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"Epithalament," Brenda Shaughnessy

Epithalament

BY BRENDA SHAUGHNESSY

Other weddings are so shrewd on the sofa, short

and baffled, bassett-legged. All things

knuckled, I have no winter left, in my sore rememory,

to melt down for drinking water. Shrunk down.

Your wedding slides the way wiry dark hairs do, down

a swimming pool drain. So I am drained.

Sincerely. I wish you every chapped bird on this

pilgrimage to hold your hem up from the dust.

Dust is plural: infinite dust. I will sink in the sun,

I will crawl towards the heavy drawing

and design the curtains in the room

of never marrying you. Because it is a sinking,

because today’s perfect weather is a later life’s

smut. This soiled future unplans love.

I keep unplanning the same Sunday. Leg

and flower, breeze and terrier, I have no garden

and couldn’t be happier. Please, don’t lose me

here. I am sorry my clutch is all

tendon and no discipline: the heart is a severed

kind of muscle and alone.

I can hear yours in your room. I hear mine

in another room. In another’s.

 

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Learning to Love You More

This now-defunct site was run by Miranda July before she got famous. It serves as a tribute to all that is good and beautiful in the world, and not contributing to it is something I regret.

And before you say anything: nope, not too twee, and if it is I don't care. One of my friends once said that too much self-awareness ruins your ability to enjoy things. I'm pretty sure he's right.

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Letter to the Woman Who Stopped Writing Me Back - Jeffrey McDaniel

I wanted you to be the first to know - Harper & Row
has agreed to publish my collected letters to you.

The tentative title is Exorcist in the Gym of Futility.

Unfortunately I never mailed the best one, 
which certainly was one of a kind.

A mutual friend told me that when I quit drinking, 

I surrendered my identity in your eyes.

Now I'm just like everybody else, and it's so funny, 

the way monogamy is funny, the way
someone falling down in the street is funny.

I entered a revolving door and emerged
as a human being. When you think of me
is my face electronically blurred? 

I remember your collarbone, forming the tiniest
satellite dish in the universe, your smile
as the place where parallel lines inevitably crossed.

Now dinosaurs freeze to death on your shoulder.

I remember your eyes: fifty attack dogs on a single leash, 
how I once held the soft audience of your hand.

I've been ignored by prettier women than you, 
but none who carried the heavy pitchers of silence
so far, without spilling a drop. 


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