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Sportcruiser

 

I took a flying lesson on my 33rd birthday instead of calling you,

Or parking on the block where our old place used to be.

 

Genesee, Genesee, Genesee

 

Pathetic, I know, but sometimes I still like to park on that street,

And have lunch in the car just to feel close to you.

 

I was once in love with my life here,

In that studio apartment with you.

Little yellow flowers on the tops of trees as our only view,

Out of the only window,

Big enough for me to see our future through.

 

But it turned out I was the only one that could see it.

 

Stupid apartment complex.

Terrible you.

You, who I wait for.

You, you, you.

Like a broken record stuck on loop.

 

So that day, on my birthday, I thought,

‘Something has to change’

You can’t always be about waiting for you.

 

Don’t tell anyone, but part of my reasoning for taking the flight class

Was this idea that if I could become my own navigator,

A captain of the sky,

That perhaps I could stop looking for direction from you.

 

Well, what started off as an idea on a whim

Has turned into something more.

Too shy to explain to the owners that my first lesson was just a one-time thing,

I’ve continued to go to classes each week

At the precious little strip off Santa Monica and Bundy.

 

And everything was going fine.

We were starting with dips and loops,

and then something terrible happened.

 

During my fourth lesson in the sky,

My intructor, younger than I, but as tough as you,

Instructed me to do a simple maneuverer.

It’s not that I didn’t do it,

But I was slow to lean the sportcruiser into a righthand upward turn.

Scared

Scared that I would lose control of the plane.

 

Not tactfully and not gently,

The instructor shook his head, and without looking at me said,

'You don’t trust yourself.'

 

I was horrified.

Feeling as though I’d somehow been found out.

Like he knew me

How weak I was.

Of course, he was only talking about my ability as a pilot in the sky,

But I knew it was meant for me to hear those words.

 

For me, they held a deeper meaning.

I didn’t trust myself.

 

Not just 2500 feet above the coast of Malibu,

But with anything.

And I didn’t trust you.

I could’ve said something, but I was quiet.  

Because pilots aren’t like poets.

They don’t make metaphors between life and the sky.

 

In the midst of this mid-life meltdown, navigational exercise in self-examination,

I also decided to do something else I had always wanted to do:

Take sailing lessons in the vibrant bay of Marina del Rey.

I signed up for the glasses under ‘Elizabeth Grant’,

And nobody blinked an eye.

 

So, why was I so sure that when I walked into the tiny shack on Valley Way, someone would say,

'You’re not a captain of a ship, or a master of the sky!'

No.

The fisherman didn’t care, and so neither did I.

 

And for a brief moment, I felt more myself than ever before.

Letting the self proclaimed drunkard captain’s lessons wash over me like the foamy tops of the sea.

 

Midway through my forehead burned,

and my hands raw from driving,

The captain told me the most important think I would need to know on the sea.

 

'Never run the ship into irons'

That’s nautical terms for not sailing the boat directly into the wind.

 

In order to do that though, you have to know where the wind is coming from.

And you might not have time to look up at the mast,

Or up further to the weather vein.

So you have to feel where the wind is coming from.

On your cheeks, and by the tips of the white waves from which direction they’re rolling.

 

To do this, he gave me an exercise.

He told me to close my eyes, and asked me to feel on my neck which way the wind was blowing.

I already knew I was going to get it wrong.

'The wind is coming from everywhere. I feel it all over' I told him.

'No,' he said.

'The wind is coming from the left. The portside.'

I sat waiting for him to tell me, 'You don’t trust himself.'

But he didn’t, so I said it for him.

'I don’t trust myself,'

 

He laughed, gentler than the pilot, but still not realising that my failure in the exercise was hitting me at a much deeper level.

 

'It’s not that you don’t trust yourself' he said. 'It’s simply that you’re not a captain. It isn’t what you do.'

 

Then he told me he wanted me to practise everyday so I would get better.

 

'Which grocery store do you go to?' he asked.

'To the Ralphs in the Palisades,' I replied.

 

'Okay. When you’re in the Ralphs in the Palisades,

I want you, as you walking from your car to the store,

To close your eyes, and feel which way the wind is blowing.

Now, I don’t want you to look like a crazy person crouching in the middle of the parking lot,

but everywhere you go,

I want you to try and find which way the wind is coming in from.

And then, determine if it’s from the port or starboard side,

So when you’re back on the boat you have a better sense of it.'

 

I thought his advice was adorable.

I could already picture myself in the parking lot,

Squinting my eyes with perfect housewives looking on.

 

I could picture myself growing a better sense of which way the wind was blowing.

And as I did, a tiny bit of deeper trust also began to grow within myself.

I thought of mentioning it,

but I didn’t.

Because captain’s aren’t like poets.

They don’t make metaphors between the sea and sky.

 

And as I thought that to myself,

I realised

That’s why I write.

 

All this this circumnavigating the earth

Was to get back to my life.

Six trips to the moon for my poetry to arise.

 

I’m not a captain,

I’m not a pilot.

I write!

I write!

 

 

 

Thank you to @ takeitdoen for the transcript, as it has been released in Australia x


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• 4.18.14 • 5.1.14 • 9.20.14 • 5.28.15 • 6.14.15 • 7.28.16 • 7.24.17 • 10.23.17 • 10.24.17 • 1.25.18 • 2.5.18 • 12.5.18 • 10.3.19 • 10.11.19 • 11.16.19 •

SF • ATL • ATL • IND • ATL • CHI • LDN • NYC • NYC • DC • ATL • NYC • PDX • SAN • KS

 

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all of these poems sound amazing, i can't wait to hear them all  :crai: the "stupid apartment complex" line is so funny to me.


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⋆ ˚。⋆୨୧˚ ♥ a.m.e.r.i.c.a, all i wanna do is play ♥ ˚୨୧⋆。˚ ⋆

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"My intructor, younger than I, but as tough as you,

Instructed me to do a simple maneuverer.

It’s not that I didn’t do it,

But I was slow to lean the sports cruiser into a right hand upward turn.

Scared, scared that I would lose control of the plane.

Not tactfully and not gently,

The instructor shook his head, and without looking at me said

“You don’t trust yourself”.

I was horrified.

Feeling as though I’d somehow been found out.

Like he knew me,

How weak I was.

Of course, he was only talking about my ability as a pilot in the sky,

But I knew it was meant for me to hear those words."

--

I’m not a pilot.

I write!

 

 

This reminded me of an interview she did with Zane Lowe back in 2018, where she referenced this exact moment and how it influenced her to begin writing more (10:00-11:50): 

"This is when I also started to write more poetry. One of the most interesting things that happened to me was I couldn't take control, and my pilot instructor, who's much younger than me, he asked me to turn up and to the right into a righthand turn. & I did it, but I did it so slowly that it didn't even really turn. He just looked at me and he was like, 'You don't trust yourself.' He was literally only talking about with the plane, but for me I thought, shit. Thank god I didn't have a breakdown, I felt like I knew I needed to hear that. I was like, oh my god, I really don't. 'Cause it's so simple. The plane drives like a stick shift 'cause I'm in a sportcruiser. All you have to do is move the stick to the right, but I couldn't even do it. I think I realized how I am still so scared of so much. Of course, the sailing is another metaphor. They have a lot of the same language. I think it's all about being in the driver's seat, if you will. I'm all about metaphors. I actually said something to him, I was like, you're right. I don't trust myself. I really don't. & he looked at me like, get it together. That's when I realised. I don't want to say that's when I realised I'm not a pilot, but I realised I'm a writer. I'm not a pilot, but I could be. That's where my head went. It's funny, even with his instruction my head still went to how am I turning this into a rhyming stanza?"

 


49093006537_7ae76bb4ce_o.jpg

• 4.18.14 • 5.1.14 • 9.20.14 • 5.28.15 • 6.14.15 • 7.28.16 • 7.24.17 • 10.23.17 • 10.24.17 • 1.25.18 • 2.5.18 • 12.5.18 • 10.3.19 • 10.11.19 • 11.16.19 •

SF • ATL • ATL • IND • ATL • CHI • LDN • NYC • NYC • DC • ATL • NYC • PDX • SAN • KS

 

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Too shy to explain to the owners that my first lesson was just a one-time thing,

I’ve continued to go to classes each week.

Ugh this is so cute and also very relatable (not the flying lessons, but the overall attitude)  :poordat:


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This is my favorite one. Simply incredible. Uplifting in a heartbreaking way. And I love the whole development of it. :gclap:

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Listening through this is my favorite so far. I find the simpleness of the theme so beautiful, and as a fan I'm happy Lana's found herself. We've come a long road leading to this, I felt as if it wasn't only her having this epiphany, but also me who was been by her side by listening to her music and her interviews since 2012. I think you could say at least five things about the details and subject of this poem, but what I loved the most is the feeling of becoming a bigger person, someone strong to rely on to. This is poem is a twin sister to Mariner's Apartment Complex for sure, and I've said this before but I'm glad Lana's feeling more emotionally mature and confident about herself.

 

I’m not a captain,

I’m not a pilot.

I write!

I write!

:oprah: Yes, queen! I cried tears of joy

 

again, there's a million things to say but if you've been a true fan there's really no need to dissect this poem. Everything is so crystal clear in my heart


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"My intructor, younger than I, but as tough as you,

Instructed me to do a simple maneuverer.

It’s not that I didn’t do it,

But I was slow to lean the sports cruiser into a right hand upward turn.

Scared, scared that I would lose control of the plane.

Not tactfully and not gently,

The instructor shook his head, and without looking at me said

“You don’t trust yourself”.

I was horrified.

Feeling as though I’d somehow been found out.

Like he knew me,

How weak I was.

Of course, he was only talking about my ability as a pilot in the sky,

But I knew it was meant for me to hear those words."

--

I’m not a pilot.

I write!

 

 

This reminded me of an interview she did with Zane Lowe back in 2018, where she referenced this exact moment and how it influenced her to begin writing more (10:00-11:50): 

"This is when I also started to write more poetry. One of the most interesting things that happened to me was I couldn't take control, and my pilot instructor, who's much younger than me, he asked me to turn up and to the right into a righthand turn. & I did it, but I did it so slowly that it didn't even really turn. He just looked at me and he was like, 'You don't trust yourself.' He was literally only talking about with the plane, but for me I thought, shit. Thank god I didn't have a breakdown, I felt like I knew I needed to hear that. I was like, oh my god, I really don't. 'Cause it's so simple. The plane drives like a stick shift 'cause I'm in a sportcruiser. All you have to do is move the stick to the right, but I couldn't even do it. I think I realized how I am still so scared of so much. Of course, the sailing is another metaphor. They have a lot of the same language. I think it's all about being in the driver's seat, if you will. I'm all about metaphors. I actually said something to him, I was like, you're right. I don't trust myself. I really don't. & he looked at me like, get it together. That's when I realised. I don't want to say that's when I realised I'm not a pilot, but I realised I'm a writer. I'm not a pilot, but I could be. That's where my head went. It's funny, even with his instruction my head still went to how am I turning this into a rhyming stanza?"

 

 

I love how this poem felt so familiar when I listened to it! I remember listening to that interview when it came out.

Thank you, Elle, for pointing this out.   :kiss:

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