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Jan 16 · 1.2k
Mike Rollain Jan 16
does not simply exist

on a spectrum

are not a limited range

Autistic Experience and
Autistic Expression

across an infinitely expanding sphere

We are bathing existence

in the very light

omni-present and

within us
An anthem for all of us.
Nov 2021 · 146
My Cat
Mike Rollain Nov 2021
has torn your book
redstained spine
scarred sand-
paper palm

Nov 2016 · 1.1k
Life Lessons
Mike Rollain Nov 2016
I'm now well into my thirties, which is to say
I'm too old to be stumbling in the dark
Too young to be measuring by touch
The depth of these scars or
Predicting their long-term effects on
Short-term sorrows

Immeasurable goals

But I can see just fine, thanks
My eyes adjusted years ago and
I'll rip those shades
When I'm ******* ready
Oct 2016 · 755
Where I've Been
Mike Rollain Oct 2016
Poring over months-old words
Losing will and time to count
Embellishing every syllable
Coughing up the spaces
Choking on the lines
All the same lines
Fooling no one

Maybe one
Jul 2016 · 1.4k
Mike Rollain Jul 2016
Words blooming
Bright petals of sun
Burning on entry
Scorching pavements
Jun 2016 · 1.7k
Enemy's Gate
Mike Rollain Jun 2016
Fight to escape
A vapid pull
Settle for orbit
Scream along
Twenty times
The speed of life
Seemingly still
Still we fall
More of my micropoetry:
Jun 2016 · 1.6k
It's Not So Much the Feeling
Mike Rollain Jun 2016
Sixes and sevens
Mark new beginnings
The after-burn is bittersweet
A full rose moon lights my way
Maybe after
When the breathing's done
I can pretend
To sleep
Mike Rollain May 2016
Spoken word video of my poem "Ever Changing"
Mike Rollain May 2016
Spoken word video of my poem "Ecstatic"
May 2016 · 1.2k
Crazy Random Happenstance
Mike Rollain May 2016
On the eve of her rebirth and
For the first time in months
I looked up to the stars
And caught her final
Senescent smile
A culmination
Of hysteria
And hope
new moon blues
May 2016 · 1.5k
A Sudden Stellar Pairing
Mike Rollain May 2016
Its fire is a beacon
An alarmingly bright disruption

I'd grown numb to the constants

Burned by discovery
I'd retreated into comfort

But even as I adhered to these tired laws
She was examining them

Splitting them apart and transforming them
Every action with hot determination

I feared for her demise
As if it had already taken place

But she is not the spacial divide
Her wounds will cool with time

She is never fully discovered

And space is not the same as distance
The end is never the end

There is no such change as death
Only the subtlest shift in time

And a choice to see her through it
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Morality thrives
In choices derived; beware
False dichotomy

Destiny denied
Bright, painted constellations
Burn with wounded pride

Clouds collide, falling
From scorched skies, calling my name
Scream, shriek, shout -- in vain

Dawn wakes, breaks, explodes
Extinguishing flames within
Gravity? Defied

I've never believed
In stars, the fire burns within
Defiance, freedom

Ad hoc clarity
Moments of serenity
So existential
Written separately. I thought they belonged together, and so here they are, together.
Apr 2016 · 1.0k
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Morality thrives
In choices derived; beware
False dichotomy
Apr 2016 · 560
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Ad hoc clarity
Moments of serenity
So existential
Apr 2016 · 462
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Destiny denied
Bright, painted constellations
Burn with wounded pride
Apr 2016 · 739
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Clouds collide, falling
From scorched skies, calling my name
Scream, shriek, shout - in vain
Apr 2016 · 815
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Dawn wakes, breaks, explodes
Extinguishing flames within
Gravity? Defied
Apr 2016 · 639
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
I've never believed
In stars, the fire burns within
Defiance, freedom
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
I learned the difference
Between burglary and robbery
Seven years ago, on a breezy
Late summer evening

I remember it well

Not just from the shock of it all
But because it had been
A rather pleasant day
Up until the moment we arrived
Back at the apartment

The noisemaker alarm
We'd had many an argument over
Was going off and

(Silver lining: at least it worked)

The door stood ajar and
In a moment of pure brilliance
And zero hesitation
I went straight in as if I'd had a clue
What I was doing

The noisy half of the alarm
Was across the room
Ripped from the wall and its mate
Wires hanging off the door and frame
Where that uselessly persistent hunk
Of plastic, now on the floor
Had once been attached

I picked it up and typed in the code

My eyes began to adjust and count
All the ways we'd been violated
On that otherwise peaceful evening
And in a way, the worst offense
Was the still open refrigerator door

The police finally arrived

We gave our statements
And reported our losses
And filled out their forms
And I mentioned that
The last time I'd been robbed
Was when I was a child--

Did I witness the theft?
Was I home at the time?
Was anyone still in the home?

Then I was not robbed and certainly
It was kind of them to inform me so

When they finally left
We packed our clothes
And stayed with friends
And by the end of the week
We were one step closer
To buying our first home and

We never slept in that apartment again
Apr 2016 · 509
2 Player
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Ms. Pac-Man is in
A cheeky mood

Deftly navigating
Percolating apparitions

Darting between
Narrowing gaps

Just in the nick of time

Overtaking and consuming
Feathered energy

In midair

As I barrel along
Just below

Collecting dots . . .
The struggle is real
Apr 2016 · 938
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Night is not so black
See the shadows glimmer
In stark defiance
For a friend. And sometimes me.
Apr 2016 · 3.5k
That Copper Facade
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Many years ago
When I was bored
I would set afire
A glob of hand soap
On the counter
And above it
I would suspend
A penny
And wait

Nothing at first
Patience was key
But then
A ripple
Then nothing
Then a violent tear
And from it
True color
Would escape
That copper facade
Like a tiny T-1000
And fall

Through the air

Apr 2016 · 534
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Most of my childhood was a blur and
Not because the memories have now faded and blended
But literally
My vision has always been awful
And when Helper is considered a fancy meal
Glasses aren't exactly affordable
So I learned to adapt

It took some time
But I eventually figured out how to read
Body language and undertones and even
Shifts in scents and what they meant about people
I was like a half-blind Daredevil
Sans the costume and anything cool about Daredevil
But I had a system and you could say I was proud of it

Grandma bought my first pair and everything changed
For the first time in my life I could truly see and
Everything was new and brilliant and a little scary

But by Monday morning I had mastered this newfound ability
I met my friend in the hallway and
As we walked to class I went on and on about
Airplanes and signs
Expressions and fingerprints
Faces in the crowd
Flies on the wall
And how I could see everything now
Except the closed door in front of me
Yep. I'm a winner.
Apr 2016 · 376
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
An almost pointless flight
But it was free
And it was raining
And I wasn't complaining
I just wanted to sleep

But I knew
The second I saw him
Making his way down the aisle
With his big goofy grin
Backpack over one shoulder
He looked like a Bryce


"Hi there!"

Sure enough
I had myself a new buddy
For the next 45 minutes
Whether I wanted one or not

I just wanted to sleep

But his name was Bryce
(To no one's surprise)
And he was 27 and a registered nurse
(Okay, that was unexpected)
And he was on vacation
And visiting his grandma
And meeting up with old friends
And he loved to travel
And run
And poetry
And long romantic walks on the beach-

Or something
I may have nodded off for a bit

He also had a side business
Doing eyelash extensions (!)
And it was tough to balance with nursing
But he liked to stay busy
And he charged $300 per session
And $90 for touch ups
But of course friends and family got discounts
And it was tedious work
And you needed steady hands to do it
And I'd be surprised how lucrative a business it was and dear god I just wanted to ******* sleep

But the plane was landing
"Sorry, I just need to send this text"
Still talking


We were shaking hands

Finally, off the plane and
She was already waiting
With open arms
Bryce? Bryson? Ehh, whatever.
Apr 2016 · 365
Just Run With It
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
People are always describing their dreams as crazy.
I had this crazy dream last night, they say.
I think all they really mean is the dream is still fresh in their mind;
crazy means vivid; crazy means I'm going to describe to you my dream as if I believe that it's only a dream but I expect you to tell me what you think it means.

Most of my dreams aren't that crazy, but I did have this really crazy dream the other night.
I was running through a long tunnel; you were there and so was Edward Norton.

We (not Norton, he comes later) were running, hand in hand, like the guy and girl do in those predictable action-thrillers.
It was dim and loud and voices echoed off the tunnel walls and back at us, upon us, like when we were in Atlanta and the sky opened up.

We were running; everybody was running and people were screaming and I had to **** and up ahead were men in black suits and black sunglasses with black AR-10s and they were shooting and people were dropping and I told you to run but you were scared, and it was too late; they were upon us.

They yelled and waved their guns and we did what we were told.
They divided us into two rows, each facing the other.
They were screaming and demanding and firing and people were dropping and I really had to **** and they were looking for a man.
They were looking for Norton and I could point him out and I had to **** but I really liked him in Fight Club and apparently my moral compass was still intact.

So I kept my mouth shut and so did you and and so did Norton and when I awoke the room was cold and dark but I was on a mission.
Dreams are weird. People are weird. Weird weird weird.
Apr 2016 · 315
Skin Deep
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
At dinner with his father
In reflexive response to the worry
Of his sister's relationship and
Its eminent failure:

"Well, most relationships end prematurely"

He hadn't meant it
He'd meant "her" relationships
Not "most"

But he'd been divorced
And so had both of his parents
And several of their friends
And both of his aunts
And his friend
And her friend
And his former boss
And a neighbor
And a barber
And this random guy at the bar
And now another friend--

Being alone when you know
What it's like to not be
Has a way of warping your perspective

Or maybe they were right after all

Maybe his optimism was only skin deep
I tried to write, a rarely productive endeavor.
Apr 2016 · 1.1k
Quirky Meditations
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
I'm the fusion in my chest

I'm sweating out your silence
On cracked April asphalt

I'm six years younger and screaming

These lungs are pulleys, sound waves
Flooding a vacuous shaft, and I fall
Through a bottomless space

Still...just miles away

And I can't quite place
How it got this way and dear god
My voice is cracking, my lungs...


I'm a sucker for quirky meditations
But I can't finish this one, not today
I just don't have the strength
I don't know what it takes

But I know something's changed

I know what I have
I know what I feel
I know what I can see and think
And love and break
But I don't know what I had
Or if I have what it takes

I just know what's left

So much space, so much
White, dead, empty space
But surrounding it, embracing it
Is something like wisdom
Something tangible
Almost real

Maybe it isn't
It's all the same space
But at least it feels
Like something
Inspired by the likes of The Fault In Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Apr 2016 · 2.9k
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
I've noticed
There is a slight
In the middle of my right little finger
From the one-handed way I hold
My phone
I wonder if
It's permanent
Probably :-/
Apr 2016 · 554
Nine-Year-Old Romantic
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Sent away
This time was different

They were kind
Odd but kind
There were chores
And there was checkers
I never won but that was fine
I wondered why I was there

Next day
Sun was high
And I wasn't alone
And she was different
And pretty
And kind
And when she smiled I knew
She was the one

We walked for miles
And talked
I told her how pretty she was
And how we were alike
Ad nauseam
Still the smile
Her hand in mine
I knew we weren't alike

Back home
All alone
I told them we kissed
And she agreed
With a smile
Apr 2016 · 524
Deja Vu
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
You and me, lost
In a sea of unnamed faces
And now it seems we're back
In these sub-familiar places

And so, hand in hand
We travel light
This path is dim but
I can see the light
Is burning brighter
Above these walls, they tower
Beyond our narrowed sight

Still, steady gains
Perhaps nearing shore
This fight for more light, like the
Fire that's still burning
So deep within our core
Will never, ever falter, despite
Our fright, this creeping suspicion
We've been here before
***  it's not free verse! What is going on?!
Apr 2016 · 1.0k
Battling the Elements
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Pointless defiance
Your arrant benightedness
Permeates my skin

Full disclosure: the
Dull roar of your blindness is

Your existential
Stench is palpable, and so
I stand upon it

I transcend your fear
And embrace your battered soul
To bridge the distance
The power is yours :-p
Apr 2016 · 640
Rinse and Repeat
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
It was Tuesday night, and that meant
Something different for each of them
Despite the scenic overlap he
Hoped she still desired

She did, and so off they went

And sat and drank, idle talk
She drank to feel nothing and
He drank to feel her and some nights
They both got what they wanted

He hoped this would be one of those nights

It was looking that way, and so
Despite his better, sober judgment
Yet another pitcher was ordered and
They continued their dance from
Topic to topic with an ease
Unobtainable only an hour before and
Things were really looking up
For the both of them

But she'd had more practice and
He saw black and she saw red
And just like that their illusion
Crumbled and there was
No longer any reason
To keep it going

So they left

And drove home in silence

The awkward kind where caustic
Thoughts battle in midair like the
Cloaked quadcopter drones of
Klingon children

And once again
Neither got what they wanted
But especially that night, and neither
Had the slightest clue why

But there was always next Tuesday night
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
"State Line"


The torrential kind
In which
You forget
Through overexposure
What it feels like
To see color

Yet remember
Everything else

Clarity in flashes

The earth spills
Its daily struggles
And I bottle mine


"Welcome to Earth"


Breaching and scorching
This tortured sky

Will Smith is too expensive
To save us now


"A Thousand Words"

In the storm
Shadows and highlights
Are nonsensical terms


Black level, high
Contrast, immeasurable
Noise, present



Push it
Go as fast as you like
I'll take my time
And watch you spin
Out of control
Just outside
The point of
No return



Accuse me
Again and again
Convince me I'm wrong

I'll hurl my innocence
Into the storm

Wait for it
It's coming back


"Double Down"

That isn't light
At the end of the tunnel
It's just less dark

Double down
It's not over yet



Persistent color
Through the fog
Shrek on wheels
Snoopy on ice
They pass and
We follow


"Crossing Over"

There is a pain
That comes after

In the relief

In the recuperated vision
An aching remnant of
Stolen senses

You almost miss it



Dreams resurface
Waist-deep in white noise
A melody identifiable as my own

Crickets chirp
Soaked in stagnant thought
A denotation of the passing storm
Apr 2016 · 634
Locked Out
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
I can't remember the code
To get in

Normally it's not a problem

Numbers are like puzzle pieces
To me

Seven and three
Three and fourteen

Fives are blue and
Tens are black

They all just fit

Charged and begging
For togetherness

And understanding

Like the eagle understands gravity
And thrives on it

Despite resenting
Its usefulness

I stand

I push

I hear

I understand
So little
Apr 2016 · 1.1k
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Intermittent noises

Binary static

Broken, attracting
Blinking, distracting
Atypical movements
Chasing, racing

Chaotic, pivotal

Design possible
Gravity probable

Signals detected
Theories given

Sorely mistaken
None taken

Contact inevitable
Threaded, tangled

Lily through licorice
Traveling, morphing
Aging, ever changing
Craving, deranging

Silence nagging
Never waning

Clock broken
Wall caving

Neurons impacting
Chemicals reacting
Patterns unlocked
Vision restored

Never taken
Apr 2016 · 490
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Sick and secluded
I discover myself
Bouncing between
Feelings and hot water music

A poetry pong master in the making!

Or perhaps a mere loner
Lost in wild blue?
Criticizing deflections and
The distance of the moon

These tides are my own doing
They'll drag me back in
They always do

A drunken realization of
What matters most
Wanders in and out
Of consciousness
In and out
Of solipsistic getaways
In and out
Of this existential rain
Then miraculously sticks

Becomes static

Crackles and lingers
In my ears like
Bubble wrap buttons
Snapping and
Slamming this
Contemporary chatter
Back into the reality
Of these off-white walls

A residual impact
I can feel in my bones

I wonder who knows
Apr 2016 · 586
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Rejects flood the cabin and spaces between my lungs
These cotton candy cookouts have taken to the skies and
Tattered treads simmer in the summer streets ahead

Arbitrary animals fall in endless waves
One after another
Clouding distinctions between land and water

Rubber loses grip
Foundations slip

I hold on tight
And wait for change

I am a synesthete imposter
But tonight I can taste the city lights and
Their salty crunch is as real to me as the chlorine sting
Of the moment I first realized
I've always known how to swim
Apr 2016 · 522
Ever Changing
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
He thought for a moment that he might be drowning
But he loved the feeling (I am ever changing)
And she knew he would live for the progression

A common series of notes dragged him under, his vision
Flooded by dark blue spirals, words
Like strands of dripping yarn (I am ever changing)
And he knew she could see them too

They built a home just inside and forged
A memory, a shared vision (I am ever changing)
That formed a tight-knit cloak of protection
From the world

Years passed and they each grew
Closer to the words (I am ever changing)
Yet further from the meaning, unraveling

He wanted to say (I am ever changing)
That he could relate and empathize
And that he knew what it meant to be ever changing
To feel within the oxygen flush of every pulse
That nothing in this world was immune to change
And that it didn't matter, the words--
They never mattered

And how could she not see (I am ever changing)
That the color of this clover was never
The dampened celadon hue of once new love
But rather the soft saffron whisper (I am ever changing)
Of the morning sun? But he knew
She wouldn't understand the question

It took some time to realize
That time has a tendency (I am ever changing)
To spread out like a mushroom cloud and fall
On a quiet Tuesday afternoon like any other
As he barely recalls which notes to play
And the forgotten words trail off
(I am...)
Apr 2016 · 529
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Perhaps I was too anxious
Or too overly ambitious
To become the amber bedrock
Of her vert ontogeny

And for that---
Well, I'm not sorry

But I do empathize

And I did reluctantly accept
This recurring role of
Achromatized apparition

A character deftly commingled
With the unfocused backdrop of
Her callow vista and your
Chimeric vision


Even forgotten

And yet
Still present

A mutation in the code

A defiantly epigenetic zero
In each infinite strain
Of blinking ones
Apr 2016 · 1.2k
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
He was
A fallen star
Ever spinning
A hidden halo of
Hawking radiation

He dragged her in
Kicking and screaming

Swallowed her fire and spat out
The ash, now stripped of all color

Into a world not unlike the one he'd stolen her from

Her particles
Now formless
Drifted without purpose

A monochromatic diffusion of her quondam existence

The sepia shade of her filter facade
Barely deflected the stupid questions
She'd never have the answers to

But she knew what to do

She knew how to drift and spread herself
Across this rock of coruscating life

With a thinness nothing short of impressive

Like a flattened chameleon
Hidden in the midst of
A bustling city sidewalk
Apr 2016 · 460
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
She would feel detached but
Not from this reality or family or friends
It was more of an out-of-body experience
Or maybe a kind of possession
Where neither party is wholly host nor parasite

Sometimes it worried her

On this particular night
When she looked in the mirror
What she found gazing back was
Hardly recognizable and
What familiarity did exist
Was only of feature
Not of the expression that
Lately always seemed to catch her
A little off guard

What's your deal anyway?

She half-expected a verbal response but
What she got was a hint of a spark and
An upward turn at the corner of the mouth

Expression faded
Head slightly tilted
She continued to stare and
Slowly lose herself
Within the deepening void of
Dimensional distortion

When suddenly
Gaze became glare
Eyes narrowed and flared
A blur rippled past
A chill curled at the base of her spine and
Sprung up through her body and
Into her lungs

It stopped there
Expanded there and held
Her breath hostage

Eyes locked
Face white
Skin cold

And then she cracked and
They both laughed
And turned away
And vanished
Apr 2016 · 356
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
They're all so busy
So desperate
To spread
To create
To infect
To shine
To meet
To drink
To call
To lie

I just want time
To stop
Apr 2016 · 369
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
I wander these claret corridors
In search of humanity lost
And I find you waiting
Behind a pane of translucence

I was chosen, you tell me
You've been waiting for me
To save you from this hell
And I believe you

I can see the longing in your eyes

There's sadness there too and
I want only for your happiness and so
I devise a plan to set you free

But it's not enough

You need me to see
To truly see
What this freedom will mean
And so I try
Again and again
To empathize with a desperation that
Only the imprisoned can understand
And I just want to show you
That all you really need
Is time in the world
To breathe

But it's not enough

You need proof, you say
As you roll up a sleeve
And I watch in helpless horror
As you cut and bleed
With a surgical precision
That only comes from repetition

To show me your humanity

And as it drips and falls
And collects on the floor
Through the red
I realize

There's none left in your eyes

What was there before
Is now gone, devoid
Of all emotion
From your body and
Pooled at your feet
And I try to run out
But it's far too late

You're already gone
The door's locked
The oxygen's run out
And I'm the one
Left for dead
Inspired by the film Ex Machina.
Apr 2016 · 839
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Up and out
Through tinted pane
Exhausted and drawn
To the crimson moon
Raw and impassioned
***** and enflamed
Like good conversation
From the night before
Apr 2016 · 2.8k
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Sitting idly at my piano in the
Corner of this dimly lit room

Such a saturated space

Filled with the exhausted breaths
Of a thousand wasted moments

A sliver of the setting sun

Dives headlong through the open
Window and off a bed rarely made

It lands in gentle, brilliant resolve
Wearily along the yellowed wall beside me

Fingers on faux ivory, cold and comforting

Keys that sing the subtle soundtrack of an unrefined feature
The culmination of my disconcerted reminiscence

Tension, release, tension, release

Imaginary hammers go up and down
They push and pull on digital strings

And exhale through the atmosphere
A kaleidoscope of blue and yellow

Flooding my consciousness, blending seamlessly
With the gleeful screaming of children in the distance
Apr 2016 · 440
That's Amore
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
When it comes along
It falls like rain
And you drink it up
And it saturates
Every cell
Of every pore
Until your soul's had its fill

When it's true
It falls like Georgia rain
And when it falls
It pours
And floods
And if you're not on higher ground
Well, you'd better learn to swim

But most days
It falls like Florida sunshowers
Isolated and sudden and
All at once
Blinding you and
Soaking you and
Deserting you
In broad daylight
Apr 2016 · 896
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Beauty does not live
Within the discordance of
Augmented or diminished or the
Harmonic perfection of
Major or minor

It flourishes instead in the
Infinite space between
Dissonance and
Apr 2016 · 453
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
You observed for six months as
I clawed away at every fleshy obstacle
And only then were you so compelled
To take part in the excavation
Apr 2016 · 467
De Rien
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
An early morning, like most others
Her pale white stare catches mine
A rare, impending sadness looms
And yet
When I implore
She simply takes
A deep, deep breath
Exhales in kind
And winks
Apr 2016 · 995
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Our love is measured
(I should have defended myself better
But you were drunk and
I knew you wouldn't remember)
By the embarrassment that binds us together
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