Friday, May 4, 2012

Original Poem: New Dress

New Dress
Rachel Marie Talan
fallen soldiers of love
have surrendered,
their bodies scattered over the floor,
a trail from the bed 
to the bathroom vanity.
Ben and Jerry,
beneath the bedside lamp,
are arguing who
has dibs on the silver lady,
lying at the nightstand’s edge.
The bed’s pillows are 
wrinkled and angry
and the TV has
been on for days, 
mourning the ends of
shows stuck in reruns,
characters never aging.
The walk-in closet
glows yellow
--a bulb about to burn out--
and hangers
are tangled bitterly
over the mouth of a
hungry hamper.
Then the front door clicks.
Footsteps up the stairs.
A box on the bed.
The TV off.
Purse slung
into a chair.
A look in the mirror
with a sudden smile says:
Nothing heals
a fractured heart
like the touch of
a new dress.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Silent, I Would Walk Barefoot Through the Forest Like a Native

Despite my feet always being ice cubes, I am happiest barefoot and free. While hiking, I often pretend I'm a Native American, sneaking around barefoot without rustling any of the leaves. But Josh makes me leave my shoes on because he insists that parasites, fungus or the black plague will soak up through the soles of my feet. And I listen to him because I know that even if those things didn't happen to me, I'd probably just stab my fragile feet with twigs or something because I'm not always the most graceful ballerina in the company

But shoes aren't so bad I suppose. And these are my favorites. Since purchasing them in January from The Paraders, I scarcely go a day without them...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Original Poem: The Kuleshov Effect

Recently, Josh did a stop motion video of me writing out one of my poems called "The Kuleshov Effect." Stop motion is done by taking consecutive photos and then playing them back at 24 frames/sec. It gives the film a choppy look, and with the antique effect Josh used, this really looks like an antique film (well, except for the two cars in my driveway). I hope you love it as much as I do!


The Kuleshov Effect
Rachel Marie Talan
Shelved books gather dust like old,
forgotten trophies. Sunlight streams through 
the open window,
a spotlight.
The author spins phrases on his typewriter
while the sun strikes his back with 
warmth, with pain. 
There’s a dandelion on the lawn. A 
lone survivor. All his friends, killed on
behalf of beauty’s war. 
She sits at the bar and takes her
first drink in fifteen years.
A penny is stranded, tail-side-up, in the gutter.
A cigar still burns in an ashtray,
smoke dancing up and away from its
abandoned form.
The metronome ticks atop the musicless piano. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"It would protect me on the cold walk into the village for milk"

This lovely 1950s trench coat has been so trusty and warm and perfect. However, as much as I adore it, I am ready to retire it for the season. I'm also ready to retire my textbooks (at least for a time). I'm ready to instead pick up my high waisted shorts, sandals, and my leather bound journal. How I miss writing and reading for my own pleasure. I'm ready for summer's freedom and adventures.

There are so many things I want to learn that I cannot find time for while I am still in school --- ironic isn't it? I made a list of resolutions when the New Year came about, but I feel like I need to make another one for summer.

And so...some hopeful summer plans:

x learn to really sew with my new sewing machine
x learn to skillfully operate the animation software I purchased for Meep and Merp
x translate my favorite French poems
x take a yoga class
x buy a bike

And knowing me, there will be many more. I'm too ambitious for my own good.

Do you have any premature summer plans like I do?


This outfit was worn awhile ago. But some of these images didn't appear in the original post. And I am still wearing this trench coat every bitter cold April day.

This post title is a quote from Billy Collins' poem "The Lesson."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Featured Poet: Gina Alyse

by Gina Apperson
To someone else
Dried flowers may seem better
Than a collection of random
Literary extracts.
An extract of honey perfume
May smell more welcoming
Than the crisp paper pages
My fingers hold.
A diamond ring that flashes
With every change of light
May bedazzle more brilliantly
Than the next metaphor listed.
In fact the next hidden meaning
Of this delicate language
May just go unnoticed
As clouds spiral day by day,
Making curtains in the air.
Such curtain, only of lies,
Would then feel softer
Than the quiet melody
Of missing voices
In the beryl skies.
And the sweet music that vibrates
Daily instead
Would sound better
Than the flawless flow
Of words voiced with strong soul
To someone else.
But never am I
This someone else.


Featured Poet: Gina Alyse is a delight. She keeps an eclectic blog where she catalogues her interests and daily musings, and she was kind enough to feature some of my work.  "Potpourri" has such a calm rhythm to it. I especially love the lines "as clouds spiral day by day, making curtains in the air." Such a lovely image. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

For Reasons, Most Wondrous

"To the garden, the world, anew ascending,
Potent mates, daughters, sons, preluding,
The love, the life of their bodies, meaning and being,
Curious, here behold my resurrection, after slumber;

"The revolving cycles, in their wide sweep, have brought me again,         5
Amorous, mature—all beautiful to me—all wondrous;
My limbs, and the quivering fire that ever plays through them, for reasons, most wondrous;

"Existing, I peer and penetrate still,
Content with the present—content with the past,

"By my side, or back of me, Eve following,  10
Or in front, and I following her just the same."

---- "To the Garden of the World" by Walt Whitman

Outfit Details:

Photos taken by Josh.

Earrings//Vintage, 1950s
Cardigan//Charlotte Russe
Dress (worn as blouse)//Vintage, 1980s
Skirt//Vintage, 1960s - via Vintage Archives
Shoes//Vintage 1960s
Handbag//Vintage 1950s

Friday, April 13, 2012

Original Poem: Clumsy

by Rachel Marie Talan

My poems are always so clumsy...

The words sort of





in choppy rhythm.

Are they even poems at all?
Just weak collections of lines.

The writings of others
know exactly
what they're about.
They've skipped adolescence
and stopped falling over their own feet.

Their text,
black, straight, organized,
stands erect
in perfect,
rectangular columns.

Not mine though.
Mine finds a way of




As promised, this is the poem I had published in Nota Bene. I really enjoy playing with the positioning of words in my writing, and I absolutely love concrete poetry, which is a form of poetry where the words are placed intentionally out of alignment on the page in order to make a picture. It's quite fun. To me, poetry has always been like doing a puzzle.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Name All Done Up in Helvetica

Seeing my name in print never does cease to thrill me. My poem "Clumsy" was chosen for publication in Phi Theta Kappa's annual literary anthology Nota Bene along with other poems and stories from students across the country. They chose the most perfect picture to accompany my piece, which, as you can imagine, just tickles me and my whimsical heart pink.

If you stop by again on Friday, I'll post the full-length poem for you to peruse.
Until then, my friends!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Original Poem: Paper Tyranny

Last Friday I went with Courtney to a poetry reading in southern Wisconsin. The café was delightful and only carried organic products. I confess, I ate cheesecake and a cinnamon roll for dinner that night. The server told me she admired me, but there's nothing to be admired about a 20 year old eating sugar for dinner and then blowing bubbles in her milk because she's so nervous about reading a poem in front of an audience that she has lost all her common sense. 
But I digress...
It was my first time performing at an open mic, and I felt quite brave afterward -- like a gladiator of poets. The poem below is the one I read...into the microphone...that made my voice really really everybody could hear every single word I said...

Paper Tyranny
Rachel Marie Talan

We are paper dolls
in a paper world, and all
must fold before you.
Your wicked lips, like
paper clips, are click-clicking 
over paper ears. 
Crumpled citizens
listen and watch, faces blank
with unprinted fears.
Your scissors above
are casting shadows and dread:
Snip. Snip. We’re all dead.

I'd also like to thank everyone for the sweet words of encouragement you gave me on Monday. All of you are just swell :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Frank's Gone Missing

Dear Frank,

I'm sorry for leaving you in that nasty women's restroom. But I was only trying to protect you from drowning by placing you on the edge of that stark white sink. I hope you can forgive me.

I came back and searched everywhere for you, but I suppose someone else has snatched you up by now. I hope she treats you with kindness, but I know that nobody will love you in such an illogical way as I do.

Stay off the drugs, Frank.
And if you should ever find your way home, there will always be a place for you in the flowery tea cup next to Dexter and Eliza.

Monday, April 2, 2012

un poète pauvre, mais libre

For so long I was so certain that I would grow up and become a famous writer of short stories or novels or maybe witty magazine features. And if that didn't work out, I knew for certain I would become an editor, a professional and vigilant grammar Nazi. But now I'm second-guessing that future.

After attending the media conference in New York and meeting the nation's most prestigious editors, I felt unimpressed. I can't imagine myself associating with them, and I surely don't want to become like them: boring, condescending, and -- did I mention boring?

I always have loved stories and writing, and I still do! Though I have written some fiction, I've always preferred writing poetry, and I've always been better at that. But, in case you weren't aware, poets don't make any money. Quite literally. None. Even when they have their work published, they still usually make none.

I haven't quite given up the notion of becoming a writer or editor, but I'm keeping my mind open to new ideas. With all my interests, I imagine I will experience multiple careers in my lifetime.

Oddly enough, this uncertainty feels good. I feel free not knowing what it is I want. I feel like dancing. I feel like exploring. I want to try everything.

Outfit Details:
(It deeply irks me that the waistline of my dress peeked out in these photos. I'm trying not to be OCD about it, but it's very very hard.)

Linked up at Not Dead Yet Style.

Necklace//Target (Surprised? I was.)
Dress (worn as blouse)//Vintage, 1980s
Cardigan//Charlotte Russe
Ring//Antique - Sara Coventry
Skirt//Vintage, Ralph Lauren, 1980s
Shoes//Vintage via The Paraders

Friday, March 30, 2012

Featured Poet: Jessica

Somebody Doesn't Exist
by Jessica of The Midwest Muse

Will somebody remember us?
When  the oceans dry up,
and the finest art decays,
the stars burn out and modernization never happened.
And there's the jasmine scented room,
where we laid our coats and our bodies,
and you caught me looking at that man,
that wasn't you and I smiled.

When there are no trees left to be wheeled away,
buildings aren't constructed out of brick and mortar.
And the midsummer nights are riddles,
where you seduced the warmth with a broken banjo.
And I gambled the night away with a drink,
a false smirk and the skin under my favorite dress.

Will somebody remember us?
When the food chain shifts,
the leaves stop changing.
And children are never granted innocence.
The grass vanishes,
replaced by sand,
And the landlocked blues
fade into the Earth.

When the color drains from my wine stained cheeks,
and the world has no color palette.
The plethora of choices become a single option,
and like the scones I never ate,
we crumble into crumbs.

Will somebody remember us?
When the birds can no longer fly,
and your once bright eyes have dimmed
like the moon that forgets to set,
and the sun that never rises.
We were young once,
when we dressed up in our Sunday's finest,
and we stole from the house by the sea.

When the heat never returns,
and seasons are a foreign concept,
like the film we watched that first night,
and the fireworks we created before we understood,
what the tears really meant.

Will somebody remember us?
When time was a concept built by a man,
but the man died and took his secrets to the grave,
The vegetables cannot grow without water,
and water only existed to wash away our dreams,
like the paint we used on the bridge that collapsed.

When harmonies cannot be heard,
because the world is tone deaf.
Like the night I sang out of tune,
to your broken banjo.


Featured Poet: Jessica is a lovely lady, who was kind enough to feature my blog on hers not too long ago. Her style is always colorful and well thought out. To get to know her better, visit her blog here.

Are you a poet? I'd love to feature your original work!
Submission Guidelines:
Subject matter is not limited, though profanity is discouraged.
Submissions are subject to editing if deemed necessary.
You must be a follower of The Quirky Poet via Bloglovin' or Google Friend Connect.
You may send your poems to

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New York City: a Tale of Adventure and Anxiety

Upon arriving in New York City, panic tightened in my chest -- the buildings are so tall and I'm so small and look at all the people and OHMYGOD THAT BLACK SUV ALMOST KILLED ME!!! I was ready to tell the shuttle driver I'd pay him $100 to take me back to the airport so I could go home. But, like all the other New Yorkers, he was too quick and had already driven away by the time my brain had calmed enough to process my fight or flight response. So I stayed. And I'm glad I did. After visiting Times Square, feeling the calm, openness of the wind, the long streets and tall buildings seemed to shrink a little. Claustrophobia subsided and I felt my normal size again.


My most favorite stop in Times Square was, unsurprisingly, the Disney store. It was the only store in which all the employees were happy and friendly. I skipped my way through the two story haven and came out with a delightful Cheshire Cat mug which makes my hot tea even more wonderous. I do so wish they made dreamy princess dresses in my size.

Across the street from the hotel was a quaint French restaurant where I enjoyed ratatouille with goat cheese. MMMMM...favorite meal of the trip. Well, besides all the cupcakes I ate. And I ate a lot of cupcakes: white chocolate blueberry, apple crisp, cookie dough, and raspberry swirl cupcakes to be exact.

Central Park was a mere three blocks away from the hotel, and it was much more lovely than I imagined it would be. I got to see the Balto statue, which pleased me so greatly. I never had guessed that visiting New York would fulfill so many of my childhood aspirations. I also visited the John Lennon memorial. The sign here says that musical instruments and machine-projected sound are prohibited, which I find rather ironic. John Lennon would have a fit I think. So I just started singing Strawberry Fields as loud as I could without embarrassing myself.

By the second day of shopping in New York, I was rather depressed that I couldn't have any of the gorgeous dresses. I absolutely adored the Anthropologie store, and oh goodness, they had the most beautiful minidress. But it was $300. So I left the beautiful shop empty handed and feeling rather disappointed in our gimme-more culture. I ought to be more grateful for the lovely things I have. They are enough.

I was assured by dozens of parties that it is quite impossible to lose your way in New York City, and I assured these parties that I of all people would find a way. And I did just that. On two occasions. Both of which took me at least an hour beyond my destination. Oh, it was delightful. Just delightful. My feet hate me for it still. 


After meandering hopelessly off track, I eventually made it to the proper subway, which apparently has new switches and less hitches and witty poets who frequent it. This filthy subway took me to Staten Island, where I saw the statue of Liberty in all her glowing, evening glory. She was breathtaking. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture her beauty with my chintzy camera. BUT I did get this serendipitous shot of the city. Look at all the little blurry music notes my camera's bad exposure made! It pleases my whimsical heart.  

It was a lovely trip. But my body and I are happy to be home - at a consistent ground level! - in one piece.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Return of the [Vintage] Jedi

After many adventures in New York City, I have returned!
This is the delightful ensemble I wore to dinner with Josh the night before I departed.
He said, "Those shoes are really cool. You look really pretty tonight."
To which I said, "Thanks, love. I kinda thought so too."
False modesty never has suited me...
But don't you ever have days where you look in the mirror and think, Man, I look gooood?
Yeah, I like those days.

I'll be back later this week with some of my photos from New York :)

Outfit details:

Cardigan//Charlotte Russe
Purse//Charming Charlie's
Shoes//Vintage, 1960s

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why should I leave you?

The Taxi
by Amy Lowell
When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars   
And shout into the ridges of the wind.   
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?

I hate to disappoint, but while in NYC my blog shall remain on pause.
But when I get back, I promise to share all the snapshots I will have taken while away.
Don't miss me too much ;)

If you'd like to keep up with me while I'm on vacation, check out my facebook and twitter.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy As A Lark

Ok, so I look severely pouty in these photos, but that is the total opposite of how I'm feeling! 
This Saturday I leave for New York for the media arts conference, and I am completely thrilled!

I'm going with a group of people from my journalism class, which will be delightful because they are delightful people, but I still wish I could take my Josho with me (sigh).
But anyhow...I have a few plans formulating in my little curly head. I'm desperately wanting to visit central park and a few organic restaurants in the area. Unlike my town, NYC actually has options for people who hate eating chemicals. So as you can imagine, I'm happy as a lark ^_^

I'm also planning to visit whatever shops are in Times Square. Anyone know of a vintage shop in that area? I'd love an authentic 50s dress as a souvenir! In fact, I'm packing my suit case full of food so that I can save most of my food money for a dress instead. Priorities, people, priorities!

Outfit details:

Earrings//Charlotte Russe
Blazer//Vintage, 1980s
Necklace//Charming Charlie's
Shoes//Jeffrey Campbell

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Pauper's Instagram

I haven't had the patience for taking outfit photos lately. What with the clicking, self-timing, and not being able to wear stretchy pants. But then again I never intended this blog to be solely devoted to photos of me posing like a wannabe Kohl's model.
So here's a glimpse of my most recent shenanigans.
(I'm poor, so I don't have an iPhone or Instagram.)

Pea is quite pleased with springtime and open windows next to birds' nests. She chats with them on occasion. I imagine the conversation to be something along the lines of "Blast! If it were not for this screen, I would capture you and...make you my friends."

 Don't ask me the name of this yoga pose. I couldn't tell you. In my mind I remember it as the one where I make a triangle shape with my arms and leg.

Haha. Lois Lane. Get it. Ha. 

I've been making a lot of Meep and Merp doodles. I also ordered animation software, so soon there will be animated Meep and Merp cartoons floating around the internets. Yay!!

And these are hedgehog earrings that I scored for $2. Their names are Tina and Tino. They amuse me.

Alas, do not let your heart be troubled...I shall return on Thursday with an outfit post.
Because I really am just another wannabe Kohl's model.