Write beautifully what people don’t want to hear.
I’ve never believed that what attracts us to poems is knowing what’s going on in them. As a matter of fact, I think just the opposite. Maybe that’s the problem people have with poetry.
Ex-Lovers At 4 a.m.
in bed next to me,
creating a crevice
in the sheets.
trying not to sink
hoping that if
I do, you won’t
notice as I attempt
to inch myself
must you make
this harder? Alarm
clock, you are
going to sound
For Nick A. Clark
I couldn’t write about it then—
the way the streetlights
towards the cement as if
they were hardly alive,
the way the railroad tracks
gleamed: two narrow straight
lines. Funny, how you and I,
we never could stay on course.
We chose late nights
and wild sex,
Everyone said we were killing ourselves,
but maybe we just liked being reborn.
I still remember the way
your voice sounded when you
confessed October was the last month
that had seen you clean. Don’t tell
my mother, but I still thought
you were the most beautiful boy
I had ever seen. Has it really been
two months since the two of us have
been sober? I guess life carves us
before it grants us any favors.
The streetlights still flick
on by five each night,
hunch their backs,
I still look back at us
and believe we were living;
perhaps the streetlights too,
maybe their backs are just aching.
I find myself reading more poetry than I am writing, but perhaps that is okay.
Some words build houses in your throat. And they live there, content and on fire.
Rage doesn’t make poetry.
Read an interview with National Book Award winning poet Nikky Finney in which she discusses Condoleezza Rice, Strom Thurmond, and the civil rights movement. Join us for her reading next Wednesday, October 30. (via poetrysince1912)
semi-finalist in the National Amateur Poetry Contest. Pretty sure like 70% of the applicants make it to the semi-finals….but still…
My grandparent’s porch
sags from the weight of
and eighteen mouthfuls
Even the leaves
don’t lay down
to rest here.
My grandfather is asleep
upstairs, and my grandmother,
all seventy-five pounds of her
drunk off the morphine,
sits in her rocker and waits
for the cancer to take her.
Soon, or not,
depending on the traffic
of County Highway C,
my uncle will return
with supper. A turkey,
or a deer if we are lucky.
The four of us will sit
around the old oak table,
chew our meal in silence,
avoid the elephant
that joins us for dinner.
After dessert—a frozen
pie my grandmother
baked when she was
well—I will go back
to the porch, add to its
sagging weight, count
the number of days
Nine months, four days,
and too many hours.
I can see the trees
in the distance,
and perhaps it is better
this way, that no leaves
will lay down to rest here.
I did. I graduated in may of this year. Wonderful school.
Sorry for lack of posting the past couples of days. sick.
Lies I Tell My Mother (Submission)
Because I woke up lying backwards
in the bed, tangled in his heavy
rapaciousness due to last night’s
three bottles of Freixenet Brut,
because I really only wanted
his touch and not his lust—
impatient ex-lover, don’t you know
you can’t trust me when I tell you
that I’m over the last four months—
once again, I am here. Precious mother,
this poem won’t make you proud. But
then again, this poem isn’t about you.
It’s about him and I, our drunkenness
last night, when the idea of me lying
next to him seemed nothing short
of tantalizing, but now, with the on-set
of a hangover that cost only 8.95, there’s
nowhere I’d rather be but out there, outside.
From the crevice in his bed, I breathe in,
still half asleep. My tongue already feels
fat from the lies I will keep:
Mother, this poem is not about you.
Mother, last night I got some sleep.
Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.