July 21, 2014 at 4:10pm
from Adrienne Rich’s “Twenty-One Love Poems”
Your silence today is a pond where drowned things live
I want to see raised dripping and brought into the sun.
It’s not my own face I see there, but other faces,
even your face at another age.
Whatever’s lost there is needed by both of us -
a watch of old gold, a water-blurred fever chart,
a key…Even the silt and pebbles of the bottom
deserve their glint of recognition. I fear this silence,
this inarticulate life. I’m waiting
for a wind that will gently open this sheeted water
for once and show me what I can do
for you, who have often made the unnameable
nameable for others, even for me.
I can even say it,
though only once and it won’t
last: I want this.
I want this.
— Margaret Atwood, “There is only one of everything,” from Circe/Mud Poems (via kvtes)
(Source: lifeinpoetry, via kvtes)
In one way, of course, all writing that is any good is experimental; that is, it’s a way of seeing what is possible—what poem, what novel is possible. Experiment—they define it as putting a question to nature, and that is true of writing undertaken with seriousness. You put the question to human nature—and especially your own nature—and see what comes out. It is unpredictable. If it is predictable—not experimental in that sense—then it will be worthless.
— Robert Penn Warren, The Paris Review Interview
[The Chapter of the Rending in Sunder]
Mary Margaret Alvarado
And then I began my habit
of walking at night
to get rid of the strings,
witherings. The Lord revealed to me
that I am full of birds
turned smoke and hookèd strings.
I say to the Lord, Lord take
a string. I have named it
mesas ringed with beeswax wicks,
footsteps sowing up my stairs,
tambourines in trees.
Then a tedious, gruesome miracle
unfolds, for the Lord takes
the string and what attends it.
Walking over a grate
there is the sound of the grate.
Margarita Mondays mean exactly
that. I say, how could I eat?
I ate. And how can I sleep? I shake.
The Lord says, look at the branches,
how they braid over graves.
And the Lord says, look at the HandiMart,
a bright, ordered box.
They have their grief, the people there.
Now the tableaus mass color, now the tableaus
fall down. I say wet pavement keep on
holding me up. Wet pavement hold me
up. Now the fetishes crumble,
now the meteors cup. The Lord says,
I meant of it a blessing. And I say,
I made of it a curse.
The Lord says, sound of roots,
sound of shoots, sound of
asphalt, sound of cars.
I say, I am walked into
deeps. Here are the jewelthreads
and throbbings that I need
to leave. The Lord says, chomp
and be chewed, alleluia. Sever
and stitch, alleluia. Exceedingly,
the Lord says, bar, barr, barr.
I say snowfield? Snowfield?
Piñon roasting? Chaparall?
The Lord says, is what you want
the terrible free? And I say
to the Lord, Lord speak.
And the Lord says, sound of earth in orbit,
its muffled, its four-chambered beat.
34 excuses for why we failed at love (Warsan Shire)
1. I’m lonely so I do lonely things
2. Loving you was like going to war; I never came back the same.
3. You hate women, just like your father and his father, so it runs in your blood.
4. I was wandering the derelict car park of your heart looking for a ride home.
5. You’re a ghost town I’m too patriotic to leave.
6. I stay because you’re the beginning of the dream I want to remember.
7. I didn’t call him back because he likes his girls voiceless.
8. It’s not that he wants to be a liar; it’s just that he doesn’t know the truth.
9. I couldn’t love you, you were a small war.
10. We covered the smell of loss with jokes.
11. I didn’t want to fail at love like our parents.
12. You made the nomad in me build a house and stay.
13. I’m not a dog.
14. We were trying to prove our blood wrong.
15. I was still lonely so I did even lonelier things.
16. Yes, I’m insecure, but so was my mother and her mother.
17. No, he loves me he just makes me cry a lot.
18. He knows all of my secrets and still wants to kiss me.
19. You were too cruel to love for a long time.
20. It just didn’t work out.
21. My dad walked out one afternoon and never came back.
22. I can’t sleep because I can still taste him in my mouth.
23. I cut him out at the root, he was my favorite tree, rotting, threatening the foundations of my home.
24. The women in my family die waiting.
25. Because I didn’t want to die waiting for you.
26. I had to leave, I felt lonely when he held me.
27. You’re the song I rewind until I know all the words and I feel sick.
28. He sent me a text that said “I love you so bad.”
29. His heart wasn’t as beautiful as his smile
30. We emotionally manipulated one another until we thought it was love.
31. Forgive me, I was lonely so I chose you.
32. I’m a lover without a lover.
33. I’m lovely and lonely.
34. I belong deeply to myself .