• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
  • Archives

Your LIfe LIttle Girl Is An EMpty Page

Hi, I’m Jeremiah Walton.  I am 16 and live and in New England.  I am manager of Nostrovia! Poetry (http://www.nostroviatowriting.com), a website for poets and writers to share their writing, read articles, and for me to share my writing.  It has a Guest Blog and weekly free poetry contest for people to enter.  I was wondering if you would be willing to provide a link to me from your website.  Thanks for hearing me out. – Sincerely Jeremiah Walton

I get these sorts of requests all the time, but never from Walton’s mountain. WHen I was sixteen, I was writing bad poems about masturbation. I actually wrote a poem and misspelled masturbation as “masterbation.” My English teacher wrote in the margin, “Dr Freud?” Then, he asked me to come see him in his office. I went. All I can remember is feeling insanely uncomfortable and being totally grossed out by his beige leisure slacks. When I was sixteen, if a boy named Jeremiah asked for a date or some rolling papers, I would have probably died and gone to heaven. Is this kid for real? Should I give him a link? And what were you doing at sixteen, dear readers.

43 Responses

  1. I was also writing bad poetry, and being discouraged by high school teachers. You go, Jeremiah Walton. Goodnight.

  2. Sixteen. The age I gave up horses for boys. Mostly, I composed snarky notes about my lackluster teachers and the mean girls who tormented me in gym class.

  3. Aren’t we all 16 on the Internet?

  4. I was a local celebrity. Every Sunday afternoon I could be heard on WFAB (“La Fabulosa!”) radio, singing and hosting a Spanish-language variety show, Cabalgata Infantil (“Kiddie Cavalcade”), for teens and tots in Miami. We kids performed live at the WFAB radio station, whose studio walls were floor-to-ceiling plate glass on three sides, visible to everyone walking up or driving down Flagler Street, while our stage mothers (and less-talented siblings) sat in the studio audience, beaming in pride and mentally critiquing our performances. Afterwards, we’d go to the director’s house and feast on ham croquetas, guava pastries, and Jupiña® pineapple soda.

    Friday evenings, I skipped most of my high school dances and dutifully showed up at the dismal warehouse studios of WLTV-23, a UHF channel (remember those?) for three hours of taping, to be aired on Sunday evening. I was slim, I was beautiful, I was famous! Sort of. All the signs pointed toward my becoming Somebody. What happened?

    For that reason, I say don’t give Jeremiah a link. Let him toil away in obscurity, maturing, honing his craft, until he is no longer a boy wonder. A boy wonder is a hard act to follow, even if you are that boy wonder. Especially if you are that boy wonder.

    • While perusing Jeremiah’s blog, I saw he had posted about a town called Fucking, Australia. So I wanted you to say Yes, give him his link.
      Then I realised he was wrong. Fucking is in Austria, not Australia. Well, fucking is in Australia sometimes, but Fucking isn’t.
      And we Aussies fucking hate fuckers who confuse Australia with Austria, so fuck him. Well, don’t fuck him. I mean… you know what I mean… NO Jeremiah Walton. Give the link to Jeremaliah Waltalon instead.

      • Hello, this is Jeremiah Walton. I received your comment and fixed the mistake. After that incident, I’m carefully reviewing each post I make ahah Sorry for throwing that onto Australia.

      • Dear young Mr. Walton:

        Even though I said I thought you shouldn’t get a link, that doesn’t mean I don’t think you deserve one. You do. Just beware early recognition and success. Then again, it beats no recognition and success, so don’t pay me any mind. Best wishes, tp

      • The votes seem to be about a billion to two, with a few people suggesting Betsy Knows Best. Go figure…
        But seriously, I’m with TP. I’d like this fine young man to suffer for his art a bit, maybe even a lot, before becoming a star. It’s healthy.
        And me at 16 ?
        I’d left my last day at school over a year behind me. My hands were calloused from a year of brickies labouring and my heart was raw and bleeding from the loneliness of living alone, being woken by my own crying in the middle of the night and wondering what the hell was wrong with me, and having not one person in the world I could ask about it.
        Tough young Aussie blokes ain’t meant to cry.
        I reckon instead of giving Jeremiah a link, give him something really valuable.Give him an interview Betsy, and let him put that front and centre on his blog, with a link to your books. Because in that, some truly fucked up 16 year old may be saved.

      • I haven’t suffered to much from writing poetry and aspiring to be one besides when I began writing poetry. Many of my friends attacked it and said it was gay. But I continued and I’m damn glad I did. That was a few years ago, and since then I’ve changed their minds about poetry.

  5. Yes. Give him a link. There are many more dangerous threats in the world.

  6. Yeah, give him the link. He got things wrong–so what! And you never know. It might be amusing.

  7. By the way, at sixteen I was snogging the face off a boy from my school. We usually met in the park and spent hours under a tree. Romantic? Nope. He dumped me for a girl who he said didn’t wear a bra under her jumper and it made her boobs look nice. Well, I didn’t wear a bra under my jumper either. I didn’t have boobs.

  8. Jeremiah sounds like he’s going places. Give him a link!

    Speaking of links, where’s The Rejectionist? I thought I found her from your blog. Or maybe it was Maud Newton’s blog.

    The Rejectionist is one of the best things that’s happened to me since I was 16 and read somewhere that those feelings that were keeping me awake at night were desire.

  9. i love the Waltons. second time they have come up this week. timelessness from the mountains.
    but he is no John Boy. yet…why not give him what he wants? maybe you should have a bi-monthly link day on the blog and then take them off. a one day only sale.

  10. I’m sure Jeremiah is real and I wish him good luck with what he’s doing. If you think his work is good or at least valid, please provide him a link.
    At 16 I was writing for the school newspaper, some good stuff, a lot too heavily inspired by National Lampoon. I was also running like crazy, distance races for the track team in the spring, cross country in the fall and indoor track in the winter. When I look back on it, it is no surprise that I was trying to run away from all that was happening in my family at the time. Or that I was attempting to find humor during a mighty confusing time. Now it all makes sense (sure wish that was true).

  11. Yes to Jerimiah Walton, or as they say locally, “Hell yeah!”

  12. At sixteen I was losing myself. I say yes to Jeremiah!

  13. I personally applaud anyone who encourages the sharing of poetry — and award extra points for poets who promote other people’s poetry — so the question is, do you like how he shares it?

    I have to admire his marketing chutzpah — I never would have been self-assured enough to ask an agent or editor or anyone I admired for a blog link at sixteen . . .had links or blogs — or the Internet — existed at the time.

    (but when that person does post a link, and friends clue you in, it’s a goofy-grinned rush, believe me)

  14. At 16 I was walking through the doors of the Jasper County welfare office in southeast Missouri to ask them to make me a ward of the state so I could stay in one place long enough to finish high school.

    Are blog links dream fulfillers now? Then by all means give the kid a link.

    • Ahah not quite dream fulfillers, but really helpful. It’ll help make my website more visible through Google and other search engines, and just make it easier to find. So in the long run, they do play a small role in fulfilling a dream. So I guess you’re right!

  15. I was going to a high school for mafiosa daughters and working at French Hospital in New York, cooking, filing, signing patients in, whatever needed to be done. I wrote a book about it. It’s funny.

  16. Chain smoking cigarettes.

  17. at 16 years old i was having sex in the backseat of my chevy celebrity with the boy i was forbidden to date. and smoking a lot of pot and drinking milwaukee’s best. sometimes i’d write a short story… or study for a test.

    way to go Jeremiah!

  18. Me? At sixteen? O how the heart swells! So long ago, so far away… I was in my junior year of high school, working every morning as a paperboy, writing and taking photographs for the school paper and yearbook, acting in school plays, commanding a company of my fellow cadets in the ROTC program, not so much losing my virginity as pushing it away from myself as though it were repugnant trash, learning that I was almost certainly going to become an unwed father, which happenstance put a serious and unexpected twist to my life, and beginning a dabbling which led to diving deep into the murky pools of what is so cunningly referred to as substance abuse. But I did not abuse form. I was writing no poetry. Not yet.

  19. At sixteen I had my first car, a bright yellow Fiesta that ran on three cylinders, with a tempermental stick shift made me perpetually nervous in traffic. I covered the dents in bumper stickers: “I’m lost, but making record time” and “SMILE” and “In-N-Out” (completely missing the double entendre, by the way). I felt unstoppable. A friend and I once picked up two Swedish hitchhikers and drove them all the way to the Grand Canyon. Life was a grand adventure.

    Give that boy a link, he’s adorable.

  20. It must be Waltons week. Last night during the evening news I was channel surfing and found this:

    Repeat. “The Achievement.” (1977) John Boy travels to New York to learn the fate of his novel. Flashbacks recall his progress as a writer. (Drama)

    I was 16 in 1977. Coincidence?

  21. I’m on the fence about whether Jeremiah is real or not, but it’s worth the risk, don’t you think, in case he is. So fucking adorable. When I was 16 I was selling bootleg Quaaludes to boys in mostly mediocre bands and the girls who loved them, in the parking lot of the Starwood in L.A.

  22. I would write Jeremiah an encouraging letter and check up on him in about five years.

    At sixteen I was a lovesick schoolgirl in grey tights and a panama hat, with a deep red Colonel Sanders tie and words written up my arms. All I wanted to do was leave and love.

  23. Are you sure he’s ready for you?
    At sixteen, I had a few girlfriends, but they were happy that I didn’t keep trying to trap them behind the bleachers or in a garage. Just friends. I was also a member of the Three Musketeers in my school, and took up fencing lessons. I wrote for the school newspaper, mostly humorous poetry, but articles or stories on occasion. I sang in the school choir and played the part of the Major-general in the production of the “Pirates of Penzeance”. The next year, Hitler invaded Poland.


  24. At sixteen, I lived a dual life. By day I was uber competitive over-achiever, yearbook editor, best piano student my teacher had, trying to best my friend on every test we took. By night I was a tease and an almost-slut. For reasons that a shrink would have a field day with.

    I say give him the link. If he fails to bring it, you can always delete it. Poetry, for god’s sake, well bravo, Jeremiah.

  25. I’m a bit of a sap for wishing I could go back and do it all over again. I was driving my dad’s racing green ’67 MGB. Overly concerned about popularity, boys & what I just said. Racing around the hills near town with dim headlights and shoddy breaks. There we’re a lot of firsts but nothing as meaningful as a link to Lerner’s blog. Drink up Jeremiah!

  26. My recollections of my sixteenth year included surviving a violent crime. Understandably, I prefer to focus on today: Twelfth Night– the start of the Mardi Gras Season with lots of parades, king cakes and general silliness.

  27. When I was sixteen and in my senior year of high school I was discovering how much better Led Zepplin sounded when you mixed it with a little LSD. Visiting planetariums and watching the flowers sing in the neighbor’s garden was fun too. Lake Tahoe, turquoise jewelry, hitch hiking to San Fransisco…Thank you, Earl J. Wooster HS in Reno, NV.

  28. I’ve been posting a little from my 16yr. old journal (1988) on my blog. I was in love with a boy who didn’t love me, a boy who I didn’t love was in love with me (he wrote me a 38 page note for god’s sake), and I tripped for the first time on some Grateful Dead Flyin’ eyeball. It was the year I went from depressed punk to lovey-dovey hippie. My dad made me so mad that I refused to get a drivers license and I got my first job paying $3.35/hr. which I spent on weed. Life was good.

  29. Working too much because my mother made me go to girls only catholic high school and I had to pay my own tuition. Listening to music I loved but didn’t really understand. It was the summer of love and I wasn’t into drugs yet. Had a great boyfriend, sweet, kind, thoughtful, caring. We were IN LOVE. Made out till my lips were sore but no sex for this good catholic girl. Frustrated athlete because I couldn’t play sports because of work. Still have a great friend I made the first day of classes. I was the only girl from my parochial grade school to attend this school, there were already cliques from the other schools, She sat next to me and said “Who’s your favorite Beatle?” I said “George”, “me too” we’ve been best friends since that day.

  30. I worry about what we, collectively, could do to a sixteen year old mind. All for his betterment, of course.

    Like Princess, 16 was also the year I gave up horses for boys and realized that song lyrics could be used as poetry to explain everything in my world.

  31. As the mother of 4, aged 18 to 25, I say no. Sixteen is not a great age. Go out and live your life and don’t hang around here. Posturing with this group could backfire on you. (Sorry to be so harsh.) You’ll have more to write about someday.
    When I was 16, I was still trying to fit in by finding the right gros grain ribbon to go with my all girls private school uniform and being good at sports like field hockey. Shortly after I went public with some poetry in the literary magazine at 17, I found a life of great friends and lovers (okay some dope and rock and roll mixed in).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: