Oh, Mrs. Williams, if you could only see me now, a couple thousand feet above the east coast, swirling around, twisting in the clouds and probably about to die. I hope there’s something soft down there to land on…

Drag #2

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Quantum Eraser

Quantum Eraser

Quantum Eraser

You’ve returned with a quantum eraser, a strange muddy mess of particles, a subatomic demagnetizer. You rub it against my mouth.

“That should shut you up for a while,” you wink a ruthless grin.

I find a crayon and draw a mouth as fast as possible before I suffocate.

“эюЯᴔЂᴟбЪ!” comes out of the new orifice. I’ve drawn it sideways or skewed somehow.

You rub your eraser to my face. But I keep drawing new mouths as frantically as I can.

I’ve got a half dozen holes in my head, all babbling chaos at you, before you regroup and erase my hands.


The Haunted Awful Lake

The sky was a still, dense gray, and it always seemed too quiet out there. Nothing lived in those waters. Well, almost nothing. It was a continuous struggle to pull the boat through the thick brack, but the closer we got to the little island in the middle, the more anxious we grew to get out of that boat, that haunted, awful lake.


The Overpass

overpassgirlAnchored to this parking lot,
Where crisp snow piles on window ledges
Like kaleidoscopes of sunlight,
Or a spectrum for your head.
You’ll look out from your bedroom,
as I stumble with the keys.
Will you walk me to the overpass
when I’m crumbling to my knees?

Staring down the frozen river,
You’ll elevate the spectacle.
And I’m not going to argue,
It’s like they’ve always said,
When it rains, you see red,
When it snows, you’ll see where you have been.

Pull through and see,
That these seas aren’t quite as black
As the mud inside your head,
And you’ll never walk again.

Snoring and ignorant,
You refuse to meet me,
Our words are whispered into lampshades,
Growing dustier and yellow.

Go home and scream.
There’s no one here you can tell it to,
And what do you do?
But hope the rocking chairs
Don’t turn to reminisce.

Rolling and rolling,
Out of controlling.

You spin,
You begin in your spin,
To begin to retrace,
The face you’re replacing,
Pasting new memories within.

And once it would have worked,
And yes, I guess our stars,
Still happen to align.

And I know, and I know, and I know
And I hate to remember how that song went,
The one they say we sung,
But I can’t recall it any longer,
And you never knew the words.

But we tried to sing along.
And I’ll try to recognize
Your handwriting,
Against all the works of history,
And masterpieces forged.

Dreaming of the frigid water,
You’ll celebrate the evacuation.
And I swear I won’t get sick again.
It’s not like they never said,
When it goes, it goes your way,
Until you blink and it goes away,
And it’s the only thing you’ve known.

Angled into this unmarked spot,
At dawn the snow begins to melt
Transmission from our yellow star
The buzz informs you who you are,
As it creeps in through the window,
and I crumble to my knees.
Will you walk me to the overpass
Where we can drown this old disease?

Catching Starlight

Flowers Arguing They sat for moment, gazing at one another. Her head bobbing slightly, rhythmically; a smile dancing on her face. He was happy just to watch her, to look upon her and take it all in; her shyness and when it melts, such as now, when she was honest and earnest.

He was happy just to sit with her, to see the way she looked at him.

The dark woods around them, almost silent but still alive. A million little crickets went about their nocturnal day, chattering and clicking and chirping, this was their rush hour. Quieter bugs made up the chorus, a few billion back-up singers.

Above, in the treetops a few lines of bird dialogue would break through the night occasionally; the rustling of leaves when the wind danced through them, the low long creaks from the wood, young trees stretching their branches toward the sky, the older trees crumbling, leaning over, falling back to the Earth.

And in the center of it all, her. He watched her head bob, she was singing a song to herself now, barely audible– partly her demeanor and partly not knowing the words. He noted her contradictory nature, she was quiet and shy, but she was outspoken about it and unashamed.

The wind blew her lazy hair in random tangents, adding their steps to this dance. Behind her and above, the canopy of stars, all of creation framed in sky– absolutely everything else that existed in this Universe on display and in its rightful place behind her, the center of his world. He noticed a new twinkle in her eye, like she had captured a falling star.

© Robert Emmett McWhorter


Flowers Arguing The boy moved in close, scooting along the giant dead log that served as their bench. His jeans and flannel rubbed against the sleeping bag she was wrapped in.

“What are you doing?” her words came out through chattering teeth. She met his gaze for a second and smiled.

“I just wanted to get a little closer to you,” he leaned into her, resting his weight against her. “I wanted to see if I could help you get warm.”

“Maybe,” she met his gaze again but this time did not look away. They held onto the moment, watching each other, and both smiled. She let out a laugh, loud at first; it echoed off the trees, bouncing back at them from the dark woods. She put her hand over her mouth until the laugh died away.

“Maybe I can warm you up?” he asked, “You’re not sure if I am capable?”

“Oh I know you’re capable,” her voice was louder now, she no longer shivered.

“Should I throw some more wood on the fire?”

She looked at the orange flames, leaping occasionally, seated on a sturdy bed of branches, stacked against each other, a pyramid of deep red heat.

“I think the fire is plenty big, we don’t want to burn down the forest,” she said, “But there’s plenty of room in this sleeping bag, I think we could both get warmer if you joined me.”

She unzipped the bag from within, opened it, holding her arms wide to show the ample room, and then reaching toward him to envelop him, to wrap him up beside her. They managed to both fit, snug. She pulled the zipper back up, and they found themselves nestled tight, nose to nose, awkwardly close even for she and him.

“When do you think they’ll be back?” she whispered.

“It could be a while, they want to try to get some beer. It could take a bit to find someone to buy for them, or a place that will sell to them. We could be alone for a while.”

“Oh no!” she mocked concern, “All Alone! Do you think we’ll be alright?”

“I think we might,” he played along, “Don’t worry your pretty little head, I’ll fight a bear if I have to.”

She giggled, leaned in and kissed him. They were immediately intertwined, arms reaching and curled, wrapping around one another. They tangled, hungry and urgent.

Their hands danced inside the sleeping bag. They pushed against each other, trying to get as close as possible, trying to get as much of their own being in contact with the other’s body.

In the passion, in the shifting weight of their bodies squirming together, they lost balance. They slipped off the log, hitting the ground with a thump.

Eyes opened but lips did not detach. She giggled directly into his mouth, and they resumed their embrace, their starving, indulgent kisses. They dove at each other, frantic and sloppy, wet. Mouths wide, tongues dancing, each wanting to consume the other.

They rustled and rolled, adjusting to their horizontal position, but never disengaging. They jerked and struggled into comfort. He laid on top of her, his hand pushed into her hair, keeping her head from the ground, out of the dirt.

She pulled her head away, panting. “Oh! You are hot.”

“No. No, you’re the hot one,” he leaned in to kiss again.

In a moment, she pulled away once more. “No, I mean you’re on fire!” she spoke in a new, firm tone.

“No you are the one–” he managed to say before she hit him hard on the back, slapping at him as fast as she could manage. He opened his eyes; he felt the heat on his back, and realized they had rolled too close to the fire.

©Robert Emmett McWhorter


Robert Emmett Fling CD 2006After it rains
Im finding my way
To who I was
When it was dry
After it rains
Ill go outside

After tonight
Its starting again
To who were are
When there is light
After tonight
I’m going dry

Can you ever feel like it’s raining everywhere?
Can you fell it in the air?

What’s wrong with you?
What’s wrong with me?
What’s wrong with everything?

After it rains
Im finding my things
And getting out
While I’m Alive
I’ll try to live
I’ll go outside

After the night
We shouted it out
To who we are
When we are not
After that night
It wouldn’t dry.

© Robert Emmett McWhorter/ 
published by Hermetic Medical Records (ASCAP)
all rights reserved

Take Me In

second handlerTake me in,
It’s not sin unless
You’re sure of what you’re doing,
And I’m always misconstruing
What you say.

And you told me it’s not love
Until our toes are all pointed upward.

And I admire you so much
I have to think of you
As several different people,
Standing together,
With your eyes to the sun,
And a large financial backer
At your side.

When you said my head would heal
I couldn’t tell
If you were generally concerned,
Or just stalling for time
While you his the ice-pick.

When you said that love would rule
I didn’t know
That you planned to raise an army.
Now I’m trying to enlarge my breasts
So you’ll talk to me again.

Take me in,
Take me off your mailing list.
I don’t want your
Plain-wrapped packages no more.


©Robert Emmett McWhorter/
published by Hermetic
Medical Records (ASCAP)

The Invisible Girl

Robert Emmett ‘Invisible Girl’ demo 2009

I must admit I could not see you
At first you took me by surprise
I wasn’t look as silently as you snuck in
A shadow hiding behind a shy smile

I can’t believe I didn’t see you
Each word was pointing at a star
It didn’t matter as much as the order
After the facts all fall down
and pointing us right back where we are

And I saw you
And I’ll see you
And I see you now

It’s Funny to think, how everything is like paper and ink
Or dots on the screen when they’re close enough to be seen
it’s just red blue and green
and miles and miles of emptiness in between

You wouldn’t let anybody see you
You don’t accept add requests from bands
I pinged your packets and said
I just came back to get my jacket
the puppets fell right out of your hand.

© Robert Emmett McWhorter
published by Hermetic
Medical Records (ASCAP)


LetGoOn a bus headed for the Appalachian Mountains, I found my life in danger due to the man seated next to me. He was wearing one of those illegal Explosion Suits, and by the look in his eyes, I knew it was due to go off at any moment.

I cleared my throat and turned toward him. “That’s a mighty fine suit you have on there.”

“Thanks,” he was sincere but obviously nervous. “It’s made by Bigsby, Kruthers, Smith and Wesson. Cost me a bundle.”

“I can imagine,” I replied.

He was a stocky man, tanned and worn. Black wavy hair dissipating on the top of his head, fading to a bleak shade of silver. His eyes were kind, but the lines surrounding them scrunched and muddled into a map of one man’s broken life. Somehow it had come to this, traveling through the the country by bus, wearing an Explosion Suit.

“I bet when it goes off, though, it’s quite a blast! Must be some sight to see!” I limply attempted conversation, as enthusiastic as I was terrified.

His eyes dropped to stare at his shoes, and he mumbled a few syllables of acknowledgment and agreement.

An uneasy silence sat between us for a few moments before I gathered to courage to ask, “How often does it go off?”

BLAM!!! I must have uttered the trigger phrase; my dumb luck, always saying the wrong thing.

The whole bus explodes and I find myself hurling through the air, high above the Earth. My arms and legs flailing and grasping frantically for something, anything to hang on to.

I was reminded then of my third grade classroom, where I was asked once what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I said, “Fly.”

My teacher, Mrs. Williams, was the first woman I ever had a crush on– the way her cheeks would blush up a rose color and her full lips curl when I came to class late and without my homework, or the tricky gaze of admonishment and silent approval when she caught me out on the playground burning down the monkey bars.

“People cannot fly,” she said. The rest of the class laughing wildly around me. Her eyes burning right into my skin, intimidating. My hands were bloated with sticky sweat, my forehead quickly overheating body. “People cannot fly!”

Oh, Mrs. Williams, if you could only see me now, a couple thousand feet above the east coast, swirling around, twisting in the clouds and probably about to die.

I hope there’s something soft down there to land on…

© Robert Emmett McWhorter