Nate Slawson




Outside I am trembling my heart is amplified and guitar-strung the space between


us is convulsive at least three times a day I hear myself singing to myself


THE TEMPERATURES ARE RISING     the reality is our human siphoning


my wallpaper glued to your wallpaper in a collage of DNA     I think don’t think


blackoutdon’t thinkblackout there is a light filling up my socks and light is endless


light is Joe Strummer circa everyday     an impossibly funny feeling


in my battlefield my battlefield is nonsense I call it my heart a flamethrower


of nonsense tied to the back of a bus     Sometimes we risk taking ourselves


too seriously     like we are fat leather books labeled The Best Thing Ever when


all we should do is go to bed and be terrific ridiculously terrific and as heartbroken


as broken hearts     we should drink chocolate milk and pull explosions out of


each other’s hair we should turn our hearts up to rocket and sound system our


existence     because we are wailing our faces off for love wailing into the astonished


sky THE SPIRIT IS OUR GASOLINE and it feels good to take my head off



once in awhile it makes me want to build a newer world in the bedroom


a newer world where we cram sunlight into our eyes and the sunlight blasts merrily


merrily out of our mouths     we are so ecstatic that we’re gasping gasping and blue-


berry beside the record player dancing a new dance we call The Streets Are


Burning     because if we are not a levee and the music is not love what chance


do we have of keeping our hearts up? because it’s our hearts that float outward


to the sea our hearts enormous life vests strapped to our stupid faces     We are


lucky to know the obvious from a metaphor our music so tearfully obvious


we shine our body parts into a sinister feeling and glow     we glow on and on


two spotlights shining down on nothing left to say.




Every new day my friends is firecracker and I can feel your shoulders inside


my shoulders the strain is lockjaw and telescopic how I love the universe


and our muscles tearing apart how I love what we do for no good reason our


anxieties stuck in our vinyl mouths like microphones our sadnesses filling


our pants with mayonnaise     we tell each other how this version of


the world is petroleum how we are the gasoline in our blue veins O the world


is dancing and it’s so cherry we’ll tell everyone we know what we know about


anguish     it’s ferocious and it’s spectacular and we don’t care if our names


are earnest     I’m singing our names in the shower because our names are


real and terrifying so real it hurts our faces to be full of love that’s how


I’m feeling right now and I want to caress that     my love has a purpose bigger


than Cincinnati OH and I want to caress that     This is something we can


agree on: clap your hands and sing yeah it’s beautiful heretoo like YEAH IT’S


BEAUTIFUL HERE TOO and I’m telling you again because that’s affection



that’s my liver at full throttle and it’s singing and I don’t know why and I feel


forever is the second-punkest word ever invented after love     When it’s after mid-


night I wake up and I reach for my megaphone which is a blackout waiting


to happen which is called another Wednesday night waiting to happen     All my


friends are clouds and I am grateful for the sailboats in our black holes


for the music in our faces that is so Midwest it’s a garage and a parking lot


in our guts our guts the absolute beginning and the absolute end the place in


which we reach for conclusions sewn onto our hearts     our hearts suck face


and it’s more cardiovascular than bleeding more gingerbread than your freckled


soft face     All my friends are rockets and I am setting my face on fire



with a snowcone and some matches     I want to subwoof everyone I know


and rhinoceros our beautiful music call our music what we call our hearts


and swallow my favorite moments call our lives The New Republic of Hoopla


keep our hopes up O HOW WE KEEP OUR HOPES UP and sing each


other our favorite pop songs      I’m singing us into forever-hood because we


can never die we can never die we will live forever in the shade.


NATE SLAWSON is the author of Panic Attack, USA (YesYes Books, 2011) and a couple of chapbooks. He lives in Chicago.