Poetry

Poem for My 39th Birthday

Editor’s Note: We want to introduce our new poetry editor Joe Pan, who will select a poem to feature once a month on Hyperallergic. Pan grew up along the Space Coast of Florida, attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is the founder of Brooklyn Arts Press, an independent publishing house. His debut book of poetry, Autobiomythography & Gallery, was named Best First Book of the Year by Coldfront Magazine. His work has appeared in such places as Art World, Boston Review, Cimarron Review, Denver Quarterly, Epiphany, Glimmer Train, Hyperallergic, and The New York Times. He lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

For his inaugural selection, he has picked a poem by Joanna Fuhrman.

*   *   *

Conor Cotter, “Giant Rabbit on Hackney Road by ROA” (2010) (via flickr.com/[email protected])

I am not brave, despite
being poor
          and Miley Cyrus does not
          give me advice
on whining techniques or
          glitter glamouresque
               eye shadow use,
despite my Twitter pleadings
          with her.

To be honest, complaining
comes naturally to me,

like reindeer ornaments
come naturally
          to aqua tinsel trees.

I am not kidding you
          when I marvel
at the appeal of sleep,

how I never grow tired of it,
despite so many hours lost
          under its spell.

What I love most is to feel
all the pillows
congregating under me,

from both sides of the bed

          and to feel the sun, not too
          warm on one side of my face,

when I fall asleep on the ocean-
blue picnic blanket, with my wallet
bundled safely under my ribs.

Unfortunately, most days, I am a little
too awake

to be completely myself.

The city is an obese rabbit
that lives in my chest,

slurping my veins with its mile-long tongue,
chewing my heart

          with its saw-toothed
                              robot brain tumor,

                    and the laundry machine is,

um, you know,
                    a laundry machine.

It’s always quacking at me
                            quack quack quack quack

until I
          whack it
                   in the mouth

with quarters.

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