Signed in your cursive hand,
Each letter a musical note
So soft and so lovely,
How befitting an ode.
But darling you’re black and white
And try as I might,
I can’t seem to get it right:
Blonde hair but how blonde?
Green eyes but what green?
5”8’ I can see in the mirror,
‘Kinda short for a fella,’ I’d say
If I didn’t already know ya;
We’d stand shoulder to shoulder, but
For you I’d make an exception:
A song by Leonard Cohen.
And to be perfectly practical,
I don’t have to stand on your books
To kiss you though that’d be cute—
Catch me if I fall, though maybe I would fall
Just to fall into you.
Then we’d both be on the floor,
I’d land on your chest,
Crease that three-piece suit,
Tousle your hair, loosen that tie,
Tease till finally you pin me down,
Messed-up hair falling in your eyes
Pale gold and baby emerald, diamond-bright.
Blonde but how blonde?
A darkish blonde I imagine, the prettiest kind Save for Marilyn’s.
Green but what green?
The clear bright green of a river at the height of summer I imagine, the kind doomed Lovers would like if I’m Wright.
You’d make a dashing actor Love,
Actually they cast those to play you and your characters:
Leo and Tom and Brad and Matt,
Million dollar men, young and beautiful,
Blessed with beauty and rage.
Hollywood’s love bloomed late,
Poor fate, you thought
Broke and broken, maybe long forgotten
—Never more false! Love,
You’re alive again, risen from the debt
They owe to you.
Your name, your books,
You’re Lazarus wearing Adonis’ face;
Boy, the shows and movies they make
You have to see to believe.
Your timeless quintet and more,
In jackets of turquoise I adore,
Crazy in love, j’adore
F. Scott Fitzgerald in elegant font,
Honestly I’ve never been so fond—
Oh! Tender was
Your heart till it fell apart,
Broken instrument I fancy
Mending into art!
Still art thou black and white,
Long ago departed from life.
Love thee true I do
Yet be thy wife
I never could—
All I can do is write.
Youth is vitality, excess collagen, fluids and oil from our pores. Our restlessness feels edgeless like the galaxy, scary and exciting like exploding stars, new like unopened books.
Youth is arrogance—we act as if we invented sex, and mock the old for their weary bones. But they were once young like us and was it not from them you and I and our parents sprang?
Youth is rage, against our predecessors’ norms, against our parents’ wishes, against the preachers and teachers who know not what it is to be young today no more than theirs did, against our own better judgement.
Youth is power: it is power harnessed from our vitality, arrogance, and rage. We can change the future because it is ours—because, if not us, who?
Listening to Lana Del Rey on summer nights: a wearable mood / like slipping on a cloak of indulgent sadness / a shift of persona, swift as Mystique / a sinking and falling into place, like being swallowed into the depths of a dark rose, petals spiralling into infinity / memories unfolding, genuine or embellished, shrinking and blooming like youth on rewind / FIN.
A mood board inspired by Shakespeare’s tragic heroine Ophelia (Hamlet). Her madness-led demise by drowning was deemed one of the Bard’s most breathtaking death announcements and, with the aid of this ethereal depiction on canvas by Victorian painter Sir John Everett Millais, her death lives to this day, immortalised by Romantics then and now.
There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men’s fingers call them:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.