stratosphere

i. i don’t know how to not write poems / like they’re stories / and i don’t know how to stop seeing the world from a first person point of view / cause i have been drifting for so long / charting up pathways and possibilities, and now i think it’s time to figure out what the hell i’m gonna do / when i can’t feel the gravity in my stomach / or snap out of a daze before midafternoon / i don’t know how to write poems unless i’m exhausted / the words slipping from my mouth like a death rattle / a trickle in a drought / a long walk home / cause i’ve been drifting for long / and they cheered me on, told me anything was possible / and then they sat me down / and told me vague ideas can’t make money / and they were right, of course / their love dripping down my throat like honey

ii. i let my muscles get sore / bones grow brittle like they’re breaking / i sit alone with my thoughts / but only if i’m watching tv / i look out at the skyline, and wish it could be me / let the rain come down and wash away the city / i don’t remember my dreams / or think for too long about how the world used to be / hold my breath, and bathe in secondhand smoke / cast myself in stainless steel, and plastic / hold myself kind, and slow / cast-iron fingers cold to the touch / i wash the dishes ’til they’re try / and i turn on the blender ’til it’s hollow / i let the drone of it all consume me / i don’t take off my headphones for anybody

blackberry roads

it smells just like blackberries on the highway

smoke and daydreams

mental breakdowns in the backseat

staring out the window

you watch the world go by until you start to get dizzy

you watch the world go by until you don’t know what you’re doing

yeah you’re fifteen, and you’re confused

so you’re reading all the books you can find

pray to god you can pay off the overdue fines

you stand there, and you watch from the sidelines

work on your note-taking skills

you are cynical and dreaming

black-eyed and bruised

and sometimes you cry like a baby

when you lose your keys

or check the news

i write my poems in second person

‘cause i can’t stand to see myself in you


I’ve been getting a lot better at guitar, and I can totally imagine this as a spoken word track–with some guitar in the background, and an old-timey vintage feel to it? I don’t know–I wanted to write a piece that encapsulated my summer, and this ended up being it.

Lorna

shooting stars and bad dreams

when the fridge stops working, and the dishwasher floods the kitchen

when the drywall cracks beneath the weight

of childhood portraits anchored into its abyss

yeah, when the city crumbles, when the lights turn off

when the big one comes

and the asteroid wipes out half the human race

when we stumble through the blacked-out city, 12am, dizzy and numb

looking up at the stars

asking which one we’ll become

say that you’ll find me

in the fault lines, and used glass bottles

in stifled screams

bite your hand until it bleeds

spin around in circles, and wash the fuse go

in flashlight tag

in melting icicles and broken teeth

i’m gonna fix it

i’m gonna hold your hand, and take a deep breath

and make a to-do list

rip out the floors, scavenge for scraps among the wreckage

of things that used to be

hang the paintings on a stud line

frame the pictures new again

fix the wires

and make a cup of tea

when the walls start to shake

and the sky wraps it’s spindly fingers right around my throat

when my fingers are numb to the touch

and the world fades out to grey

and we’ll make the best of a bad deal

we’ll laugh and sit in awkward silence

we’ll hold hands, and i’ll think

that you’re worth a couple stars

and that’s nothing new

a short reflection on how it feels to prove your humanity

scream into that empty hollow mouth of yours, and watch the sound bleed out / blink the hospital ambiance away with a flick of my tongue / and yes, i know we bleed the same / yes i know, you are a million miles away / so whisper into hollow lungs, and ignore the warning signs / the sweat crawling down your back / or that sick, cold feeling in your gut / and i’ll do the same, darling, i’ll take all my rotten parts out / and i’ll make them anew / i will do a dance and sing a song / scream and shout in my glass box, just for you / can’t you see? / but of course, to your eyes / it’s probably nothing more than coincidental symmetry / something, something / rolling the dice / when it comes down to it, when it’s “her life over mine” / you will only hesitate a moment / before you dig the scalpel in / and oh god / oh jesus fucking christ / sometimes i look in the mirror, at my plastic skull / and my sinful eyes / sometimes i can’t help but wonder if you might be right

lull

there’s fog along the highway / and the lights carry me home / and it’s raining in august / warm on my skin, clay bones / so why don’t you hold me / why don’t you tell me you miss me too / cause no one’s ever told me that before / and god knows, i miss you / and there’s lights up in the sky / there’s a monster in my home / he lives under the bed / eats dust bunnies for lunch, and cries all night long / ’cause he misses how he used to be / all the little moth-holes gnawed into his memory / he is lonely and scared, and there’s a pit in his gut every time they ask what he’s gonna do / a thousand platitudes to kiss him off to sleep / you know how it goes / you know how you postpone, and make yourself those empty promises / you’ll forget about next morning / when you wake up exhausted / listen to ads on spotify as you root through rotten drawers in your mind / searching for something new / but all you’ll find is worn our t-shirts from 2017 / day-old tea / and dust settled on the pages / you swore you’d make anew