I think you look at the same moon everywhere.

Written by J.M. Chadwick


The roads are chalked with salt and the trees are just skeletons–
I’m always afraid they may pick up their bones and become burglars. Streetlights
flicker and fade, the lake is frozen over. The restless summer days
are a graveyard in the park, bitter and far away from now. January
never knows how to be graceful. Windswept away
and tousled in the cursing air, January never knows. Had
I learned the dedication of a New England winter, perhaps I
would have never fallen in love with the fall. Though,
I am here now. And I will be here, if you find you need me.

Still, I am crafting designs for the solstice.

I am toying around with Arizona, heavy July. I
have never been to Arizona. I see twisting orange, yellow,
riding in red and sponging the sun. Catching
on fire and wringing it out. Time must feel thick,
and slow, grandfather-clocked and guitar-glossed. Seeing
a world through Coca-Cola bottles–slightly green, slightly blurred–
with the humming of the Earth beneath. I’ve never been one
to wildly want in this way, but I am uncovering the
unbearableness of monotony. There are only so many
lonely streets your camera can shutter at. I think I’d like to find
a new moon to stare at.

What do you think?

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Confessions of a Teenage Half-Heart

Written by J.M. Chadwick


I.

Above are buzzing, white fluorescent lights, and underneath is me, the afternoon girl–full of shine and grit–portraying the American teenager. I am writing this down on receipts at the working man’s store. I am the working man; I am the afternoon girl; I am the American teenager. Golden hour is obstructed by various boxes of assorted sizes, but it still manages to sunburn my skin. It is 4:30 and my name is said over the radio, but it doesn’t sound like my name–my name has never sounded like my name. Watery coffee is still frosting my veins, but time has relapsed. Time is slow and this is why I have never liked being the afternoon girl. By the time I leave, it is dark, and the day has disintegrated. Time is unreasonable and this is why I am jealous of the morning girl and the night boy.

II.

I am typing on a keyboard in a tangy coffee shop, and I cannot decide whether I find more comfort in my music with volume-turned-up-all-the-way-because-I-cannot-hear or the chatter of work breaks and failed study sessions. I am alone, but no one else is. The crinkling of brown paper bags and the beats of conversations that I can overhear remind me that the world is far more than me and my red backpack. Solitude and loneliness are not the same, I think. The view outside the tall window is all cumulus clouds and blue skies, people running stop signs, and my chunky white car–I think I forgot to lock it. I could fall asleep in the warm sunlight if I let myself. Staying here all day feels wrong, but the suburbs lack interesting places for the observers to go to.

III.

It is the brink of the evening and I am in my cold room with my fountain pen and leather notebook. Writing sometimes feels more like the cause than the cure. Trying to locate where your love for something originated is a difficult task when you are notorious for having a bad memory. It doesn’t help that my phone is always on silent. Little everests of dark clothing are strewn about and you know, I think that black and navy go well together, actually. Getting up to turn my record over is an impossible task, but not as horrifying as the prospect of not being cool. Moments are thick but days are thin and I do not know if what I want is still what I want. God, I wish it were late July–thickets of green and stocky air–but January, the skeletal winter, always felt more fitting for a poet like me.

an old letter to october

Written by J.M. Chadwick


good morning 
october,

when i sought out to greet you in the dawn, 
i jumped on top of the morning moon,
hit my head on the jagged edge of a fading star, 
and fell asleep. that’s why you never heard from me.
after i awoke, tear soaked, i ran across the ceiling 
and soaked in the sun spotlight of the upside-down windows.
desperate for life and angry with philosophy,
i decided to dance in the kitchen,
i practically absorbed the floorboards,
(all full of cracks and cobwebs)
but i think maybe my left feet went right.
i thought of you, so i banished myself outside 
and crunched some leaves–leaving wiry autumnal skeletons behind.
october, today i am upset 
that i will never see every single song i know 
sung live in person.
and because i don’t know how to play the violin, 
i bawled to my bed and she told me to be quiet already–you would never say that to me.
my mom put a pumpkin on my porch.
i tapped on it and it sounded empty, but i guess that wouldn’t make sense.
so, i went back into my haunted american dream house
and drew shooting stars on my hands 
(i suppose that is something only august would remember)
but then i cleaned my leather shoes 
and stared at my yellow-eyed cat.
i’m not sure he likes me much.

i am so within and without you, october.

maybe you can help me piece myself together.

all my love, 
talk soon.

Miss Polly

Written by J.M. Chadwick


                                                         and who might you be?             
pleated pants, and an ice sculpture heart
empty, brown barrel eyes
skeletal caffeinated sufferer
grieving unknown ghosts and
humming prosodic pen ink
                                                         and who might you be?
nimble limbs—with calloused heels
a tadpole in a cup of tea
or, a yellow-paged play about a soul
that grew up as a little lamplight
but was actually a wildfire instead
                                                         and who might you be?
the lament of thank you, thank you, thank you
the elegy of sorry, sorry, sorry
a spitting image of an old record
that skips on your favorite part
loud echoes of a little scream
                                                         and who might you be?
seventeen, how could you forget?
all windows down and favorite songs
a foreshadowed ending
(you should have seen it coming)
the world in a wooden jewelry box
                                                         and who might you be?
developed film figures
with assurance and confident exhaustion
always in love with the earth, a girl,
or the simple nature of being
a sunglassed, denim decked, song screamer
                                                         and who might you be?
really, the orange glow of a streetlight
on a 4AM, empty-stomach window
the factory of feelings
that are not in the dictionary
and a wasteland of empty treasure chests



Ambivalence, and a Farewell

Written by J.M. Chadwick – Instagram: @jchadw1ck


Same slanted room, new (still familiar) histrionics.
Dark circles like cracked tar,
inhabit the empty barrel of reflected, brown, pebble eyes.
Is it strange to say—to think, even—
that I don’t mind their appearance anymore?

What is contentment 
without intolerability?
And what is the light that must burnout, or burst,
in order for discomfort 
to not be a consequence of growing up?

I’ll ask the wind, once again,
At what time is inconsistency in psyche
not brushed off as young melodramatics?
And is mending my own imbalance
a case charitable enough for my time?

I have never been able to shelve a theory
until every facet is arranged.
At this juncture, I’ve got my whole life in my head.
Filing away my next movements
and predicting the heartbreaks.

Suddenly, the cell-tower fields
hold my heart in a little box.
I’m hugging the broken blinds 
and watering the run-down roads.
I stare at the moon alone now.

I suppose, the green street signs
must fade from my memory one day.
And the vast blueness of the parking lot sky,
and myself, will teleport to a frame.
This really is the end of it.

A Small Sanctimonious Truth

Written by J.M. Chadwick


On a cerulean midnight, the swan song is sung:

Dearly Misjudged, she said
We gather here and there
Yesterday and tomorrow afternoon
To prepare for the death of a December
And the bereavement of every clock
Join me in a prayer
To send our departed discontentments
To the farthest corners of the sky
And let them haunt us
Forevermore

O holy ghost! 
He interrupts squarely
The holy ghost!
What time is it in the core of the Earth?
What magma melted my heart?
What hour must I reach
To know the grace of equanimity?

Young Lover, her voice mollifying him
Where does your mind roam?
The water of the streams
And the fruits of the greenery
Must be enough for you today
My sincerest regrets
For I cannot give you answers
Only speckles of grief 
And ideas of what to do with it

But who are you, messenger?
Their voice shrill
And what is your purpose here?
Who are you to diminish the minutes
We were not even finished with?

My intentions are golden, strident Juvenescent
To patch up your broken bridges
With sticks and stones
Tell me, could you do any better?
Could you view the universe
With lavender wheat eyes
And tell it: you have to keep moving on
Could you?

The aureate dawn rose above the clouds, and the lake was empty.