A lyric essay is prose. It follows the structural guidelines of an essay. Paragraphs and section breaks control tempo. Typically they focus on emotionality or imagery and frequently change narratives that connect to create a story.
Here's my story, it's NSFW but hopefully it will entertain.
Fuzzy Green Feeling
The gravitational constant applies pressure to everything contained within the Earth's atmosphere. Typically, gravitational force can't be felt in a tangible way. Instead, it manifests in insecurities, short-comings and the ever present pressure to live up to the American Dream.
Towering over the twelve feet of leave-me-the-fuck-alone fence stands the mighty wooden fortress. It's nestled proudly by the birch tree with branches worn from adventurous climbing. The sound of cars driving through the alley seems distant as I lie on my back, foot tangled in the old swing. I stare at the wood rungs, the second one chewed through by the crazy dalmatian, Spot. The same dog that devoured the irises from mom's treasured garden. Now the lazy dog meanders over to me and barks. She goes to the screen door, barking.
Warm Days of Winter
The harsh winters of Detroit forged the white fox- The Terminator – an aged reflection. Behind bright eyes and an aversion to talking lives the hearty laugh of a proud father. Head Coach of the Olympic Training Center – Each day he diligently watches, experiences. Pride with every record set, sorrow and comforting with each injury and bomb-out competition. Adventure sits against the far wall – second platform in. Great people have poured blood, sweat and tears over this sacred five by five block. A young man stands impassible in their distinguished wake. Battered by determination – defeat – perseverance. Each block the same, only the faces change – except one. One face set solemnly serves as friend and mentor for the courage – Iron will – passing through drafty walls of his gym.
A light flurry of snow whips at my exposed fingers as I pull a drag from a menthol cigarette. Wind whispers through the narrow space between apartment buildings.
“One fine hell of a mess we got in to for a while there, huh?” Smoke mixes with frosty breath as I exhale, nicotine working it's repulsive job.
“Yeah, I'm glad you got out of it when you did, before we found out what it was.”
Matt fakes a New York accent. He's a long-time friend, and for several months was a using buddy. Stalled out on the banks of memory he reminds me of “The Bean”.
Behind the facade of mega-churches and suburban life dwells a grittier, realistic view of what has been brushed away and overlooked. Colorado Springs, home to fundamentalists and the Mexican drug cartel.
What a likely place.
A phone call goes out – Time to pick up what is believed to be Opium – how wrong we were.
20 minutes pass us by, huddled in a car waiting by a 3 margaritas – A dull laugh. 40 minutes pass by – shady, seedy... I've heard people end up getting their relatives faces' sewn on to soccer balls by these people – good thing I'm buying drugs from them.
Finally, an hour and a half later, a green Impreza with no license plate slows down – speeds up and takes a turn. With a frantic start the engine purrs – I heard he carries a gun, has his hand on it when you sit down in the passenger seat.
A young man, who's adventure finds him disenfranchised, apathetic-
Ah, fuck it.
Green darts back and forth, back then forth. Flickering though the windows of the beloved Subaru. A young man finds himself on his journey in a Wal-Mart parking lot, however, unnatural euphoria has settled in. People walk past at a hurried pace – They don't see. Or they turn a blind eye. How don't they see?
A low point – an abyss.
Green forests speckled with mud stare with animal intensity - hunger. A small square of aluminum foil unfolds. From dusty pockets emerges a marker container- blue designs on white plastic signify what once resided inside- brown and black residue cake the hollowed white plastic- tainted. Silent, greedy fingers produce a small black lump wrapped in a balloon. Ravenously torn open- precisely placed on the foil. Flames lavish the foil securing the lump- blue-gray smoke rises- Captured.
Pupils constrict – Deviant Euphoria.
Sharp resolve returns - Reality lapses back in to consciousness with the subtlety of a lion's cage. How much time had passed? What had I become? The condensed essence of what has been brushed away, spoken in hushed voices with intonations of fear that have become so common.
The cherry devours machine-wrapped white paper as I pull another drag. Ears and nose are flushed red by the bite of the season's second snow.
“Couple of dumbasses we were smoking heroin, huh?”
The thought of laughter echoes down the red brick buildings as two embers are flicked down a step in to cold wind and soft snow.
With the grace of a drunk stumbling through the dark, I guide her back to my bed, embraced not only with her but our combined intoxication. Green cuts deeper. Searching for the window that has been barred in hopes of protecting the remnants of jagged, broken glass. Blissfully, we fall on to my bed. Hands clenched in an embrace that will likely be the first and last. I talk of addiction – say too much.
She drunkenly murmurs, “My father was addicted to cocaine, I know what it's like.”
A young man stammers for the right words. The best he has, “I'm sorry. You don't deserve that.” Fingers glide through her hair.
“Don't be sorry, it's not your fault.”
“No, but I know what's it like – to be there. It's a very dark place.”
Words that were rushed, swept in the undertow of thoughts raging wildly. Words that set sail for the high seas seeking that which the safety of land could not procure.