Space Cadet

I dreamed of being an astronaut,
drifting through space like floating
through the sea without salt water.

I still dream of seeing the Earth from the Milky Way.
Of exploring space, free of constraints,
the laws of physics.

independent
and alone.

I stare into the stars from the sea,
immersed in the salt water.
Rolling with the waves,
suspended in the current,
holding my breath till my lungs ache,
alone with my thoughts.


“Your head is always in the clouds,”
lost in imagination.

2013.

Hey Future Lauren! (alternatively, Dear Reader)

It’s a late April evening and you are trying to reflect on what you wrote for this semester. I am sure that you (well, me.) will look back on this and say “god lauren why were you always such a dweeb?” You’re not a dweeb, you’re trying to be genuine. You had feelings that matter, damn it! And you wrote about them! Maybe not well the first time but that’s what drafts were for! I’ll look back on this letter and say “were you drunk?” to which I will answer my own question: no. I’m not. I’m exhausted and burnt out.

I have been in school for 16 out of my 21 years on this earth. Not even 21 years! My birthday is the first which is before this will be due. Keep this in mind as you read your own writing, and cut yourself some slack- you don’t know what you don’t know yet. Long division scared you once and that passed, so this will too. The burned out feeling will pass. You will get some of your traction back, you will hopefully feel like to start to matter more. Hopefully you will stop grumbling at people who tell you to stop stressing out. They try to care about you, they just didn’t have sixty pages of revisions to do in less than a week. They just don’t understand. Cut them some slack.

As far as writing, you did pretty well as far as you can tell. You struggle with poetry but with every draft, you tried to write more images and put them in there. You tried to show a lot and tell less than you had in the draft before. You strived especially to be concise in your writing, which you struggle with in other classes. You hated poetry significantly less than you do with other classes. Your rhythm is still off but hey, you will survive. You can always revise. You probably won’t, but you can.

Go take a nap or something.

You(rs,)

Lauren J. Hurlock
April, 2013.

to stumble

I’ve never been known for grace,
walking or waltzing, stumbling, recovery,
an expert at saving face,
skinned knees, cut palms, hurt pride.

But I had trouble keeping pace,
trying to not to forget your tricks, or
skinned knees, cut palms, hurt pride.

But it’s the thought of you
that had me stumbling into love, unlucky.
I’ve never been known for grace, nor
for skinned knees, cut palms, hurt pride.

2012.

kentucky mule.

I feel the words rumbling in my stomach, churning, bubbling,
threatening to make the journey from my stomach and out of
my mouth, puking fill words and syllables I shouldn’t say:

So, hey, and bray like an ass. it’s just the mule unbridled.
Watch him withdraw, dive behind walls, turn away. Suddenly,
I’m sure I am going to throw up more than just “um.”

I’ve done it again, always saying too much, too soon.
I’m painfully aware of every over share. Let me start over.
I care, but let’s pretend: I forget names, I couldn’t care less.
Until the whiskey makes me miss you again. Take a long
sip from the metal mug. cut my lip on the the edge,
sharp as my tongue, the taste of copper in my mouth
mixed with the bitters and bitterness
that comes with wearing my heart on my sleeve, and
all my emotions on my face.
Another day, another night,
another mule, another try.

january 2014.

sleeping

I don’t know why I can’t sleep. The answer leaves me wide awake for the first time all day.

I dream only of monsters,
and arctic stormy seas.
The odor of anesthesia
seeping through my skin,
gathering condensation.
greet the morning with a cry,
soaked in sweat and trembling