personality inventory

by anna ladd

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released August 20, 2014



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anna ladd Massachusetts

timid punk

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Track Name: canyon
my thighs are littered with crevices but i think i like how it feels when your fingertips find them -
my instinct says to pull back
to squirm, to flinch, to repeat these motions
until my body resumes its position in a self-inflicted vacuum,
i'd let spikes grow out of my legs if i could
i'd let my arms be carnivorous if it didn't mean i would have to chase you off with them.
oh my fucking god, i moan, about some daily occurrence where my calf is sore. oh my fucking god, i moan, having a body is the worst thing in the world, i whine, i would rather be a floating aura of senses that knows how to speak. i am only half kidding.
somedays i want to start over completely
and crawl out of this mess of skin and spine and wake up with new limbs, a new head,
legs without canyons that feel like they are miles deep
they remind me that growth is gradual when sometimes i need it to be sudden
Track Name: i'll ask for help when i figure out how to
i am learning that the busses that used to bring me up north couldn't take me far enough to change a thing.
i keep a log of all the people that i meet on the train. their greetings echo and repeat. i smile and nod. i am their answering machine.
they tell me that they are just visiting. they tell me that they are only here for the week. to see family or friends or because they need a break.
i tell them that we all do.
my mom's friends ask me in a chorus,
how was the train?
how have you been?
are you enjoying school?
i do not tell them:
i am getting a degree in making people pay attention to me. just like they are.
i do not tell them: i pick up old parts of myself whenever i come here and my stomach is empty because of it.
i tell them:
i took the train in this morning.
i tell them:
i am doing well.
the last bus that i took north caught on fire and
if i believed in signs,
if i believed in symbols
i'd let i stand as a reminder that old habits die hard
and know that mine have died harder.
Track Name: blisters
i. when i said hello to my new neighbors in my new apartment,
they ignored my wave and told me they were moving out august fifth.
what they were saying was: spare me the small talk.
what they were saying was: have fun with the mice.

ii. i sleep in the den at the bottom of a spiral staircase.
the mice live in the vent above it.
they are not welcoming but they welcome us home,
like my laundry-and-christmas scented candle collection,
a habit that i picked up from my mother.
i am replicating her home
with the brand name aluminum foil
the fancy smoothie maker
the pseudo-modern prints from target.
i am making a copy of the home that i stayed in the longest.
i am making this phony attempt at adulthood up as i live through it

iii. there are blisters on my fucking ankles from walking up the parkway in new shoes
or maybe they are there because i can't figure out how to stay in one spot long enough for them to heal.
i can't figure out why i become a different person in every place i live but i think i have finally
found myself somewhere that screams
take off your shoes
take off my shirt
and stay a while.
Track Name: listmaker
there are clear and concise lists of things that are wrong with me floating around the internet
she is a journalist of some sort and i am her offbeat business
she says there are 40 things that every modern woman should know about boys.
there are 20 things that the classy lady should remember about dating in college,
where 1 through 10 detail when i should touch him
and the rest detail why
as if "do it all now" puts me below
"do it when i say" or
"do it all never"
as if saying yes is causing the problem when yes is what helped me learn how to pick up and leave.
as if liberation is one-size-fits-all
as if anything is
her titles read,
15 things you should know about hookup culture
23 reasons why tinder is ruining my relationship
14 reasons why i define your self respect for you
29 reasons why good girls don't fuck until the third date
36 ways i romanticize an era where loyalty was legally binding
43 explanations for why i am so desperately convinced that other people's choices affect my own
she is a listmaker, armed with a flashy gif for every sexual encounter she deems irresponsible.
i do not trust numbers or absolute truths
i only trust my body.
Track Name: the way i remember everything ft. rachel dispenza
If my heart was more than a heart, it would give you a call and pump out all of the words I keep trapped behind my teeth.
If my heart was more than a heart, it would burst out of my chest, throwing itself at your feet, screaming “take me, I am yours.”
My feeble heart, slamming its fists against my ribcage, demanding to be free of the bony barricade.
My incessant heart will not shut up about you. It does not know how. It beats out your name as if it knows nothing else.

When my heart woke up this morning, it wished you were still laying next to me, impatiently waiting for you to reenter the room. You, disappointed I had woken before you could throw your underwear in my face. Me, laughing until my eyes took notice of you, standing before me in only those boxer briefs, freshly cleaned skin gleaming in the natural light that pours so fluidly into your window. My body, longing to wrap itself around yours again. My heart, damn proud to use the word again with such certainty.
When my heart recalled the history behind the borrowed t-shirt wrapped around it as I left, it smiled with the glee of a school girl. I knew better than to divulge the details. You hate the way I remember everything. My heart wants you to know it’s the same shirt you wore that first afternoon we spent together, aimlessly wandering the city.

My distracted heart writes poems for you in business class.
My masochistic heart gets off on making playlists of the songs that reminds it of you and is rewarded three hours later with texts that read “Just got home, found myself thinking of you” and “Do we see eachother tonight?”
Oh my heart, the pathetic hopeless romantic, wants to get day drunk in the park and fuck you in the tube slide. Who will scream louder in ecstasy, us or the playground kids?

My fatigued heart is having trouble circulating blood today. The slow and steady pumping pounds against my chest, but regardless of the amount of pressure, it just can’t get the job done. It deprives my brain of oxygen.
My fucking heart, a paranoid schizophrenic hollow mass of blood, develops an arrhythmia every time someone else mentions your name. I’m haunted by hallucinations of the day my tongue snaps and asks exactly what’s going on between us. It writes speeches that would make a politician cry with jealousy; the convincing delivery is almost enough to trick me.
My forgotten heart hasn’t heard from you in four days. I wonder what you’re doing, but can’t bring myself to ask. Your phony attempts at giving attention are transparent and thin and only result in increased aggravation. I hate you most days, but dream at night of your soft fingertips, strong hips, sure lips, all pressing against me in just the right places. I need to hear you say it. I need to hear the words fall carelessly out of your mouth, words detailing all the ways you don’t care about me or my useless, needy heart.

Last week, heart to heart, standing in the doorway before I turned to leave, you kissed me goodbye. It took far too long to realize that it might be the last time.
Track Name: i will leave my loaded words to rot
meet me behind the sandwich shop on the parkway and i'll tell you i'm as empty as this lot is,
empty like my head or my poetry or maybe just my promises.
i've been having dreams where my past shows up in class and demands an explanation and i cannot give it to them. i always wake up before i need to speak and i think that my subconscious knows that i struggle with words,
in my dreams i'm a little shorter and my head is on a little straighter
but i still can't figure out how to open my mouth at the right time. i'm not sure i ever will.
my memory is precise,
it is exact dates and times
and it knows what i was wearing down to the socks last sunday and it remembers every mistake in detail.
it knows where i went on bus rides one through twenty. it remembers where i sat.
my memory knows the foggy field on the side of the road, my midnight whim, my stop the car attempt at expressing something that looks like affection
where i fell silent.
where i left my loaded words to rot.
meet me in the lot behind the sandwich shop on the parkway so i can apologize for every place i was too scared to tell you that i love you.