A reflection on the power of a word.

“I can’t be friends with you. You’re a pig.”

That seemingly innocuous sentence left the lips of a girl I considered one of my best friends in second grade.

In a wing of seven-year-olds clamoring and congregating before class started, it was typically deafening and difficult to concentrate.

And yet, I heard her. She had a megaphone blasting, broadcasting my misery to the world. She just didn’t realize, nor did she care.

I stood, completely frozen; my words struggling to claw through a prickly throat and never surfacing. …

What are the implications of letting a perfectly manufactured image do all the work?

I’m a big fan of Charlie Brooker’s dark sci-fi anthology Black Mirror (I even wrote an in-depth review of the fourth season). The show has been around since 2011, eventually finding its home on Netflix, and captivating audiences with tales of technology and humanity gone awry, and asking the question “What if?” Another talking point of the show — and a possible reason why it became so popular — is that most of the technology showcased isn’t too far in the future, especially at the rate we’re advancing. …

How do we take down the beast that is writer’s block, procrastination, and just not wanting to do it?

Toy kangaroo with boxing gloves fighting a muppet. Yes, really!
Toy kangaroo with boxing gloves fighting a muppet. Yes, really!

I consider myself a writer. But I haven’t actually written anything of note for months.

Well, to be exact, I’ve written some one-off stanzas for poems that have come to my mind at 3 AM in my Notes App; I’ve started and stopped many ideas for stories that I’ve had. And most importantly, I’ve stared a blank page awaiting something to flow from my fingertips to the screen in front of me. Yet, every time, nothing happens. Just a blinking line looking expectantly at me. What do you want me to do about it? I’ll tell myself.

A sestina.

I hate to admit it. But I’ll say it to you, now. I committed a crime.
Before you question me, “What? What in the world
did you do? What could it be?” I’ll please ask that you search
and find it in your heart
to not judge me. See, all I did was spill some paint
and it changed the color of the night.

Once I saw the night
had changed, there wasn’t much I could do. I did the crime,
and the paint
was all over my stupid stubby fingers. Even in the cracks of them. Now, the world
is out to get…

Oh, did I do something bad? Sorry about it, I guess. Can I get another go?

Today seems to be a normal day on the internet. Memes, politics, television discussion, and… animal abuse?

On August 6, YouTuber Brooke Houts, 20, uploaded a video with her dog, a Doberman named Sphinx. Houts has a respectable 300,000 followers on YouTube, and in a recent string of videos, she’s included her pup in various ways: in her morning routine, in a Q&A on what it’s like to be a “young dog mom,” and among others in the same vein. But this one was different. Titled “plastic wrap prank with my Doberman!”, Houts seemed to have left in a supposedly…

Drench me in the sadness you possess
Make me savor the warmth of your breath, the icy aftermath of the unknown
My veins run the hue of your darkness, the emotion of your future
In the next moment, touch me like a new beginning
Consume every rush, every sense raging through
Absorb each spark of flecked skin turned (f)rigid
Move with ignition for the righteous thought
Your colors explode across my horizon
I don’t want to breathe unless you feel it too
For now, this is what we desire
If I can hold you, for more than a second
Past the realm of doubt that crosses my mind
I beg the heavens…

I’m so selfish. Part I.

In the rays of the sun, I rise
Confusion stings my cheeks
I thought wrong.
The star has disappeared
Just like it does every night.
I thought it would stay
And keep me company.

It’s just as it was.
How selfish were my thoughts.

Then, I see it
A twinkle on the sill
The star asks for me, though I cannot see it
I search mindlessly, as if I had one in the first place
When a thousand and one stars create a bright bold sky
The realization blooms
I see it now

I thought…

A small star shines in the night sky
I look out my window bundled under blankets
Suffocating, boiling air encroaching my senses
My breath hitched and strained
This one star shines too bright.
Who let it exist like that?

My lids flutter softly, trying to hide my sleep
I want to awake but
Something is stopping my heart
There’s a pain in my chest
From something unknown
It feels strained
It feels cold
It feels lonely.

I look to the star in the sky for comfort
Such a fool, I must be.
And so, it looks back at me, in its own…

She believed in something grand, something different.
Like that, she was changed, formed in a sense of new.
But why would she want to end?
That’s what made her happy.
See, this is how it all begins, and she takes a breath
To the next page, turn it over and start the new life

But that’s not the life
she had imagined exactly, it’s different
than the one she planned, why should she choke on a breath
to the new
if she’s happy
now, then where is the end?

The end
it’s simple, so easy to see, that her life
means nothing…

Sara Taylor Mermelstein

24 / nyc + nj / thoughts, poetry, & musings / www.sarataylorfilm.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store