Poetry

A Poem by Lucy Ives

Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected a poem by Lucy Ives for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

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Marcel Broodthaers, "The Ballad of a Star over Reading Gaol" (1975) (one of three), oil on canvas (photo by Elisa Wouk Almino for Hyperallergic)
Marcel Broodthaers, “The Ballad of a Star over Reading Gaol” (1975) (one of three), oil on canvas (photo by Elisa Wouk Almino for Hyperallergic)

Maybelline

 

I am clearing my mind again
I mean, “I think”
So
I am bad
I am good?
I am very very good laughing a lot in delight
As at the same time there are many cameras?
I am good
I try
My head
Is good
I am the one who is bad
Escaping when it is not time
Racing downstairs
I sleep for years
On a lawn
In Melbourne
In Australia
I am good
I am very good rising in greatness
People say my name not even to know me
I light a candle
I am that good
Animals I created during the 17th century
Could be brought back to life
A drowsy octopus blows its nose on my thigh
Ants lick me
I am wrong
I didn’t know this was happening
And that is so far worse
Even
Than being incorrect
Darkening as it does all previously
Known sentiment
Fear is
Good or not good
Fear is the ultimate purview
Of the philosopher
It is the yoke
To harness bad to good
Fear shivering in excellent sunsets
Either I am bad or I am good
Either
Witnesses have known me or
Truth in their
Responses was
Relative, local
And I dwelt
Or was dwelling
Where
I did not share
Their commitment
To any type of certainty
I am good because
It is right here
What happened
A stacked result
That’s tight
And turns
Whatever face
Away
Probably you
Regret my
Puerile
Statement
You knock
Upon the desk
With one long finger
You take the time
That later
Will be needed
You put it
Away
Great
Good
Foreseen
Very
Very very
Good
Not that I see all
But the point is I am looking
My official release
My redemption
Do not really matter
That I
Know always better than
Maybe I knew
Scholars of America
Here is what I want to do
Maybe born with it
As spring approaches
I discover Carl Jung
In a dream
He dips
Below the horizon
Your jealousy
Was less complex
Carl Jung making speeches
Behind
A simple sky
He does a lot for weather
Wax
A barrel
Pointed at the sky
But I don’t know
As you begin thinking and become one thing
The future is just yellow
How do you feel about gazes
Like an airplane we do not
Know
The nearness of just one actual mile
Is specific
More or less true
An answer would “speak”
You would “turn”
I’d “speak”
I mean, no longer “legion”
I would turn
English is “myriad”
Keats remarked
A recession
In which clouds
Thump the sky
I’ve known this all morning
If someone doesn’t ask you
What you are doing
You shall
Be good
You shall be good for one more day
When I am good I know
What I am doing
I walk on a dais
I swarm ashore
Yes yes
I lie
A lot
This is why
I am not
Good
In the essential
If you were to write something
Topical like
The story of a search
In which, “The Past…”
This would qualify
And I think it’s good
You have your mind
You use it to produce opinion
This is at least partially
The great and famous
Thing
You are more rational and therefore
The more
You speak
The more there is
The good
Lastingly I believe
For you whom humans
Imitate are good
Like
Anyone would say
“I saw it beginning”
If I am bad it is because
I know no
Better
Than to be this way
No
It is because I am wrong in
Not knowing
This is the effect
Finally
Much as
Yes
I am not good
I can
Only read
Law
Its letter
I am good
If I am good
In
This sense
Science smiles
Teeth flickering
The infinite divisibility of distances
Does good
To one
Such as me
I am using words to point to other words and it’s
OK with readers
I live
I don’t do a single thing

 

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Lucy Ives is the author of four books of poetry and prose, including the novella nineties. A book of aphorisms and extremely short stories, The Hermit, will be published by The Song Cave in spring 2016. Her first full-length novel, Impossible Views of the World, is forthcoming from Penguin in 2017. Co-editor of Triple Canopy, Ives lives in New York, where she teaches at the Pratt Institute.

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