FANDOM


"Patent Leather Do-Over" is the first poem released by Lana Del Rey from her second poetry book Behind the Iron Gates - Insights from an Institution. The spoken word poem is accompanied by music from Jack Antonoff.

BackgroundEdit

On May 23, 2020, Del Rey shared the full poem on her Instagram account.[1] She has also shared various accompanying visuals from the poem.[2][3]

PoemEdit

Sylvia,
I knew what you meant when you talked about swimming in the ocean and leaving your patent leather black shoes pointed towards it while you swam
It tickled you to leave them there
It was the thought of a young child or of a lost fairy
It reminded me of who I am
That's why I'm now at this facility by the ocean
And why I go barefoot and why I go calmly
Why I leave my shoes up by the stairway
I do it for you, and I do it for me
Because having learned from others and from you,
I learned there was a missing piece to finding existential calmness and domestic bliss to lead to peace

You see, you can't fall in love with a man like Ted or a musician who sings about being free
A woodworker doesn't a good man make if he wants his work to be on TV
You have to separate the wheat from the chaff
You have to be discerning
It takes diligence, consequence, and other things to keep that sea from churning
And to keep yourself from longing to let those painted waves take you under
It isn't just the water black that makes the body plunder from high sea cliffs
I know, my dear, I wish that I had been here or there
I wish that you were here now if you're not now because who knows how these things work?

Sylvia, Marilyn, Violet, Diana

All of my kind women who came before me, blonde
I dyed my hair black for you
I turned my back on that black pond
I swear I won't stop 'til I'm dead
And here I am at 34, and what for?

To bring my pair of baby patent leather shoes to turn them the other way
Towards the sea cliff stairs, not at the ocean
To bring them back up safe to the facility instead
And I think of you as I walk to the 280 wooden steps dynamited into the cliffs 100 years before
I let myself into room 2 and got undressed

I was sunburnt
Contemplative and sore
And as I fell asleep by Gabapentin
I lay my head on the pillow
And stretched my hand out on the cool white linen and sang you a lemon melody
I kept the shoes on the sill by the window seat in case you got restless and wanted to leave
And I hugged you with my baby's breath and sang your spirit to bed
The way I would have if you were my child or if I had children
My Queen Anne's lace heart weightless on your little head

ReferencesEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.