Posts Tagged breakup

Negative Return (a poem about a Space Shuttle launch and/or a breakup)


Well, it’s Global Poetry Writing Month again. I can’t promise to blog a poem every day, but I have a few I prepared earlier. Here’s one called Negative Return, which I wrote in 2015 in order to have an excuse to wear my flight suit on stage. It’s about a Space Shuttle launch, or a breakup, or a breakup in which the person breaking up with you is leaving in a Space Shuttle (my preferred way of breaking up with someone.) It was inspired by something a tour guide at Kennedy Space Center said, which I happened to record audio of.

This particular performance is from the open mic on the 2018 JoCo Cruise, even though on the JoCo Cruise, no excuse is needed to wear a flight suit at any time.

I’ve performed it a few times in Vienna, with slightly different wording, though I’d never actually posted about it here before. Here’s a playlist of the recorded versions of it.

Immediately before me at the open mic, Joey Marianer, who follows me around singing everything I say, sang my parody of Jonathan Coulton’s ‘Glasses’:

As I’ve previously mentioned, he’d sung it before on YouTube, but I think this live performance was even better.

I’m still processing, uploading, and getting the performers’ permission to post my video from the rest of the open mic.

I recommend watching the video if you can rather than just reading, as there are some added sound effects, but here are the words to Negative Return:

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V Day’s over, because it has to be.


Isn’t it though? The title of this post is an homage to Jonathan Coulton’s song ‘Summer’s Over‘, about things (or in his case, Things) ending because they have to. As Valentine’s Day was ending in my time zone, I recorded a video of my poem about love ending because it has to. It’s Love Letters, from my own Thing a Week. This poem also serves as a mnemonic, should you ever forget the alphabet.

I also added a stanza to Chemistry, a funnier love poem, so that I could participate in the Valentine’s Day challenge over at Fictionaut. Here’s the revised version. I would have liked to record a video of that one, but I didn’t have all the props I needed. Perhaps another time.

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King of Hearts: Love Letters


A mental syntonicity one day
A gentle hint of what we two could be
lit just enough my life so I could see
that trust in love just might bring rhapsody,
exuberant duet of you and me,
a music fit to agonise the deaf.
By moonlight we could glimpse our apogee
Drew closer to alleviate the ache.
I saw my glow reflected in your eye,
I saw your soul like flesh through négligée,
enigma moulding treasure from okay.
I leaned a little nearer till I fell
in love, and whispered brazenly ‘je t’aime.’
L’amour, the kissing cousin of la haine
A congress fit for hedonists, but Oh!
A princess in our bed, I feel the pea
A tiny irritation right on cue
A grating indication that we are
Two spirits passing through the first caress
and driven past into infinity.
I’m looking straight ahead and not at you,
We’ll separate in steps, but c’est la vie.
Although no other man can double you,
although no lover can replace this ex,
We’re done, and if today you wonder why,
remember every A will lead to Z.

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