Saturday, July 21, 2012

Early Draft: Deep Breaths By Jasen Sousa

Deep Breaths

I tip-toe through a vacant parking lot
accompanied by decade old gum,
oil spots, and rooftop AC's that chill
local bodegas. Before sweat
from uniform layers, before breakfast
and under the table wages.

The strap from my duffle bag digs deep
into my shoulder like the woman who
left me like a tip under
an uneaten plate.
Stubble on my face alerts me
of a day getting older.

Lack of money under my unmade
mattress reminds me of why I'm usually
the first one to arrive,
or maybe it's because my apartment
is too quiet now.

Like how sprinklers
that get turned on by dawn
echo through my hollow sheets,
or like how every item stands with a blind
stillness waiting to be picked up by a pair
of palms, I never got the pleasure
of memorizing their intricate lines.

I don't care whether my day
is long or short. By lunch, my skin resembles
a chilled glass bottle left out
in a summer kitchen without being sipped.
I don't look at the clock, just wait for a co-worker
to remind it's time to leave.

I tip-toe through a condensed parking lot
with mental dents and a bulging pocket for rent.
Oil stains and gum spots become invisible
as they are tucked in by evening.
Overworked air conditioners are turned off, leaning against
a bus stop, dreaming. That’s just
the sound of me breathing.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Now Available !!!

Book Description
Publication Date:July 10, 2012
Fancy Girl by Jasen Sousa is a novel in poems which tells the coming of age story of Deanna Keight, a teenage single mom who is struggling to raise her daughter Madelyn inside of the Mystic Housing Developments in Somerville, Massachusetts. Deanna is a brash, but capable teen who is stuck at a point in her life where she doesn't know how to escape the world she has found herself living inside of. Deanna is a female Ponyboy, and Fancy Girl is a modern day version of The Outsiders, and is written in the same successful style as Jacqueline Woodson's Locomotion, and Patricia McCormick's Sold.

One day, Deanna is approached in the park by Alissa, a new breed of independent prostitute who offers to teach Deanna the tricks of the trade so she can save up enough money to move out of the projects. Without many options available, Deanna accepts Alissa's offer. Deanna is even more desperate to disappear from Somerville as she has recently found out that the father of her child, Machinegun Mike, who is doing time in jail, will be getting out earlier then expected. Machinegun Mike becomes enraged with jealously after learning that Deanna has been selling herself, and plans to come home and reunite with Deanna and Maddy so that they can be a family.

At night, Deanna leaves Maddy in the care of her elementary school crush, Johnny J, the only guy in her life that she trusts. Johnny J goes along with this plan at first as he sees it as a logical way for Deanna to save money, but over time, his feelings for Deanna grow, and he becomes disgusted with the idea of sitting at home while strangers feel up every inch of her body. Johnny J confronts Deanna's way of life, Machinegun Mike, and will let nothing get in his way of freeing Deanna and Maddy.

Fancy Girl is the story of a young teenage mother living in an unforgiving environment, and her journey to do whatever she has to in order to secure a new, and better life for herself, and her daughter. Deanna realizes that fast money is not the way of creating a better life for her family. Deanna is a courageous young girl who has to teach herself about the harsh realities of her projects. Deanna realizes this doesn't have to be her life. That she doesn't have to sell her body for money, and that just because generations of her family lived in poverty, doesn't mean that she does. She realizes she can leave, even if it means leaving with less than what she originally had. This book is important for all teens in general, but especially for young people in the inner city who will be able to look up to a young single mother as a new hero of young adult literature.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Draft: Sips of Solitude

Draft: Sips of Solitude

I decided to live in an empty room.

A room that continues to shrink
in size. I can touch

all four walls while in
my bed and almost fall out of a window
that can only be opened from outside.

There is a half-drunk glass
of water I refuse
to finish

because I'm petrified to look
at the bottom where drips
of my future might reside.

I walk in a tank top tip-toeing
through my thoughts
inside a summer rain
avoiding flattened boxes of Newports

imagining her engulfed by a man
who has her kids, but does not
have her heart.

There will be opinions,
but there can never be questions
about the reality of the stillness

that is solitude.

I am left in empty space
to ponder noises
that echo through her room,
while my surroundings are as silent
as they ever have been.