A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

           Bianca Stone


The Future is Here


Man burns at a certain degree

but I always burned a little slower.

When I went into school

I left a trail of blackened footprints.

There was knuckle down the side of the hallway

to my classroom of spelling words, never starred.

At the end of the earth

we’ll be locked in our own spelling mistakes.

Our arms around the legs of our mother

so she won’t leave. Our heads filled with beer, the light

receding. What kind of death is reserved for me?

The green plastic soldier has his gun up against everything.

And what does one do with a gun really?

I’ve only held three in my entire life.

The third I held was the first I used.

I was with Liana and her father, deep in the woods of Vermont

when she was staying with me in the heap.

I shot at a beer can until my hands went numb.

And I loved her the whole time.

With car accidents and barbiturates. The way

she got wasted and knocked her teeth

into her lap and told me

I loved her too much—what was all that?

What man does is build whole universes out of miniscule

disasters and educational degrees. I have mine in an enormous envelope

two feet behind me. 

My name looks good in a gangster font.

It makes me want to alight on the thigh of my beloved

like a moth

because I know all careful grief

comes out from behind the thigh

and makes a fist at the grey sky above Brooklyn.

The destroyed continue

into the snow-filled future, shoveling.

And love is either perpetually filthy

or intermittently lewd.

I’m sweeping the entire apartment because it’s mine forever.

And that’s valid, too. Domestic eroticisms. The way

he gets up out of bed before you

and puts on clothes and can’t find his keys.

All of it, without parents, without children, without roommates.

It feels good to get something

back. And the whole feels

detrimental and complicated and forever stimulating.

Which is why we live—and why we send out

balloons into the atmosphere

with notes tied to them that say:

Nothing bad can touch this life

that I haven’t already imagined.


Driving Our New Car


Orchard, a beautiful word I keep in myself.

Like the word Jellyfish. And the word Chimney.

I looked in the mirror this morning and felt my age

like a tremor from a distant fundraiser. My face

dropped in a glass. My cheeks, distant burning ships.

And it is the month you and I have joined together

to not drink. But today I am hung over. 

I imagine a small stage in my mind

where I perform precise homeopathic acts,

the brain systems like wild apple trees,

the moon erasing itself with a wet thumb—

Our car is so clean, I marvel that it is ours.

Your father had the wipers and break pads replaced

before he set us into it,

two shy giants locking into their ship.

We drove it to the city, filled with vanity and fear, your hand

on my leg. When I was a child there were always

McDonalds wrappers on the floor. The dog slept on the back window.

When we rolled down the hill

my brother or I would pull the brake

and wait for mom to come back—lady of delicious sweets,

smoking out the window—

the car was always 

an extension of her: parent, vessel, the

sticky seatbelts forever released—

And all night I shouted at friends from college. I stood

in the old cafeteria. I could see in the distance, also,

that the world was ending

in dark explosions of feathers. 

When I woke up

I drove our car slowly around the blocks

looking for a new spot. I watched the street cleaner go by

like a fast, dumb dinosaur

that eats only carrion.


Relaxing Sounds of the Ocean


the body a soft grape

punctured with television

the foray of pleasure

the handsomest man at your loins

sensing that Relaxing Sounds of the Ocean

is not as good as Jungle Birds of Nature and Small Creatures of Tranquility

your mind suffering into a colorful powder swept carefully into a dustpan by Batman and Robin

the champion of a high school football team running his finger along the edge of his lover

Gods consulting clouds

evaporating into the mouths of airplanes

Ben telling you about the known universe

his maps of star systems

his passages about the future

his own psychic teenage heart still agonizing

your twin brother a billion miles away ordering a micro-brew

the women in the locker room

with areas of bright red skin


their hair blowing back like their standing on the edge of a cliff

about to save the world

or end it

I have a teeny tiny red book of Shakespeare's Henry V that I got at the Globe Theatre in London when I was backpacking alone in my early 20's. I was extremely withdrawn back then and I read that teeny book all the time like a bible.

Bianca Stone is the author of several poetry chapbooks and an ongoing poetry-comic series from Factory Hollow Press. She is the illustrator of Antigonick, a collaboration with Anne Carson and her first full-length collection of poetry “Someone Else’s Wedding Vows” is forthcoming from Tin House/Octopus Books. She lives in Brooklyn.