I’ve been away from lyric writing for a long time, but I got a few lines stuck in my head, and they refused to leave me alone, so I wrote this.
I see the storm clouds gathering Rumbling in the distance It was already hazy to begin with Soon it’ll come crashing in You’re angry at the world and at yourself And I made you into the villain Pretended I was innocent In the end it didn’t make a difference We both said things we didn’t really mean I’m still just trying not to bleed Learned to tuck myself away Pretended it was okay Now the cold’s here anyway There’s nothing left to say You’re angry at the world And at yourself But I made you into the villain Pretended I was innocent We both knew that I wasn’t Try to salvage what we can Wrecked things til the end Maybe one day we’ll make amends I’ll offer you a hand And we’ll rebuild what we can But you’re angry at the world And you’re angry at yourself And I made you into the villain Like I didn’t fit your plans We both said things we didn’t mean I’m still just trying not to bleed The cold came anyway Now there’s nothing left to say Because you’re angry at the world And you’re angry at yourself I made you into the villain So I didn’t have to be But the storm came anyway Wrecked things til the end You’re angry at the world You’re angry I couldn’t see I made you into the villain So I didn’t have to be
My mentee and I were talking through her second submission piece, and I developed a general prompt for her to write a poem or two with: write something inspired, however closely or loosely, by nature. I gave her a set of words to think about, and we decided it’d be nice to both write a piece since I’ve been trying to get back into lyric writing. This is the piece that I came up with, expanding on some lines that had gotten stuck in my head. Funny enough, I wrote mine inspired by a “storm” and she wrote hers on “rain.” I think our pieces are quite complementary. We edited one another’s pieces, and this is the end result of mine.
Jessica Sun is the program coordinator for the Artists at Risk Connection at PEN America. Previously, she was the interim executive assistant and Board liaison at PEN America, a research assistant for Dr. Ellen Chesler at the Roosevelt Institute, and interned at the American Ballet Theatre and an Assembly member’s office, among other experiences. She is also a Girls Write Now mentor, providing college and career mentorship to a high school student, and an incoming Community Fellow at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. She was a 2018 Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) JSI Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and a Fulbright semi-finalist for interdisciplinary research in Argentina. She holds a BA in Political Science and a certificate in Public Policy, with concentrations in international development, international relations, and human rights, from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College.