Jamztoma's Blog License

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Song: This Is Your Life
Artist: Switchfoot
Album: The Beautiful Letdown (2003)
From Youtube User: ImaginationPrincess

Written for Poets United Midweek Motif ~ The Number Thirteen
At 13, I hid inside
the confined interior of my
Pago Pago house
scared of meeting classmates
anywhere because I dropped out
I feared their questions and
their curiosities over why
I missed school a lot.
I also feared the next school year
because I might repeat 7th grade
since I was a dropout.
It was the beginning of my imprisonment
as well as my fantasy land
I guess it would be the first year
of me regarding the world with fear
Guilty, I was just 13.
At 13, I paid attention to music,
and I was a lanky, skinny kid.
I had my girlish figure
and was a playground hater.
I bought Madonna's Erotica cassette
never blinking at its sensual,
graphic, steamy, adult contents.
I never saw its singles' videos
and I wrote a childish, winning essay
using the female genitalia song
Secret Garden...
Bible-belt Tutuila as well as I
never thought about it...
On my part, I pictured a thorny
red rose in mom's garden
reaching puberty from her
seed infanthood.
I was just 13 then.
At 13, I still went to 8th grade
With my past academic performances, I was saved.
(Thanks to Principal Stevenson my hero)
That year, I was introduced to the computer
Brenda, nice lady, taught me ClarisWorks.
I drew, I created flyers, I typed out stories
I was basking in its techno glories
It was the year 1993.
President Bill Clinton's presidency
I was young but quite curious
King's Carrie, Steel's Jewels,
and Blatty's Exorcist
My mental virginity was taken
and at 13 this all happened.


  1. Wow. Packed life, Packed poem: a whirlwind tour of moments that must have seemed like years even before the turn around. Seems a few people saw a person and opened doors. And a great person stepped through them. Good music, Powerful poem

    1. thank you Susan, I like it that you love the music too. :)

  2. Sounds like thirteen was not so lucky for you..i hope it became better...

    1. Hi Jae Rose, well, I graduated from high school with honors so I guess! :)

  3. What a heartfelt poem. And thank goodness for Principal Stevenson for seeing beyond the word 'dropout' and giving you that 8th grade year. And thank goodness for Brenda who found out where your heart was and helped develop your talent that continued to grow. Sounds like 13 was a crossroads for you, and you crossed on the good side.

    1. thanks Mary! I have worked hard ever since to survive. My world has always been a rollercoaster ride...

  4. I enjoyed your 13 poem, James! How wonderful that your Principal could see your qualities rather than the 'dropout' guy you were at the time and trusted you to do well in 8th grade. I am glad you found different ways to learn and be creative.

    1. Yes, I have always wanted to recognize President Stevenson in some way. There were many in my life who have helped me along the way...so many!!! thanks for the comment.

  5. music was def influencial in my life during my teens...i guess in some way it still is....many of our beliefs about life take root at that age as well....what made you decide to drop out?

    1. Hi Brian, to answer your question I would say preteen issues and stress. Also, I didn't like P.E. and my grandmother had just passed away the year before. All of that took their toll on me. I was lucky in the end by continuing on to 8th grade or I would have been uneducated and living a troublesome life by now. :)

  6. an eventful thirteen...all experiences of our life, good or bad help us grow....seems 13 was a turning point in your life...very well written verse James :)

    1. Hi Sumana, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I have practiced exactly that. To learn from the good and bad to lead the kind of life that is ideal. As I have told someone above, my life is a rollercoaster ride. It still is...!

  7. Oh, I loved reading about your world at thirteen!

    ClarisWorks ... I'd forgotten it. (Smile.)

    1. Thanks Rosemary! You make me smile too!!!