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Difficult Degrees

A Creative Writing blog by Wisconsin-based writer Amy Jo Sprague. A collection of poetry, memoir, essays, 0000music, music & writing, and thoughts, all somewhat centering and expanding from living with PTSD and Bipolar Disorder. Each poem, essay, clip, piece is another degree that makes up the matter of where I am going.

“If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating.”

–The Bell Jar

check out my ABOUT page to see what we’re getting into here…OR go right to the BLOG

 

“The Elements of Loss”

I don’t hear you say my name
as you ask why it is
I let no one love me.
I feel something stir
and I laugh.
This is my way.
There’s no room for clumsy.
Take me or leave me, I
say I’ll give you one chance
when I know I won’t
give you any.
Best to shield before
they want to leave.
But deep in the

My thoughts around him read like the first time I fell in love with banned books and Henry Miller lovingly wrote “cunt.” I want to turn his pages, I want to read the forbidden words he paints in red for me. A steady and heavy cello across absurd piano strokes crash into everything I've judged myself on, every law I am governed by and I am intoxicated by the strangeness, drunk on this existential, loveless affair, this music.
My thoughts around him read like the first time I fell in love with banned books and Henry Miller lovingly wrote “cunt.” I want to turn his pages, I want to read the forbidden words he paints in red for me. A steady and heavy cello across absurd piano strokes crash into everything I’ve judged myself on, every law I am governed by and I am intoxicated by the strangeness, drunk on this existential, loveless affair, this music.

infection of my gut
I’m saying
love me, love me.

After my father’s funeral
my mother gave me back
all the things I’d made her
as a child.
I sit at home and look at
the finger paintings,
the sequence snowman,
the pictures of the
little girl of me.
I wonder how she
survived that long.
I wonder how she
faced every day
with bravery and
a kind heart with so
many secrets. Secrets
that weren’t hers.
I wonder what happened
in her little body
that made her fight.
In the hospital,
in my secure room,
all I told my sisters
on visiting day
was “She’s gone, she’s gone
she’s dead! She’s dead!”
and now I know what I meant.

Poetry is what happens when your mind stops working, and for a moment, all you do is feel.
Poetry is what happens when your mind stops working, and for a moment, all you do is feel.

To lose someone you hate
makes you love them.
I shake as I write this.

Loss–
it’s always looking up waiting
for the sky to lift
I’m somewhere in between–way down
and up on my toes
aren’t we all pushing forward–
shouldn’t the earth shift beneath our force–
buds reaching always reaching.
Some of us, we’re always watching,
waiting for our half-remembered dreams
knowing we are not magnificent.

 

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