The Perks of Being a Wallflower still remains, in my mind, an iconic book which holds a lot of sentimental value in relation to my high school experience. Upon learning that my beloved little lime green-paperback was to be shot as a movie, I was immediately skeptical. However, my roommate and I had both expressed an interest in seeing it, as she’d never read the book. This is the process I went through in my description of seeing Perks, complete with my thoughts on the movie itself, multi-syllable rhyming, and more than a few of my own memories that transpired throughout the campus of my adolescence:

I get a text at 9 p.m.
So I get dressed
As I leave my bed.
Meet my friend
For some new perspective
Through a big
Screen’s  lens. It
Ain’t even a weekend,
But I wanted all the nostalgia
The theater could lend
So I decided to sleep in
The next day. We found
Our seats and paid,
Eager to see this movie
Compare to the pages
Well acquainted by my
High school’s history and
What can I say?
The flick’s a hit with me,
Dips into high school without
The slightest of signaling, it’s
Everything your experience was and wasn’t
Those urban myths aren’t fiction-less,
They just usually happen
To your friend’s cousin. Let’s
Talk about watching your best friend
Date older dudes, or
Maybe that was you
In the soles of those shoes.
It was certainly me. None of those guys
Ever loved me, by any respective measure but
We accept the love we think we deserve
And in the meantime mail one another
Childhood treasures.
Going postal coast-to-coast
Amidst our tide pool’s networks
Just goes to show ,
High tide can be unjust,
That it can, indeed, suck
In high school’s social deserts.
Charlie is a succulent,
Grown in the head
Of the story’s author, writer, and director—
And how often do you find that?
The same personal style imbued
By this Stephen Chbosky dude
For one, gives me pleasure.
For two, makes you feel
Like you’re wearing a
Thick, kitschy sweater:
Simple and quaint,
With its fair share of sweating
You try not to faint
Under the many
Heavy-knitted pressures.
Sweltering, sometimes
You gotta take
Non-permitted measures.
It resonates with me but upsets
This movie’s cast of characters.
I’m talkin’ about
Not kissing your girlfriend
During truth or dare,
Re-evaluating, in the moment,
Your effort’s expenditures.
Alienated by friends’ stares,
Tongue-in-cheek realities
Ensnare your inner instincts
And you feel unprepared,
Pretending at navigation,
Complacently feelin’
Old for your age or your face
But conveniently young just the same.
Tellin’ old you to just stay
On the path you’ve created,
That now you’re well on your way.
And that bright smile,
Of Emma Watts, Son.
Her bulbs have been tightly wound,
Yeah, she’s a bright one.
It’s fun,
Brownies bake you
Til your oven dings “done”
And you were appetized,
Now you’re
Undeniably high,
The room spins openly
As you lose focus and
Hardly mind
Becoming the party’s
Token stoned guy.
Emma’s milkshakes
Bring made-up choices
To a junkyard
And is then like
We weren’t gonna go
That far.” Damn right,
Hadn’t had this much fun
Reading since Bell Jar.
Her letters from Penn
Will start parked cars.
It’s not far-fetched,
To think it hits hard
Interacting with women
When visions of his aunt Helen
Left marks that turn starlit.
So remember this:
When you’re down
On your luck, kid,
Just take to heart this hint:
It’s where the road turns ahead
Within darker bends that
We see humanity’ lantern of beauty.
Social blunders amend smoothly
When we make peace and amends
In the presence of our friends,
Deciding, instead, to take a nightly stand
And dance for the sake of our inner light
Atop moving truck beds.
Charlie’s past projects itself visibly
From scene-to-scene,
Upon his waking life,
And everywhere in-between.
Watching your
Best friend cry
Can mean
Setting aside your own
Victim’s mentality,
Once present in the vicinity,
To instead share intrinsic
Hiding an inner fight openly,
As his mind’s eyes
Remain mystifyingly dry
Can be just our way of coping.
All the above was filmed convincingly.
Frequent camera stops
On typewriters and glass
Coke bottles invoke in me
Lingering afterschool tokens
Of my time emoting
In SoCal jokingly–laughing
Til the tears came and choked me,
Former fears casting me for a role,
No matter how small, as a viewer
to this movie. Perks calls
The well-made shots,
Bares flaws and hey–
No gain no loss. It cares
About being
Glaringly honest,
Declaring this finer thoughtfulness
Through leading characters’
Minor skin problems. It’s
That careful lack
Of makeup as Ezra emanates
Playful relaxedness
Despite his skin’s situation.
I stopped,
At the end, to
Point this out in hindsight
But without contacts,
For that detail’s context,
My roomie was practically
Blind that night.
But even still, after the
Theater’s closing hours,
Cour agreed with me in that
She too was pleased to “see”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

-Megan Doak


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