Three Poems / by Luis Neer

portrait of a nation without any people

i moved my futon out of my bedroom this afternoon
will be getting a bed soon but tonight there is nothing

i moved my typewriter into the place where the futon was
beside the red milk crate that holds my records
i read the words on their spines and realized i’d never done that before

listening to obscure sad indie girl dirges made to be heard while dying on the floor
the room has never been so sparse
it looks like a nation
nations also have blue walls but those walls are made out of water

lying on the floor my first thought is “i’ve been here before but i’m older now”
but i might not be
same problems hook tendrils to my eyelids
same chemicals splash stains across my head

to my therapist i repeat myself
i suspect he suspects that i get too comfortable
sinking into quicksand

an odd thing is to imagine loneliness as fatal
odder still, after that, to lie in one place





unnamed poem about thinking about dying

one foot in front of the other,

that’s how i enter my own wounds:

plunging forward, eyes closed, moving simply
through the buzzing exterior.

atrocious how the mind can make anything fluid seem solid.
that staircase is now a wall.

thought about dying in civics but this was physically difficult.

our brains push us away from death.
meanwhile the walls lights and blur of voices point me in that direction.

i want to accuse someone of hypocrisy but the physical world
could be innocent. so define natural.

thought about dying in precalculus and my teacher told me to stop sleeping.
i wasn’t sleeping, but this isn’t the real issue.

what am i supposed to tell my mother when she asks why i look down?

i can’t tell her my body is turning into hydrogen.

i watch my shoes move
as i pass through, what, an aviary.

some people seem to know i’m in there.

they just point at the birds and say, look, there he is—

they’re confused. they’re walking somewhere, too.





fragment from SURGE

My sad self
sitting cross-legged on the pavement
scribbling in a gray notebook
in the shadow of the stadium
imagining ten thousand images
to illustrate the air which has no face
I scrawl a hot air balloon
I scrawl a set of brass scales,
one plate pressed to the ground
It’s anger
but anger is nothing but pain
and sustained confusion
An obsidian flask
A dagger held backwards





Luis Neer is a high school student and the author of This is a Room Where You Wait for New Language, out from Ghost City Press on October 27. Find him on twitter @LuisNeer.