chrysanthemums&ink

United States

ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ᴡᴏʀʀʏ 'ʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛᴏᴍᴏʀʀᴏᴡ ᴀɴʏᴍᴏʀᴇ.

Message to Readers

a dialogue between a mushroom mouth and a mirror eater

this is so weird. why did i do this. how did one throwaway line about toadstools turn into this????? one line and now there's a fungal infection (ew) in my writing forever. what has my writing turned into smh.

i usually don't reread pieces because i'm lazy -> afraid but i kinda reread this and edited it.

mushroom mouth and mirror eater #champion

May 15, 2020

FREE WRITING

9
 
my vanity, stained with blush puffs and lipstick lines 
cheeks, fleshy meat material, smeared a mainstream brand of sophistication
play rock-paper-scissors with my reflection
crunch goes a button of saccharine fruit flavored joy 
my cheeks are crawling with cavities
bloodshot teeth, gummy smile
i have eight different eyes on my forehead and all of them can agree
    "to be unique is the greatest glory" 

blink in my blackened stardust contact lenses 
    "for poetic effect" 
play hopscotch on a couple of neon toadstools, they explode under my toes
    "nope nope nope not this one-"  
but-
aha! 
pluck a special mushroom by its stem, my fingernails dig into rubbery flesh 
open my mouth to 3cm, stretching my sloppy makeup to its limits
    "cracks of skin extend past your lips"  
and tilt my head back, like those old paintings where
eve is holding an apple with two fingers and the fungi 
d
 r
  o
   p
    s 
     into my mouth 
another pair of eyes, my collarbone splits open to accommodate 
change my name again to fit my body 
to fit the mainstream demographic
mushroom is now mine 
    "them is now me" 

no no no uncharismatic people can't get anything out of life by
being themselves 
a joke 
an odor 
reflection laughs at my new look 
    "now even more people will like you!" 
it guffaws—a synonym for laugh 
someone once told me my laugh was
    o b n o x i o u s 
out goes a vocal cord and in goes another
eukaryotic understudy 

i sneak into the backyards of other people again, 
    "s u c c e s s f u l 
    people you try to imitate"

"keep your eyes closed buddy
any more and you'll start putting yourself in their shoes" 
snatch the 
    "poetic mushroom" 
eat it
    "now" 
swallow digest it quick 
    "and get out of there" 
you mushroom mouth

a sort of pain, pupils dilate in the darkness, and they try 
i can't recognize the me in the mirror anymore 
keep my ten eyes under my cheeks ready to burst
out 
at any second just keep 
    "—your mouth closed, okay?" 
good good i'm ready to face the 
outside world 
no no no i'm not let me back in 

steal and keep scraps of metal from other people's confessions 
i spread them on my carpet 
    "steady hand"
and insert them one by one 
into my chest with fool's gold pliers 
if i absorb the best of other people maybe i can
    "be more confident"

don't mind me, i've 
a landfill of things i've thrown away like 
that time i made stupid assumptions
    "there are a lot of those in there"
and that time i 
got her name wrong and
    "okay, stop"
smells bad, like trash and vomit
i cringe at myself
    "more often than i would like" 
think happy thoughts okay 
don't 
let 
yourself 
                    get 
                                distracted

look at me and my mushroom mouth 
reflection says:
    "what a grotesque infestation of stolen aesthetics"
shut up, they're beautiful mushrooms thank you very much 
    "are ramen and ice cream delicious?"
yes
    "what if you mix them together?"
i-

a noisy conglomerate of all things i find novel blooming in my lips
    "even uniqueness isn't unique" 
useless mushroom mouth 
if i'm honest no one will listen 
but if i paint a metaphor over it—
what a difference

what i am, a mirror eater with a throat full of glass
i pick my teeth with pretty flowers
    "using the stems as floss again?" 
yes, but they break easily 
    "who are you?" 
i am 
you 
    ?

                        "no" 

i am but a collection of 
every
single 
piece
of writing i have ever enjoyed
captured
onto 
rough 
paper 
skin 
    "counterfeits have less value than the originals"

this is
fake 
mushroom mouth 
is fake
these mushrooms aren't even 
mine 
stolen from enviable folk 
i hate this taste 

morphing and changing are two separate things
laziness is just a sign of 
fear 
envy is 
unavoidable
    "unavoidability is an excuse 
    to accept 
    the ugly side of yourself you've tried desperately to hide"


if by stealing parts of others
you are able to love 'yourself' 
    "then there wasn't a" 
'yourself' 
    "at all"
i was only-
    "a reflection of 
    poorly combined 'best traits'"

that aren't even mine 

    "who"
are    
    "you?" 

    "am—" 
--------------------------------------

envy 
    nevy
        vney
            yvne 

wish 

were 
myself 

vampires aren't the only ones 
who can't see themselves in the mirror

    "lOoK iN tHe MiRrOr"

mirror |  rorrim 

who
    am
        i? 


----------------------------------------------------

the truth is

what you see of me
my mirror
all just my attempts at being
    heard 
by mimicking who
    have been 

i am not masterful 
    nor skilled 
        nor talented
            nor eloquent at all 

i am just an experienced
    mushroom mouth
        "mirror eater" 

 

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6 Comments
  • Dmoral

    this hit way too hard


    6 months ago
  • elliem

    Also, this poem is SO BEAUTIFUL! I'm not joking when I say it's one of the best pieces I've seen so far on this website. Amazing work and best of luck in the competition!


    6 months ago
  • elliem

    Replying: Congratulations! You've been cast as the Antagonist in plot B of my "Become A Character" project. Thanks for entering and I'll be sure to send a link as soon as I'm finished! :)


    6 months ago
  • sunny.v

    is it odd to say that this piece really...felt...mushroom-y? in the most delightful of ways though!! nice work ^-^


    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    This piece is like a punch to the stomach... wow


    6 months ago
  • joella

    this is incredibly deep and beautiful. probably my favorite piece you've ever written...I would make the lines I love but that would pretty but be the whole piece :) exquisite.
    if you haven't yet, you should enter K-9crazy's writing challenge (kind of like a writing olympics) with this piece; you'd definitely be a contender!!


    6 months ago