Apartment Poetry Quarterly

4A              4B              4C              4D              4E              4F


4E Erica Lewis





love it ain’t for the weak of heart
who writes about a central happiness anyway
there is a new real in my life
and this is like being baptized again
when i think of you and me i’m always worried
graveyards and now the whole
thomas jefferson sally hemmings of it all
you don’t want to think about where you’re from
you want to think about where you’re going
i’m writing to you from 1977
i’m writing to you from 1991
paper trails on a mountain
opening your lungs
and only you will understand why
to air the past
today is a day for someone else

but year end lists make me nervous
like what have i missed
i don’t know where we were going in that pacer
coasting down the hill listening to juicy
i like it i like it
but everything slows down
everything stands still
It isn’t any clearer to say it straight out
There's love, but anyway
yes that’s what was missing
this song for you
i am your autopilot
The hard part is all the stars

Sorry. Tonight I can't do the real work
bring it back around
to the beauty of it
now i know the money’s gone
that things do not stand still
or time
or people
we sweat out all the wildness
indian princess
moonshine roots
someday this pain
will never be able to follow you


*"love you like a brother"


who ever liked the swaggering lo-fidelity style they began with
i’m not the same as i always was
but there’s still a lover in me
someone to help you put your lipstick on
we go through our lives being such sensitive creatures
I’m not thinking about it anymore
I’m so glad to be out of “loops”
a gang sign framing your face
isn’t it strange how people never form a whole
standing in the sand
staring at the sea
it’s too easy
to think about georgia
all of our sad strange connections
progress in a non specific way
this has all been terrible and beautiful
and we’re all in it
Everyone’s in bed, everyone’s in their house
once we went to the same party and wore the same shirt

and everything changes at 4:30am
you’re supposed to give into the bass
but i’m not ready to say anything
because we don’t know anything
what became of
the fucking rain
the fucking snow
this long sense of human experience.

maybe you realized you were always drowning
i’m just trying to figure out whether or not to shoot
a re-jigged line-up
the way we look like horses
chewing through the narrative
Smashing face-first into the mortality
In the old sense of awe
standing over the expanses
of time, the impossible depth of it all.
depth of it all. But I've found that depth
has been it, too
So the not-sameness of yourself
sending you love
enough to weep over it
enough to weep over it
from time to time.


*"crazy eyes"


we should talk
ohio makes me cry too
like those studio rock opuses of the 1970s
gravity controlling the way we fall
Someday i’ll find the right words
milk and honey and cap’n crunch
[do you see ]the the contradiction between yesterday and today
where divided notions and somehow people stay together
inundated by the speed of things
Sweet sweet baby…
this is such a strange place to be in life right now
clearing the sample

saying the wistful shit you know they won’t
that “the river only knows to carry on.”
when i was young i always wanted to be 32
i just thought it was the age when things got comfortable
but some places feel temporary
because they don’t reflect who you are
now something else becomes real
we should ride out
we should all get down
and make it rain
make it rain

horses always know something
they don’t want to love you
they just want to hold you
that slow motion vibe
we have the same truth
we go out into the barrenness to have
a sort of come to jesus moment
childhood and everything simultaneously
it’s the little joys
it’s the little joys i want to hold up
i don’t care about what we are or aren’t or are going to be
i just want someone to be with
like lord I miss you
like this is gospel
a loop of Rolling Stones songs
the smell of oranges
the way kids move
the way we stay sweet
they look so very happy
that side of us


*"have i been away too long"


What is the worst song ever written?
the mysteries that bring human beings together or keep them apart.
the willful shit you say
music so rarely self-contained
music for literally feeling torn apart inside, for literally feeling
like the world is collapsing
in that sweet window
please comment on the role of writing in your life
I like to imagine those conversations
set in the conference rooms of our day
so i’m out on the grind
in the 415
and this is called living
i feel lucky that i lived
happy new year
we're already way far behind
on our long poems that are elegies

it is the year of dark horses
it is rare to love the person you kiss
it’s the chain reaction
acting all holy when you’re full of holes
tinny drum machines
a palm full of violets
playing with my friends
we speak in our secret tongues
we tattooed ourselves with feathers
ritual, love, belief
come find me now
This is for my memory
uh huh
play it in reverse

you’re right
this is the end of something
here is the entire circular façade
i have no trumpet
distance distorts one’s sense of duration
time here doesn’t alter anything
where are you
i’m sitting in the grass
i’m at this place in my life
this is what holds the world together
all those high notes
your gold chains
my father curiously absent
art for art’s sake
If I could sing like Paul McCartney and get funky like Etta James
I'd never change, I'd never change
the years beneath the surface
laughter out of inadequate materials
it isn’t time for the ghost dance
letting the backstroke
and the north
and the north
hold me tight crush me so i can’t breathe
we are vulnerable and fragile and we need each other.
"All you did was figure out how to take the long way home,"
you gone have to turn your radio up
and shake it like it’s real


*"go solo"


when is the material of intimacy enough
revisitation is such an emotional crime
there's some 80's reference point to almost all of this
some Achtung Baby-era Bono-isms
but more fucked
artists seem to sell out before they even begin
a desire to please
we celebrate small victories
i was thinking about the cold air
the low sea
the geographic emotional
and historic landscape
the sound of darkness
the pull of the old
we wade out in like water
like water       nor music
where sometimes we are made

You learn to be the things you aren’t
in the heart of winter
coming into being,
fading back into something else
talking about the things
you don’t want to know
this is the year of living
it’s cold as fuck here
the unwinding
not knowing where to begin
we see the complexity of the circle
likeness which feels
which feels like a long slow jam
distilled to its essence
do you have love in your blood
if you have love in your blood

let me grab your ass tight and run
the present always has a way of catching us
i know i’ll feel this way twenty years from now
There was always a purpose from the beginning
There was always purpose to bring everything
[i always felt thato seize those wild horses/
and ride them
the needs those scatter lines we took
home after the new year’s party
it’s weird to see your life in other people
in paperwork
in the goddamn passing clouds
every song has a last name
i’ve been searching for this part all my life
can things just be good for a moment
can’t they just be good


*"heartbreak time"