Sunday, November 12, 2017

What I Wore to My Dissertation Defense

Jonathan Swift’s Battel of the Books
 should not be confused with an article
from Cosmopolitan or Elle about how
to wow with your interview attire, how
to fashion a version of yourself that will
make men swoon while simultaneously
showing them that you’re the right woman
for the job. I forgot--
I forget--sometimes the difference
between fashion and form,
the couplets that uncouple me.
I should have made a dress of drafts.  My
words that I wear every day wear me out.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Professions for Women

I’m cleaning the corners of a round house where
Ananchel, Charmeine, and Muriel encircle me.
They are beautiful, delicate bitches with plumes
like a French maid’s feather duster.
Their feathers are strewn across the floor.

Virginia Woolf killed one with her pen.
That wasn’t enough to eradicate
the “slutty angel” and “slutty maid”
from our cultural lexicon or the costume racks at
Goodwill. 

I don’t like how those angels make me feel
obliged to clean. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Muskrat by the River

I thought you were a
coconut until
you moved.
You moved
me too, surprised
to see a thing like that
in this place:
too cold
for tropical fruit.
You and I do not
belong.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Black & white & red all over

Q: What's black and white and read / red all over? 
A: A newspaper / a zebra with a sunburn.
Write me red read me
righting me (I write myself)
ready, my reader

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Consent

Her “body into busks was
turn’d,” Behn wrote.  I am
                                           not
such a giving tree.
Still, men have taken
busks off me.

I have been stripped bare
underneath and
turned from my roots into
a sheet,
             on a sheet,
as those characters
start disappearing.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Nymphs I Have Been



Celia shit,
and Swift shit
on me,

made
me a nymph
and put me
to sleep.

I wake up every day
a less-than-Houyhnhnm
                                        woman.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Coquinas

They made castles from coquinas here,
building on broken bodies, order from disorder.  


We collect shells that connote something
We misunderstand. They weren’t dead until we held them.


The computer rewrites each word.
It turns coquina into conquistador, victor.


Reconstruction, reconstitution
means the content was never content.  Neither am I.  


You are complicit in this violence.
You have opened them up and pretended not to hear.


She understands their desperation.
Each holds on, holds on to the shell she holds in her hand.