Jacqueline Cioffa – Author of The Vast Landscape & Georgia Pine

Survivor

When life throws shit at you, and most assuredly it will, remember this. I see you. You are stronger than you think. You are kinder, graceful, brighter, smarter, funnier, richer (and not monetarily), and unique. On the days I forget and think manic depression will most definitely kill me, I dig deep. Who the hell knows where or when life’s reservoirs will dry up. I don’t, neither do you. Then,

yours, truly

If I show you the inside of my heart you might die of frostbite It’s black and frozen There are no cracks or crevices, no sunbeams of light Only the abyss and heaviness of the infinite Suffocated breath In this world, these times, these superficial plastic without purpose days I’d like a rewind I was born sad you see Born with sadness in my marrow Dripping from my old spirit

Screaming Skies

It is after all, just a life. No bigger, no better. I have breathed more shades, more pain, more joy, more crazy, more fear, more sadness than I thought possible to carry in this one body. Death, song and daydreaming are my respites; temporary escapes from this swirling madness. I inhale deeply, the rich, sweet smells of nature flooding my senses. Music coursing the veins like venom. I wait for

Gravity

Young girl filled with big dreams it’s fine to carry on, all grown even when you cannot do it alone. There will be others just like you who’ve survived the awkward teenager years, pimples, bruises and broken hearts. They’ll care enough to remind you how perfectly precious you are. It’s okay to fall or fuck up; when you’re doing your best. Life will get harder than you can manage, but

Beautiful You

There is a lack of elegance, sexiness and mystery missing in photographs of women today, especially celebrities and the overexposed, blasé way they brand themselves and how they are portrayed through the lens. Social media and fashion have made women seem like untouchable objects, loud, fake and even desperate at times. The “look at me” culture screaming for more and more attention. I have always had a more hate than

All I Ever Wanted

All I ever wanted was for you to be happy. Without the clothes, the bling, the boys, all the heavy stuff. To be deliriously happy without watching the tick-tock of the clock, afraid that your time for bliss had past. It has not. You deserve to feel joy, wonder, love and laughter until your heart beat’s quiet. All I ever wanted was to see you smile wide and large, for

Raise Them Up

I’m done with the trolls and their hollow, spewing hateful opinions. I am over the ambivalence. I’m done with people who say they don’t care about politics, only the value of their stocks, guns and the art of the deal. I’m done with friends and family who live under the crowded veil of ignorance. I’m done with the bullies, the posturing, the greased palms, the narcissists. We won’t recover from

Vanity Rains Optimistic

Someone recently said to me, “you’re vain,” and I was shocked. I never, ever thought of myself in that way. When I wrote an essay, “You’re Skinny You Don’t Have Any Problems” with Feminine Collective which was taken out of context about how challenging and horrific my life would become, I was criticized and blasted for the title. Duh, did the troll read the piece? I mulled it over in