If you’ve ever been told: be more ladylike / to talk quietly / to stop drawing attention to yourself / to dress differently / that you’re too much or that you should be better behaved /
If you’ve ever felt like: you are hard to love / you love too much / that you always give, but get nothing back / or that you’ll never be good enough…
Then my newest poetry collection, The Worst of Me is for you.
You should know that I am not good
and never have been…spit out of the womb like the devil made me herself. dark eyes, dark lips, darker hair and sienna skin that looked like it had already taken a beating. they said I came out bruised. looking for trouble.
— The Worst of Me
I’m honestly so excited about this book. If you’ve read my previous poetry collections, you know that Still Growing Wildflowers, The Lovers, and Made of Earth all take a journey from the dark to the light. But The Worst of Me is simply a journey through the dark.
Thanks to social media we often see the “light” side of healing; aesthetic journals, motivational quotes being posted, and dinners with friends. We think, “Wow, look at her. She has it together. I wish I could be like that.” But healing isn’t pretty. It never has been. It happens behind closed doors and it’s heartbreaking, disappointing, frustrating, and everything in between.
But if you’re lucky, you just might see someone healing publicly (or writing some goddamn poetry about it)
When we talk about healing, we’re encouraged not just to leave the darker aspects of our lives behind, but to destroy them completely. But for many of us who have lived through traumatic experiences and relationships from childhood, through our teens, and into adulthood, those dark sides are part of us and it’s hard to imagine leaving that hurt child/teen/human behind.
But what would happen if instead of destroying those parts of ourselves, we made friends with them?
I love The Worst of Me because it is a visceral and introspective collection that invites you to embrace your own inner ‘monsters.’
In other words: embrace your dark side.
I hope that seeing the darker side of my poetry helps you to love the darker side (and still beautifully human part) of yourself.
ps. keep reading for behind-the-scenes and more about the book!
A Little About the Writing Process
When I write poetry, I write in those plain, black notebooks we used to write in during school. While I’ve written in aesthetically pleasing journals before, I realized I let their appearance influence what I write down in them. I’m not as honest, I’m not as real, I’m not as raw. Writing in a plain notebook gives me the freedom to express all my haunted thoughts without worrying about the cover misrepresenting the contents.
But after publishing my last poetry book, Made of Earth, I got a little stuck. To help with writer’s block, I found a cheap, vintage typewriter on eBay and ordered it. I started taking those poems from my notebooks and typing them out on my typewriter instead of storing them digitally like I had been. They have marks and imperfections and I really loved the way they looked, so I decided to use the typewriter versions of my poems in The Worst of Me, giving it the feel of a diary.
A Little About the Illustrations and Artwork
I grew up with a mother who was also an artist and this meant everything we did was heavily critiqued, whether it was writing, singing, playing an instrument, and especially, art, so I have always felt I’m no good at it because it didn’t meet the expectations of an artist. This book is also really special to me because, for the first time ever, I am publicly sharing some of my own little illustrations. I may or may not have gotten a little drunk in order to relax enough to create the illustrations, lol. I hope you hate them as much as my mother would 😉
This book also includes some public domain art (one of which is a religious piece that I made a little slutty )
I hope you use the pages like your own diary; press flowers into it, draw your own “shitty” artwork, leave love notes you’ll never send.
A Little About Why I Wrote this Poetry Book
I wrote this book because honestly, I was tired of healing. I was tired of being “good” and being treated poorly. Tired of rumors circulating, tired of feeling like I would never get where I’m going, tired of waiting for “Karma” to give me justice. And by doing this, I realized:
Part of healing is accepting the ugly parts of yourself.
The parts of yourself that you don’t necessarily like.
The parts of you that other people don’t like, but you do.
I realized that part of healing is accepting your humanity.
And one of the most healing things I’ve done is live a wildly unsuitable life.
To disappoint everyone but myself (and my wolves)
To pursue pleasure in any form I choose.
Part of healing isn’t living like you or like anyone expects you to.
It’s living like I want to.
The Worst of Me is a collection of Dark Poems and Grim Tales about Love, Life, and Losing Yourself.
I hope you hate it 😉