For People Who Are Trying To Find Their Happiness In All Sorts Of Places, by Ethan Lesley at

For People Who Are Trying To Find Their Happiness In All Sorts Of Places

For People Who Are Trying To Find Their Happiness In All Sorts Of Places

written by: Ethan Lesley



you sat in front of your homey tombstone, decorated by tears of the departed, the departing, and the newly born,
we are young in body but old in soul, whisked about and away by whiskey and the sunlight,
sun-dripped on milk in glass translucent as the second coming,
but deception, long as round-the-earth flight, slithers under your welcoming bed,
it rocks and asks for conformity, rocks and asks for stillness, asks for silence, asks for more, asks to be wed, asks for a lore

you were born radiant but duller and duller you become as the hallways that ushered
your caretakers, your future, ice-pick your skin, rickety in their current form
and pass, they, to you this strange hat, saying, ye are to be mature now,
so backpack, you go, backpack, you become,
backpack, you go, ’til its time to come home

have you noticed how radiant your peers became after hitting the road,
how captured they were by the ocean, by its tide, by the goddamn doozy from all the mountains climbed,
they knock and knock at your door and your newsfeed, both about to tumble and feel the feet electric,
your limbs are now that of a centaur’s,
you are now made for things, and things are now your home
(this is nothing wrong, this is nothing wrong)

but it is not your home,
you are a foreigner on borrowed time,
you are a visitor,
some times trespasser,
so trespass all you mind, all ye rosiers, but believe me, tapir,

some things are waiting for you, and so you make them wait,
some people are clinging to you, and they can’t change their fate,
roll then, after and after

in legs of emotional tourists, artsy itinerants, the highest of possible nadirs, you won’t find it there,
in frissons and rotes and yegging piercers, you won’t find it there,
in slandering foes, you won’t find it there,
in the arms of the I-thought-I-already-left-yous, you won’t find it there,
on canyons, on walls, on purple mountains, in underwater caves, you won’t find it there,
stop looking for happiness in exotic places,
unless you already had it before the start of your
journey into madness, into worldly reliance y photo-dumping,
you won’t find it outside yourself,
for some, it belongs more honestly
at the bottom of a bottle
(and the bottle is as exotic as you)

you ask but it is not
the world’s job to give it to you,
but you can beg, and you beg till you’re so good at begging,
swell and still, you won’t find it there

in saunters burlesco, you’d find it there
in your dog’s eyes, dog’s memories, you’d find it there
in reneged timelines, you’d find it there
in jobs you may have undervalued, let go off, quit in fits of called-for monsterity, you’d find it there
in crowds where you tuned out because the lights hit your eye not quite right, you’d find it there
in carpool karaoke videos, in lonely beach themathics, in stairway battlings, ligands y freighthoppings, you’d find it there
in oil-lit dinners and intimate dates, sex with one wholely admired, you’d find it there
in showers of sun rays perioding fortnights hidden in rooms, you’d find it there
in gentlings lost at birth, you’d find it there
in la ultima cena, you’d find it there
in the climax of love unmoving, you’d find it there

you’d find it in the mouth of a child who hasn’t yet cursed, or perhaps has cursed too much
you’d find it by the bruised hands of the farmer who is dedicated to the copras
you’d find it at the emptied graves of your lover, mother and father
you’d find it in your resurgent sprites– you’d find it everywhere

when the time of the fiesta is over, do we not wander
along the corridors of the once-landscaped-with-drunks-and-the-jolly, and think
what made it beautiful had gone by so easy as the moon had again collapsed back into the hills
the grass, it is inviting, yes
lay upon the heath, there is nothing more comforting
than going to sleep
shame how we never get to see how happy we are when we sleep


the only way to rule the world for some is through beauty, power, and money,
power and absolution, power and pictures and weekends we don’t talk about, for we promised
you need not be celebrated by the people below you– that does you no good,
I have finally decided that the best way for me to move forward is to further separate myself from the world,
and at that, I could excel at, and with that, perhaps I should



The entry is part of Ethan Lesley CC’s first collection of poetry, ‘The Incomplete Range’

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