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. 

 Lauren Hunter

from The forest the woods the ocean the sea


i put a sea

in the woods

hid the ocean in my forest and i'll wait there 

for you.

i'm a raft beating an ill-advised dock

to splinter

wet wood

on chopped water

                        chop fall

the quiet lapping 

aortic organ


from The forest the woods the ocean the sea



snow on the water is funnier

my ocean goads each cloud like,

get me with your best shot


these ticklish

flimsy flakes

these holey raindrops


sea doesn't care

how much you cry, she ain't

changing—give whatever you want

human, every day is Thursday

to me.






from The forest the woods the ocean the sea  


i talk with the forest:

i tell ya, i don't miss television
or subways or street corners
or even elevators

    but trees? they repeat

i wave my arms incredulous
how could i miss trees?




my brother visits 
on what i think is
every fifth Sunday

he brings bread and 
cotton dresses; drink

my sisters come wave his boat
to the dock

i send him back with 
letters of my love

tell them i'll be home soon
i lie through earnest smiles

ask what souvenirs 
they’d like me 
to bring

I love souvenirs. I collect everything; I'm basically a hoarder of the sentimental & it's all meaningful & important to me. For years, I stole a spoon every day that I wanted to especially remember: special occasions, new favorite songs, bizarre inside jokes. I try to save everything because my mind is not the vice-like vault I'd like it to be. But my most important souvenir is probably a ceramic unicorn my dad bought me on a trip to the circus when I was three. Ringling Brothers had a "Real Unicorn" and I fell for it: I've loved & believed in unicorns my entire life because of a genetically altered goat. It's horrifying but an important part of who I am. And the figurine is still one of the most beautiful & comforting things I own.


Lauren Hunter is from North Carolina and lives in Brooklyn. She received her MFA in poetry from The New School and works with the team at Telephone Books as their Managing Editor. Lauren is the co-founder/curator of the Electric Pumas, a reading series/revolution in New York City. Her chapbook, My Own Fires, was released by Brothel Books in 2011.