20 Reasons to Run Away and Never Come Back

Photo by Howard Hall.
Photo by Howard Hall.

I have been thinking a lot about lists. And I have been thinking a lot about reasons. What inspires us to make the choices we make? Many weeks ago I started compiling lists of lines of poetry, not full poems themselves, but simply lists of one line each that one-day could belong to a poem. And I started to think: all my lists of lines had themes, had reasons behind them, reflected how I was feeling. It was impossible to separate the list from myself, and thus the lists became reflections of myself in the moment of their creation. With this realization I found I could experiment in making a multi-dimensional self. One that wasn’t me, and actually wasn’t anyone, but was made out of the lists of as many people as I could convince to give me their words, and by combining them I could create some sort of universal, shared, yet nonexistent person. 

            I believe we all have similar impulses, but different experiences and reasons that cause the impulse. We cannot always connect on reason, but I think we can connect on impulse, on what the reason sparks within us. So, with this poetry project that is what I tried to do. I asked people to entrust me with their reasons, and gave them a prompt. The first prompt was “Reasons to Run Away and Never Come Back”. I sent a message and I waited. Soon, I received responses from New York, Utrecht, Washington D.C and Berlin, over 100 in total. From that 100 I tried my best to curate a list that covered all the topics, to create one person united by all of our experiences, and to see this person’s life through only their impulses. And this is what I found.

Reasons to Run Away and Never Come Back

  1. Because You have named all the clouds here
  2. Because you’ve started smoking to impress a boy
  3. Because they knew you too well
  4. Because the silence between us is the loudest sound I have ever known
  5. Because maybe it is possible to never be in the shade
  6. Because I can’t risk seeing your face.
  7. Because it’s my birthday and the sun won’t come out
  8. Because my room never feels like home
  9. Because you have to do what scares you
  10. Because The sun came out and it doesn’t feel like my birthday
  11. Because the weird, orangey color of the sky makes you feel like the apocalypse is happening every night
  12. Because there must be more than this. More than this. There must. There must. Be more.
  13. Because starting a farm sounds appealing
  14. Because the only way is forward
  15. Because people might give more hugs in other countries
  16. Because I need to see who will follow
  17. Because coming back would result in too many fears and no where to put them
  18. Because my closets are organized, my basement is well-lit, my attic is purged, my front door is fortified. Because I stand on the parapets of our life with a slingshot and creamy white stone in my mouth
  19. Because you have named all the fears here
  20. Because you own your life (and a lot of the time you can actually come back. Remember that)
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