By Jyoti Gandhi Laverack
Vulnerable Mirage presents the complex balance of vulnerability and safety of relationships in the form of bubbly, easy-to-read graphics. Many of the themes I touch on are an attempt at leaning into the confusion of teen angst which is universal in teenage relationships. These excerpts were taken from larger personal works and strive to represent a feeling which I feel could apply to many people in a diverse array of situations.
i have grown to love trusting you to
make me feel
too big and too small simultaneously
when I look into your deep, ominous
eyes and you say;
“jyoti, there’s no such thing as
for being a pawn
in my game of loneliness
if I’m only a
pawn in yours.
as long as we ensure tuesday’s
feminism has fooled me not to seek
love in hopes of curing my loneliness
yes lessons from my sisters have
taught me otherwise.
They consent to our culture and
somehow feel that by being witness
to it, they deserve to be a part of it.
The expression of our culture isn’t
hinged upon their consent and the
expression of our emotion shouldn’t
I used Canva and Instagram to create portraits of emotions related to the complex relationships in my life. I chose excerpts from existing poems of mine and added graphics to help them reflect the tone of my pieces. Many of the excerpts follow the theme of balance between vulnerability and safety in relationships with male and female friendships as well as family.
Meet the Pair
Mentee Jyoti Gandhi Laverack & Mentor Ashley Mannetta
Jyoti’s Anecdote: I always look forward to meeting in our sunny coffee shop. Both Ashley and I are quiet observers of human behavior, and we love observing dynamics and interactions in our favorite Brooklyn café and making up bizarre and far-fetched backstories for everyone who orders a cup of coffee! Despite my initial timidness in my writing, Ashley’s support and kindness have helped me push myself to document aspects of my own history that would have made me squirm even a few months ago.
Ashley’s Anecdote: Jyoti and I meet in a sunny coffee shop every week. When we have the time, we’ll look around at the other sleepy brunchers, eavesdrop on their arguments, observe their flights of feeling. Then we’ll take a few minutes and write down a story about one of them. I think about how writers define history by what they choose to write about and how. There are so many stories yet to be told. The potential of a writer like Jyoti—so curious about those around her and observant of every detail—to document untold experiences and perspectives thrills me.
Jyoti Gandhi Laverack is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Brooklyn, NY.