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Storm Dec 2018
I don’t know what I’m reading.

I stare and stare and stare at the book given to me by my professor but can’t bring myself to open it, because I don’t know what I’m reading. It’s not in a foreign language that I’m having a hard time translating, because ironically, that would be far too easy. It’s in my native language, the words registering to my brain like breathing, but I still don’t know what I’m reading.

What are these authors saying, as they twist and weave their words into a world that everyone around me seems to understand? I can see the surface level of what the author is trying to say, and if I try hard enough I know I can scratch at it to see the layer right underneath, but it’s not enough. It’s never enough.

“Don’t give excuses,” my professor says, and I know it comes across as an excuse as I try to explain that I can’t tell anyone what the underlying meaning of this scene means, or the symbolism it’s supposed to represent, since it goes flying over my head like a bird narrowly avoiding collision.

“You need to participate,” my professor says, and I know I need to try but how can I when everything that takes ages for me to think of is said within the first five minutes of class discussion? What takes me an hour takes my classmates a minute; what takes time for me to raise my hand for takes my classmates to the next topic, my contribution long past relevant.

How do I survive college this way? How do I get by when writing is what I’m good at, but I can’t understand the writing of other authors and poets who put just as much work into their stories as I do? I am a fraud; the looks of confusion and shame I receive when I state my major to the world are well-deserved.

“Could you share with the class?” my professor asks before we are dismissed, the eyes of my classmates tearing into my soul as I try to bring the words to my lips that I know will never come. What could I say to everyone that expects an intelligent conversation from a college senior?

“I’m sorry professor,” I say. “I can’t.” And I sag under the weight of disappointment.

It’s not my fault, after all. I don’t know what I’m reading.
college is getting to me. send help.
Storm Oct 2016
lights flashing through the city and polluting the air,
car horns honking and people colliding with your shoulder.
billboards flashing advertisements for the crowds below:
‘get a coke! stop by olive garden! try this phone service!’
and surrounding those screens, posters for the theater.
wicked, lion king, hamilton, and more
go to west 46th street and fight the crowd,
feel the excitement, hear the orchestra, touch the souvenirs,
let even a native new yorker become a tourist for one day
take your seat, admire the view, take some pictures,
listen to the ushers, watch the crowd settle, straighten as the lights dim.
everyone in places--it’s showtime.
Storm Mar 2016
I miss you, but I can't have you.

I miss your laugh, but I haven't heard that as of late.
I miss your art, but now I only see videos of you doing them.
I miss your friendship, but it ended too quickly.

I miss you, but you're hurting.

I miss our conversations, but those were taken away by him.
I miss our comfort, but that was gone when you asked that question.
I miss our trust, but I can't tell what was you and what was him.

I miss you, but you can't either.

I miss our closeness, but we both know it's gone over the years.
I miss our secrets, but I no longer want to tell them.
I miss our letters, but talking to you hurts too much.

I miss you, but I need this.

I miss my excitement, but I don't think you felt the same.
I miss my friend, but one question tore it all away.
I miss my happiness, but I don't know where that went.

I miss you, but...

I can't.
One final way to get out my emotions over this whole situation. It still pains me, and god I miss you, but I just can't. Not without being in pain. Hopefully I'll heal one day and we can start over, but until then...

I'm sorry. I'll always miss you.
  Oct 2015 Storm
Matt Cardinal
We talk, often enough,
about not growing up
partially because we don't want to,
partially because we know we have to
and we're scared because we haven't.

We look at the kids
(if we can still call them kids)
a year, two years older than us
and say,

And all I ever say is "****", really,
because I haven't grown up
and that's not a bad thing
if you don't mind reading
poetry by a sailor.

We get jobs,
and say we earn a living
but movies the odd time
and fast food some days
isn't exactly a life.

Our parents still have to
pick us up from parties
when we're drunk
(because adults do it)
and we feel older
because we can almost
(almost) handle the taste of alcohol.

We're in this phase
(phase is the adult word, see, progress)
where we give a ****,
(I mean genuinely care)
about how adults look at us
but the important question is
why are they always looking at us?

Do they think they're looking in a mirror,
and all they can say is
And all they can say is “****”, really,
because they wish they didn't grow up,
and how it's a bad thing,
because they know bigger
(more sophisticated) words,
yet they still talk like sailors;
but it's not  too bad a thing
because they have this word,
and they know it's just one of those,
whatever the **** that means.
An 18 year-old's idea of trying to feel like an adult.
Storm Feb 2015
I have a secret demon
Hidden behind the smiles and laughter
Lurking behind my eyes every day
Only emerging at night
And escaping through my tears

I have to wonder, however
Does the demon exist?
Those with demons have said no,
Because happiness drives them away
Then again, others have said yes

I am happy, but I am not
I am sad, but it is not seen
The demon will not become all of me
And as I fight to smile every day
The demon lingers on
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