ROB STURMA (fka Ratpack Slim) is a self-proclaimed nerd poet and the editor-in-chief of FreezeRay Poetry, a pop culture-themed literary journal established in 2014. His past editorial projects include Aim For The Head, a zombie-themed poetry anthology and MultiVerse (superhero poems!), both on Write Bloody Publishing. Rob's full-length collection of new and selected poems Head v Heart is currently available from Moon Tide Press. and he can be seen in a number of anthologies including Dark Ink, Working Stiff, Learn Then Burn 2, and Don't Blame The Ugly Mug. He lives in Oklahoma City, OK, where he helps curate the Red Dirt Poetry open mic, cries at cooking competitions and pop documentaries, secretly edits the pro wrestling zine HAWK AND ANIMAL, and uses Lego Marvel Super Heroes as video game therapy.
WHAT DO YOU GET FOR SOMEONE WHO:
was a goofball for musicals
used to be in a band called The Get Classic Now
did laundry every other Sunday
had days of the week underpants
loved cheese tortellini
used to be in a band called The Berlin Wallflowers
sang "My Freeze Ray” before a show to psyche up
cheated at solitaire
donated books and CDs
wouldn't throw away the lucky Chucks
laughed like a sprinkler
hogged the sheets
was all about plants
had a bookshelf full of journals
cried at the same songs every time
used to be in a band called the Crossfire Hurricanes
sang in bed
danced in the shower
hated to do the dishes
had a plastic wobbly hula girl on the dashboard
was obsessed with Fables comics
used to be in a band called Plato's Symposium
used to be in a band called Do The Math
used to be in a band called Sugar Sweet and the So Are You's
used to be in a band called Heartbreak Soup
trusted like a puppy
had bad nightmares
sat across the table, nibbled a breadstick, said things like
I'm thinking of incorporating more kicking into the stage show.
You know, like David Lee Roth.
played bass like a black widow, fingers crawling across the thick coiled steel
invented Cuddle Sundays
went to work on a bike
had a parachute tattoo to remind her that it's okay to jump
made you feel better
was all made up
I LOVE HOW YOU LOVE
When you are in love,
when you, specifically, are in love,
you rewrite your journals all over again
from Page One, because this time
is going to be the big bang rainbow fireworks ending.
This is going to the love that Muppets sing of
in inspirational, non-gender specific terms.
And I have been there a dozen times myself.
Because when someone is brave enough
to take a chance on people like us, to throw
themselves headfirst into our swing set emotions,
it is the best action movie we have ever written.
You squeeze all the happiness out of every statement,
not in an exhausting way, but more in the sense
that a statement like "spring is coming" morphs into
"i am a bloom, a greening leaf, all of my chlorophyll
is leaning into your sunbeam arms"
and truthfully, we're all better for it.
It makes me feel that I'm not a lunatic
for still hanging on to hope. And someday soon
some lucky girl is going to walk by my windshield
and she'll like my blinkers and poof, we will be
a two-car garage. Because you and I could have ended
like a car crash but the night we parted you took
me to the body shop and got me a new paint job.
You showed me that sometimes, as fun as all
of the volumes of past-lover-memoirs can be
to peruse, sometimes, captain, you gotta put them
back in the hope chest and grab a new notebook.
Here's to Page One. When I start there again,
may I, and may you, never have to go back.