Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
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
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
Mike Rollain Apr 2016
Night is not so black
See the shadows glimmer
In stark defiance
For a friend. And sometimes me.
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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Next page