Long Live Pluto

This is the first post about my Capstone (Senior) Project, which will be seven poems that all connect. I want to expand it more after this semester, and to make it a complete chapbook (a book of poetry).

Long Live Pluto is Trystin’s (my boyfriend’s) new band name. It represents nostalgia. I am also writing about nostalgia for my senior project, and many other subjects, so I asked him if I could use the band name to name my project, and he said yes, of course. I’m going to talk have my main character go to a concert, and it will be his “band” (this is all fictionalized) in one of the poems. So, yes it is poetry, but it is a fictionalized story within the poems. I was inspired to make the boy from the Midwest after traveling from St. Louis to the Twin Cities in Minnesota, so I am naming the boy after my boyfriend’s baby cousin, Raleigh, and having the main character end up in North Carolina.

Here is the general primace of the story:

Raleigh feels suffocated in the Midwest. He saves all the money he makes on the farm with his dad and goes exploring. But when he travels, he misses his Americanism, and when he travels back, he feels lost again. He realizes during his travels that he misses his best friend the most and the simplicity of their platonic friendship. He wants to see the world, but he still can’t figure out who he is in the mean time. This may seem cliche and a popular subject (Catcher in the Rye and such), but it’s extremely relevant, especially to those in their early twenties. I wanted to maintain a child-likeness to the poems, because this is also an age when you want to be free but also want to maintain innocence. You then begin to realize that this feeling usually doesn’t go away. I hope this project explores new boundaries on these subjects that can excite anyone and everyone’s imagination.

Below are the DRAFTS of what I have so far. I want to emphasize DRAFTS. I was reluctant to share this, but I was also too eager to wait until May. This is breaking the rules, but whatever. I’ll try to not get in the practice of this if/when people actually follow me that aren’t my friends.


Break of dawn, In a Black Sedan

Forty days from the rocky land, not wet with the dew of a voyage’s undertow nor filled with the freckles of a supposed endless void.
He cast into the depths and grew tentacles to disguise his childish cheeseburger-shaped grin that grew for eighteen years on the banks of a corn field west of the Mississippi.
His overgrown soul frowned upon those that cast their memory into the frost fallen on a lake like the mist that comes off a glass of lemonade.
Don’t forget that summer is just a season, and our minds are just a fist in our skulls.

One A.M. Central Time, Aboard Hovercraft 865

I’ve found that there’s a falling star
called Nova
full of sweet pea songbirds.
There was a hazelnut in your eyes that
roasts like pure honey,
a silky stickiness that could turn
shaken-still homemakers into radicals.
Neither the words,
“he” or “she”
makes sense in context,
and I’m quite sure I’ll never return.
Jupiter hugs moons that hold oceans,
and I’m craving French fries.
The melodies of the open air are
stark and ramped with disbelief,
the undertones of dancing on
calloused tiptoes linger behind screeches
penetrating Pluto’s fragile brain.
The scars of that girl’s kisses are infinitesimal,
and I wish I could forget
the pomegranate seeds in your eyes.
I loved the way we held hands, two male thumbs touching,
with lack of human understanding and an innocence of friendship
that no breech of discovery can understand.
I stare at a sphere that
hovers in the air amidst broken shards of glass.
It’s full of fast moving particles too busy to hear
the shrill music
far beyond the midnight moon.

10 AM with cloudy sun-beams, South African Safari

I boarded the American van, smelt its normality,
and closed my eyes.
I dreamed of rickety bridges and
fighting rhinoceros from the Prehistoric Era,
and browned galleta grass
feasting into an earth that’s flat as earth once was.

He bounded at my face into the clear glass like liquid matter.
His face full of Kingship.
He delved into my eyes.

I felt no fear as I became his prey,
as my brain turned to soft bark on a cottonwood tree.
I am the young impala, my red blood staining
the pale skin of a Midwestern plain, suffered by television.

Buffalo stampede, a mush of one color, one group,
muddy and burnt like the fertilized soil. I am the young buffalo.

The van is upholstered with carpet chairs,
the windows can’t be opened,
we can never touch the air,
because I will never be the golden face
of a predator, lying on the river’s edge
next to a pack I call my own.

7:49 PM, A Whale’s Esophagus

Forgive me my father of the Missouri Cornfield Plantation established in 1949, but I’ve told a lie. I’m in the pit of the whale’s stomach, the muscular organ slushing with leftover krill and a doubtful man’s prayers. Jesus can count the hairs on your head, but how deep can a whale go? I never told you about the time he and I stole your truck to go to the river. He said I could take the brunette while he got the redhead. We rolled our pants to our knees, the girls danced on the stone’s slow current, giggling, holding the hems of their dresses. My shoes were wet, and I told you it was from the rain, but it was the river slowly corroding my ankles, still in the mosquito twilight. They sang melodies in the humidity, and he sung the harmony. She took my palm, and it shook. She said I was too cold, and so we drove to the bar you liked, but didn’t know I knew. There was only neon and painted wood, so smooth, and yet it gave me a splinter. That’s why I couldn’t hold her hand the rest of the night. Now there’s a rumble, a growl, and all I want is neon, and that smirk he gave me when she said goodnight.

11:00 AM, Cherry Blossoms In My Eye

I got lost in the current of the Moon River,
where wayward children sung a choir, bubbly and pure,
honey-silk words I couldn’t understand, and they couldn’t see me.

I was told
to dance
with the
under the
camphor tree
of a thousand

I believed in
before I learned

Back on the farm,
he told me to go,
he shook my hand,
we ran away from
the schoolyard with
blisters on the inside
of our knuckles.

These fields are the same. They paint the wind. They don’t believe me.

(Two more to come: 6. Europe 7. NC)

Published by celinamcmanus

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