Rob Sturma
August 2021
Rob Sturma.jpeg

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.



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

made pesto

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

loved vacuuming

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




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.