a poem should not mean/ but be

a poem should not mean/ but be     — Archibald MacLeish

Early on,  s)he]  troubled those brave enough to listen. Teachers contacted hir parents, worried for hir safety. Suddenly, the poems were jumping off the page, growing sharp from tumbling through the air at fast speeds and forming sharp angles. These poems split hir wrists open. When  s)he]  was newly sixteen, several poems turned hir forearms into a gingham criss-cross pattern.  s)he]  horded several bottles of poems and swallowed over forty-two of various milligrams and side effects. Doctors attempted to pump hir stomach. s)he]  threw up the poems and they splattered against the floor like scattered bone particles.

In the years to come,  s)he]  began to experiment with various forms of poems, some digested through nose or ignited and inhaled.  s)he]  learned the power of serving size.  s)he]  grew loud, rather, the poems grew so loud, it was almost impossible to remain silent within the pain of hir body.

In an interview by a New York Times reporter after the release of hir third book of poems,  s)he]  said:

“Of course there is an urgency in my work because there is an urgency to live. I spent  years tearing into my body, swatting it away as though it were a swarm of mosquitoes. I wanted to make an imprint. I wanted to make an impression beyond the scars, beyond the jilted lovers. In life, I am a liar. A pretender. I am not very good at being alive. But when I write poems, or when I perform them, it’s like I’m taking a giant seam ripper and undoing every scar, every lie, every emotion. If I could only live inside my poems, breathe off the fumes of their intentions, I could make it. I could last.

think of poems as suicide letters

desperate medications

press into carbon and oxygen and choke

 

To exit: how it feels to be entrenched in these poems, write the pain of it, the journey, trauma, translated


hurt-songs, scar chants

 

 

{how to} walk off a stage or poem and be normal.

 

 

 

strap magnifying lenses against pupils                   detect hidden fibers defining each line

 

 

 

feel it before she dies and no clarity can be given.

 

 

 

Look away. Diagnose. Crush pills onto tongue repeat daily. Repeat daily. Repeat daily.

                                                                                                                Repeat daily.

 

 

 

Quiet the crazy creative emotive

 

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3 responses to “a poem should not mean/ but be

  1. To be wrapped creates an essence of saving / of being ensconced in such invisible dependability (because sky never leaves….only switches moods). Your words are such a beautiful conversation to mine.

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