Nonfiction Excerpt

Carmeltucky: Like Kentucky but Worse

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I’m taking a nonfiction class this semester, and this is an except from my first graded assignment about the town I grew up in and where I still currently reside. It’s titled, “Carmeltucky: Like Kentucky but Worse”

One Thursday afternoon after school my mom reminded me of the fact that Goodwill was supposed to pick up garbage bags full of clothing donations, and she sent me to our front porch to see if they had made their journey down our driveway and seized our bags in the same manner a pigeon would a french fry: swoop in and leave with it immediately. I checked the porch only to see that the bags were still there, piled on top of each other like nesting bowls. I told my mom and she opened her address book to find their number.

She tucked the phone between her shoulder and ear. “You didn’t pick up my donations!” she exclaimed, followed by “I live in Carmel.” She stood there in silence as the person on the other end spoke.

When she hung up the phone I asked, “what happened?”

“They said they picked up our donations,” she said, staring at me, her face washed blank with confusion. But there was a moment when her confusion turned to shock, completely cadaver-like, simply lifeless and pale. “Oh my god. Goodwill took our garbage.”

I imagined the workers ripping open the bags of putrescible waste masquerading as clothing. Fermenting liquids warmed up from the morning sun amid banana peels, cat litter, curdled milk. Every time someone would enter the area they’d be gunned down by waves of nauseating stink, acrid smells. They’d curse, maybe search the surrounding donations for a gas mask. Our local Goodwill no longer accepts our donations.

With love, Alyssa

*Featured Image was taken from my living room on a rainy day, and is of the park built behind my house

An Ache, Exploded

An Ache, Exploded

 

Smutty, sweet, exploiting heart

planted an olive tree in me that

 

won’t die until we’re one-thousand & nineteen

Pray for verticillium wilt when

 

a whipping disorientation festers, a sickness

climbs into my hippocampus

 

You persevered like a seed against

my visceral doubt & so the personal decayed

 

Now I wake up feeling ugly, skin

like boils redder than dawn

 

It shrivels up like wet band-aids

where prehensile fingers commandeered

 

Lacerated to the bone

Toss me neosporin, a tourniquet

 

Lick your lips when you’re finished &

perch on the backbone of no-woman’s land—

 

—a landscape of sulfur, eddied around grass,

the blades piercing me hot

 

He told me to

think the whole thing null,

 

make a martyr proud.

 

With love, Alyssa

Guided Writing Portrait

Insegnami a Volare translates to he/she/they (singular) taught me how to fly. I’ve just finished intermediate classes for the language, no biggie.

I’ve just finished up my sophomore year of college (all A’s!) and have finished up the class necessary to take in order to work in the writing center. In that class, my professor introduced several ways to guide ones writing for our projects on literary sponsorship. My guided writing portrait–

Assignment: Choose someone who appears in your literacy narrative draft and write portrait about them. One paragraph. Based off the directions given in class.

Insegnami a Volare

We had been seeing each other after school on Thursdays for a few weeks straight. Each session I brought my Italian text book, Amici, that she adored thumbing through, the cover striped to mimic the flag: red, white, green. We bonded over Italian hand gestures, signaling we both had a bloodline relationship with Italy that water couldn’t loosen. Both of our ties to the country were as strong as steel, and together we fleshed out each other’s stories about heritage and the language itself. It was on these Thursday’s that we’d sit down in a classroom on the fifth floor, adjacent her office, and remind ourselves of basic and complex words, cultural experiences that occur in Italy, and of the sights we were set to see. It gave her a Mediterranean smile. A wide smile, wide like her wingspan, which slightly stretched the neckline of whatever dress-shirt she wore. We had a lot of laughs during our session and I often find myself wishing we could meet after school every day to click more and more. It wasn’t hard for me to feel this way, in fact one Thursday we spent an entire half hour talking about the cats that roam freely in the colosseum in Rome. We made mountains out of molehills in terms of meliorism of the language.

Soon enough, our sessions finished, we were on the plane to Italy and were adjusting to Rome. Days later she and I sat on stairs in Venice that overlooked murky, dark blue water—the smell of the Old Rock Cafe a yard from us was of potent cigarettes. She was like a guardian angel, I realized the first night in Rome, after I was sick and she waited outside the bathroom for me with a stick of gum. Fantastico. She taught me to fly abroad—insegnarmi a volare.

With love, Alyssa

Open Mic Night in which I Took Gold Out on a Date

My bio (to announce me) was: “Alyssa Vigorito is a sophomore majoring in English and minoring in Digital Journalism, who writes with the purpose of unsettling the mind. She is a chicken noodle soup enthusiast and your good friend. Her poem “Take Gold Out On a Date” is about a whimsical nothing.”

Yesterday night  I was one of several speakers at the English Honor Society’s (Sigma Tau Delta, or ‘STD’. I can’t wait to be part of STD haha) open mic event, in which students could share poems or prose. I designed the poster for the event as well.

This’ll be brief, no anecdotes or anything, as I have to read and write a critique on submissions for my publishing class. Here’s what I wrote and read:


Take gold out on a date

 

take gold out on a date;

don’t ask him why fools are on his tail,

attached like parasites sucking golden

blood through their silver tongues;

do ask him when he turned to Midas—

a compliment;

buy gold a $14 mojito

empty bottle requiem

another round;

kiss gold in the Penn Station Auntie Anne’s

golden pretzels twisted like our

lives—a Jenga masterpiece

cadence of the footsteps

another round;

plan a tattoo about how he’s all you see;

fall in love with gold in the same manner

we shower: what was once claustrophobic

is an act we wish to

savor—

in torrential downpour or

remaining drops

With love, Alyssa

Text Message Poem

A poem composed of texts I have received or sent, all from different people.

Texts With Friends

 

Another leaf tucked behind my ear

Will he see that at 48 Duncan?

 

there’s no one behind me

Mom is sleeping.

 

I’ll take a dark and stormy if they have

 

Jail break…

Are you crazy?

I’ll drive some of them over the bridge

How opposed to riding in the trunk of a car are you?

text-message-poem

With love, Alyssa

“It Started With the Magnifying Glass” pt 1.

The featured image is of the comments my Professor wrote at the end of my story for our class’ workshop. I cried when reading it. It was all I ever wanted to hear.

The featured image is of the comments my Professor wrote at the end of my story for our class’ workshop. I cried when reading it. It was all I ever wanted to hear.

Continue reading ““It Started With the Magnifying Glass” pt 1.”

The Drive – Villanelle

The drive was the very worst

The Drive

 

The drive was the very worst,

Under canopies of trees it was evident

our quiet conversation was clearly coerced

 

Flowers we nurtured together died of thirst

and left behind petals soaked in malevolence

The drive was the very worst

 

Our roses died yet we still tried to nurse

all but one, who remains desolate

Drive it to the hospital, you coerced

 

You hit redo like a car in reverse,

hit a tree stump the size of an elephant

The drive was the very worst

 

Windshield cracked like an outburst

yet I never voiced my sentiment

until now—confessions coerced

 

Our roses died yet we still tried to nurse

all but one, who developed an impediment

The drive was the very worst

My silence, thereafter, uncoerced

With love, Alyssa

Erasers

Your vibrant exterior

often vandalized and

bruised pink

Erasers.

 

Your vibrant exterior

often vandalized and

bruised pink

is seen as enticing

Your ability to feel no pain

when you shave yourself,

and your lack of empathy when you

seize a mistake prove

you are a force to be reckoned with

 

I called upon you to help

me rectify my error

expunge my black spots

and save me from

my dark blue;

I knead you like

I need you

 

You’re symbolism

for trust:

diminishing in size

with every

mistake until

pencils rest, like fallen timber,

at the bottom of my

bag with their

erasers chewed or sheared off–

so I can’t take it back

This poem means a lot to me. I wrote an earlier version in 2014, and revised it for my poetry class on the two year anniversary. My first draft can be found here. It’s the poem that made me realize my love for writing, and now I’m on a pathway where I can do what I love. I’m in a good place.

With love, Alyssa

 

Prompt: “I can’t support you anymore”

It takes two to mango

In everyone’s favorite creative writing workshop a few weeks ago, the one I feverishly plan on being on the eboard next semester for, one of four prompts was: Fiction- “I can’t support you anymore.”

While I did not write a piece of fiction, I did write a haiku. Disclaimer: it’s not based off someone I know, from as far as you can tell, at least.

Bags

I can’t support you

When you eat mango pulp from

Hefty, black trash bags


 

Please, spin me a tale of someone you can no longer support, and write, possibly in haiku form, why you can’t support them anymore.

With love, Alyssa


Photo by: Watercolor Artist Susaleena, Susaleena.com. Her paintings are hyper-realistic and vibrant.