Hey to all the Pulp Babes and poetry lovers! My name is Essine, and I’m the new Pulp Zine poetry editor. As my first job as new editor, I wanted to restart one of my fave things about the zine: Late Night Poetry Club. This collection of poem from staff and guests based on a monthly theme is going to be AMAZING, and I’m so excited for everyone to read the totally incredible submissions! This month’s theme is Leaving– I chose it for a bunch of reasons, BUT, one of the main ones is that September represents a lot of different kinds of “leaving” to me. Whether it’s the retreat of summer, leaving behind an old school or grade or age, September is filled with a lot of beginnings. Leaving isn’t always physical either, though– it can be mental, imaginary, small, gigantic. It can cause growth, and sometimes destroy it. Nearing the end of September, when my first dose of leaving has just begun, I think it fits perfectly. – xoxo, Essine
go to the garden
In The Absence of Swollen Nights
If sunsets were potions and we both drank one up at the same time,
does that mean that despite the come and go hourglass
that dictates these calendar days,
we’re still intrinsically linked to that one slice of moments?
Flipping magazines, white t-shirts never go out of style, and
our heads still in the bell jar thick with smoke of forever.
We sit on parked cars, in parked cars;
they’re expert catalysts to the screen lives we strive for.
Feelings are tacky, love is stupid, so our sentiments are graffiti.
Whoever told you that this is the beginning, that this is the end,
must have either been just born or dying, or else both are wrong.
It goes on, it always goes on
we learn that every time we are too busy to call.
In the absence of what we used to be,
we feed ourselves full of novelties
and precious pasts become funny anecdotes.
Missing is for milk cartons,
not for blue Saturdays.
The adolescence we remember is
a pendulum between ennui and elation
and bleak belief we swear upon like blood brothers
that we won’t fade out like ancient stars.
We believe it too.
Big city byes
I remember when I wrote
in the most angelic way.
I’m incapable of that without you there,
especially when I’ll be gone
in less than a week.
Of all the things you left in me,
I mostly still ache to know the tone
you speak in to your mother,
or the laugh only heard
around your sisters.
I never asked you how
you like your eggs—and
I’m sorry for that if nothing else.
you threw all your shit into black garbage bags for 3 hours and came out with your smile all poised like some miss america and said you loved everyone, bye and we all laughed, your hair all poised like miss america and he said “see you tomorrow” and we were all playing cards and laughing, you tried to runaway twice before but you weren’t 18 then and now you hauled out all your black garbage bag shit but i can’t remember if dad helped and hucked it into the back of your car us all laughing playing cards remembering the two times you flipped the coffee table, knowing how you loved to bluff to get what you want, knowing that you left once you turned 13 and the house was one loud scream, i thought i’d see you 3 days later but i forgot you had been gone since you were 13
things 2 do:
1. black white window grid
sew verdant leaves on your lips
now wash it all off
2. leave your eyes at home
right by the bedside table
then watch the world
3. when you’re out of milk
wrap yourself up in arms
and squeeze till you feel
4. try it once a day
let the saliva trickle
know your own substance
5. teeth stained red berry
run the ferns between your toes
peel back your own doubt
6. feel the rug beneath you
pushing fibers through your veins
let your breath fold in
7. make valleys with your heels
not in brown, but in deep blue
stars stuck in callouses
8. raise your little hairs
know towards what they are looking
turn your eyes ablaze
9. don’t use sandpaper
pine needles from angry pores
love every part
10. pull the sliver out
gather all your fists as one
and release the bright gust
In Which You Board A Plane And Can’t Stop Thinking Of It Crashing
and you can’t stop thinking of the would-be life you are leaving behind and you can’t stop noticing the relaxed “cool dad” type figure sitting next to you and why he’s leaving on the same flight as you and what he can’t stop thinking about and if he, too, is worried about what will happen to his sleep schedule or if the man he used to kiss in the opposite time zone will remember his lips or even his name in two week’s time and if the plane does come crashing down, will it happen in a blaze because you never liked for things to get too hot or will you end up in the ocean, because you never could swim and at some point you cry but during the entire five hours on board you never once go to the toilet or go to sleep and you can’t stop thinking of how you probably should so you close your eyes just in case and it feels like you’re falling but then you land in some city masquerading as home even though the first time you felt at home was pressed against someone’s chest but they’re perpetually moving three hours away from you and you spend two weeks in this city in a state of undress and denial because suburbia is the new scar on your forearm and you’ve been crying his name out on your pillow for hours and you don’t bother to change the sheets and you eat the same thing for dinner everyday but don’t go to sleep until seven A.M. until you board another plane and even then you can’t stop thinking of it crashing and of how you should’ve loved harder, first yourself and then all the others and the hug you give your family is lackluster and limp and nineteen years overdue and your passport photo is so ugly and will look worse five hours away from “home” and you find you’re not as anxious as you were two weeks ago because maybe now crashing is starting to sound like a good idea to you because maybe then you wouldn’t have time to think of everything you’ve left behind and the ‘almost’s’ that stay eight hours away will then become ‘never’s’ because you’ve crashed and you’ve burned and you’re dead and maybe that will be easier so at some point you turn off the Beyoncé album and stop writing in your journal about him and you close your eyes and it feels like you’re falling but not in the same way you got used to.
This way doesn’t feel nearly as good.
[ opposing forces
be the reason
of your lips
collide with the
of your tears.
walking out the door
dew of dawn,
be the reason
you are a growing cell and i
am the wings of an airplane
always moving always leaving
always seeing new places flying
over paved streets breathing air
no one else breathes but you oh god
you are fluctuating you are an
unpredictable force of nature you keep growing
while i keep sinking
i am falling i am falling i am falling,
when i crash i can only think of your lips
and i am so alone that i cannot think straight.
I hope you enjoyed our first new Late Night Poetry Club, and thanks for every submission! For any poetry or poetry pitches, please e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org! We love reading your stuff!