What I write is so bad I hurl my laptop across the room. Two halves like wings spread and snap upon impact. Where is that genius when I need it? Instead, I am an idiot, spending an hour on my side, cradling the body of a best friend accidentally killed in an argument. I guess fuck it. Whether or not my poem is published I am going to drown myself in the pool. That will make me an artist! I’ve taken out my laptop, now all I have to do is put my fingers on the keyboard and jump in strapped with both halves like a bulletproof vest. Let the machine electrocute me (it probably won’t). Let my words weigh me down (they probably float). Let all the air out (I probably don’t want to do that, considering all my stuff is in there). Okay, I won’t jump in. The water’s too cold. Though, I wouldn’t know—I’ve been inside all day hallucinating, reconstructing a world without confidence. Writing a poem I will never see published. Misery is my schtick. If I go to bed early I’ll just stare at the ceiling. Yes, I’m thinking about something to write. No, I’m not thinking about how cringey it’ll be. This one I’ll bury deep into my throat, like a dirty joke or a sticky note with the first line of a story I’m getting pregnant with. How am I going to push out this one? Booze, weed, talk to my doctor, speak to a psychic. Interpret this: I just had a dream that Ryan from high school poured so much coke on the table it mushroomed snow white Nagasaki and I inhaled it. For the rest of the dream, I was Stephen King. I wrote a novel in my sleep then forgot it. When I wake up, there’s a new hot take on Twitter: Prose poetry is a bunch of bullshit. I agree. Let’s get some enjambment
Oh yeah, I moan, licking salt off my palms. This one is genius. I’m clicking submit.
Zoe Leonard is currently a student studying for her Creative Writing BFA at Emerson College in Boston. She works as a peer tutor for Emerson’s writing center. During the summers, she is at home in Baltimore, MD, tweeting (@ZTL_storymode) and reading poems on her Instagram (@zoe_leonard.storymode).
image: MM Kaufman