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So Long, for Now

Jen Selinsky

Copyright © 2006 by Jen Selinsky

All rights reserved by the author. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of the copyright holder.

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Cover Art Copyright © 2000 by Jen Selinsky and 2013 by Travis Potts


Though this is not, chronologically, the last poetry book I’ve written, numerically it is number fifty-one. Primarily, I decided to concentrate more on prose so I can broaden my horizons. Perhaps, some time later, I will write more poetry, but it may still be a few more months (or years) down the road. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my journey just as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!

—Jen Selinsky 11/28/06

*Not every poem included in this book is dated in chronological order. This is not an oversight on my part. Rather, I have made changes and substitutions over the years.


You said to spread our wings,

But how can we do so

Every time that they are clipped?

Due to our shortcomings—

The shortcomings of man.

What’s fucked up is the meaning

And this stupid world,

Where the weak can expect to be trampled

Then bleed in the ditches to die.

Who can explain why,

And if they can, they deserve a PhD

Because no one else has the capacity.


Dropouts up to 30%

And rising in this town,

These students must think me

To be a clown to advocate.

Lower educational standards

So that people may

Get out, leave by their own means.

All this pressure; it’s amazing

That people can still walk upright

And are not constantly in pain

From a broken spine.

We complain, and we whine because,

As underdogs, we try but still

Get nowhere in this cruel difficulty.


So pale, she could not

Bring herself to move.

Back then, they should

Have known how easy

It was—how quickly they

Could glide instead of

Being bound by these chains

That constrict us and

Cut off our circulation—

Cause for amputation

Just to get away from all

The pain that only took

Seconds to accumulate.


Crime, people resorting to

Unmentionable means

Just in order to make ends meet.

How can anyone compete,

Unless they are composed

Of a substance that makes them

The ultimate human—almost superhuman,

Which is not even possible.

In this portly vessel of dirt and dust

Water, to nourish our minds,

Is the only thing that’s left free

For us to partake and make ourselves

Grow a third eye—



You got the notice;

You found what I had

Left to say before.

I departed into the abyss

That is an unknown surrounding,

Yet it intrigues me all the same.

Follow my instructions carefully

And let me segue

Into something

Almost completely different,

While no one takes any more

Notice of me.


Two years of non-knowledge

Stored up inside my head, where

All the goodness should lie; instead

The one thing I dread lies only

Hours away, and I am down for the count.


Wishing I could get out,

Knowing that I have

Years left to serve—years

That should have been

Reserved for higher education,

But they tied me up

Then beat me black & blue.

My skin contains a normal hue,

But the actual scars will never heal,

And, now, I play the indentured servant

To a fast food joint with young

Fawn to feed.


Head barely lifted up off the bar,

You could not think that you would

Actually get far until the hands

Of oppression dragged you back—

Screaming acid yellow with bitter

Liquid that makes you puke before

You get the chance to digest it.

Stomach acid yellow with a tinge

Of brown on the wooden floor—

Like it is going to disintegrate.

The boards and suck you into

The foul depths of unpleasantness,

In the center of denial.


Go seeking whatever you wish to find

In hopes that do not seem

Out of reach, yet you feel used up and

Dejected to the point of which

You no longer wish to carry on,

Trying to fulfill your useless purpose.

Do my words do the opposite of motivate you,

Or do you still wish to find something that

May not even be there with which to begin?


Had time to think it over

To calm myself down—

Let the bad thoughts run out

From inside my head.

Still some worry, though no

Cause for immediate panic (or hate).

No matter how many people can

Find that they relate; it’s not always

The right thing to do.

I know there’s so much worse that

I can go through, so it’s just best

To move on at this point—

Where nothing else bad can take

Control and damage my poor little soul,

Which is already vulnerable to everything

Else that is out there.

I need protection now more than ever.


Fake expression

Got me running around;

Then you have to leave

To reach the other side of town.

People in such a rush as they

Try to find their place in the sun

Or the move for the next

Parking lot.

Really, it’s so sad, and they

Should allow themselves a little more

Time to calm down and

Reach for a point of tranquility,

Like I find myself doing everyday—

To start a new and refresh my soul.

I have a long way to go until I

Reach my goal, but stress is not the way

To go because I need to keep a clear mind

So that I can enjoy my relaxation.


Teary-eyed, or clouded in the mystery

Of the smoke that’s surrounding—

All in the place where everybody claims

To know everyone else and what they

Are thinking.

You’re either here, or you are in a place

That has no bearing to what you’re

Really like inside.


What you know how to do

In this limited spectrum—

In range as you try to tear

Things up in bitter rage.

People are going to know,

And if they don’t, it won’t

Take long for them to find out

How you have come to such a rash

Conclusion in your mind that

Allowed you to carry out this

Horrible thing.


Amidst all those who

Are living on a prayer

Of mercy as they try to

Get an inclination to

Move to the next spot.

Get going while it’s

Still hot as soon as you

Are able to find a way;

It should only take

Another day.


Sounding good to a group of people

That you do not even know.

I could say that I’m sold;

I’d like to be convinced

Just as easily as everyone else,

And I may.

It just might take a little more time

Than any other person could give

Though, it is here in my mind,

Until the mission is defined.


Orbiting the earth since before

We had the capacity to do most

Anything that can be done

In this modern world.

How do you feel knowing

This piece of knowledge

That should settle in your mind

And make you blind to all else

(That’s around).


Don’t want to go to this haunted town

That has been dead for years

Of which to speak.

They cleared us out and made it known

That we are not to be welcomed

Back into the place, which, at one time,

Seemed like it was full of life—

Taken to a new vice when no one

Even cares to claim it as wrong or right.

You have no reason to join us in our plight,

Unless you are content in having

Nothing to do.


Drove By

The woman with her

Daughter in the car,

As my legs strive to push me

To the point of my physical best.

I only had a moment to take a glance,

But the woman seemed glad, while the

Other sat like a princess on guard,

Watching any new activity as it comes

Around the bend.


Far to Go

Strumming the strings like

A medieval sound to the

Modern audience.

He took her with him,

But they have to keep going

A lot longer until someone

Recognizes their faces

In a foreign land.


Stored valuables

In the trunk of someone’s car—

Few bottles of wine and

Paintings from a garage.

He meant to take them

Out to show his aunt,

But he forgot, just like

He always does in the spur

Of the moment.


Not sure how you got the chance

To step away, but I must have

Enough room so that I can stay

Within the safe boundaries

That you are now trying to leave.

I never understood why, but I

Cannot talk to you now that

You are out of it.


Something you thought must have

Made you happy because I saw the bliss

As it ran across your face,

Illuminating what seemed to be the

Highlight of your day.

Sharp features seen in a different light—

Another portrayal of human emotion

At its finest.

I can see how it has come out for the better.


You held your own like you were

The greatest hero this place has ever seen.

I know where you’ve been, and I must say

That it’s nowhere I would like to be.

Some people like to think that they could

Sway me into a compromising position—

A place that can do me no good.

I knew I should have thought to avoid you

When I still had the chance.


Getting away to pull

Another trick or nothing that

Shows me the reversal of anything

That a good person would have done

With her time.

I thought I had it all pegged

And that I would be on my way to freedom,

As it exists in every sense that it’s not meant to be.


You helped me through

So that I did not collapse into oblivion

To waste away like many thought

That I would—

Rotting in an early grave before I was

Stopped in the nick of time by a

Friendly hand that swore to make it all better.


No sense in upsetting

The masses with words

And thoughts that would

Tarnish an image that

Has yet to be established.

So young, you think you know

What you want,

But the survey says you

Have no idea, and that is

How it’s going to be,

Unless you vow to change

Your shape—change your

Ways that would transform you

Into a greater human being.


Peace now.

All the voices have gone

Along with all the sad songs,

That used to consume my mind.

I sit here rocking in a different state

Than the one who had seen me here

In the first place.

I must know how all this has

Come to be, but apathy got the

Best of me because I am perfectly

Content with how I feel,

Right now, in the moment

That I call home.


Marching fools scarce do

Realize why people snicker

Behind their backs.

All those ignorant fools,

On both sides, do not care

As long as they think they have

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