bis - “Monstarr”
funny how your life depends upon your waistline
I am teaching an online beginner’s poetry workshop with the Writer’s Center. There’s not many people registered, and it begins in June. If you or anyone you know might be interested in taking it, more information is here. It’s going to be cool and fun, I promise.
This is for the girls who held my ankles
as I gripped the wall, who insisted
they wouldn’t let go, now dim blurs
of braids, Bubble Yum, and hot-lipped
exasperation. Sunburnt dots in clusters
along the shoulders of a childhood rife
with plastic knives and bad summer
camps. It could be worse. I could break
an entire state’s heart with my bra strap.
Write a letter with a list of why I never learned
hows. It’s me and my best friend, proud
members of the Chili’s generation, saving
our cash for six-ounce steaks and heaping
bowls of maraschinos. Today we are women
and the waiter’s weird-cute. He wants to fuck
one of us. He’d have us both if he could.
That’s my cohost.
Petition to bring back What Would Brian Boitano Make? with Carrie as co-host.
Frank O’Hara, “Nocturne”
My mother (Susan, right) and her mother (Marion) in Upstate New York, July 1991.
What did we all do for fun
before we watched the baby
crawl across the Persian rug,
pausing to drool on the ecru
futon? At a certain point you look
up from the Greek yogurt dip
and see your own face reflected
in that of your mate’s. You eat
the hydrangeas in despair.
Everyone cares. All looking out
for their loafers and beards.
Mexico City was fabulous, or so
you hear. Nothing but posh women
in Chanel scarfing down tacos
on the beach, ceviche de pulpo
‘til you could just puke. The pessimist
in you has known from day two
there’s no getting out of the pool,
no matter how loud your counselor
yells. The first time a child peed
on your leg, it was an impudent
rainbow, crisp and warm on
the skin. The kid just stood there
with a beatific smile, one finger
planted in his navel, totally chill.
The last unscathed karaoke song.
An excuse to dress in Applebee’s
casual. A surefire way to get
a discount on cable. A pen pal
to replace the one who got
too creepy. My mother’s diaries
but there are none. An excuse
for the way I treated her. Evidence
of the fly invasion; sometimes
I think I dreamed it. My father’s sense
of shame. The photograph of me
surrounded by heaps of childhood
toys, smiling and spoiled. A dress
that’s not soiled. The comforting
posthumous breeze another writer
once described. The closest place
that serves mozzarella sticks.
Someone who can drive. Ages 26
to 35. Lies, lies, sensible lies.