Season 2, Episode 017: Requiem for a Fallout Shelter

season 2 of raconteuse radio

Happy 1-year anniversary to the podcast! To celebrate, Guilliean reads poems inspired by her short story of the same name.

Music: Ghosts Walk Here (Drumless Version) from ZapSplat.

Closed In

I chose this space.
I chose this time.
I chose this movement.
I chose this shape.
I prefer the solitude.
But do I deserve it?

Lost Youth

He Left Me. All Alone.
to Fend for Myself.
Do you know how that Feels?
In Confusion, I kept My lips sealed.
And the world turns.

How I Learned to Love the Bomb

Rumours & hearsay.
The story that never dies.
Almonds and applesauce.
The smells that never lie.
Faith in death. Faith in life. Faith in humanity.
It's all the same.


I share the same air as she.
I sit in the same chair as she.
I bleed the same metallic taste of blood as she.
Yet I don't know who she is.
She'll always be a mystery to me.

I Left My Heart in Mountain Valley

I went through the motions.

I danced the peasant dance
                                            when I was meant for the solo as the king.
I sang the song of the quail
                                            when I was blessed with the pipes of the nightingale.
I spoke the word of the layman
                                                  when I was destined to speak the words of the demagogue.
I left my quiet farming town for the bright lights of another city.

I said, "Luck be a lady tonight."

But I came back because of fate.

As the king.
The nightingale.
The demagogue.

I slipped down the slope into the curse that shrouds my town.
I fought against the Will and found myself unbecoming. 
I'm frozen to this place, a tree root that won't die.

I'm the peasant. again.
The quail. again.
The layman. again.


They say it's human nature.
How can belief in a fairy tale be human nature?
I've become so cynical that I only the trust the tangible.
Maybe it's time to let go.

Misfocusing/Safe with Me

It's so easy.
It's so breezy.
I've got to stop the world misfocusing on me.
What have I got to lose?
Shall I step up with my heart so bruised?
You'll be safe with me.

Requiem’s Lament

She holds the world at bay.
But she's like a lump of clay -
                                                   waiting to be molded.
She doesn't have the will to cry.
But she'll be the first to lie -
                                                   because of past heartache.
She takes her baby steps,
and I'm right there beside her.


Alone are you? So am I.
Crying you are? Me too.
Sheltered from the storm? So am I.
Afraid of the storm? Me too.

Secondary Plot

In the backseat of my mind,
all I can think about is love.
Will I be a star? Will I be happy?
Will I have someone to give my heart to?
I walk past him everyday as I go through the paces.
He says hello and fetches me fresh cups of coffee without asking.
I'm frigid in my bed since that One left.
So I guess I should take the plunge.
I guess I should fall in love.
It's never too late.


Maybe my mother didn't hug me enough.
Maybe my invisible friends didn't want to play with me. 

But I like to mentally torture people.
I like to keep them guessing that of my true motives.
They are my puppets, and I play their strings. 

Maybe I should've been nicer to my primary school teachers.
Maybe I shouldn't have opened the fire extinguisher in the library.
Maybe I should've been more active in sports.

Maybe I shouldn't have to explain myself.
I'm sick. I admit it.

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Guilliean Pacheco (she/her) is a writer and editor of Filipino heritage and the host of the City of Writers podcast. Her work has appeared in TechTarget, Nevada Humanities, and Helen: A Literary Magazine. She has an M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and is an Anaphora Arts poetry fellow. She’s a misplaced California girl who lives in Las Vegas normally, if one could call living there normal, on Southern Paiute land. Follow her on Twitter.

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