Steph Holmbo

Steph Holmbo

 New York City, New York, USA
BandSpoken Word


Hey. My name is Steph Holmbo. I like lime green, ravioli, and hanging out with my dad. I sometimes write poetry. I also like singin' and dancin' and actin' but also I like writing and performing poetry. My favorite fruit is green apples and I live in New York City, which is pretty great, most of the time. I'd rather walk for 3 hours than ride the train. I started writing when I was 8 years old. I wrote a song about getting my dog as a Christmas present and then he got hit by a car. After that I knew there was no turning back. I like iced coffee and reading the poetry of ee cummings and Pablo Neruda.


You Never Really Knew What Hearts Were Made Of

Written By: Steph Holmbo

We were put here to LOVE. So love like your life turned into the greatest Disney fairytale ever written and the ending is happily ever after. Love like the sun is out today. Love like your favorite flower just began randomly growing outside your front door.
Love like he never existed. Love like she never left.
Love like the cute guy at the coffee shop said today your coffee’s on the house. Love like there is so much fog in the morning that it feels as if you are walking around on a cloud. Love like you woke up and realized you have 2 more hours to sleep. Love like a stranger just called you beautiful. Love like a little girl shyly expressed how much she looks up to you. Love like the feeling you had when you first stepped on the basketball court, first finished a race, first put on your first pair of pointe shoes. Love like you just scored the winning goal with 3 seconds on the clock. Love like you know you can. Love like in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts kisses Richard Gere, like Allie and Noah dance in the empty street, like Holly Golightly and Fred make out in the rain. Love like the first time you heard that song that hit your heart so hard you were sure it was written for you. Love like your heart is going to burst into a million pieces and cover the audience in front of you with some sticky goo because you never were really sure what hearts were made of. You might want to cover your eyes. Love like the crush you had on Jonathon Taylor Thomas when love was writing hearts on your notebooks and trying to calm butterflies in your stomach and when it was not sad melodies sung with tear stained cheeks with failed promises inside a broken heart. RISK everything for love. Rick your favorite photograph. Risk humiliation. Risk the whole $11.67 you have in your pocket. Risk getting broken again. Risk the blanket you’ve had since you were a baby. Risk the ring your dad gave to you when you turned 13. Risk everything you hold tightly in your heart because without risk you can’t love and without love you never really live.
I risk this all for you. I bear my heart because it was never mine to hold onto. It was made to share and pour out onto other people and into other people and all over the world because you matter. You matter to me and you matter to this. And even if I don’t know you I love you. I love without everything because it’s all I have. So start loving. Love like he did when he sent his one and only son to die for you and only you.
Love like love is all you need. Love like you’ve been freed from this greed that the world likes to feed you and lead the people to read these words and weed out the lies and plant the seed that love is all you need.
I write these words because the world needs more people like you, willing to love and love and love with everything they have and everything they will have and everything they don’t have. From this point on you throw away the past and make impressions that last because life moves too fast so I leave you with just one last task. Love. What the world needs now is love sweet love.
So love like you never have. Love like you always knew you could.

The Melody That Serenades

Written By: Steph Holmbo

I hear music
I hear music all around, the sound echoes through these halls, resounds through these walls.
I hear rhythm inside this room. I hear rhythm in the way her heels click down the hall. I hear rhythm in the way you tap your pen.
I’ll take that rhythm and spit it into rhyme.
Make music of the spoken kind.
Constant symphonies spill from my mouth to distract form my shaking knees so you won’t see the nerves that be inside these fingertips
For my love hides in each syllable
My passion creeps behind each pause
My drive sneaks around each vowel
And maybe I’m naïve but I still believe love is all you need and I will continue to weed out the lies and plant the seed that love is all you need with each of these beats
I hear a beat.
A beat that breathes inside this piece, a beat that breathes inside my soul
A heartbeat
And if my beat doesn’t hit you hard enough
And if my rhythm doesn’t make your toes tap
And if my words don’t come together then listen to my melody
My melody that serenades and saturates each phrase that rises and falls upon you
Because my love is underneath it all
I hear music
And I’m speaking this song, I’m singing these words for you

Sunshine For Beginners

Written By: Steph Holmbo

Sunshine twists around my knees, above my shoulders, separates through my hair
I believe in sunshine
The sidewalks glimmer with sparkles in stone
It hides behind corners, it peeks around benches
It revels in the glory of an open field
It is caught in hands with Frisbees, cuddles with already warm bodies on picnic blankets, naps with the face fallen asleep on a book
It creeps into rooms where it isn’t wanted
It finds the head dropped between two knees, the hands pressed against ears to block out the world, the tear slowly gliding down a pale cheek
There is a lesson to be learned from the sunshine
Sunshine wakes up every morning to breathe new life into a day
To give and give so others can live, to give the motive to forgive and relive
Its heat lies on barefeet in sandals, floats into closed kitchen windows, spreads out on countryside roads only to be disturbed by cars zooming along.
There is a lesson to be learned in the sunshine
It designs and defines a way to align and intertwine the art of love into something I can touch, that I can call all mine
For even though I’m a beginner in lessons on sunshine I know I can call it mine
And you can call it yours, and we can call it ours
And I do declare to all of you doing sunshine for beginners I hold dear to my heart
For sunshine chased away all my fears
And if you listen closely you will hear me say I love you
I love you
Sunshine bends and swivels between my fingers, skims the bridge of my nose, follows on my heels
And the sunshine waits for me to arrive safely on my front door step at the end of the say
For I am a beginner in lessons on sunshine
And I say, let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, oh let the sunshine
And the sunshine is a lover of mine

It's Nice To Meet You

Written By: Steph Holmbo

I want freedom in this heart of mine.
Lets go running in our bare feet as far, as fast as we can.
Lets get ice cream and let it run down our fingers until our hands are sticky messes.
Lets then hold hands.
Lets whisper secrets in each other’s ears not romantically but safely. Secrets other do not deserve to hear.
Lets laugh when we trip up stairs.
Lets go to a baseball game and order hot dogs and feel sick after.
Lets stare into each other’s eyes until we feel like we’re going crosseyed and stare some more because I can’t separate myself from the lure that you have.
Lets hold each other until our arms are sore.
Lets play that funny game with the claw and you can win me a bear. And I will say thank you.
Lets push our backs into the grass and tangle our feet up.
Lets fight over the remote because you want to watch something stupid.
Lets argue.
Lets then make up.
Lets go out to fancy dinners where we don’t belong and order cheap things and leave a fine tip but not too much.
Lets sing to each other on key and off key and very loudly so the neighbors get mad and bang their broomsticks on the ceiling and very softly so the other person can’t even hear it because it’s secret singing.
Lets have a secret handshake.
Lets look stupid together.
Lets type on our laptops side by side and then realize its stupid to be typing side by side so then we put our laptops down and make out.
Lets watch shooting stars because it’s cheesy and sometimes we’re cheesy.
Lets make wishes.
Lets Eskimo kisses.
Lets trace each other’s fingerprints until it tickles.
Lets watch a movie together and I will fall asleep on your chest and you can try to breathe at the same time I breathe so our chests can rise and fall the same.
Lets go to a playground and play on things way too small for us.
Lets fall down.
Lets get up.
Lets dance together when there is no music.
Lets drink coffee together and not say anything to each other.
Lets hang out in the dark.
Lets see how slowly we can walk together.
Lets get so drunk that we have to carry each other as we walk home and end up in a heap on the bottom of my stairs because we can’t even reach the door where the ground is too dirty so we start laughing.
Lets eat pasta together and both end up on the same noodle because sometimes we’re cute.
Lets hurt each other and then tell each other we never meant to hurt each other.
Lets trust each other.
Lets go on long drives where I stick my hand out the window so it can glide along the wind and you keep stealing looks at me when I’m not looking just because you like to look at me.
Lets read the same book and then only talk about the good things in it.
Lets go on a bike ride. You will let me go ahead of you.
Lets rent a movie and fight about which one we choose.
Lets play one-on-one basketball and you will let me lose.
Lets go to the mall and try on lots of shoes.
Lets not buy anything.
Lets write each other into poems so we can forever know we were thinking about each other even before we met each other because I am thinking of you when I write this and you’re writing something right now and thinking of me and in words we become the past, present, and future and you can know everything about me through these words and I can know you before I even knew you.
Lets meet.
I would like to meet you.
I would like to love you.
It’s nice to meet you.

Who I Am

Written By: Steph Holmbo

I am not my name. I am not my hair.
I am not the thoughts you have to spare.

I’m not my weight. I’m not my height.
I am much more than what’s at first sight.

I am not my headshot. I am not my city.
I’m not the girl you never saw as pretty.

I am not my money. I am not my things.
I am not my talent, or the girl who acts, dances, and sings.

I am not my tie dye. I’m not my peace signs.
I’m not my headbands. In this poem I am not just one line.

I am not my medication. I am not my imperfections.
I am not my history. I am a human connection.

I’m just a girl full of faith, hope, and love.
I look to the one above when I’m in need of
The reminder of who I am and what I’m doing here.
Even when the calls come in from doubt and fear
I’m all about the power of God that I’m full of, synonymous with love
I am that I am and that I am is enough.

All I Can Say is Thank You

Written By: Steph Holmbo

Remember when we were in love
After all this time I decide to leave you behind
No hard feelings, No regrets
Now’s just the time to move on because I don’t want to be a pawn in your game, a notch on that belt, no more of your words make me melt, your smile makes me swoon
I remember all the hockey games
Driving around in the red, classy Ford
Secret spot bench, my bench, my porch, my back door, your secrets, my hiding places, your sacrifices, my secrets
I remember the way snow fell on your eyelashes
I remember all the cups of hot chocolate I brought to you
I remember when you asked me to prom
I remember the way your hand felt in mine
I remember your cheek on my cheek
And after all this time I decide to leave you behind
No more late night text messages with hidden MuteMath lyrics
No more surprises on my car windshield
No more rolling around in your sheets
No more saying I love you when I know I don’t really mean it
Because when I mean it, I’ll mean it with all of me
There’s nothing else I’ll be more sure of
There’s no other eyes I would rather peer into
No other arms I would rather fall into
No other soul I would rather pour into
And after all this time I decide to leave you behind
I know I’ve said it before
I know I’ve meant it before
But I chose no more broken heart
No more falling apart
I miss us and the way we used to be
However there is no longer a we, there will never be, right now it’s just a me
And with that fact I stand tall and I stand firm
Knowing from you I learned how to discern what exactly is love and I know it’s better than what we had so right now I am my only concern
I thank you for what you gave to me
I thank you for trusting me and caring for me and loving me as best as I know you could
And still I deserve better than that
And after all this time I decide to leave you behind

I Got Soul

Written By: Steph Holmbo

Hey soul sister
Come over to this party girl

I got soul but I’m not a soldier
Boots marching down the way
Boots marching down the way

I know it’s longer than you counted on
And it hits you harder than you thought

Right left
Right left
Stand up straight
Shoulders back
Chin up
Head held high

I got soul but I’m not a soldier
You will walk beside them
Or you will be dragged
You must not let go

Right left
Right left

You’ve got too much soul in that flesh of yours
I know I know I feel it
It makes my bones heavy
And my legs hard to lift
I got soul but I’m not a solider

Do not let go they say
Do not let go
This taste of dust won’t leave my mouth
And these boots too big for my small feet

You’re always so composed they say
Moving your feet to the beat
You steps come down hard everytime
Echoing on the black concrete
And you’ve got miles to go before you sleep

I got soul but I’m not a soldier
And even if I scream that line it always falls on deaf ears

And they turn their heads
And they pull up their blankets
And they shut their minds to me

Stand up straight
I hear you
I always hear you
And even if I scream that line it always falls on deaf ears

Right left
Right left
My muscles twitch at the thought of that rhythm
They tell me to hold my head up high

My eyelids are drooping
As brown turns the once blue sky
If the breeze would just settle
And the sound of all that metal
Would quiet
These feelings inside my stomach wouldn’t feel like such a riot

I know I look strong and my shoulders are back
But my heart lacks the courage and crumbles under attack
Because it wasn’t made for battling such black

I got soul but I’m not a solider
And my bones won’t hold up for long

Broken Hallelujah

Written By: Steph Holmbo

How to say hallelujah
When all things start to crumble and fall
From your lips to a certain shape and force sound outside your throat

Its broken
And it’s a lie
But its forced out of your mouth onto the ground below
Its broken
And it’s a lie
It comes out sharp and slow

The syllables cut your breath into slivers that pierce your lungs
I wonder how hard it is to keep your eyes open
It doesn’t look like you’re living down there
Just surviving

And how do you say hallelujah when all you want to say is help
But you wonder if you’re shouting into the darkness
With there are no ears to pull in your cries
But you keep shouting and you keep shouting

Its broken
And it’s a lie
But your mind has no choice but to follow
Its broken
And it’s a lie
The only thing returned from the shout is an echo

And how do you say hallelujah when you’ve fallen to your knees
Your mouth filled with ground, your eyes streaming please
The day is full of choises to appease
All roads lead to dark, dank alleys
After all these winding journeys
You’d think we’d know a little, but its all a tease
They say well you’re just in your twenties
You’re right and it still hurts like hell

Its still feels like fire burning in between your temples
It still feels like dull knives piercing the left side of this chest
How do you say hallelujah when there’s nothing left to say

Its broken
And it’s a lie
Too fast, too harsh is this tempo
Its broken
And it’s a lie
After it all, wheat have you got to show

How do you say hallelujah when all you wonder is if there’s anyone on the other side
The side that’s listening, the side that hears
Your throat cries gravel and your heart is concrete
And its beginning to sink slowly through your stomach into your legs and deep into this thing we cal ground and underneath the layers of soil and rock and if it keeps sinking you’ll never find a trace of it left behind
And then where will you be

How do you say hallelujah when the night is too chilly and empty to kneel here alone

Its broken
And it’s a lie
After it all, what have you got to show

Your Sweet Sweat

Written By: Steph Holmbo

I watch the sweat beads travel down the rivet your spine makes in the center of your back
I get jealous that it gets to be so much apart of you
As it drips down your tanned skin, sits on your brow, hiding behind your knees
Tonight we’re drinking traight from the bottle
On this summer night when the sky is black but the heat still rises from this pavement and seeps into each pore because no one is safe from this kind of heat
I watch you close your eyes because the moon is too bright
And use your arm to sit on top the brown of your hairline to turn your head and look at me
This moon is too bright, you say
Or it’s just right, I reply
It’s just right becaue the moment is to right
You sitting next to me is so right
Even this stifling heat that suffocates my breath and makes it easier to sweat than move is right
Because it means my body feels your body in the thick air of this night
Red wine stains your purple mouth
I’ll kiss it clean
I swear I could get lost in those brown eyes
If you’d give me the chance
God I miss you
Sometimes when your fingers are dirty I like that too because I like everything about you
Your shirt sticks to your skin
There is too much hot air too
Want to stay a little longer
A little longer just in this moment right now
So I can play with your fingers and serve you lemonade and not have to spend these nights alone
My thoughts of you are very loud
Can you hear them where you are
I hope you like coffee, I will make it for you in the morning
The night continues to get hotter and the darkness brings no chill so we’ll sit next to each other with our drinks sweating not as much as our bodies
I’ll watch your eyelids droop for now is the time of sleeping and I’ll remember this moment and hold it too close to my heart and lock it away for me to know
I envy those eyelids being so close to what you see and those fingertips that get to touch and feel things all the day through
But mostly I envy that sweat dripping down that rivet in your spine
My fingers feel you hold me close and I’ll claim you as mine

Never Ever Ever Give Up

Written By: Steph Holmbo

Alright I’m getting to old for a lot of things and I’m not young enough to not care. However I’m not too old for laughter. I’m not to old to wear my hair in a ponytail everyday. I’m not too old to eat cereal for dinner and ice cream for breakfast. I’m not too old to drive my car with no intention of a destination with the radio turned up too loud playing something hip like kid cudi. I’m not too old to climb on my roof or waste hours on a backyard swing. I’m not too old to have best friends, the best best friends; not too old to get into messes with those best friends and always find a way out of it. I’m not too old to cry heavily at a song I listened to on repeat junior year of high school. I’m not too old for loneliness; to walk and walk and walk until I’m tired and sad and have to go lay down on the couch. I’m not too old to sit on the train tracks and smoke a Virginia Slim and take a swig of the too large jug of Carlo Rossi. I’m not too old to fall up stairs or run into people or forget to do the dishes. I’m not too old to sleep until lunch time. I’m not too old to have tie dye covering my walls. I’m not too old to spend too much money on overpriced food or clothes I won’t wear or shows I want to see. I’m not too old to laugh until I cry or cry until I vomit. I’m not too old to wear my dad’s shirts. I’m not too old to forget my phone at home. I’m not too old to consider myself free. I’m not too old to get my heartbroken. I’m not too old to spend an entire afternoon in a coffee shop trying to force these words out of my pencil and into the strongly scented air or spend an entire evening eating cookie pies and watching a stupid movie we’ve already seen 15 times. I’m not too old to fall asleep in the sunshine at 2 in the afternoon. I’m not too old to wish on stars. I’m not to old to believe they might come true. I’m not too old to understand the beauty of small successes. I’m not too old to miss my best friend. I’m not too old to really fuck up; not too old to hurt people. I’m not too old to think I can’t go on one more day. I’m not too old to dance like a fool around a bunch of people who think they’re cool at a concert where my friends and I act like tools although we never mean to be cruel and at the end of the day you’ll just want to be us. I’m not too old to spend hours watching an entire season of 24. I’m not too old to admit I’m wrong. I’m not too old to fantasize on places we wanna be on my comfy bed with the greatest friends I’ve known long into the night. I’m not too old to dig the Beatles and Britney Spears and Bon Iver. I’m not too old to go for what I really want. I’m not to old to believe in the impossible. I’m not too old to love, though my heart is broken and bruised and scarred and used and sewed back together, to love with everything I have and everything I don’t have. I’m not too old to quote Garden State. I’m not too old to love love love my sisters. I’m not too old to want my Daddy. I’m not too old to be too proud of the state Colorado; not too old to call my parent’s house “home”. I’m not too old to be afraid of the dark. And when this world feels too scary and this wind feels too cold and this night feels too long, I’m not too old to ask you to stay on the phone with me, not too old to ask to hold your hand. I’m not too old to believe I can change the world. I’m not too old to ask for help. I’m not too old to vomit on my computer. I’m not told to have the biggest crush on Hugh Laurie. I’m not too old to put on my sunglasses that cover too much of my face; not too old to put my feet on your dashboard; not too old to ask you to drive into the sunset. I’m not too old to make huge mistakes. And I’ll never be too old to always fight for what I want, fight for who I love, fight for what I stand for. And we turn new pages in our lives and start new chapters and change books and redo the cover and have a birthday every year. I’m just 21 years old trying to figure out how to be a good human bean in this world of ours. And yes I know I’m stubborn. I’m loud. I’m outrageous. I’m unpredictable. I’m wild. I’m shy. I’m calm. I’m untamable. I’m loving. I’m kind. I’m determined. I’m intelligent. I’m strong. I’m driven. I’m unappreciated. I’m talented. I’m optimistic. I’m hypocritical. I’m hard headed. I’m never wrong. I’m sarcastic. I’m rude. I’m compassionate. I’m broken. I’m beautiful. I’m imperfect. I’m loved. And I’ll never be too old for the tears or for the fears and although it seems like I’ve got big dreams I’m not the only one. I’m not too old to never ever ever ever give up.