After Vladimir Mayakovsky
That stupid fireball was starting to annoy me.
Nearly sick with self-absorption, the sun’s talons
pressed into my neck and forced
me to ingest the flooding light of July.
And flying into a rage one day, and knowing
that one must keep one’s enemies close,
I decided to get the sun drunk
on a strong mixture
of Lipton tea and cheap sherry (a recipe
for a drink that I read on the internet that supposedly
Carson McCullers drank
and she drank herself to death).
“Get over here, you shit head,” I screamed at the sun
and he replied, “I’m not following you
anywhere, you disgusting cunt.”
“Is that any way to treat a lady?” I asked the sun
and I was sweating and sweating
because I was out in the Garden
of Eden. “Please just come in
for five minutes!”
and the sun, despite himself,
In the kitchen, I cut four slices
of lemon with a sharp knife
and plopped two slices into my
glass and two into his.
“Sun, I am unwell. All day I sit
at my computer and “like” the world
while you, burn the clouds
and rain! With one glance, Sun,
you destroy the world!
And the sun, all fiery
and wild replied, “But you, poet, bring me to
my knees each day
with your joys and sorrows and triumphs
and birds and storms
and I have to set before you
like a maid on the same axis
of heaven and earth
while you just feel
the way I burn.”
I thought to myself maybe it’s Satan
who possesses me to shout
at the sun. He didn’t
seem half bad after all
(and plus, not gonna lie, he flattered me.)
We chatted all night
about the light
and the dark and the grey world
with its factories
and steam and moths
and life’s errors and work
and DNA and shards
and oceans, shells and laments.
We fell asleep drunk
On the living room floor
and in the morning, he was gone.
Together, me and the sun,
we had made it to the depth
of a single day.
FUCK EVERYTHING ELSE.
THAT’S MY MOTTO AND THAT’S THE SUN’S.
(for Whit Griffin)
The absence of sadness may create bitterness. I will give any goddess
who makes her way through this cheap ass apartment a free
pair of Minnie Mouse embossed baby socks. I was up all night rearranging the water
that poured from six clear opals and, in the morning, begged only for one
seed to be placed in the middle of a cold, faraway chapel. This is my way
of crying don’t you know that? A few men with hammers
are putting on a new roof next door. Robert, your mama just called she
sick. The drug dealers have moved into some other ether, some other boxed-up love repository, some other street, the city
is whatever collapses into what is spared or ruined and I wanted very much
to say goodbye to the motherless one. I know that the sun has forgotten us but god dammit
does it have to mock us also? The absence of sadness may create bitterness.
Sandra Simonds reads new poems and from her book Mother was a Tragic Girl at Dear Marge, Hello - November 2013
I can’t keep doing what I’m doing but I can’t not.
Isn’t that the condition of the humanities? Isn’t that its case?
I couldn’t write any metaphors. I couldn’t write any similes.
I only wrote prose like a zombie I was a zombie and prose.
Sweet, sweet, Gregor, you should have set your alarm clock!
I said “Frederick Douglass” and I slipped further into the case.
Thought about riding bikes with my cousin and my sister
on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and I slipped further
into the case. Supplied the garden. Supplied the lake.
Even supplied some phantasmagoria and I
slipped further into the case. The case I made had
no trace I said “Mary Antoinette” and I said
something to my boss about being late.
I was sick and I was late. I complained so much
someone said “shut up.” I can’t keep doing what
I’m doing but the lake was red and a mother encouraged her
child to feed Chicken Nuggets
to the swans. Read an article on the internet “I’m a drunk
and no one likes me.” How could a man only be interested
in cars, 80s music and fishing? And then I was
not sick but it did not matter. Or it did. I can’t
say. Either way.
Do you clean your kids’ room every day?
Do you get tired?
When you work all day at a job, does it annoy you to have to stop at the store on the way back home to buy milk and diapers?
Do you sometimes cry because you are tired and/or lonely?
Do you spend a lot of time in your car?
Can you locate the planet Venus if pressed to do so?
Do you try to overcome the feeling of not wanting to go to the gym?
When you are at the gym, do you feel tired and lonely when all the TVs at the gym are playing CNN?
Does makeup make you tired and/ or lonely?
When you see the women on CNN talking about drones does it make you sad?
Do they wear too much makeup?
Do you think that you can hide in a dressing room?
Do you sometimes forget to buy coffee and then regret it in the morning?
Do you sometimes step on toys and then the pain makes you angry?
Do you think you can hide in a bathroom for a few minutes?
When you are picking up toys, do you think about anything in particular?
Does it make you feel annoyed to fold and/ or hang baby clothes?
When there’s a stain on a baby’s dress, does it make you feel remorse and/ or fatigue?
Do you think your children will ever read your poems or want to know more about you?
Do you remember the first time your child said “l love you” or “tomorrow” or “maybe”?
Tumblr friends: please help us:
We want to get 1,000 signatures and send the letter to the Poetry Foundation….
I like a poem to be clear.
The gnats are clear.
The melon is clear, Neidicker.
The garden in the sun.
The transformed poem. Why compare anything
or anyone? If the radio
Talks about obliterating the world,
Oh what have I done?
Oh what am I saying?:
Clarity is perverse.