics for a reason, and I need a little extra motivation to check some out.

On my list:
  • From the Earth to the Moon and Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Sea Wolf by Jack London

5 Books from Places I’ve Been

I’ve been to so many places, so this should be interesting! The only problem is that it also makes me an intense critic. I didn’t like several books because I had been to certain places and they didn’t make me recall the setting. At all. So sad. I like it when settings are like a well-developed character!

On my list:
  • Nottingham by Nathan Makaryk
  • This Is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila (Hawai’i)
  • The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (Venice)
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (Paris)

5 Graphic Novels

I’m going to get a little specific with this category and count either a standalone or one from a series rather than the entire series. In other words, instead of reading five in a series and calling it done, I’ll have to pick up a new book to reach my goal. I don’t want my limit myself to only one series.

On my list:
  • Divinity by Matt Kindt
  • Erased by Kei Sanbe
  • A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima
  • Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda

Why yes, I enjoy Manga, thank you very much. And art. All the ART!

5 Novels in Verse

I like poetry, but I lean more toward novels in verse when it comes to poetry types. Something about the free verse and the narrative is just so entrancing!

On my list:
  • The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined by Stephanie Hemphill
  • Toffee by Sarah Crossan
  • Unbound by Ann E. Burg

1 Book Published Before 1800

For some reason, I like to fight against this goal. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the excitement of new releases or the subconscious idea that older books are much harder to read, which can be the case. But all the same, each time I pick up an older book, I find myself enjoying it more than I expected. So far anyway.

On my list:
  • Something old. I’ve never followed the ones I list here.

Total books: 20


Let’s chat! What’s on your TBR for 2020? Do you have any particular goals? What books are you most looking forward to reading?