// a mood (board)

Stephon Lawrence

 [note: this part includes two poems, omg she wrote!!] [is that a spoiler? it feels…expected]

mood board

above: a moodboard. consider this range of emotion as i make a poem out of angsty notes app drafts. 

i bought two new notebooks in august 2021. i thought the physical act of writing would motivate me to fill every. single. page. 

they’re still empty njkcugrbvdnkl


i think, in a moment where it felt like life stopped, could stop for real without warning, where i was left in an indefinite pause, but still being told i needed to move, or i would waste all of my time (and expensive schooling), i had started to question how much of my life i’ve even been truly present for. which feels self-help-y (but i needed help!) also, it’s been pointed out to me that if you live life, you can always write about it later—wild. that is though, how i ended up with at least, this. 

 i won’t go on too long, there are (unfinished) poems to read.

6.15.20 - 6.15.21 // and on::::::and on:::::::::::::::and…..

the electrical lines got mad loud
maybe a pigeon
got shocked
it sounded so much like a whistle like
an ayo ma...poor pigeon
a scratchy throat
nasal drip
a sinus x-ray
desperately sucking in air
we outside
but only a little

my jaw has never been so clenched
the feeling of teeth pushing into each other
bone on bone heavy pressure
she’s so snatched
she has a cavity

human capital management
via zoom meeting
the discomfort of home

i clip peeling acrylic off my nails
and shut my eyes as the pieces shoot
across the room
too fast to see where they land
the wall behind me
ricocheting off lamps
their path undiscerning
bouncing off the lens of my glasses
i jump and my heart rate spikes

my optometrist tells me
be careful with your left eye
if you lose it you’re fucked
but that’s not fully the case
no one seems to know what’s up with my eyes


a neck
a migraine
unrelenting :::::::::::

an uncontrollable breakout
along my jaw // and right cheek
i pick and squeeze relentlessly

i hear of death
i hear it reopening

i force open the largest pimple on my cheek
and watch it ooze
i wish i had developed a more productive stress response
everyone else has a hobby now
i have another scab

i put retinol in the open wound
and it stings
i can’t fathom the look my esthetician will give me


despair spiral

i do not dream of labor
but it is what i wake up to

a persisting violent dream leaves me unsettled in my skin
i’ve tried speaking it aloud

no one believes their daughters
we’re collateral

a marker of someone else’s moral standing
the household prize, pride, or representative
none of these are paid positions

if a daughter:
has a hobby
too many friends
too few friends
takes a picture
takes a picture and loves it
takes a picture and hates it
doesn’t want a 9-5
only wants a 9-5
speaks softly
speaks loudly
it’s a problem

in the pit of my stomach the leeches i’ve swallowed are rioting and hungry
i wrongly swallow slugs to feed the leeches
nightly they all crawl back up into my throat and i gag until morning
oomf suggested i journal about it
so now i cough at least one slime-
ball up a night and press it into a clean page
there i’ve done it, depression solved
thank you to the mutual who suggested!
i feel so relieved.

//……it goes

i wonder
what is more stagnant
than sitting at a desk
doing nothing rly
blocking out casual recaps of the news
forced empathy for black death
i say forced bc—there’s a lot of concentration involved ya know?
lots of me me me’s in a conversation where—anyway
never veering from a routine set out
to whittle
you down
to nothing
what happens if i become a freelancer

life is rly just spending money isn’t it

sometimes i think my friends are raising me
better than my parents
is that unfair?
it’s just ::: i’m only now learning
about having self-esteem
thinking about everything i have to un-learn
and i’m pissed
why the fuck was i taught to be ashamed
of everything
i just want to shake ass freely

idk i’ve just been
now that i have all this *free* time
sasha says i should keep asking the questions
i’d like to think i’m fuller now
than i was
it’s not by much
don’t get too hype
all this ongoing work

high percentage emptiness

i’m actually begging for empty-headed-ness
no thoughts just vibes
seems nice

//////////////////////////hol’ on /////////////////////////////////////////
i’d like to be vain for a moment
i think i’d like to reap the benefit of my beauty
what is the exchange rate on that?

ideally i’d like to take a month
away from everything
just to cry
imagine me alone
in a hotel room
the kind of release
i never thought i’d be
gasping for
is that black girl luxury?????

stop perceiving me, i beg
i beg i beg i beg
the desperate pathetic thing i am

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