Published on Thought Catalog!

I’m SO happy to announce that my latest poem, “I’ll Bring My Baby to Bookstores” was published on Thought Catalog!

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Just one more thing I can cross off my bucket list 🙂

XO, Caisse

I’ll Bring My Baby to Bookstores.

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I’ll bring my baby to bookstores.
And I hope you will, too.
So she can learn the smell of books,
the sounds of the pages turning.
I’ll bring my baby to bookstores
so she learns at a young age the value of the written word,
the value of its power.
I’ll bring my baby to bookstores
so she grows up with a handful of novels
and a brain full of knowledge.
I’ll bring our baby to bookstores.
She’ll see us stealing glances from across the room.
She’ll learn that books are synonymous with love,
and that’s how every life should be lived.

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.

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The first time you told me you loved me, Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” serenaded us through tangled headphones.

“Look for the girl with the broken smile,

Ask her if she wants to stay awhile,

And she will be loved.”

We were on a crowded bus coming back from a championship high school football game.

How cliché, I thought.

I looked around to see if my friends had heard your whispers,

wondering if they’d be staring back at me with wide-eyed smiles.

Instead, their heads were slumped onto one another’s shoulders,

sleeping off the excitement from the game.

I was taken back—I whispered, “What?” in return, pretending not to hear you.

Or maybe I wanted to see if you’d confess again,

just to be sure you meant it.

“I love you, Caisse.”

This time it resonated with me.

I said it back with hesitation;

I must’ve stuttered, too.

I’m sure it didn’t sound sincere in the slightest,

even though my entire body was shaking with butterflies.

Those damn butterflies,

I can still feel them today.

I felt like the poster child for a first love.

All I could think was, how could this beautiful boy I met a mere two months ago already love me?

But you did, I’m sure of it.

And if it were now…

Well, now I would scream it back from the rooftops.

I’d cry, “I love you, too” until my throat burned red

and there was no more voice left in me

if it meant that you’d say it all over again.

I wouldn’t whisper,

I wouldn’t hesitate,

I wouldn’t doubt.

But there are always those would’ve,

could’ve,

should’ves.

Aren’t there?

Juliet.

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Five years ago, your lips met mine for the very first time.

Between stolen glances, our hands brushing lightly and those eyes, my god, those eyes… you pulled me closer to you and it felt as if one million bolts rushed through every fiber of my being.

You tasted like those raspberries, and everything I’d ever wanted.

I swore by the moon that we made a spark when I finally pulled away.

But maybe Juliet was right when she said, “Swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, that changes in her circled orb.”

Because one day, it did change.

And you bolted faster than you were once eager to kiss me.

Although I still thank my lucky stars for the time we shared.

But the next time I fall in love, you won’t hear me swear by the moon.

The Ghost: Volume One.

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I write a lot about ghosts, but not the paranormal kind.

So that’s why I’ve decided to create a “Ghosts” volume, since you’ll be reading a lot about them. This particular poem is one that I wrote some time ago but is one of my favorites.

Before I showcase some of my deepest thoughts with the world, I feel that it’s important to note that I don’t really follow a formal format when I write my poetry, and it doesn’t always rhyme. I just let my feelings spill and my hands do the writing. Good ol’ Merriam Webster says poetry is the “writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.” So what I’m doing here is really focusing on the whole meaning part of it all and focusing less on how it’s “supposed” to look.

But, I digress– so here goes nothing. I thought this was the perfect piece to kick-start my poetry feature. I hope you like it, too.

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I’m still repairing myself since that day years ago when you left and didn’t think twice.

I’ve got shaky hands that hold my metaphorical needle and thread, stitching up the pieces of me that you ripped apart.

Sometimes I think I’ll be all sewn up, only to be played a fool.

“You thought you were in the clear, didn’t you?”

I wasn’t aware the ghost of a boy could be so powerful.

I mean after all, you’re just a ghost. A spirit who walks around in his same clothes and drives the same car and bears the same name.

But you’re still just a ghost.

I’ve gotta keep remembering that.

You’re just a ghost.

Yup, I Went There.

Poetry– it’s heartbreaking, it’s lovely, it’s sad, it’s every emotion wrapped into one.

That’s why I’ve decided to start a poetry feature on my blog. I scroll through my Tumblr feed and become absolutely entranced by these powerful words that I’m constantly reblogging.

I occasionally will post some of my own poetry on my Tumblr page, but I didn’t exactly share that with everyone in the past because it’s honestly some deep sh*t; but now I feel like it may be time to begin. It sure as hell helped that one of my favorite Thought Catalog writers and spoken-word poets, Ari Eastman, DMed me on Twitter and told me she’s sending me a copy of her poetry book, I Promised You I Wouldn’t Write This for free! (Isn’t she so freaking cool???)

Every now and then I’ll write a new poem and post it on my blog for the whole world to see, if that’s something they fancy. So here’s my first stab at poetry, guys… here’s to pushing boundaries and making you feel all the feels.

XO, Caisse

“I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still.” –Sylvia Plath

Daze in Perugia II.

Since I’ve written last, a lot has went on. 

It’s honestly a bit hard to keep up, especially to go back and write it all. But now that I stayed in Perugia this weekend, I had some time to reflect on how busy and fun my last month has been here.

My first trip outside of Perugia was to Pompeii, Ischia and Capri. My school offered this trip to about 40 or so students. Of course it was first come first served, but I was lucky enough to have a place reserved and already paid for courtesy of Quinnipiac (…but not really because I’m sure it was included in my way-too-expensive tuition, but that’s another story for another blog post).

On the ferry!

On the ferry!

Pompeii was even more amazing than I could have imagined. I learned so much about the tragedy of that little town and got to stand in places where citizens of Pompeii once carried out their daily lives. Seeing Mount Vesuvius in the flesh was a bit scary, but completely mesmerizing. Our tour guide told us that Mount Vesuvius is really unpredictable; although scientists predict that the next time the volcano erupts (which it definitely will), basically all of Pompeii will be ruined forever. But not to worry– I mean, the city gets at least a weeks notice before the volcano actually bursts… that’s enough time, right? My favorite part of the tour was going inside Pompeii’s “Red Light District,” complete with phallic symbols on the walls and streets pointing in the general direction of the brothels. Yes, you read that right… it was totally weird, but so interesting to say the least. The grooves in the streets leading to the brothels were so worn down because carriages would constantly be in and out of that area.

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Mount Vesuvius

Famous statue in Pompeii of a man's corpse covered in volcanic rock

Famous statue in Pompeii of a man’s corpse covered in volcanic rock

After our guided tour in Pompeii, we hopped back on our bus for another two hours of traveling to a volcanic island on the coast called Ischia. After settling in our hotel, our group went to a typical four course dinner provided by my school. We were all so tired after eating so much; I still haven’t gotten used to the four, sometimes five course meals. But we still decided to go out anyway to a bar across the way from our restaurant, where the DJ played old school 50 Cent and it felt like good times in my dorm at QU.

The next day was an early start, as we had an entire day to ourselves to explore Capri. After a decently long ferry ride to the island, I was feeling a bit seasick which is extremely unusual for me. But of course I had to take a boat tour of the grottos, so I had to get on another ferry a few minutes after I got off the first one. The majority of the tour was spent with my eyes closed and heavy breathing, but I still managed to take some great pictures!! After the tour, my friends and I had lunch at a quaint little bistro and I had the most delicious gnocchi sorrentino. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s simply gnocchi pasta with tomato sauce and lots and lots of mozzarella cheese. Perfetto. After lunch, we took a taxi up to Anacapri, which is a comune on the island of Capri. While there, I legit took a chairlift up to Monte Solaro, the highest point of the island. The view was literally breathtaking. As you got higher up the lift, the more beautiful the view got. And once you get to the top… wow. Just wow. I don’t think I’ll ever experience anything more beautiful in my entire life. On the way back down, I started crying to myself. I mean, how did I get so lucky? What good did I do in my life that I’m allowed these life-changing experiences? Of course my parents have a lot to do in that equation. But really, man am I lucky. This entire experience is something I intend on fully taking advantage of.

View of Capri from the taxi ride

View of Capri from the taxi ride

View from Monte Solaro

View from Monte Solaro

After the chairlift, we did some shopping and got gelato (of course). We took a taxi back down the mountain; you know when the right music is playing and your life is so surreal that you feel like you’re in a music video? Well that’s exactly how I felt. After the taxi ride, it was time to get back on the ferry to Ischia. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy Ischia that much so I’ll just leave it at that. I did have half of a day in Ischia the next day, but not much went on. It is a beautiful island, but it didn’t really do much for me personally. So I’ll fast forward to the next weekend I had, which was spent in a private villa in freaking CROATIA. Yes, Croatia. My parents weren’t too thrilled when they heard I was going there, but this was something I just couldn’t pass up. Plus, I was going with 14 other people so that definitely eased their nerves.

After what seemed like a long week of classes but really was just a mere four days of study abroad classes… I’m sure you can picture how that dynamic is… we finally embarked on our epic journey to Hvar, Croatia. I say “epic journey” because that is exactly what it was: we had to take a train (and switch stops), a 10 hour ferry, another hour or so ferry from Split to Hvar and then a taxi to get there. Flying was way too expensive for this budgeting college girl and there was really no other option. So about 15 hours of traveling later, I finally arrive at my private villa. It was even more amazing than the Airbnb pictures. First of all, there were so many of us and we had three full apartments to ourselves… so much room for activities. The villa was split into smaller places and we each had a kitchen area and balcony. For only 77 euro a person, this whole vacation was more than worth it. The landlord of the villa owns a restaurant on the bottom floor of his place, so he cooked us a delicious Croatian meal the first night we arrived for 20 euro a person. It was sooooo good and he was such a nice guy! Plus he had two cute little dogs… I really couldn’t ask for anything more. At dinner we ate an array of different things; it was honestly too much to remember but my favorites were the steak, tuna steak, grilled vegetables and bread with Croatian olive oil. It’s honestly better than the olive oil I’ve had in Perugia… but keep that on the DL.  Oh, and the homemade Croatian wine. Can’t forget about the wine.

This was my actual backyard

This was my actual backyard

Hvar Island, Dalmation Coast

Hvar Island, Dalmation Coast

The next day in Croatia was a typical day of relaxing in the water and hanging out with my friends. The water was the saltiest I’ve ever been in and so clear that you could see the bottom of the ocean. It felt nice to relax and take in the experience I was having. I really couldn’t believe this was my life; I say that about everywhere I go and everything I do here but it’s true.

At night, we went to a place called Hula Hula Beach Bar to watch the sunset. It was going to rain so the sunset wasn’t too extreme, but it was still so beautiful nonetheless. After that, we perused Hvar for a little bit before making our way to another bar called Kiva Bar. We were initially attracted to it because we heard Jack Johnson being played from the streets. Come to find out, they played typical American music the entire time we were there and we were all in our glory. It was cool to listen to music we were familiar with and on top of that, the majority in the bar were Australians and British people. It was nice to not have a language barrier for a little bit; although I love learning the Italian language and being around locals, it can sometimes be extremely difficult trying to communicate simple sentences. But that is why I have Italian class everyday!

The next day we had to get on another ferry to Split to make our way home. The trek back was fairly smooth, so I will skip over that. This past weekend my friends and I stayed in Perugia and took a small break from traveling. We did the typical dinners out and bar hopping at night so we still had a lot of fun! I even went out for sushi and gelato with my new Italian friend, Lidia, and her boyfriend and best friend. My friends and I knew we were in for more consecutive weekends of non-stop traveling so staying in Perugia was a good choice on our part (and our wallets). Tomorrow my friends and I will be getting on a bus to Munich for a weekend of tours and Oktoberfest. Despite the 12 hour bus ride, words cannot describe my excitement! It’s just another thing I’ll be doing abroad that I can finally cross off my bucket list. Arrivederci for now, amici. Stay tuned for my next post!

Sunset in Ischia

Sunset in Ischia

XO, Caisse

“Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people…” –Nick Miller