By Dorothea Lasky
"In traces that job my memory of ways William Carlos Williams insisted that merely the mind's eye provides us entry to fact, Lasky's poems evoke a tradition of dwelling, as bloody and lousy and beautiful as dwelling can ever be."—Julia Bloch, Bitch
"The appealing factor approximately Lasky, in all her paintings, yet quite right here, is her skill to create that very same feel of earnestness, the experience that she is telling you a secret."—InDigest journal, InDigest Picks
Go, courageous and delicate reader, with Dorothea Lasky to the "purple inn / the place the fowl lives." decide on her, as you've got willingly long gone down the darkish passages ahead of, together with her bare-faced poems for suggestions. Thunderbird's managed rage plunges into the black inside armed with not anything yet guts and Lasky's personal fiery center to mild the way.
Baby of air
You rose into the mystical
Side of things
You may not stay with us
We positioned you in a bit home
Where they close and locked the door
And at night
You blew out
And went wandering . . .
Dorothea Lasky can be the writer of Black Life and AWE, either from Wave Books. She lives in New York.
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The seasons they happen gently They happen gently Softly And why shouldn’t they? Why shouldn’t they, I ask you? They know they will come again Thank you to the editors of the following journals for first publishing some of the poems in this book: American Poet, The Awl, The Baffler, Coldfront Magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, Dewclaw, Diode Poetry Journal, Gulf Coast, Maggy, MARY: A Journal of New Writing, Mrs. Maybe, The Paris Review, Peacock Online Review, Poetry Northwest, Poor Claudia, Sink Review, Sixth Finch, Supermachine Journal, and Tin House.
What am I then I am the word II. They say it happened because the pilots did not stop When they were supposed to The pilots were supposed to stop Because of the fog And that they instructed them to do so They say they instructed them to do so But that they could not insist They say they could not insist Oh what do they know Dumb pilots, they tried to land They were too low The fog blinded their sight Political figures Brutish pilots JFK Jr. in the open sea At night in fog To go sailing He got too low and flipped Dumb pilots, you are dead You got too low Your wings touched the trees You lost lift immediately, you crashed Almost 100 people died You died, too 100 people, But who were they The entire Roman, I mean Polish, Empire The entire Polish empire The entire regime died today I did not die It is all so far off, I know I know I know it is 2015 when you are reading this It is all so far off I know we are dead when we are reading this again I know it is all so far off I know The 20,000 people who were massacred Who they were flying the plane in To go, get out of, and commemorate the dead I know that those people Are far off, too Yes, I know When we are feeling fine When we wake up, read a poem like this one, Go back to sleep, or rise, Eat something, look out the window I know when we all seem fine That it is easy not to understand But you are one thing If you died The whole world would be less When 100 people die The world is less It is not ok When 20,000 people are murdered It is not ok When the woman in Florida accidentally Murders her baby it is not ok I am in this room I am in my coffin My father, a holy man In a coffin It is not ok When you think it is When you think other things are important When you make sex the important thing And not death Then I have no time for you When you live a life and write And believe that sex and gender are the defining things Then I have no time for you I will have nothing to say Death is what defines a poem The poem is dead Always dead You want to know what makes a poem special?
In the strange way Of metal on skin Burn You were built to burn And also Sail through time and space You flatten Time and space The big world Why oh why bird, do we leave you I want to be in you every day I want to sleep in the belly of a silver metal bird Every day You can withstand the sky The lightning crashes in you, you can withstand the lightning The winds The winds go in you, you can withstand the winds You pull my hair You put me up and down You cause me to screech I am a small bird in your belly And willing I let you eat me, flying monster And willing I submit to your heavens Which are always circling in shadows, just beyond me The Insurrection of Satan as Thunderbird I had this dream That I was looking for this girl To find her and feed her And she was dead I have known hatred And hatred knows No mercy Satan is a flat orange snake I hang him on my wall And pray to him for forgiveness But Satan knows no mercy Satan, you know no mercy What if I lost all those things What if I lost all those things Humor, wit, beauty What if I lost it all And there was nothing left of me And what if I were just a corpse And what if I were less than that Would you still love me Would you tunnel into the ground Until the sun came out So that you could have my body to hold What if the sun were gone Would you hold my body in the dead of night Once he did Once he did hold my body in the dead of night If I forgot him then, will I forget him still If I always loved him, will I love again Dark night that is always calling My body is thin paper to the air We call conversation Dark language My body is dark red paper tonguing The sun of the grave that I am in Will you go tunneling through my grave To find the setting sun Will you go through my grave to get to another sun One that is deep and blue And fiery To be the thing To be the name uttered, but not to have the burden to be To be the name said, but not heard To not breathe anymore, to be the thing To be the thing being breathed To not be about to die, to be already dead To not have to disappoint To not have the burden of being late Or punctual To not eat, to not have to eat To not feel anything To not be the one whose affect is criticized To not pick up the fallen-over boxes To be everywhere but the boxes or plates To not break the plates To be beyond breaking To have been broken To not bear the burden of not being present To not have to feel the pain of being hurt To have transferred that pain over So that hurt is only part of the imagination And the imagination is everywhere, is every color To not contain color, to be color To not make sound, to be sound To not have language, to echo, to plan language To be the stream of words To not be sad for To not have those be sad for To not eat alone To not fuck those who do not find your corpse attractive To not fuck Or stuff To be ashes and non-placed Not displaced, but to not be in any place To enter the ocean on not a whim, but a physical force Where there is no center Where there is no safety There never was There was never any anger There was never anything to look at I never looked at anything I just went and walked I tried to love But love is hopeless And I have lost all hope, so bleak I am beyond I am beyond what might be considered low There is no low nor high, space or time, I have Gone away from that which is uttered I have not burdened to be spoken of or spoken for To croak every day to the livelong bog I do not speak a thing I exist No, no I don’t I never did And you may have But I never did And you may have called out for me But I was already gone And I am already there That which you speak of I am already spoken for In a world of light and ashes They all call my name They have waited for me And now I know I was always Already there With them Take care of yourself Alice Everything is trauma Everything takes away from the center Even the cops Alice Who I think are there to protect me Even though cops are never there to protect you Even though men are selfish and brutish Even though The men are like they are I keep looking into those cops’ faces like one would save me Even though they will never save me Even though I will come and meet you Alice By the woods or dock Poor Alice You have a psychopath harassing you And now me Now me I am no lion I have no relationship to you Except for me to tell you you are rare Or that your reaction is rare Or that it is When you told him To leave you alone I myself Have spent a whole lifetime Never telling anyone to leave me alone But always Wanting to Always wanting to get back to the center Where I was born Dear Alice Poor Alice Was it a dream when we first met Whatever it was I’ll wait for you by the rain Be wearing that Dress, be combing that Hair Be knocking that door The door of rock and slate The door of forgiveness And superstition Be holding that bouquet Of death tokens Be looking this way And that I want to be dead I want to be dead After all the ultimate act of self-indulgence is to be dead Histrionic bareback Middle-aged men are the devils I shall meet When I’m dead In this life I was a middle-aged middle-class middle-of-the-road woman Middlemen are the exorcised demons of my death What could be more dramatic than a last breath?
Thunderbird by Dorothea Lasky