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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Chase

Poem inspired by Superior Donuts/Disenchanted.

This is Justin Karcher's final theater inspired poem -- for a while.

You Gotta Tell Your Story


On the morning of November 12, 2019

you wake up

to the hardworking chaos of frostbitten newsies

screaming into the void

“Buffalo hit with record

10.2 inches of snow for Nov. 11”

you wish that rolled off the tongue better

you wish for a lot of things

a more magical daily existence, for example

a life adorned with phosphorescent castles

and only the perfect amount of snow

‘cause castles make you happy

‘cause you still like snow, it’s part of your identity

you just don’t want to deal with it every day

that heaviness

you also find it annoying

that you live in a city

where the only thing that looks like a castle

is a beautiful but bizarre psychiatric hospital/boutique hotel hybrid

maybe you’re just overdramatic

you think about this

as you brush the snow off your car

at a red light on the way to work

you scroll through Instagram

buffaloproud shares a photo

a box of donuts with the tagline

“You can never have

just one Paula’s Donut”

you want to throw your phone out the window

‘cause you find it frustrating

how you always wake up with a sweet tooth

how you always want more

than what the day can reasonably provide

anyway, how selfish are you?

thinking about donuts at a time like this

when you’re driving down streets

where the trees look like spinal cords

covered in tinsel

past nursing homes

where the people inside

are trying to use Christmas wreaths

as life preservers

before drowning in dementia

memory is good and all

but it won’t make you any more alive

in conclusion

there’s no messiah to save us

from how mangled we’ve become

these days, there’s no Great American Novel

charting our daily narrative

explaining what the major themes are


you really want a donut

‘cause the sweetness will eject you from this wreckage

at least for a moment

then you can sleep like a baby

without a care in the world

then you can dream that you’re a Disney princess

with shimmering hair like a ski slope

singing a song that burns holes through Apple AirPods

‘cause as long as you can remember

you’ve always wanted to let it go

to float in the ocean with a tattooed god

who has perfect comic timing

but you’re bad at letting things go

like there’s some sort of blockage

between you and that pixie dust you want to snort

‘cause you want to get high

but not in an unhealthy way

you just want to believe in something grand

a narrative that has a clear beginning, middle and end

but also something adventurous

when the snow in your brain melts

and you can swim in peace

the light at the end of the tunnel

but it has nothing to do with death


it has everything to do with life


when you get to work

you hang out in your car

you don’t want to go in

you stare at your phone

hoping your workplace vanishes into thin air

but not in a scary kind of way

on Facebook

you see that all your friends have called in sick

they plan on binge-watching Disney+

which has just gone live

you feel like you should have called in too

if you did, you probably would’ve gotten fired

but there’s also magic in that

in starting again

look, you just want to be with your friends

binging on the Great American Novel

which is also called nostalgia

which is also called “today makes me really sad”


before you begrudgingly head into work

you imagine that Disney

must be powered by the tears of disappointed adults

and not by the enthusiasm of children

we’ve turned into disappointed adults trapped in rooms full of boxed wine, Star Wars toys & tiaras

we’ve turned into disappointed adults getting hammered on weeknights

while watching vloggers on YouTube go to Disney everyday

we’ve turned into disappointed adults

bitter all the time, jealous of joy, hanging out on rooftops

screaming, “I’m so fly, I Neverland”

you won’t jump

but it’s always an option

even though it doesn’t really matter

‘cause in Buffalo, the snow is like a trampoline

when you try jumping to a new beginning

you end up bouncing right back to where you started

it’s frustrating, it’s depressing, it’s… un-magical

how there’s so much sweetness out there

and you just don’t have the time for it

be honest with yourself

this is slowly killing you

‘cause the sweet tooth inside your heart is desperate for more

that “more” doesn’t have to be momentous

it doesn’t have to be grandiose

it just needs to be different

than what you’re doing right now

remember, you’ve always been magic

now tell your story about this broken world

and your place in it

but remember, you’re broken too

and that’s the whole point of this journey

learning to see the world differently


you finally step out of your car

off to work again

when will you create your own magic?

when will you create your own sweetness?

when will you stream yourself

for everyone to see?


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