Inner Rednecks

Elizabeth Ellen




I have real feelings.

Real feelings are staples inside my brain that itch and remind me of my ineffectualness.

I am considering becoming better friends with the high school kid who lives three houses down in order to procure the drugs I will need to alleviate these real feelings.

I spent the first year of my marriage convincing my husband that I loved him and this feels not dissimilar to that.

Cavemen don’t have real feelings.



I want to have meaningful moments with friends who are like brothers to me in order to exact revenge upon people I am incapable of exacting revenge upon.

I cried for forty nights. It felt like a decent number; biblical and shit.

Crying in the rain is similar to crying in the shower, you smile and no one can tell the difference.

Crying in the shower is good but I prefer right before bed.



Sometimes I wonder if you find me interesting only because I find you interesting.

And no, it’s not the same thing

Everyone I have ever wanted to love me now does and I no longer care.

I go to my hometown and don’t tell anyone I am there. I drive by the houses of my relatives and look in their windows and keep driving.

I have been trying to figure out how long I am obligated to remain on this planet now that I have procreated. (I don’t want to be an asshole, but come on!)



I want to drive my car at 100 mph past cornfields at sunset and wield my computer and phone into them.

I am never really embarrassed by anything I tell you because I know deep down you’re as fucked up as I am.

Maybe if you hadn’t choked on a carrot that time we were talking on the phone this would all be okay.

Who told you to try and eat a carrot while we were talking on the phone anyway?



I hate you most for the stupid moments we’re not having on the couch in front of the TV.

Yesterday I spent the entire day writing you a letter and did not work on my book at all. Oddly, it did not feel to me a waste of time, as I was sure it would.

I have effectively rid my life of every hopeful distraction.

I am running out of ways to make you love me.

I think I have to go away for a while.



I want the last heart I break to be my own.

Nuh uh. Yuh huh.



Every hotel room is the same without you in it.



I am never drinking Red Stag whiskey again.



Don’t ever tell me goodbye again ever.

The part of me that keeps asking for this to end is the part that knows it never will. Not without a massive lie on both our parts.

This will end us both.



In the beginning everything was easy: brush hair, eat M&M’s.

I can’t tell if all the things that make me insecure would make you love me more or less, but mostly I just think it doesn’t matter.

I would be embarrassed for you to see the stack of books in my bathroom. I am uncomfortable with you knowing the influence you have already had on me.

I want only slightly more than you are capable of offering anyone else.

If you pick me up, I’ll never let you put me back down.



Don’t be a bitch, I know you can carry me, no problem

I have a large bruise on my right shin from hitting it on the corner of my bed every night when I get up to use the bathroom and I blame you for this because you are not here to steer me around it.

On the moon with red wine and weed!

If you think I’m conceited, this just proves how little you really know me.



You like me best five minutes after I’ve told you goodbye.
One day I will tell you goodbye and really mean it.
You will like me for a long time after that day.


Elizabeth Ellen is the author of the story collection, Fast Machine and the poetry collection, Bridget Fonda. She lives in Ann Arbor.