I am SO FULL OF POEMS. And because this is my blog, I am going to give you more poetry, so you're welcome/sorry (but I'm not really sorry, because, again, my blog).
Okay, first of all, I am obsessed with this poem and it's one of those little miracle poems where I have read it like fifteen times and every time I read it it takes longer and longer to read because it's just so beautiful and everything about it feels new and perfect every time and anyway just read it. It's from a poetry series called Inflammatory Essays by Jenny Holzer and it's good.
As for my own poetry, I finished The Untitled Series and I thought maybe you people might want to read it, so I will give it to you. (I know you saw Untitled no. 1 in the last post, but I'm putting it again just for good measure so you can see the whole series.)
Untitled no. 1
Here are the things I am built of: legs and hips and hair – veins pumping with ink and caffeine, I am visual things like messy desks and messy hair and also other things like how hard it is to fall asleep in at night and then how hard it is to wake up in the morning.
I live with a girl who deals solely in self-hatred and I am dealing with misplaced guilt over the fact that I was raised by two beautiful people who taught me only self-love, never even handed me the word “loathing,” never let me experiment with its shape, and now life is a balancing act between loving myself and feeling like that’s wrong.
Someone called me Atlanta, Georgia and everyone else cried Provo, Utah, and I didn’t even bother to wait for them to ask my opinion, I just told them: I have fingertips and lips and hair teeming with words, I said, “Be a good listener, let me tell you how the world really is,” and the world looks like this: New York City, Center of the universe – but American Fork, Utah, home. This is the reason I am so good at airports.
I have built a life stretching across three continents, heart stitched onto the sleeves of everything I stuffed into a suitcase. This is the reason I am so bad at packing.
I am so fascinated with life, how it’s singed and smoked and solid gold. Please let me live forever.
Untitled no. 2
Hello. Are you listening? Pay attention to me. I know I have a lot of words, but these ones might be the most important. Give me a second to compose myself. Dim the lights. Ready the curtain.
My darling (can I use your name in this poem?), the curtain rises: I have spent so many years writing love poems where “love” was a very loose term. I once wrote a love poem for a boy on the train who never even looked at me. I have this sense that maybe these poems were more conditional on the fact that I wanted to write love poems and to have things to write love poems about. Again, these are loose terms.
The music is swelling because I am about to say something important and I want it set to music because I am built of some sense of self-righteousness that makes me feel like everything I say should be set to music. Okay. Here we go, fortissimo, my love: This is a love poem. It’s a real love poem.
The music stops.
The audience cheers.
The first time I saw you I couldn’t form words about you, which is so telling of the way you’ve made me feel ever since. You make me understand Shakespeare. You are my 18th sonnet. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Okay, here: Summer days rock.
My world is summarized in the sound of your name and the shape of your lips and I have to tell you that, inconceivably, I have never been able to write love poems about you. That’s a thing I still don’t fully understand, but I think maybe it’s because I wrote so many love poems for things that weren’t love, and then when I had love it just knocked me out. There is some stage combat here that is a reenactment of me getting knocked out. It is gruesome but interesting, like car crashes and people with very big eyes are interesting.
Anyway, I’m taking center stage again after that ordeal. Could I have a little more light please? Slow the music, because I have to confess a thing: This is take six of this poem. I am still rendered pretty much speechless and poem-less by you. You and I are built of muscle on bone and cardiovascular systems pumping blood to and from essential organs (or at least I think that’s how it works) but it doesn’t seem to matter because when I see you I turn only into something that giggles, a series of collapsed nerves, because I think I fell in love with you on a Thursday morning.
So I guess that’s sort of it. A one act love poem. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write, but it makes the most sense. Your mouth makes a lot of sense to me. You make a lot of sense to me.
This is my show, but please, darling, take a bow.
Untitled no. 3
And all I ever wanted was to be everything you ever wanted.
But I cannot be your housewife, my lovely, dark-eyed darling. I will burn your dinner, leave wrinkles in your shirts, and I want there to be a third thing I would ruin as your housewife, just for the sake of this poem, for the rule of 3’s but I cannot even think of a third thing I would try to do if I were.
I will ruin these things – and not for lack of trying, but darling, I will bake your cookies and think only of the shape of the word “cookie” until it completely loses its meaning and the oven fills with smoke, and to iron your shirts – oh, OH, to iron your shirts will only burn my fingers because I will not remember where your collars end because I will instead attempt to put on a one-woman show, thinking of every part I never played, my darling, my love, my dear, I need to be more than just yours.
These are the things I will burn: Your cookies, my fingers.
I would write you more love poems if I could. Please tell me you understand this.
So that's the poetry series. Happy finals week. You're all cool people.
"Say you saved yourself. Know it to be true." -Nicole Blum
Fun and joy,