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About this Poem 

“When I wrote ‘Manic Panic,’ I was thinking about mass violence, about being a kid versus being an adult, about our culture’s obsession with staying young forever contrasted with the reality of dying young in some form of violence or tragedy. There’s so much focus all around us on the power and allure of youth, on ‘stopping aging,’ for women in particular, but this poem is about what happens to that power as you keep on living.” 

—Marisa Crawford

Manic Panic

Live fast
and dye your hair.

That’s what I wrote on my
Converse in 8th grade.

Maybe it was the way
the feeling pulled me

like a girl
pulling a ponytail.

Maybe I didn’t get the job
cause of the polka dots.

Maybe I don’t care
cause of the wave.

Today I’m blue.
Tomorrow I could be anywhere.

All these pop songs about dying young
like it’s gonna be so epic.

The only difference between 8th grade
and now is the blowing up

the use of color
& perspective.

Things that are with you
when you wake up

& you feel like
someones there.

Same rainbows
under her eyes

clouds floating in the air.

Copyright @ 2014 by Marisa Crawford. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright @ 2014 by Marisa Crawford. Used with permission of the author.

Marisa Crawford

Marisa Crawford is the author of The Haunted House (Switchback Books, 2010). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.