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January 2017

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Wow. Life has been pretty busy. I'm glad that the semester is almost over, and that my club adviser responsibilities will be mostly over until August.

*throws a party*

Have a poem that I desperately wish I'd written. It has so many things that I've thought that I had vague thoughts the writer had been stalking me... just kidding?

Mon Semblable
by Stephen Dunn

I like things my way
every chance I get.
A limit doesn’t exist

when it comes to that.
But please, don’t confuse
what I say with honesty.

Isn’t honesty the open yawn
the unimaginable love
more than truth?

Anonymous among strangers
I look for those
with hidden wings,

and for scars
that those who once had wings
can’t hide.

Though I know it’s unfair,
I reveal myself
one mask at a time.

Does this appeal to you,
such slow disclosures,
a lifetime perhaps

of almost knowing one another?
I would hope you, too,
would hold something back,

and that you’d always want
whatever unequal share
you had style enough to get.

Altruism is for those
who can’t endure their desires.
There’s a world

as ambiguous as a moan,
a pleasure moan
our earnest neighbors

might think a crime.
It’s where we could live.
I’ll say I love you,

which will lead, of course,
to disappointment,
but those words unsaid

poison every next moment.
I will try to disappoint you
better than anyone ever has.
I know that I'm not going on a trip until Friday, but it feels like I have no time left to pack and prepare road-snacks. Maybe it's because tomorrow will be a busy day with half of it spent out in the world.


Have a poem. Have two poems!


Unreachable father, when we were first
exiled from heaven, you made
a replica, a place in one sense
different from heaven, being
designed to teach a lesson: otherwise
the same—beauty on either side, beauty
without alternative—Except
we didn’t know what was the lesson. Left alone,
we exhausted each other. Years
of darkness followed; we took turns
working the garden, the first tears
filling our eyes as earth
misted with petals, some
dark red, some flesh colored—
We never thought of you
whom we were learning to worship.
We merely knew it wasn’t human nature to love
only what returns love.

~ Louise Gluck

Beyond the 45th Parallel

I want alchemy from this ocean,
not these metaphors of endlessness.
I have driven two hundred miles in a rented car
for alchemy. Past the Burnt Woods
and the Chitwood Bridge. Over
the 45th Parallel marked by a small sign.
They are all small signs, he'd say--
but he'd mean something literal
about the footlong oblong, the green
behind white lettering. While I
imagine grass limp in the equatorial sun,
snow adrift at the pole--equidistance
compressed to a metal slate.

Like alchemy endlessness is a fiction.
We are always halfway to somewhere.
I want more than transmutation:
I want the god I pray to to be real.

-Geri Doran, from Resin
This poem is full of uncomfortable topics, and I love it for that.

Reading All the Ads in the Back of Magazines

You fold two loads of laundry.
Your hands, once split by heat,
are now calloused, invincible.

You sit at your kitchen table,
masturbate next to a half-eaten bowl of cereal-
swollen clouds floating in pink sugar milk.

You stand in your living room
turn off the television, glare at the
reflection of your thickened hips,
wipe your hand across the screen
tearing through static.

A garbage truck roars outside your window.
You watch the barrels spit out the unwanted-
exhausted light bulbs and soggy cabbage,
a doll’s torso bruised by crayons.

You press your hand against the glass, shock
at how the morning’s cold presses back,
how even calluses do not deny
this pointed chill.

It is in this moment that you see yourself.
First, spot your left arm, pale blue stiff
and reaching. It tumbles with empty milk cartons
and a dead hamster zipped in plastic.

You see your heart waddle
like a damaged plum as it drops against
your breasts now sticky with syrup.
You watch your blood crumble and fall
like day-old rice, your face,
thin and jagged, slides from
the barrel like an oiled mask.

You turn away, once you recognize
the sound of your legs slamming
against the truck like twin corpses.

This is when you realize –
you should have kept his number,
should have stayed after he kissed you
so hard it split your lip

when he chewed your nipple through
your sweater and you nearly fainted
by the shock white charge of it,

when he ripped your stockings
grabbing your thighs, when you felt
his fingers move inside you
as if searching a coat pocket.

This is why the price tag still swings
from your wedding dress, why you cannot
fuck your husband with eyes open,
why you dunk your child’s head too long
while rinsing his hair.

This is why permanence terrifies,
why your spine threatens to tear out
and run, why you do not own pets
but keep cages

this is how you haunt your own house,
why your hands coil in hunger
and why the sound of screaming tires
burning away in the night
is the only song
that ever puts you to sleep.

~Rachel McKibbens

I actually needed to be doing other things like finishing my club adviser plans and taking a shower. Some days are harder than others to find motivation. True story.
I <3 national poetry month more than many people. Possibly, for the excuse it gives me to gleefully spam everyone with poems.

Dear Stupid

elegy for myself

You’ve been seeking
advice in trees again.
Cut your hair short,
call it a day. Quit

falling out and in
of love with friends,
their scratch and sniff
tattoos. Idiot girl.

At home, the dog
waits by an empty dish.

Fridays you tunnel
in bed, think of exes
who are married—
and worse—fat.

On your wrist
is a new bird.
You will turn
into your mother.

You friends will say

She was beautiful,
she was an anarchist
and There is neither
rock nor roll
anywhere in Kalamazoo.

Bourbons, marathons,
little yellow pills:
you tried them all.
Dear, stupid girl.
Nothing can save you.

Except this:
go back to that tree.

This time listen
when it tells you
Don’t worry so much.
Another sixty years,
we’ll both be dead.

~Christina Olson