Steve Roggenbuck

3 October 2018—Since including this poem, it has come to light that the author engaged in a pattern of sexually predatory behaviour, in particular towards teenage and underage girls. The accounts are numerous, the details of which do not bear repeating here. A hub for discussion and support is currently being conducted in a Twitter thread.

Like many writers of a similarly aged cohort, Steve's work was important to us during a formative time of artistic development. We still read in it a weirdly melancholic play that felt needed at the time: in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, during our generation's major swell of climate crisis awareness. We can now understand, with great disappointment, that Steve's meticulously crafted "brand" of heartfelt awkwardness was as much a tool of manipulating women from a position of popularity & power, as it was one of expressing a place in that coarse world.

Rather than tear this down & pretend it never happened, we feel that it's our responsibility to own up to our choices—to understand how something that fascinated us also constituted exploitation. To remove all evidence, & leave no signposts for others to learn from, does a disservice to victims. To paper over mistakes does away too much with evidence & consequences.

You can read this poem if you choose—it is widely available elsewhere in various forms, printed and recorded. But you must do so knowing that it's not just a poem anymore, if it ever was. Its language is a mark of the trauma that the author's victims have grown up with, of how the baseline experience for so many women is to be assaulted with sexual advances & male entitlement.

[expand title="Somewhere in the bottom of the rain" notitle="true"]

the news said that a family got lost in a corn maze
and was still in there at night and
they called 911
to get out of the maze
the news said that most people finish the maze in 25
minutes but this
family was in there for 4 hours and
i will kis you sitting on the pier of the
shalow river and
i will kis you in your
cars back seat on the gravel turnaround in the
rain and i will even kis you
another time
pushed against a dead tree in the back of a graveyard

im sory i like you better than everything
i want to whisper into your smile
come watch cops
with me
you make me need to write love poems
this is what i might whisper in the rain
come over and
nap with me i want you
i sleep like a raccoon in you
i sleep in you
like i am a raccoon somewhere
do you ever want
to climb into a birch tree with me
somewhere
in the bottom of the rain i want you

i turn you with slow animals
i turn you in the
dark trees
i have you with me in the dark trees
i am tryig to put you somewhere else in the
dark trees too
i am like the giraffe of you
wow
i am kising 25 birds when i kis you

four hours of rain in the corn
i kis you and i dream that i am a raccoon

you trip and u
fall and
instead of geting up you stay down and
i kis you on the ground
in a corn field
at night

i am with you pushing flowers in the open mouth
i am with u pressing rain to the
frosted window
it is even hard to cry now

in december michigan there wil be a snow bank
somewhere of u and me and
your warm
legs and i am in between kissing u
sweet drems you are very beautiful
i wil sing to
you justin bieber with my lips
on you and
my hands on you so
thank you i am far into the warm tunnels
of you
i will bring to
you my warm dark we are under a pine
tree and
it is mid night so
thank you i am deep into the rain of you[/expand]

 

 

Steve Roggenbuck (Ruth, MI, USA) is a travelling poet/blogger. His work has been covered by Know Your Meme the New York Times Style Magazine. His online home is livemylief.com