I Stole You a Poem but It’s Really Me Asking You to Watch Movies With Me

Inspired by Bob Schofield’s WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE ABOUT LOVE WITH PLENTY CITATIONS and the practice of newspaper blackouts created by Austin Kleon.

You like to look for things
no one ever sees1
and let me tell you:
I won’t disappoint you.2
But you’ve got to understand
some people stay invisible for a reason
and I’ll have to go soon.
my dad says3
people just want to stay
saved!4 but
I can’t deal with the whole
‘we face our monsters5 bravely and
though it looks like we’re about to lose we
win at the very last moment and
everything is explained in a succinct paragraph and
the curtains close as the lights go out and
no one questions anything’ bit.
It’s too tidy and
unrealistic and
that’s why I have trouble.6
I need new stories7 where the itch of confusion isn’t
always satisfied and sometimes
the story is just bloodied hopeless
but you can’t just ask people why8
they devour one another9
can you?
Can I
ask you something?
What do people scream when
they see you10 coming?
I really need to hear it.11
I’ve been trying to tell people I love this thing
that scares me shitless but everyone says
I’m in too deep and
if I don’t come up for air soon
there will be drowning
but I can’t believe them because
look at this story:
aren’t we doing that already? and
what will we do12 with this mess of red
suffocating us? and dammit
how can you be so terribly
knowing the only thing that stands between us and death14
are these bodies?

She looks at me
(you can see me?15)
and opens her mouth and here
come the answers I probably won’t know how to hold.

“One: Yes. I see you.
Two: Don’t leave me16. Okay?”

“Three: People scream:
Are you fucking kidding me?17
something about dead people18
I can’t remember which, I
always get confused.

Four: What else? Right:
Four: How can I be so happy?”

She coughs,
rubs the side of her nose.
There’s a pause–

“God,” she says,
grabs my hand,

–then the truth19:
“It’s such a beautiful day.20


1. Amelie, Rise of the Guardians
2. Pitch Perfect
3. Pitch Perfect
4. The Incredibles and/or Saved!
5. Pacific Rim
6. Amelie
7. Beginners
8. Mean Girls
9. Snowpiercer
10. Monsters vs. Aliens
11. The Dead Girl
12. Gone Girl
13. Terribly Happy
14. Prisoners
15. Rise of the Guardians
16. Coraline
17. Bridesmaids
18. The Sixth Sense
19. Beginners
20. It’s Such a Beautiful Day

Contributing Editor

Alexis Smithers is a twenty one year old explosion of messes. They are queer black writer that was published in a book about how horses heal (Wild at Heart by Heather Kirby), and has work that can be found on theEEEL. Fun facts: they tied a pillowcase to their back and tried to fly after seeing Sky High, their mantra can be found in Wreck-It Ralph, The Babadook, or Orphan Black (depending on the day) and they’re terrified of mostly everything but art makes the fear easier to hold.