1. 24/30

    Steph Holmbo’s Blazer Speaks

    You said it yourself in the letter you wrote to a dear friend to begin your day,
    “The mountains look beautiful today.”
    And they do. You’re right.

    I know this wasn’t what you wanted or even what you though you would settle for. And it’s got you waking up too early to listen to things you’d never thought you’d have to care about like excel spreadsheets and constant contact and answering the phone with a smile on your face (even though they can’t see it, they can hear it)
    but here we are, blazer on, heels buckled. You’ve got a green apple to your right and freshly made coffee in an adorable mug so take a breath.

    You’re doing a fantastic job. I watch you stretch to the alarm, never press snooze, and brush your teeth for exactly two minutes. You have been office appropriate clothing and putting on make-up consistently and looking the part.

    The first time we met your roommate was helping you shop for a circus cabaret in which you were toeing the slutty, trashy, dancer outfit (if there ever was a line to toe between those three things) and she pulled out this fire engine red piece of office wear, stuck a push up bra underneath the hanger and exclaimed, “TA DA costume!”

    Now I have been given the lucky opportunity to be paired with business slacks and knee length dresses and button up blouses. And I watch the way your eyes get shiny if someone mentions the theatre. I feel your shoulder shrug, before arching and over compensating because you think no one notices. Your hands constantly wander towards the arts section of The Denver Post or what auditions are happening in the near future. This isn’t what you thought your future would look like, but my dear, you are so young. This isn’t the end for you. You’ve always been in a hurry but this is a good lily pad leap you’ve made on this life current we’re riding on. I have not been with you on all those other adventures. I am a new part of your every day but I think this can be a good partnership. This state has always been a good place to begin the second chance.

    So let the first chance go. He is not doing you any favors and you are the one holding the rope. So let it go. Let’s start over. Yes it will be different and hard in all the ways you didn’t expect but these sleeves were made to catch snot and mascara. The mountains do look beautiful today. Give them a shot to really take your breath away.

     

     30x30 

  2. 23/30

    "gonna work on waiting if it’s true you wanna say you love me everyday"
    - penny and sparrow

    The wait. The thirst. The moon’s song. The phone silent. The get up at 6:30 everyday no matter how long you stayed awake listening to it. The coffee. The forgotten breakfast. The familiar ache. The heels. The blazer. The reminder that you might not ever get it right. The try anyway. The work. The always work. The keep work. The held breath for the phone call. The dream that maybe it could change everything. The change everything. The if you would only call. The phone silent. The go home again. The must do it again tomorrow. The do a good job tomorrow. The good job. The you’re doing well. The sing along to the night. The only thing to do is hope. The hope is so fleeting these days. The skin hot. The sun bright. The phone silent. The thirst. The wait, I told you I’d wait, so I’ll wait. The wait.

     
  3. sierrademulder:

    Sylvia Plath sat down as her kitchen table
    and began to cut the beets into neat,
    equal pieces. Their juice, a bottomless pink,
    spilled out eagerly as if each vegetable was
    a blood-heavy sponge. When she finished,
    she wiped her hands on the front of her blouse,
    smearing a crimson hand…

     
  4. 22/30

    When you allow yourself to run in the rain,
    When you give yourself over to the pavement,
    When you confront the fact that you should have worn more of a jacket,
    When you get over the sound of your squeaky shoe,

    Your lungs will still pulse,
    Your left foot after two miles will still bleed,
    Your mascara will start stinging your eyes
    and you’ll allow yourself to believe that is why the tears come.

    But mostly you’ll keep going.
    You’ve always kept going.
    Accept the baptism.
    Keep going.

     

     30x30 

  5. 21/30

    I turned off all the lights early,
    trying to trick my head into sleeping too early.
    It was either that
    or think of you
    or think of you.

    It just left me in a dark room for hours, head lit up so bright I could have devised shadow puppets,
    imagined company for the lonely,
    humming so loud I almost fooled myself that I wasn’t the only one in this full house.
    I almost believed the delusion twice.
    Almost.

     

     30x30 

  6. 20/31

    Whoever you are
    I hope you like jazz.
    My dad has always loved jazz.
    It is something you can maybe talk about.
    I hope the music easily sweeps you up
    and makes you believe
    in something more than us.
    I find the whole world to be filled
    with handfuls of light
    making me believe
    in something bigger than this.

    I hope all your white shirts have stains.
    Not because I think you are careless
    or don’t know how to eat spaghetti
    but because your life never slowed down enough
    to not climb to the top of that huge tree
    or down into that cavernous ditch
    or clean off all the pen smudges
    when you went to scratch your neck
    poetry utensil in hand.

    I hope both your knees have scars
    from the fool you once were,
    still are
    about pretending you knew how to skateboard
    surfboard
    and threw yourself in
    instruction manual getting lost
    in the path not taken.

    I hope you drink your coffee
    black.
    I don’t know another way to make it.
    And I hope you prefer the sunrise.
    Because it has always proved
    the next day we get to start again.
    Even after the day has covered you
    in its exhausting dust
    and you can believe in the sunrise.

    I hope you like bare feet
    and awful movies
    and cowboy boots
    and pillowcases that can never stay on their pillows
    and early Sunday nights
    and foxes
    and bicycle riding
    and small hands.

    And if you maybe you do
    I was wondering
    when I can no longer see,
    could you make sure I never have to
    look for your hand.
    Let our palms already be lying
    next to each other
    whether intertwined or not.
    Do not be far.

    And I’ll stay here.
    For as long as we both
    like jazz
    and can eat breakfast.
    I’ll stay here.

    - Steph Holmbo

     

     30x30 

  7. Broke 6mi Colorado mile high style today. High altitudes got my lungs pulsing. Shoes are back to being bloody. Rain got me wet. #onestepatatime

    Broke 6mi Colorado mile high style today. High altitudes got my lungs pulsing. Shoes are back to being bloody. Rain got me wet. #onestepatatime

     

     onestepatatime 

  8. 19/30

    I have always had small hands.
    I find it difficult to handle burritos or press down on the right strings to make the strum on the guitar to or screw open a jar of cherries.
    Tonight I dropped a glass full of the beer that I just paid for all over the riding boots my mom hand-me-downed to me 7 years ago.
    As a friend helped dry my shins off and lift the broken glass off the pavement, she asked what happened.
    I responded with what I have always believed.
    “Oh nothing. I don’t think these things were made to hold on to anything,
    at all.”

    - Steph Holmbo
     

     30x30 

  9. 18/30

    On the Third Move In One Year

    As soon as I got here
    all I could write about was
    the ocean
    the salt
    the current.
    It’s as if the mountains crooned,
    “Welcome home.”
    And I couldn’t help but cough up,
    “Could you have gotten it wrong?
    Could you have gotten it so wrong
    again?”

    - Steph Holmbo
     
  10. 'What does he say?' he asked.
    ‘He’s very sad,’ Úrsula answered, ‘because he thinks that you’re going to die.’
    ‘Tell him,’ the colonel said, smiling, ‘that a person doesn’t die when he should but when he can.’
    — Gabriel García Márquez (via joshtheword)