Title: Mouthful of Forevers
Author: Clementine Von Radics
Titled after the poem that burned up on Tumblr and has inspired wedding vows, paintings, songs, YouTube videos, and even tattoos among its fans, Mouthful of Forevers brings the first substantial collection of this gifted young poet’s work to the public.
Clementine von Radics writes of love, loss, and the uncertainties and beauties of life with a ravishing poetic voice and piercing bravura that speak directly not only to the sensibility of her generation, but to anyone who has ever been young.
Do you feel the hype? I felt like I was gonna fall head over heels with words over and over again.
You know how poetry books are usually divided into parts that you know there’s a story going on, not just in the single poem but with the whole chapter concept? This one is separated into four.
I: Change Came to Me So Ugly Then
I remember now why I didn’t like the book. It got my brows furrowed on the first page.
I STOPPED GOING TO THERAPY
Because I knew my therapist
was right, and I wanted
to keep being wrong.
I wanted to keep my bad habits
like charms on a bracelet.
I did not want to be brave.
I think I like my brain best
in a bar fight with my heart.
I think I like myself a little broken,
with rough edges, a little harder
to grasp. I like poetry
better than therapy anyway.
The poems never judge me
for healing wrong.
I know therapists are professionals and are there for a reason. They are meant to help but I don’t think someone completely understands us but ourselves or no one can absolute lose and find us but also ourselves. If charms on bracelet is helping you heal, then be it. I think it’s brave if you write poetry where you can be entirely honest with your feelings. I don’t think there is such thing as healing wrong. We all cope in our own ways.
I just realized that this is also why I like this book. I love how it contrasts with my thoughts. I love diversity.
On this part, Clementine talked about transitions in life. The stories that brought change to her. Everything that made this version of her. This is that I know where you are coming from phase.
I love this line from This Year: “The good news is you survived. The bad news is you’re hurt and no one can heal you but yourself.” I am renewed by her words.
II: We Call This Place Home
This is where Clementine partake in “for the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” (Anna and The French Kiss, 2010)
YOU DRAW CONSTELLATIONS IN MY FRECKLES
I mean you ask me
not to fall in love with you
and then you go write poems
with your tongue
and draw constellations
in my freckles.
Simple but cute and sweet. You see, it doesn’t take too deep of a poetry to win my heart.
There’s one thing I don’t like about this fraction of her book, though. She included this poem Advice To Teenage Girls With Wild Ambitions and Trembling Hearts, which I think will do best in other parts. Not here in II. She started the collection with someone and people who feel like home to her and when I turned the page, it has become an empowerment piece. Just no. But I can say that she really has strong words: “You are so much stronger than the world has ever believed you could be. The world is waiting for you to set it on fire. Trust in yourself and burn.”
It reminds me so much of Kurt Cobain: It’s better to burn out than to fade away. I think it’s safe to say that I totally understand him now even more than when I was younger.
III. Nothing to Close a Door
This is all about endings and the pain and fear on its wake. It makes me sad how we all bleed.
Clementine’s Mermaid is so heartbreaking. So strong I just want to capitulate to the waves: “I cannot face another morning waking up with no hope of a fairytale. Here on land, I cannot move. Here on land, I cannot breathe. On land, I am always drowning. I am always drowning.”
I have a handful of favorites from III but it might take up everything. I will just put up this line from The Wedding that I really love: “So my home is not an honest home. So my home is an empty bed. That’s the thing about heartbreak. It’s the smallest of worlds ending. Everyone goes around you smiling, like it’s nothing to close a door.”
IV. How We Heal
The word heal alone gives me a sense of hope. A word of tomorrow.
MOUTHFUL OF FOREVERS
I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers.
We have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness.
You will hold me like I’m hope.
Our arms will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
on your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.
And I will not be afraid of your scars.
I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
Whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.
We heal by accepting the fact that some things are not meant to stay but that better days ahead are coming. We heal by telling ourselves that we are not a lost case. Not yet. We heal by believing that we are not alone; that life is not a battle we should fight against. Life is a perpetual journey we have to take. We heal by taking the love we are so dying to give. We heal because there’s no other way around.
Thank you for reading! If my words reach you somehow, I hope you can support me by donating either through Ko-Fi or Paypal. I appreciate you lots.