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  • Rebecca Landau

Five poems // Rebecca Landau

St Sebastian and so on

This poem is a bad gay Netflix movie.

This poem starts with silk balloons and ends with suicide.

This poem steals style tips from the archives of failure.

Embrace radical negativity!

Twine sour gummy worms in your lover's hair.

Refuse to give that talk about refusal. Ride bumper cars instead.

Knock the lightest child all the way to the Ferris wheel.

Forget Yom Kippur. Eat a bacon cheeseburger.

Run to shul seconds after the gates of heaven close.

We create god through practice.

This poem is fanfiction for a story that doesn’t exist.

My Love Turn Off Your Read Receipts

Preserve my ignorance a little longer. Let me think

that you are fighting pirates or setting goats loose

in the wilderness far from every cell tower

not that you couldn't bother to reply

when I slaved over each smiley face,

each purple cat, each word.

The gray dots move in undulating waves

then fall still. The dialogue box disappears.

Our conversation becomes a monologue again.

Too Gay To Function

By gay I mean happy and by happy I mean

when she laughs at me, I become a chorus line

(the formation not the show [show the noun not the verb])

heels touching the ceiling up and out of orbit high

kicking at escape velocity (how fast you must move

to leave the earth behind [distance/time {don’t ask

for definition of time}] ). I am not the dancer-

I’m the motion and I’m in too many places at once

to call myself a function. No set of axes

could graph this imaginary number.



Plants will grow through the tracks. We will wear recycled clothing and treat plastic like gold. The highline will be a beach boardwalk but no one will sell saltwater taffy. We will finally understand the presence of seagulls. The ocean was always already here.


When I squeeze past cuddling couple, she almost impales me with her hot pink heel. No way out but forward. Unless I break that window and jump on a diagonal- down and to the left. I pick up a stone. When I fall into the pulpit in a shower of colored glass, they will call me a martyr. Do priests call 911 for martyrs? I place the stone back in the crater that formed when I picked it up, keep walking. Forward.


Warning: nude sunbathers from here on out. Why are so many tourists taking pictures of a naked man? He's made of plaster but he still deserves his privacy. If he could visit the miniature museum, he'd destroy the gallery of eyes. The candles are electric so why does it smell like smoke?


Their cellphone cameras are too weak to capture the postcard skyline but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Is that a palace, a condo or a makeup store? Vials of glitter on the windows. If I still had my rock, I could sprinkle the dust over the train yard.


Her bracelet came from the bottom of the sea.

These 31 spices will make you fall in love.

We know exactly when and where you’ll get married.

Time to turn on private mode.

There’s a world war happening online right now

and you might be a mercenary in it.

If you could press a button to murder

every mosquito, would you?

Devote your life to waves

signed everyone who has to live on earth.



Rebecca Landau is a rising senior at Columbia University. Her work has appeared in the Hanging Loose Press, 826 Valencia Quarterly, and *82 review. When not reading or writing, she's usually busy procrastinating.

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