it’s been four years and i haven’t
written a single poem, my boyfriend
asks if this is how i’ve always been,
he describes me as a wildfire, i
laugh and wear lipstick and buy
expensive perfumes and drink
champagne and let electricity spill
from my wrists like oil, i vacuum
two, three - sometimes four times
a day, my therapist says that’s not
a healthy way of dealing with loss
but i tell him that neither are pills,
sometimes he asks me about you,
i say you tasted like the sun and
touched me like i was the moon, it’s
all very sad, you know? the entire
dying part? it’s all very sad, i say,
some days i don’t want to get up,
on Sundays i watch the clock, i cook
potatoes and steak for dinner, he tells
me he likes my dresses and my pink
lipstick and especially when i read
him poetry, i don’t feel guilty when
he thinks they’re about him, i do feel
guilty that they’re always about you
Dear Tiffany, I know you wrote the letter. The only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier. Thank you. I love you. I knew it from the moment I saw you. I’m sorry it took me so long to catch up. I just got stuck. Pat.
My grandmother told me
to never start my sentences with “I”.
It makes you sound
I think I do it in spite of her.
I think selfishness
is a learned trait that so many
young girls haven’t quite accepted.
I am selfish because I want
more than a lackluster love;
I want more than
a half-baked career.
I am my grandmother’s
I think she knows it.
1. Travel to Beijing. To Dubai. To Ukraine, to Lord Howe Island in Australia, to Belize, Vietnam. Travel to the cities were the air tastes of stars and humanity. Travel alone. You’ll meet people you’ve read about in books, the ones who say things like “oceans are God’s palms and you are his savior”.
2. Read poetry. Read sonnets, vignettes, haiku’s, limericks, free-verse. Rip out your favorite pages and hide them places. Put Shakespeare in the metro. Charles Bukowski confessions in church corridors. Anne Sexton in your mothers purse.
3. Do drugs. Smoke joints and eat acid and drink tea spiced with mushrooms. Write stories about dyed-red lizards and pastel oceans. Paint your liver, your lungs, your tongue. Listen to music and then realize how silence is the loudest sound of all.