The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Tome On The Range

Two Poems By: Spencer Madsen
Karl Smith , April 13th, 2014 06:13

This weeks two poems are taken from Brooklyn-based publisher, editor and writer Spencer Madsen's forthcoming collection, You Can Make Anything Sad

Spencer Madsen made a book called You Can Make Anything Sad. It is available from Publishing Genius Press for some money but you can follow him on twitter for free @spencermadsen.

His first book of poetry was called a million bears. He is founding editor of Sorry House, an independent publisher based in Brooklyn.

Monday, February 18th, 2013

There’s a purposelessness to most actions, and yet we’re wholly responsible for each and every one we make.

Humans are mostly on autopilot. Our brains are Plan B.

There’s a beautiful disaster coming for all of us.

It will be bright like the morning and terrible like hanging
up without saying bye.

Humor is the most malignant coping mechanism because
it obscures what we should really consider by supplying
a passive way of processing feelings into sound.

What if instead of laughing at irony, we got scared.

What if that fear made everything more fragile.

What if we were nice to each other again.

What if I reached over and pulled you close.

Would you shirk away.

Would you laugh?


Friday, March 8, 2013

I told her I’m sorry I’m the thing you like.

She touched my ears and poured me coffee.

We walked over to my bed and sat on it.

She told me I have a lot of beauty marks.

I said I never call them that because it’s conceited and
inaccurate.

Calling them birthmarks is more appropriate because they
are permanent and blameless.

She said, “There are so many on your arms.”

This morning is, I think, the last snow of the season.

Saturday is going to be sunny and almost sixty degrees.

She and I made a lot of plans.

They include: walking outside, buying a plant, going to
Ikea, going to the Prospect Park with my brother’s dog,
cutting my hair, baking a pie, listening to Slowdive and
watching a movie.

But it happens in every friendship, and in relationships
it’s even worse, that first moment where you feel it, that
there’s no curiosity anymore, no feelings to share or
things to do, and the park bench beneath your bodies
becomes especially hard, and one of you looks at the
other with eyes that are all apologies.

It’s never like how you thought it would be for as long as
you thought it would.

Everyday, satisfied or not, is comprised of opportunities
missed.

My forehead, marked permanently by attempts at
conveying sincerity, and the way that, as a kid, I learned
more complex and vulnerable ways of describing how I
felt, while coming to understand that quicker and simpler
descriptions are considered more polite, that these
descriptions of things, real or not, don’t lead me
anywhere, like the vaguest of allegories, how one thing
can be compared to the identification of the thing itself,
how so much that matters ceases to upon any
graduation, like deepening into oneself, falling asleep at
night and not being able to remember what you did that
day, how getting older transforms from an
accomplishment to a hushed source of guilt, how the
memories you have are always wasted.

But you can write a whole book.

You can call it anything you want.

You can print it out and stare at it.

You can avoid anyone you want to.

And on TV you swear you heard the President say that
headaches are the growing pains of our emotions.

But by the time you read this I will be someone older and newer.

I will be ultimate. I will be somewhere else.

Beginning to blend with TV-colored walls.

Things can only get worse.

A loving kind of silence.

You, having left, then returned.

Me, having stayed, then stayed.

Mathematics and old movies.

The deaths of centuries inside you.

A hug that only comes apart.

A book you want to pull together.

A story that dies in your hands.

Apologies and thanks.

It’ll be a new year again soon.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.