Chapbook:More Than What You See-A Journey Ends

The frustrations of my
limitations will never end,
they will only lessen
for there is always a way
it’s just not everyone else’s
and there is always more
to be found in the trees and cherry’s.
I have reached the end
of this tunnel of mud.
A new tunnel has begun.
This one is deeper
but brighter than the one before.
I wonder what lessons
it will hold and where it goes…

-Silvaan Ruth-

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Chapbook: More Than What You See-Giving Notice

I would have given a notice of disability
to my last professor
in my college career
but I knew I wasn’t going to need it.

One day that professor
asked me to read a paragraph
to the class.
I sat there stalling for time before reading
trying to calm the nervous heat
that crawled up my neck.
(Maybe I should have given him the notice.)
I thought before I began.
I heard a voice reading with ease
slow, a little awkward,
but not stalling
until the word “abide”
and someone quickly
saved me. I thanked them
and kept going.

When I was done I waited
for the stares in my direction,
to feel the shame
and embarrassment
but none of it happened.
I used to agonize over those situations
analyzing what I did wrong
and how I could have done it all differently.
I didn’t do any of that.

-Silvaan Ruth-

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Chapbook: More Than What You See-Tested

Last few semesters
I am better than I ever was when
it comes to taking tests.
I breathe when overwhelmed
and concentrate on nothing
but what I know.
After reading the question
I try not to think too much
until I reach slightly harder ones.
Next, I tackle the hardest of them all,
the ones where I have no clue.
I breathe when I get up from the desk
and hand the teacher my test.
I don’t worry too much
because now I know that doing my best is
going to be good enough to pass.
I can always master it later
if I feel the urge to do so.
After my last few semesters.

-Silvaan Ruth

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Chapbook: More Than What You See-10,000 hours

It’s not good when every time
someone asks you what
you’re doing with your degree,
it’s never what your degree is for.

“So, you wanna be a massage therapist?”
“So you wanna be a psychologist?”
“So you wanna be an artist?”

No, not really to all.
Still alright at massage.
Ok psychologist if
I had the patience.
I am an ok painter,
be better if I had more
time to spare…

The 10,000 hours rule,
my art teacher told me,
to be the best at
what you want to be.
But I am too busy trying to write.
I have been at it for over ten years
and more hours than I can count.
It’s easier now; less classes to write and read for.
So, I can finally write what I wish during the week
and not just the weekend.

Silvaan Ruth

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Chapbook:More Than What You See-What’s My Problem?

I’ll tell you what my problem is
I can’t freaking sp-sp-sp-p-p-eak!
Yet you think it helpful to correct me
pressuring me to repeat
with what little energy
I am having a hard time thinking
as you should tell from my
If you would stop asking
maybe you could start listening.

But I can’t tell you how I feel
or argue my point
because I don’t have the words
to explain it at the moment;
hard to think with your badgering questions
so I s-su-uccumb to your winning-
gloating again.

Days pass.
Now, I have the words.
It doesn’t matter
how much you explain
that I am not stupid
or down play your talking
down to me.
You still explain
the spelling
difference between—
“want” and “went”—
“than” and” then”—
“effect” and “affect”—
“men” and “man”—
as if it’s easy
with your mocking tone.
“What’s your problem?”
like it is not that hard.
You know nothing of hard.
Doesn’t matter the amount of empathy
you muster. You will never be me.
But you’re teasing
me for something
I have no control over.

Emotion is all I remember
of your hurtful words.
but it’s a moot point.
No sense in bringing up old
fights now.

is my verbal answer
to your question.

Avoiding your
belting me with questions.
That only force me into
processing your
instead of just

I just want to be left alone
instead of being asked what my problem is.
I am more verbal than you think.
I am just too tired to

Silvaan Ruth

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Chapbook:More Than What You See-A Minus

Soon an itch began to scratch
in a spot of my soul out of my reach.
I was curious though and took the chance.

Writing creatively for a credit of three
to see if those swirls and squiggles
I use to write before I knew how
could be a sign that I was meant to be a writer.
But am I a good writer?

Once, I couldn’t find the meaning of a word
in the slew of memorizations in my mind
in front of a published girl I knew.
“and you want to be a writer?”
She said laughing.
Maybe she is right,
or maybe she isn’t.

I explain to the teacher my “condition.”
(like it’s so serious. But isn’t it?)
Despite my mother’s offers,
I refuse to let anyone else
edit my work
save for the teacher.
Can’t stop her and I didn’t want to.
I wanted to see if I am a good writer.

I wasn’t sure until I saw the grade
for my short story. She loved it. More-so the
end, but took ten points off
for all the usual mistakes I make.
I couldn’t believe it. Yes!
Years of C’s and B’s
and I got an A minus.
Maybe it is not so foolish
to believe that I could do this,
be a writer after all.
For no matter how often I think it foolish
the writing itch will always need to be scratched

-Silvaan Ruth

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Chapbook: More Than What You See-Wrong

As a kid
I sat on the couch
my math paper in my stepfather’s hands.
My mom and I spent
God knows how long
to get it right.

Like paper through a typewriter
my math moved through his fingers.
Every time he said “wrong”
to another equation I have to do again
the tears welled up in my eyes
and I sank into the cushions
wanting more than anything
to run and hide from my math problems.
For I wasn’t and will never be
that Girl
I always wished I could be.
It seems She is everywhere
in many faces and forms
as friends and acquaintances.
She who can do it all with little help.
I hated help. I wanted to be Her because

She is right
I am wrong

She is cool and social with ease
but I stutter when I speak.

I wish I were able to write
a three page paper
in one night like Her
instead of taking three weeks or more.

I wish I could tell the professor
I struggled to stay below the maximum
word count like Her
instead of struggling
to reach the minimum.

I wish I could say those words
over the two inch thick
book on my desk
and continue reading
after I am done talking.

I wish I were always right, like Her.
Help is something
I can’t run away from
although I have tried.
But to this day
when I see people like Her
I feel the equation
that equals my Being
will always be Wrong.



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Chapbook:More Than What You See-Painter

When I handed in my cut
and paste magazine project
the teacher asked,
“Are you an art major?”
I said “No”
“You should be.
You’re very good.”
Maybe I could.
I thought…

As a child I painted
off and on, whenever I had
the energy and time,
which was not much.
It took so much to move
through the mud of school
my energy was drained.
The T.V. the only art
I wished to see.
I didn’t have to think
to see it.

“Lazy,” they said.
I didn’t want to be
but the thought
of painting,
was just too exhausting.
Not that good at art anyway;
or so I thought…

But Maybe I could paint?
I just couldn’t handle the workload
of Psychology classes,
my passion wasn’t in it.
So, I left the drain of Psychology
for a little paint


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Chapbook:More Than What You See-Miss-Heard

One day I came out of my room
exhausted from all that was happening.
I saw my mother sitting on the couch
but my stepfather wasn’t around.

“Where is Bruce?” I asked.

She told me and
I shook my head in shock

She said it again.
“He went to the pawn shop
to get an oboe.”

I breathed in relief.
“I thought you said
‘he went to the porn shop
to get an elbow.'”

and we both burst out in laughter.
My mother looked at me when she could
manage to talk a little and said, “an elbow?!”
then doubled over in laugher again.

I shrugged with my hands up,
“Well, it works doesn’t it
‘elbow’ ‘oboe’ what’s the diff.”
I said, sarcastic.
We laughed again.

Sometime after my mother’s laughter
died down and I was laughing
off and on
Bruce walked in,

“Oh, lets tell him!”
I said excitedly.

But before we could say a word
Bruce said, “Better selection there
than anything I found on the internet.”

Before my mother could fully comprehend
what he said. I was on the kitchen
floor laughing my ass off again.
My mother, followed suit.
I knew I didn’t miss-hear that.


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