suddenly like a slap

I'm starting a packing list for the Alt Summit. I'm speaking there this week and I need to make sure I pack all the things that will allow me to pass for a stylish woman. Thing is nothing fits. I do this thing lately where I loose 40 pounds and throw away all my clothes and buy new ones and then I gain weight and buy new ones and throw those away when I lose weight. I think this is called a cycle. I'm frankly so tired of it. 

I was a pretty chunky kid. Pretty plus. My hair was shiny with sparkly eyes and everyone loved my red mouth but I was big. My grandmother would tell me that I was tall. I just nodded. It never bothered me till I was about 13. I started dieting because it seemed like I was supposed to. My mom was always on a diet. There was a plastic scale that weighed her food by our toaster. She would prep food and talk about it all the time. I thought she was crazy because she was beautiful. She had the best tits in America. All torpedo like and firm. She was bigger but had a waist. I grew up in a curve. Round. Things were always circling.

I hated dieting. It felt like I was bad and had to change things. I would sit in math class and feel super hungry and wonder about genetics. I was an athlete in school but I was never thin. I could do everything the skinny people did but I never was small. So I felt bad and ate shitty small plates of salad and tried be a whole new person. I did like the way people talked in higher pitch around me when I lost weight though. Like the way we talk to babies. You can't help but smile. You can’t stop that train. Pavlov. Salivate. It just happens.

I can do really well for a short amount of time with dieting. I can win for a bit. Contests. Bets. Dares. I am the most hard ass bitch on a diet you have ever known. People at the gym are in awe of me. I glisten. I glow. I can go on like this for 6 months at least and then I relent. I let myself linger with bread. I finger cheeses. I swallow pasta and drink three glasses of wine with dinner. I go on holiday and sun myself beside pools with bars. I basically enjoy the shit out of life again. I smile and laugh. I am so happy and then I'm back to standing in my kitchen and realizing that I hate jeans. They feel tight. My bras are restrictive. I feel full. 

But I'm not depressed about it. I'm just pissed. Here's the thing. I can be overweight and sexy. I got this. I'm unconventionally pretty and I can work a room. I'm good and kind and pulsating and in this world. People like me. I know all the things about myself. It really ain't about self-esteem at this point. It's about the fact that I don't know if it's worth me trying to be this other person. We're all a little fucked about our bodies sometimes, but I feel stupid about all the times I announce I’m going to get my shit together when Oprah can't even do it and she says things like: "Inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be." 


I read this awesome post the other day about all of this and it made me blog again.  I’m thankful to Cassie for making it all come to light for me. Like I was in the dark for a long time about my body and the things that have been sticking around since I was a kid.  It made me wanna just dance with myself in the kitchen. The same room I stand and hate jeans in. It made me think that maybe for a little bit this year I could just stop throwing clothes away and move through the world in this body without hating it so much. I could just glide through it for a chance. Maybe the weight will fall off when I don’t think about it. Like how they say love shows up when you stop looking.

I don’t know. I just know that we don’t have a lot of time to worry about all the things that hold us down. We should be fine with now. We should be light on our feet no matter our weight.

I’m just throwing dresses in the suitcase. I’m just winging it this year. 

Sometimes you just don't get there

Last New Year's Eve I met a poet at a party in Clintonville and took his photo and wrote him a little poem.  I decided to start a #365 project. #365Poet

I had done a project like this before. A poem a day for a year in 2012 and it was hard and fun and therapy all wrapped in one. But this seemed so interactive. It was lofty to start such a thing. Each and every single day I would meet someone, write them a poem and photograph them. I thought it sounded romantic and interesting. I'd tell people I was doing a project. I'd have a mission. A goal. It was a good idea. I took photos of loads of folks. Friends. Family. Strangers. Characters. Sweeties. Cuties. Artists. People who were important to me. People I just met and had to talk to.
I was proud of what was happening. 

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 3.46.24 PM.png

I abandoned the project somewhere around the 109th day of 2015. I just stopped. To be honest I was coming out of some hard stuff from the previous year and I think I tried to overfill my head with creativity. I was pushing myself hard to create with positivity. I was trying to heal my art heart. Self-medicate with goals. I think I was taking too high of a dosage or something. And I beat myself up internally all year. I really felt like a failure. 

Then one day I just woke up and realized I can start again. We can always start again. We make the rules to creativity. We are the field guides. So if you are suffering from things that fell apart you should know it happens. Sometimes you just don't get there. Till you do. 

Here are just a few screenshots of the #365poet project that probably should come back to life.

No pressure. I'm on Instagram here @amyturnsharp


your heart is in the middle
of your chest it's only tipped
a little to the left I want
your hand right there smack
dab in the middle of me where
I open up
push a little bit
feel me beat

while speeding down 315 South

bad drivers on the freeway are normally just thinking about sex
there are certain songs that will hold you frozen
like cement
the only thing alive is your tongue
I don't think you know about my heart
I'll always win that contest where we stare at each other like enemies
let's try and find a place that does not hurt


It’s terribly sad to have all of the words in your mouth
big ones
plucky ones
tiny pointed ones
the ones that would make your broad grin appear
shoulders soften
only you can’t get them out
no amount of coaxing will do
they are stuck
in your throat
like hard candy

It takes 16 months to get over someone.
I told that lie to a girl the other day in the park.
She looked so desperate.
Like she needed a numeral.
Something to tick away.
A red pen. A wall.

She will forget I told her that in a few months.

I’d give you a flashlight and tell you to shine it all over me.
We’d be in a big bed in a dark room.
Something random like Bruce Hornsby is playing on the radio.
A heart-shaped mole.
A scar I never show anyone.
I cough and try to get out the words.
Instead I kiss you down the wall.
Across the room.


Time is faster now.


Forget your perfect offering

Maybe in the middle of life we all lose our minds for a little bit. I think some people make it back like a vision quest or something.  I think some people don't. I used to think we were reckless back then. I have the most interesting and complicated people in my life and I always thought everything would stay the same if I willed it to be so. So much laughing. It's now when life is desperate and wild and hungry. It's now when I wonder what it's like to feel like you are not drowning.

But some people come back. I hear the tales.  Like one day the smell of coffee is enough to wake you. You practice forgiveness. People look interesting again. Faces familiar. You start to allow yourself to say things out loud. The truth with its thorny edges. The lies dipped in shimmering honey. You don't think about breathing. It just comes. You are shocked at all of the things you used to not know.

I stare at my friends now when I'm with them and wonder what is inside of them. I hardly think anyone I know is really happy. They keep secrets. We all do. I want to tunnel through their flesh and bone and pierce into their minds. I want to see inside of someone else. It would make me feel better. I could handle the truth of what they think and feel. I could. I live with myself. I've seen undone.

A few days ago you were looking at me from across the room and I just felt so lost. I wanted to shout out about how I was in some forest. Some wooded area. The edge of the world. How I was not really here and that's why I looked so weird. I wanted to step inside of a time machine and my mouth would be hanging open and my smile would be that amazing flashlight out of the darkness and I'd look right back at you with my real eyes. But I could not speak. I blinked so fast that my tears went away.

I think I have a bunch of cracks and light isn't even getting in.