Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


Mac Miller on Skull Hill

in Culture by

What thoughts I have of you tonight Mac Miller
as I walk aimlessly around Buffalo staring at Twitter
down parkways of expired debit cards where it’s always raining liquor
under sick trees where hopeless emcees bury their mixtapes
then they sit around & drink antifreeze & try to wipe the slate clean
ambition is lonely, an empty throne whispering, your time will never come
the elephant heads for the elephant graveyard to die alone
my head hurts hearing all the unfulfilled music of what it means to be human

we should play it safe, but that’s a bad hashtag so we don’t tonight
there’s this strange food truck going ‘round town
killing our hunger, the driver’s calling himself Jehovah
he gives us free cortisone shots but it’s never enough
our Instagram stories look like Old Testament wonders
pillars of salt trying to sugar up, make peace with our ghosts but we won’t
so we cook pneumonias on electric skillets, try to resurrect fire
heat up our mood swings, scoop up evil with a spoon & eat it

I see you Mac Miller, done with all of this
heaven looks like the coke dealer house with the velvet rug
you’re standing atop a shaky coffee table screaming at the ceiling
when you get tired, you say a million prayers for your mama
then you eat a big plate of baklava, the taste of home makes you sad
your tears flood the Internet, frat boys look for life preservers
adolescent airplanes slow their beats, turn to stone, land with a thud
meanwhile Trump’s watching America with the sound turned off

the party never stops, used needles falling from the moon
turntables at the bottom of the ocean, every night we lose our minds
craving sainthood we run headfirst into stained glass, a trail of blood
from working class to upper class, but the poison gas makes us feel good
so we keep waiting on the world to change, lungs full of smoke
squids in our limbs shooting ink from vein to page, oh Mac Miller
which way did your pain point before your brain changed your heart rate
a mountain range full of familiar faces, strung out coffins spitting out staircases?



Mac Miller dead at 26 [Rolling Stone]
The tragic death of Mac Miller, a musician who never stopped evolving [New Yorker]

Justin Karcher is a poet and playwright born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He is the author of Tailgating at the Gates of Hell (Ghost City Press, 2015) and the chapbook When Severed Ears Sing You Songs (CWP Collective Press, 2017). He is also the editor of Ghost City Review and co-editor of the anthology My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (BlazeVOX [books], 2017).

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