Author: Kate Monica

Kate Monica is a 20 year old college student in Connecticut. She's been published in Holey Scripture, theNewerYork, Control Literary Magazine, and Orchid Children. She was the recipient of the 2014 Collins Literary Prize. Follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.

I Can Only Want Viciously/Help

At a college concert It smells good and all the girls are so pretty I want to feel
like I’m praying to her every time we talk It doesn’t have to be difficult but
I want to make it difficult so if she kisses me when we are both drunk it will feel
like I’ve earned it My job right now is standing here and waiting for various
kinds of validation Later I will stand somewhere else and wait for validation
there I will do this every day for the rest of my life and it will never consciously
occur to me, or anyone, or bother us.

Artists together are bad and ugly because they think they are great and beautiful
I hate you forever and you can’t change it
“Let’s get fucked up”
They went and got fucked up

I hope Everything’s okay. (It’s not.)
I hope everything’s Okay. (It’s not.)

I will hide in this

Why do I care if you like me
I don’t like wanting to know why

Kill me but tell me how to be better
I can be hurtful
I don’t know what I will do when I leave you

I feel like I am dangling off the cliff
of myself Someday I will lose my grip
when my hands get too sweaty and fall
forever until I hit the bottom of myself
where there are rocks as jagged and angry
as teeth and I will shred myself apart on
myself and it will taste great, like metal,
like the back of my throat when I’ve run
12 miles and do not know how to stop
running Do you know how hard it is to
keep every second sentence from being
“I love her, I want to kiss her forever, I
want to live inside the space between
our lips Especially when there is
none” It hurts all the time I hope it
never ends

To Various Persons Talked To All At Once
after Kenneth Koch

my favorite band broke up last night so please don’t expect me to be very entertaining
i watched the documentary ‘pumping iron’ twice today

that says a lot about who i am right now


i’m worried if you don’t have a good time tonight i will feel personally responsible

introversion is a symptom of the times
i saw a car submerged in a lake once, i wonder if the bodies got out
i dont remember which ocean i’m talking about anymore

but i know i mention it too much
i have to watch twin peaks or my dreams won’t be lucid
it doesnt make sense to talk to me that way when i’m your ride home

you’re the kind of kid who sits in grocery store carts,
 begs his friends
to push him down the parking lot

i have to call my mom, should i go outside or are there people out there too
i get nervous if i show you this band you’ll think you can love them as much as me
very few things feel my own since i started telling people too much
 about myself 
that drug sounds exciting in a way i can’t conceptualize


if i wasn’t so petrified of dying i might try it

i was only trying to trick your friend into thinking i was cool

but if she saw my parents’ house she’d think differently i bet

can you ask if she’s ever kissed a girl
i don’t wanna be weird or anything can you take my drink

i don’t have insomnia, the internet’s just so big

you talk like you lived near train tracks your whole life,
worldly from a distance

do you think we should go outside
do you think you can sort of feel the universe expanding
hyperawareness is a symptom of the times
i saw a pretty body motionless in the corner of this party
i don’t remember
i have to go outside
very few things make sense outside a backyard forest
keep talking to me

various smudges of people vibrating like atoms
have you seen
it doesn’t make sense
i don’t remember the ocean
if i wasn’t so petrified i’d try to trick your friends into insomnia
you talk your whole life

Except We’re Both Dustin Hoffman

I kick your arm awake, say “all the geniuses are dying”

well wait 

were they geniuses before we found their journals, 

crude stick-figure drawings with the heads all blacked out. 

You don’t say it but your brain is trying to kill you

& I get nervous, sit in the jumping line of sunlight on your bedroom floor.

I’ve heard a lot about where you see things in rivers you can’t unsee 

& the only reason you’re best friends is because you both saw that body floating
downstream & promised not to talk about it.

You throw your pillow at me, say this isn’t funny because you’re serious,

ask me to tell you more.

I say I fell in love with it the way you fall in love with anything.

You say we’re old enough

to buy train tickets on our own, we could do that, we could

spot bodies in the river together all afternoon.

On our way to the train station you say 

“you ever feel like you’re watching your life happen

to someone else; you’re just watching it

and you’re not even that invested in the plot or the characters

but you can’t change the channel?”

We don’t have suitcases & we sit across from each other like 

well wait

have you seen The Graduate? 

You know how at the end

after Dustin Hoffman fights all those guys so he can get the girl

right after she kisses the boring groom  

and he runs out of the church holding her hand, and they’re laughing and sprinting, 

and they feel like they’ve finally done it right—

maybe he’s starting 

to fill the hole, the chest-wound that just kind of happens when you’re 20 

but then they’re sitting in the back of a crowded bus, her in a wedding dress,

him in his suit, and they’re grinning and laughing at first,

but then the adrenaline of the moment fades, and the novelty of the chase fades,

and they realize they don’t have anything in common and the movie

ends with them both staring straight at the camera looking as bored 

and uncertain as anyone who has just made a grand mistake.
 
 
 
And I look at you, and I ask if you’ve ever seen The Graduate,

and you say no.

I push my head against the window.

Kind of Like Berlin

you’re telling someone of how you have no interest in travel and wish it
was christmas and you were 8 years old almost all the time
feels like a one-way conversation

you dont know how to open your eyes underwater
you tried in the ocean once but it stung so bad
someone threw a nerf football at you but you couldnt see
it hit you in the head
they laughed but it was heavy with water
it really hurt and you wanted to cry
you pretended you were fine
you do not like people knowing you are sensitive to physical pain
it makes you feel sensitive to everything, to light and sound
like a light sleeper

you wonder why everyone takes it personally when you dont feel like talking
you wish people didnt make you feel bad for preferring to eat alone
there are glow-in-the-dark stars on your ceiling
you wonder if the glow-in-the-dark stars you put on the ceiling of your freshman dorm are still there
you wonder who lives in your freshman dorm now
you hope things are good with her

once you know you’re capable of this sort of thought, how it spirals
how can you ever be comfortable again

a famous person died today

i like that boys scarf
you keep forgetting to keep things in second-person or else you will seem simple and overly self-involved

you’ve burrowed deep into yourself
you molt & slink forward

it’s hard to care about biology
knowledge of atoms makes you feel less magical
the more you learn about chemicals the more you feel mechanical
fucked fucked
white splatter of paint cutting across a brick wall

it’s not ruined
mortar makes you think of dismantling things & 70’s cartoons
you know why sylvester the cat is called sylvester, you learned in bio
it’s because the scientific name for wild cats as a species is felis silvestris
this knowledge makes you feel less magical
there are no    anywhere