Random poems for a tough week

What a tough week for women! I donated to RAINN. And I read a lot of poetry online, which I hadn’t done in a while. Here are some I found that I liked:

A Whole New Poetry Beginning Here
(Adrienne Rich)

This is what I am: watching the spider
rebuild — “patiently”, they say,

but I recognise in her
impatience–my own–

the passion to make and make again
where such unmaking reigns

 

Everything is Everything
(Gabrielle Bates)

Things seem to come naturally to people
that don’t come naturally to me.
At fifteen I knew how to be a parent
but not a sibling. My mirror neurons
are so overactive, I move my lips
when Homer & Marge kiss.
To speak even gibberish after sex
is to ruin something. This morning I forgot
to write my daily affirmation 15 times.
Now I’ll never destroy white supremacy.
Alexa, play Blessings by Chance the Rapper.
Alexa, is it raining? If you’re recording this
please tell the 45th president I wish he’d die.
Tell anyone who will listen. My exile outfit
is already in a pile, gray on the gray floor.
I zipper it off in bed & step out naked.
When I open the fridge, its cold gust
hits my skin; I open too & it leaves me.
Cleanliness is close to godliness & I
am the opposite of both. My husband left
a single egg with a note. I’m sorry, darling.
A track meet happened yesterday.
Good luck, brother. Outside the rain pauses,
sunlight hits the TV in a quick gash,
& I kiss the egg. We could all be kinder.

 

MORNING EN ROUTE TO THE HOSPITAL
(Maggie Nelson)

Snow wafts off the little lake
along Route 66, momentarily encasing the car

in a trance of glitter

Live with your puny, vulnerable self
Live with her

 

SOUP IS ONE FORM OF SALT WATER
(Heather Christie)

I am making borscht   please do not laugh at me

I seem to have ruined my soul           the quality of

television programming grows stronger all the time

soon we will live in the ocean             we will all return

to the ocean    my hands are bright pink        like I

have been applauding you for hours              my love for

you is louder than I know       I saw a show last night

there were four thousand brides left in Iceland        I

was laughing   but it was not funny    the brides

looked embarrassed   and cold          I must not wash

anywhere but a tidepool        I must use a starfish to

scrub at my hands      I am writing this to say           I am

not leaving you forever           I am going to get better

and then I’ll come home

 

Sorrow Is Not My Name
(Ross Gay)

–after Gwendolyn Brooks

No matter the pull toward brink. No
matter the florid, deep sleep awaits.
There is a time for everything. Look,
just this morning a vulture
nodded his red, grizzled head at me,
and I looked at him, admiring
the sickle of his beak.
Then the wind kicked up, and,
after arranging that good suit of feathers
he up and took off.
Just like that. And to boot,
there are, on this planet alone, something like two
million naturally occurring sweet things,
some with names so generous as to kick
the steel from my knees: agave, persimmon,
stick ball, the purple okra I bought for two bucks
at the market. Think of that. The long night,
the skeleton in the mirror, the man behind me
on the bus taking notes, yeah, yeah.
But look; my niece is running through a field
calling my name. My neighbour sings like an angel
and at the end of my block is a basketball court.
I remember. My color’s green. I’m spring.

–for Walter Aitkens

 

Break Up
(Jody Porter)

State, you have been reckless with my heart
and these endings hurt. I cannot trust again
your wheedling face and pillow talk.

What about those honey days?
Those tended gardens and bread for all?
State, I feel like a fool.

I trusted you and you sold my walking shoes
to someone who only taxis.
So thanks.

State, I’ve killed the children we would’ve had together
and buried them with my passport.
Don’t call.

 

As I believe I’ve stated before, I’ve been reading The Magic Mountain with an online book group. Here’s a tangential rant I went on in the email discussion:

This is a bit of a tangent, but something that’s really been helping me get through this week and all the horrible, awful news coming from the U.S. about the treatment of women, is the idea of using CARING as an antidote to VIOLENCE and HORRIBLE THINGS IN THE WORLD. I was really affected by how women everywhere were just SO UPSET by the Senate hearings, but in a way it also made me feel better that I wasn’t the only one – feeling connected to others, like I’m not alone, is a really helpful way to fight depression for me (my meditation app also encourages this!). My favourite Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari says the same thing, that the role of “caring” needs to be more emphasised in society (rather than, say, making money or growing businesses) – and what with A.I.s taking over jobs, we need to turn a switch in our brains and rethink what we see as “valuable work” – namely, raising children! Should be paid! BECAUSE IT IS WORK! But love is such a weird thing in contrast to work, because you can give out an infinite amount of it, something capitalism would find very confusing.

Ugh, fuck last week. Stay well, friends.

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