At the Event Horizon

by Stephen Lin Poetry

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A series of spoken word poems about depression and feeling disconnected from body, identity, relationships. I don't really write such... direct work anymore but this felt like an attempt to communicate the oppression of years spent in the worst shithole in my head I've ever been in. I don't know if I want people to connect with this, to understand what it feels like to be there or to be outside of it. But if this helps, if this does something for you, then I am glad and immeasurably grateful. Download for a bonus alternate album art!

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released October 24, 2016

Piano and Words by Stephen Lin
Produced, Mixed, and Mastered by Ben Nehlich at The Sickhouse
Album Art by Bailey Turba

And to S.S. They know who they are and what they mean to me.

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Stephen Lin Poetry Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The poetics of parallels and intersections, collisions and contrasts.

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Track Name: At the Event Horizon
Part 1:
Impossible Talks

Impossible talks.
Impossible geometry,
the shortest distance across
the expanse of neglected
detritus, crusted plates,
bits of paper shading every
empty space between
dusty clothes stained with
sweat and soy sauce,
grease and marinara.
A chicken bone left in the
gestating mess on the floor
shows more life, is
buoyed by the rising
reincarnation of microbes
until it reaches nirvana
and dissolves into the carpet.

Impossible talks.
Cigarettes smell louder
than they taste now. The
clock becomes inconstant
just a number that resurfaces
every so often and yet
this timeless place is
dominated by routine.
Does she stay up late
because she doesn't wake up
until the afternoon or does
she lose half the day to her bed
because she can't fall asleep,
because she can't close her eyes
because her thoughts start to sound
hostile and scream at her
so she stays awake until something
takes consciousness away from her,
stopping her silent soliloquy
in a monotonous vocabulary,
the same dead-end lines around
her head, her voice plaintive in
a featureless room where
the light splashes nowhere
and the distant walls draw
closer when you're not looking.

Impossible talks.
Impossible starts to talk to her.

Part 2:
–For S.S.

I haven't thought about suicide since the last time I thought about suicide –

two days ago,
I fell in love with the Doppler effect:
a shrill signal from space
pulled my eyes towards an aluminum sky,
away from incoming traffic,
blue-shifting the red stoplight,
the frequency of a sedan's approach
ricocheted between me and its
bumper, but I stayed still
and pretended my attention away.

I hovered over a pothole
or fell inside it,
muttered to the jagged sides
why bother to climb
but wanting to catch the rumble
of passing cars with my body
to resonate with movement, to travel
with the sound if only to feel
as if I were going anywhere at all,
if only to escape the echoes
building upon echoes,
my own voice thrown back at me
distorted into a siren's clarity:

this is bullshit. Poetry,
is a ditch dug in
barren ground, and you
you will never be happy, you will
never see colors again,
feel the music of a moment crescendo,
the air on your skin,
the scent of love against the rot
in your head, you will never
stop reverberating like fragile crystal
to the shriek of world until it
breaks you and when it does

no one will ever plant flowers over your grave.

Part 3:
Insensate

There is no you, no
transmission, touched gaps between
plastic wrapped nerves – deadened
and sparking – the smell of fire is
everything it takes from us,
but there is no you,
and carbon gives back to
the air we breathe, wasting as
our lungs collapse,
flatten into shaking words
for there is no you
to receive my smoke, to cough
back out to me, saying
nothing as the windows burst open
and my flaming head extends
out into the open city,
no you, no me, no us
in the sound of sirens approaching,
no me, no you, no us
as water hits me in the face

Part 4:
At the Event Horizon

I surfaced
from the mires of
my mind, still
dripped with years
that felt unlived. I knew
myself only by the patterned
texture of a wall in my
bedroom. It felt like
the air outside. It looked
like a memory crossing
the street. I forgot
you had ever existed
outside my head until
we bumped into each other
on the bus. It was then
that I could hear the
restless cacophony of
its movement. I existed
only as a word passed
between us.
Atomic lace. Drapes
across the sunshine
of space, curtained
places where light
was absent and on some
level, among the exposed
foundations,
our bodies were recurring
shapes for repeated
thoughts. I could
echo your words for myself,
if only to have something
else to fill me in.