The Crucible


Box Car Vodka Blues

by Jarrett Thompson

There is a controversy seeding in me;

the lines drawn on the palms of my hand

tell a story and Ain’t I a lover?

My head, filled with hopes and dreams,

I put more time into planning my

then than I did my now.

My heart is filled with your blood;

my pressure beats to your rhythm,

creating symphonies, aesthetically and vocally.

I reminisce on the day we met, how good it felt

to love you and me at the same time and Ain’t I a Lover?

Man said that men ain’t supposed to show emotion;

love is the act of doing without reciprocity.

Man said that words are the gap

between man and woman; because while

she holds onto every word,

man moves to brainstorm.

Here I am,

sitting in a dark room, alone, aging.

I’m 35, and I haven’t found anything to live for.

I write to keep my thoughts intact,

I read to memorize the rhyme schemes.

It is not too often that I leave my cellar;

the rays of the sun burn my skin.

The cold of the night stops my heart,

I stay in one place so that I can write.

I write best in my mind when I am asked to recite a rhyme,

when I am required to state an ideology.

I ramble when I am alone in my cellar thinking about my

own shortcomings as a man.

Here is when I feel most alive because I know

that while there are people of the world marching in one accord,

I am of the world beating my own drum and writing my own lyrics.

I wonder what is wrong with love that it is not befitting enough to please any prospect. I ponder if love became so available

that no one person desires the very thing that is at their fingertips? Love.

Why is it so easy for a child to look at an old box of matches and

imagine a race car?

Why is it that I can see myself in this cellar as bones rotting,

I imagine myself as a part of the ground.

I can hear the leaky faucets and squeaky pipes

I see the playful mice.

I can see the cob-webs forming on the wall

as the basement spider weaves his way up and down

the center of the web where the stout of the web began.

I look onto a blank piece of paper and begin to write;

this will be a letter to my depressor.

“Dear lover, you said

that no matter when the

season changed, I could

look to my left, then to

my right and it would

be your scent blowing in

the wind. I did not succumb

to this life inside

of a cellar without first

experiencing the world.

My love, I was assured

that it would be your

image in the sky guiding

me towards the North

Star where you’d shine

in case I get lost in you.

I followed you! I let you

lead me here writing

angrily because according

to your words

my love wasn’t obvious

enough. It wasn’t feminine

enough or it was

too masculine. My love

wasn’t skinny enough,

all the while slim enough

to please you. It gets cold

down here in this old

cellar and all I can do

is recount how bad you

were but so God damn

good all at once.”

I remember the first day we met;

you made me feel like I was a marvel but I wondered

if that was a good thing. Built like a Cadillac

with a smile as big as the red sea. I’ll never forget

the way you would clasp your tiny hand inside of mine as

if my hands were that much bigger than yours.

Afraid to let myself love you back,

I hid from you and now I write to keep you alive in my mind.

This cellar is where I house all of my insecurities,

my fears, my love of love, and my passion for you.

I will never leave this unless I am leaving it for you.