Wherever you’re from sucks,
and wherever you grew up sucks,
and everyone here lives in a converted
chocolate factory or deconsecrated church
without an ugly lamp or souvenir coffee cup
in sight, but only carefully edited objets, like
the Lacanian soap dispenser in the kitchen
that looks like an…
As sung to a Comrade
The summers of my youth
Were cold and long
The winters were, what made me strong
The fire in my belly, the hate in my eyes.
I couldn’t close them back then,
For fear I’d hear the cries.
Of my lover when they took her
Down the little Road of stone.
Of my family when they made them
Bend their wills and break their bones.
Of the hundreds I don’t know
I’d weep for even so
For all of you were part of me
Shared my joy and ecstasy
Danced within the light I cast
Laughed until the night was past.
Now you’re stones on Willow fields
Someone take care, no one feels
All the emotions that were yours
Heaven’s loving, Hell’s woes.
I miss you in this rain of spring
Look at the sky, begin to sing.
"This is for those who’ll never know."
'PERFECTION OF DOUBT'
by Lucy K Shaw
The taste of red bull in the morning
on my teeth when I haven’t brushed them
The shape of your back when you
crouch over your computer in the night
The feeling in my chest when you say
you are going to meet someone from tinder at 1pm
The feeling in my chest when you say you are going to meet someone
I have to be leaving in order to feel okay being here, I say
In order for you to feel okay
being with me,
I will complete this isolation-induced superiority complex
You will remember how it feels to live without me
You will die this summer, you say. That’s okay,
I was just thinking the same thing, about the both of us
it is looming, we notice, a little lower than ever before
it is looming, we notice, but we couldn’t call it unexpected
And so together now in this forest of London
I tell you about the drinking tickets of Barcelona
I tell you about the prostitutes in the park of the Paris rain.
You tell me about the email your mother sent to your ex-girlfriend,
five years ago when you broke up
And when I meet her for the first time later tonight,
wearing the same shoes, mine will be much dirtier,
but we couldn’t call it unexpected
I have been looking for a new pair of shoes ever since
I have been looking, vaguely, for a new pair of shoes
that make any sense
for the both of us.
If you come near me, there is a safari park,
If you kiss me, we are already dead
And I can feel you inside of your head
when I couldn’t before
I can feel you inside of your head
when I couldn’t be further away
from wanting it, anyway
you feel relatively certain
we are not the answer
to each other’s issues
And it’s not even a possibility
but we await nervously anyway
Hopefully, some days
for the blood to confirm
It gives us both some
body else to think about
Lucy K Shaw called us from Brooklyn, NY.
More about Lucy.
here is a previously unpublished poem
All our wishes made us thirsty
All our wishes made us thirsty,
ready to risk the rain in an already
drenched summer and we’re distracted
by radicals: minutes incessantly reminding
us that we’re at the edge of where we can
still measure the increments of desire.
We welcome the morning informally,
thrilled to find ourselves: two halves
close to being reversed, leaving other
broken states in a house of ecstasy.
In which a poet hands over a basket of poems that he’s been unable to loose from his head in the past few weeks.
• • •
The waves wash in, warm and salty,
leaving your eyebrows white and
the edge of your cheekbone. Your ear
aches. You are lonely. On the
underside of a satin leaf, hot
with shade, a scorpion sleeps. And
one Sunday I will be shot brushing
my teeth. I am a native of this island.
—Frank O’Hara, from “Pearl Harbor”
as our heads touched the pillows
I looked at your face
and your hair falling in your face
”I looked at the calendar last night and started freaking out
then I got sad and scared, I don’t want reality”
"This is our reality, and this, is only the beginning"
The first time I did a paid reading was at a University in Albany. The reading was to last for 30-40 minutes. But instead of being excited about being paid for my poetry in a university setting I was terrified of having a panic attack. I get panic attacks when I’m in situations where I feel like it would be ‘weird’ if I just left or took a break. And this was a long reading. And I felt like because they were paying me, I couldn’t just walk away from the podium or excuse myself to the ladies room if need be. And in worrying about the panic attack I absolutely gave myself a panic attack. With the second or third poem came shortness of breath, heart palpitations and dizziness. By the ninth poem I was like in full unreality. I managed to power through to the end and no one knew. Afterwards, I felt like I was tripping. I then had to brave a long dinner with my host, another poet and their friends and families, which was terrible, because I was still anxious and having trouble swallowing. But I remember catching a glimpse of myself in a window of the auditorium where the reading was being held. The snow was coming down outside and it was dark out. I saw my reflection for a second and kind of gave myself a nod and thought ‘You said you wanted to be a poet when you were a little girl, and look! You’re a poet!’