Inspired Poetry

Poetry On Odyssey: Waxing and Waning

From Ada Limón's Carrying.


As we near finals, it's time to reflect on this past semester: one full of ups and downs, high highs and low lows. Like a lot of my fellow students, it seemed like more time was spent in the lows. But even the drudgery of day-to-day classes had its bright spots. One of these was a book of poems I read for my creative writing class, The Carrying by Ada Limón. I was inspired by Limón's work and decided to rearrange some of the lines that struck me into a new narrative.

Waxing and Waning

I'm driving alone in the predawn

It's almost romantic as we adjust the waxy blue

the extent of our adventurism

then a heaving. Sounds sucked from lungs.

and uncupping our ears to hear.

No, to the rising tides.

(they wish to bless and bless and hush)

that bend with moss and old man's beard

mouthing the sand and silt, a crawdad

jellyfish washed to the stormy shore.

Sometimes, we drown together.

But sometimes I swear I hear it, the wound closing

your own lungs, like venom? Reader, I want to

making identical perfect selves, bam, another me,

we stood static and listened to them insane

Cling and remind me—

But sometimes I swear I hear it, the wound closing

to myself that's between a prayer and a curse—how dare we live

this was all sentimental crap, you

you were dead all over again.

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My Freckles Are Not A Beauty Trend For You To Appropriate And Immitate

Those with faces full of freckles can't wipe them off like you can after a photo shoot.


While it is fun to use makeup to express yourself, one can argue unless you are in costume, it should be used to enhance your features, not create new ones. The trend of artificial freckles puts a nasty taste in my mouth reminiscent to the feeling I get when I see a Caucasian woman apply such dark foundation to her face that she appears to be donning blackface.

To someone who has a face full of freckles, it is offensive to see you paint on freckles as if they were not permanent features of other people's skin that they cannot remove with a makeup wipe. I remember asking my cousin at 5 years old if I could surgically remove my freckles and crying when she broke to me that I'd be stuck with what she called giraffe spots my whole life.

I'm not alone in feeling self-conscious about my freckles. The face is the fulcrum of the identity, and it can feel like my facial identity is like a haphazard splash of orange/brown debris. Another against the fake freckles movement retorts: "you'll soon regret them when people begin to describe you as a polka-dot-skinned troll or a cinnamon-toast-faced goblin. Also, when your eyebags start to sag in middle-age, that 'cute' skin art will probably deteriorate into something more closely resembling oblong blackheads. Sincerely, A Freckled Person"

One woman recalls her struggle with accepting the patterns of her skin from a very young age:

“When I was a young girl, I remember staring at myself in my bathroom mirror and imagining my face without the scattered brown dots that littered my face and body. I dreamed of having the small imperfections removed from my face and obtaining the smooth porcelain skin that I envied. I looked at my bare-faced friends in awe because they had what I wanted and would never know. For some odd reason, I had made myself believe that my freckles made me ugly."

I've come to appreciate the beauty of these sun kisses, and many nowadays have too. However, freckles haven't always been considered cute. There is a history of contempt toward red reader freckled people, just ask Anne Shirley! The dramatic young heroine laments: "Yes, it's red," she said resignedly. "Now you see why I can't be perfectly happy. Nobody could who had red hair. I don't mind the other things so much — the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, "Now my hair is a glorious black, black as the raven's wing." But all the time I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong sorrow." (Montgomery).

Historically, freckles on ones face have been seen as dirty or imperfect. It's easy to forget that Irish features such as red hair and freckles have been subject to hateful discrimination for centuries. In some places, the word ginger is even used as a slur.

I am not a red-headed stepchild for you to beat — or for you to appropriate.

My facial texture is not a toy for you to play with.

It is rude and inconsiderate to pock your face for a selfie while those with randomly splashed spots get someone once a week trying to rub off the "dirt speck" on their face.

Greg Stevens has a theory to why there is anti-red prejudice

“Skin tone is another one of those well-studied features that has been shown to consistently have an impact on people's assessment of physical beauty: Those with clear, evenly-colored skin are widely regarded as being more attractive than people with patchy, blotchy, or freckled skin.
Nowhere is this more obvious than when looking at professional photos of redheaded models and celebrities. Even those "hot redheads" that flaunt the redness of their hair usually are made-up on magazine covers to have almost unnaturally even skin tones. Moreover, there is a reasonable theory to explain why the bias against freckles might be more than just a cultural prejudice. Not to be too blunt about it, but freckles are cancer factories."

By that, the author means freckles can be early indicators of sun damage or skin cancer. This illusion that freckles indicate deficiency may also play in negative connotations toward a person with freckles

While I acknowledge the intention of people with clear skin who paint freckles on their face isn't to offend — rather it is to appreciate freckles as a beauty statement — the effect is still offensive. If you are thinking about trying this freckle fad, you should put down your fine tipped brush and consider what it would be like if you couldn't wipe away the spots.


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Why Spoiler Culture Is Ruining Marvel Movies

There's more important things to a movie than who dies.


If you've been online at all in the past year, you've seen it. Talk about "Avengers: Endgame," the end to one of the most massive film series of all time. And it has lived up to many of those expectations. As far as box office numbers, it had a record-breaking debut, was the fastest film ever to reach the $2 billion mark, and is on track to beat out "Avatar" for the highest-grossing movie of all time.

So it goes without saying that there was a lot of hype for "Endgame." Deservedly so. And along with all the hype came paranoia over the possibility of being spoiled. The Russo brothers issued a letter asking fans not to spoil any of the plot. The "Thanos demands your silence" quasi-campaign circled around again. Every fan bought tickets to the earliest showing they could make, and every fan who couldn't get an opening night ticket was at least a little afraid.

Over the years, fear of spoilers has increased and increased to the point where we're afraid of knowing anything about the movie we've been waiting for for years. We're afraid of accidentally stumbling upon a leaked video, a friend's indiscreet tweet, or some internet troll deliberately spoiling a movie for us.

All of this makes me think: Would these movies be worth seeing if I knew the plot beforehand? And if the answer to that is no, are these movies really worth it?

I didn't want any spoilers as much as the next Marvel fan. But if you told me that, spoiler alert, Black Widow and Iron Man both died in "Endgame," I would still want to see the movie.

I wouldn't say I want to be spoiled, but if a fan is really invested in a movie and its characters, they're going to want to see how what happens, happens.

But all this obsession around spoilers is damaging the quality of the movies we're afraid of getting spoilers of. Stories are beginning to come out from the cast of "Endgame" just how little they knew about the movie they were making. Take Brie Larson's perspective, for example:

"I flew to Atlanta for my first day on Endgame. I had no idea what I was shooting, what the movie was. I didn't know if anybody else was in a scene with me. I didn't know anything.

And it's not until you show up that you get your pages for the day. But you only get your part. So it was like a scene that was completely black redacted, and then just my one line. I'm very excited to talk about this once the movie is out because I can't give the details away."

In "Endgame," Brie Larson's character, Captain Marvel, had plot purpose but little emotional depth. There were a few key moments where she came in and saved the day, so to speak, but there was no character development. Which makes sense when you consider that Larson's directors were giving her the bare minimum for what they needed to film that day. Larson wouldn't have known Captain Marvel's purpose in that film other than a couple of lines and some fight choreography.

Similar stories have come out from the rest of the cast. As much as I love the characters of "Endgame," I only wish we could have seen more. How can a character live up to all we've grown to love about them if the actor playing them has no idea what their character's stakes are? What their purpose in the film even is? Why they'd even care about doing "whatever it takes"?

I'll admit: I don't want to be spoiled. But I'd risk a few spoilers if it meant a better movie.

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