Everything else

Meant for Someone

Four poems.

Unsolicited Advice to Adolescent Girls With Crooked Teeth and Pink Hair

When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys call asking your cup size, say A, hang up. When he says you gave him blue balls, say you’re welcome. When a girl with thick black curls who smells like bubble gum stops you in a stairwell to ask if you’re a boy, explain that you keep your hair short so she won’t have anything to grab when you head-butt her. Then head-butt her. When a guidance counselor teases you for handed-down jeans, do not turn red. When you have sex for the second time and there is no condom, do not convince yourself that screwing between layers of underwear will soak up the semen. When your geometry teacher posts a banner reading: “Learn math or go home and learn how to be a Momma,” do not take your first feminist stand by leaving the classroom. When the boy you have a crush on is sent to detention, go home. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boy with the blue mohawk swallows your heart and opens his wrists, hide the knives, bleach the bathtub, pour out the vodka. Every time. When the skinhead girls jump you in a bathroom stall, swing, curse, kick, do not turn red. When a boy you think you love delivers the first black eye, use a screw driver, a beer bottle, your two good hands. When your father locks the door, break the window. When a college professor writes you poetry and whispers about your tight little ass, do not take it as a compliment, do not wait, call the Dean, call his wife. When a boy with good manners and a thirst for Budweiser proposes, say no. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys tell you how good you smell, do not doubt them, do not turn red. When your brother tells you he is gay, pretend you already know. When the girl on the subway curses you because your tee shirt reads: “I fucked your boyfriend,” assure her that it is not true. When your dog pees the rug, kiss her, apologize for being late. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Jersey City, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Harlem, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because your air conditioner is broken, leave him. When he refuses to keep a toothbrush at your apartment, leave him. When you find the toothbrush you keep at his apartment hidden in the closet, leave him. Do not regret this. Do not turn red. When your mother hits you, do not strike back.


1 2 3 4


  • raggedyanarchy February 22nd, 2013 3:12 PM

    These are amazing! There are a bunch where I just really want to know the stories behind them, you know?

  • Leah Gross February 22nd, 2013 3:21 PM


  • poetess February 22nd, 2013 3:26 PM

    JEANANN VERLEE!! I love you!! AAH Rookie always finds the best people :D :D :D

  • JoanaNielsen February 22nd, 2013 3:26 PM

    Dear Samurai,
    I lied. I don’t keep a sketch I did of you.
    I keep lots of them.

  • emine February 22nd, 2013 3:26 PM

    These are heartbreaking and so, so beautiful. I want more!

  • amazeedayzee February 22nd, 2013 3:28 PM

    I’m in love with this.
    And also that illustration. Beautiful.

    • Emilie February 24th, 2013 12:23 PM

      Forrealdoh, Allegra rocks my world

      • Allegra February 28th, 2013 2:50 PM

        You all rock my world :)

  • DreamBoat February 22nd, 2013 3:31 PM

    Oh my god! I’m in tears right now. I cannot believe how absolutely incredible and perfect each and everyone one of these is. As an aspiring poet, this is what I have always wanted my poems to be: truthful and beautiful and sad and personal and all tied together with perfection. This collection was so inspiring! It’s given me a new reason to feel like I should keep on writing. This was absolutely perfect, exactly what I needed, and now I think I will print each of these up and put them on my wall.
    Thank you so, so much.


    • poetess February 23rd, 2013 7:22 PM

      Yeah she’s awesome– a suggestion: check out her spoken word stuff on youtube. I know she does at least two of these. :)

  • rachelcallari February 22nd, 2013 3:35 PM

    Oooph. That second poem will never fail to give me shivers down my spine.

  • cottoncolumnist February 22nd, 2013 3:35 PM

    Poems on rookie!?!! this is amazing!I love writing poetry, rookie really does cover everything<3

  • kolumbia February 22nd, 2013 3:45 PM

    Beautiful! I’m so happy to see poetry on Rookie!

  • LittleMissE February 22nd, 2013 3:56 PM

    <3 <3 <3

  • whatever February 22nd, 2013 4:01 PM

    wow. Unsolicited Advice to Adolescent Girls With Crooked Teeth and Pink Hair is my favourite.

  • Indigoblue February 22nd, 2013 4:04 PM

    The second is beautifully haunting. One of my favourite posts on rookie <3<3

  • Mary the freak February 22nd, 2013 4:12 PM

    This was nothing but utterly perfect. ♥ ♥ ♥


  • unicornconnect February 22nd, 2013 4:15 PM

    this is so beautiful.

  • decemberbaby February 22nd, 2013 4:23 PM

    Jeanann Verlee is AWESOME and this is a lovely selection. Everyone look her up on YouTube! Last year I found and really enjoyed a video of her performing 40 Love Letters.

  • Abby February 22nd, 2013 4:50 PM

    Beautiful and incredible and amazing and perfect.

  • litchick February 22nd, 2013 5:04 PM

    These are beautiful. Made my day. :)

  • cherrycola27 February 22nd, 2013 5:17 PM

    I had read “Unsolicited Advice to Adolescent Girls With Crooked Teeth and Pink Hair” a while ago and it always stuck with me.
    The third one was powerful, too.

  • Lauren Hartnett February 22nd, 2013 5:42 PM

    I really like the second one. It can be taken so many ways, depending on what your situation is in life and your way of thinking. It’s powerful, it’s hitting, and it’s memorable. I really like it. I try to write poems too, but I feel like they’d all be forgotten. These though, especially the second, are ones to be remembered and called upon when you need a little bit of strength in your life.
    Thanks for sharing.


  • limegreensunset February 22nd, 2013 5:48 PM

    so powerful and amazing and just why can’t i write like this??????


  • Paulatte February 22nd, 2013 5:49 PM

    Oh dear… this is cool. Unsolicited Advice to Adolescent Girls With Crooked Teeth and Pink Hair is one of the most powerful poem i’ve ever heard, it was one of the first actually, it will always have a special place in my heart. You really should look it up on youtube! ( and other spoken word poetry really )

  • sophiethewitch February 22nd, 2013 5:57 PM

    I love these! I didn’t know Rookie published poetry. Should I try sending some of mine in, or is this a special one-time thing? I especially like the second one.

    • Anaheed February 22nd, 2013 6:10 PM

      Yes, please send it. We have always wanted to publish poetry, but we were waiting till we could get a cluster of them to publish together, because one poem is usually not long enough for a whole Rookie post.

  • abby111039 February 22nd, 2013 6:08 PM

    These are so beautiful and unique and just…real. They certainly hit home for me. Needless to say, I loved them. (:

  • borgie February 22nd, 2013 6:08 PM

    I really, really like the second one, and there’s a video of her reading it live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYZkLy0GHZ0

    • AnaRuiz February 22nd, 2013 6:30 PM

      Duh, I should’ve read this comment before posting mine. I liked it, but I didn’t feel something as violent as her presentation when I read it. Hmm, maybe watching it again will convince me.

  • AnaRuiz February 22nd, 2013 6:25 PM

    I would love to see the second one, the “Advice…” one, represented in slam poetry. Sarah Kay would do a fantastic job of it.


    • Milala February 22nd, 2013 9:43 PM


      • Aurora February 23rd, 2013 5:01 PM

        Have you guys seen the movie “Louder than a Bomb”?

        • Milala February 23rd, 2013 8:00 PM

          wow i’d never heard of it, a movie about SPOKEN WORD POETRY?! i wanna watch that!

          by the way i forgot to say that i absolutely loved this! there should definitely be more poetry on rookie, and don’t forget to send an email to sarah kay ;)

    • poetess February 23rd, 2013 7:26 PM

      It is, actually. Check it out on youtube!! :D

      • poetess February 23rd, 2013 7:26 PM

        And yes, Sarah Kay is a genius.

  • StrawberryTwist February 22nd, 2013 7:05 PM

    This is beautiful. Please publish more poetry on Rookie! :) i love it so much


  • Paint By Numbers February 22nd, 2013 7:24 PM

    Wow. Just wow.


  • LilySew February 22nd, 2013 8:15 PM

    I’ve been looking for some good poetry lately (beside the stuff we study at school) and these are absolutely perfect!


  • flowerchild49 February 22nd, 2013 9:24 PM

    These are so lovely! Also, I would love love love if Rookie could do an interview/ask a grown woman/anything with Joyce Carol Oates.

  • kathryn-s February 22nd, 2013 10:33 PM

    I think I’ve heard her reading the second one before, but I don’t know where. So powerful.

  • Eryn February 22nd, 2013 11:02 PM

    Beautifully written.


  • ivoire February 22nd, 2013 11:55 PM

    These are absolute geniuses of poems. God they are great. I love the second one.

  • weetziebatcoolcat February 23rd, 2013 12:18 AM

    WOW. the second poem for girls with crooked teeth and pink hair (me)….JUST WOW. THAT IS THE RADDEST…MOST PROFOUND… ahgldkgslgkqu

  • cloudinthesky February 23rd, 2013 4:54 AM

    These are so beautiful, I can’t put it in words.
    I want to cry, thank you for these wonderful poems.

  • Atalanta February 23rd, 2013 9:18 AM

    these were so beautiful <3
    also kinda weird bc I am a pink haired girl with crooked teeth

  • anton February 23rd, 2013 9:23 AM

    I love Jeanann Verlee! I especially love her performance of Unsolicited Advice… it’s amazing.

  • MabelEnchanted February 23rd, 2013 6:03 PM

    These poems are so beautiful and I just wish I could write like you. I absolutely love Rookie but after I’ve read an article I do feel talentless compared to you guys! If you have any time i’ve just literally started a blog so could you check it out?
    Advice would be very helpful xoxo

  • periwinkle_dreams February 23rd, 2013 7:00 PM

    These are so amazing! They really make you think. So glad to get to read some great poetry today :D

  • Graciexx February 24th, 2013 9:06 PM

    no. 3 was da bomb!

  • Janelle February 25th, 2013 9:05 PM

    Wow. My poetry writing has sort of petered off of late, but I feel very inspired to write again. I like her take on poetry… it’s more poetic and less harsh and angry than Andrea Gibson, who first got me into Slam Poetry. All of these. Especially the second one. The second one was quite moving.

  • Cactus Woman February 27th, 2013 5:12 PM

    I do those kinds of “love letters” all the time. Even though they are very short, I find them to be therapeutic.

    And YAY for Rookie poetry!

  • teenfurby February 28th, 2013 5:13 AM

    the first poem is my favourite, it’s so simple yet really saddening too. i wish i could write like that.


  • andrea tom March 27th, 2013 3:50 PM

    Dear Teo,
    Never forget our inside jokes.
    I love you.

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica June 11th, 2013 9:46 AM

    This is moving and powerful and breathtaking. Wow. The second one especially. Wow. I just… wow.