Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected three poems by Sandra Simonds for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.
* * *
“I really hope pot is the gateway drug,” said the day laborer
to the lamb, “…down into the abyss of the inanimate
by many gradations,” & “cling to the darkness until you turn
to song.” What is the significance of your misogyny?
When you wear a T-shirt that says “supporting single moms,”
with the silhouettes of strippers on it, and behind that
swampy, weepy, hormonal, sorority girl/ frat boy Tallahassee,
with all its DUIs and car crashes, I think, Don’t you get
desperate? Don’t you get lonely? Workers of the world, tonight
I learn that I don’t even own my own foreplay, that my song
isn’t my song—the sexual position as limit case to everything gone
wrong. A space-time continuum of hovering displacement.
He said, “I like to look at your mouth when you talk.
Just talk. I like it. Just talk. I like it. Talk tick talk.”
I like the way it makes agriculture.
Smoke Weed, Drink Coffee, Go Scalloping.
Smoke weed, drink coffee, go scalloping.
Conflicting desires: animation or just fall into the sofa?
The dominion of their blue eyes will cost
them their dominion. Mixed media
of prehistoric flesh and saltwater. Benign substances
drift. Friends in and out of the house. It was love
but the slow kind; I had
to wait for it in jellyfish time. One week along
the Gulf of Mexico, the next in a borax mine. I reached into
sea grasses for empty shells. Loneliness
without rest! But to lift my hand even to boil
some water for tea. He shucked
the scallops. My body, either in txt or irl, ate silently.
Honesty’s the best policy unless you
have to survive. The best liar
in hell becomes heaven’s beloved treasurer. One person’s
trash is the thousand troubles that go along
with each stupid pleasure. You can study
demonology and buy vintage records
but when I rip a page from Simple Steps
To Organizing Everything, and write your name
on it, the whole place
gives up like a bad heart.
And once you give up drugs, drinking
and having random sex, what is left?
A continent. Books. A camping trip. Baby shoes
and socks. Yoga and Big Lots. Buy diapers,
buy batteries for talking gorilla so it will dance
and sing “Wild Thing.” Repost anti-fracking
stuff on Facebook.
* * *
Sandra Simonds is the author of four books of poetry: Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2008), Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Press, 2012), The Sonnets (Bloof Books, 2014), and Ventura Highway in the Sunshine (Saturnalia Books, 2015). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Best American Poetry Anthology, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Believer, Fence, Black Warrior Review, Barrow Street, The Columbia Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Post Road, and others.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.