Tag Archives: metaphors and similes

Regular Poem: Gold Standard

10 Jul

buying flowers online always
seems like a scam
the site is always
shifting and trembling
pixels appearing and disappearing
shudder shudder stock photo
stock photo with shitty photoshop ribbon announcing

Next Day Delivery!
Florist’s Choice!
Summer Delight!
Robot Catchphrase!

i throw my money anyway
bind it up on an arrow light the arrow on fire launch the arrow
you hear tell of money buried
in coffee cans
money under beds
money in washing machine basins
i have $200 cash in my wallet
and the rest tied up in shady electronic florists

we’re off the gold standard so who cares

“‘you wanna bang or nah'” she says i should say
“that would probably be ineffective” i say

but we’re off the gold standard so who cares

there is
shoulda woulda coulda
but all we can really work with is
did do gonna

on second thought ought is not
a perfectly good modal auxiliary
requires an infinitive to get its point across
is old-timey and wishy-washy
i love it though

i love you though

efficiency vs expediency vs functionality vs sentimentality
a cage match no one wins

are you an appositive or an adjective clause
do i know the difference anymore

i used to quiz myself
but now i’m too stupid for that
the older i get the stupider i get
or maybe

i’ve been acclimating myself to it for years

(i’m a piece of shit
and i live laugh love that

first it’s a faraway criticism
then it’s internalized
finally it’s an identity

i can’t say i’m happier
but i’m truer

(but that’s nonsense
true is an an absolute adjective
an adjective that can’t be compared it’s either
true or not

[but where did i unearth that artifact
from my ancient storied past
{that grammatical ruin of a rule unpracticed and mostly forgotten except
in tales of gorgons and mermaids and me–
the me i am when i am
the mermaid of the year
and not just regular stupid me of tithes and tides}])

i don’t know how we got here

you say you know but i don’t really
believe you

we’re off the gold standard
and i wish i knew
what that really means

we’re off the gold standard
but i can’t believe you’re
not the gold standard
if the gold standard
means anything at all

do economics students forget as easily

who’s got the worst memory and the best


Regular Poem: Death of the Author

29 Jun

i’d be better at it

but then
i bristled and panicked

what does a fourth grader know about herself
“you have 24 hours to live. what do you do”

i watch star wars and hug some people
i don’t know i’m 9 and stupid

(the first day i wore a forest green knit polo
so heavy and hot in a kansas august
[so hot they limited us to half days
because the building was so ancient and sweltering
{it’s now an apartment complex–
hipster place that has repurposed the chalkboards and radiators}]
and i was just coming into my lady hormones
i should’ve used an antiperspirant
i was at such an impasse–
i wanted
mrs. herpolsheimer to know i was smart
but i also wanted
eric to know i liked him)

the personal experience prompt
is the worst prompt

i’d much rather

analyze, interpret, compare

skills i’ve honed

rather than talk about my own
attributes, attitudes, opinions,


goals are the absolute worst
they change
from moment to moment
and yet
want you
to have them from birth
an american dream
an innate thing
if you don’t have them

let me
philosophize analyze utilize
the text
as it is

9-year-old me
16-year-old me
doesn’t know a damm thing
about what
she really is
and she knows that and
she tries to tell you that
and you don’t accept that answer

there are barriers
on all sides
let her excel where she excels

i don’t know what to tell you
about myself
and i don’t know why
you ask

i’d rather
look at a poem
really look

i’d rather read a book
really read

that girl in the green polo
is so dumb
and so far

Regular Poem: Oscillating

18 Jun

click, shudder, click, whir

those old oscillating fans
mesmerize hypnotize anesthetize

the dusty ancient blades revolve revolve
you push your face to the metal cage
enunciate into it
cliches and quotations and nonsense
listen and feel
cold metal against your lips
the wind in your hair
the gravel
in your augmented voice

the stenographer in you can’t help but
type on those four keys
dark blue blue light blue white
and each a different reverberation

click, shudder, click, whir

“i would but i have a prayer group”
“gross why”
“because i’m the stupid religious one of the family”

i would be more offended
without 30 grand

he leaves i stay

i flirt with the bank teller and pretend
she’s more smitten than bored

i’m too keyed up
even to listen to my audiobook

click, shudder, click, whir

“once something good
comes through

it’ll be fine you just gotta
for that something good to come through”

the guy parked next to me at quik trip
is not talking to me
he’s on his phone
but we nod at each other anyway

the words are for me
but they’re not mine

click, shudder, click, whir

the acute anxiety
tongue on metal
when the click clicks too long
the shudder shudders too much
you broke it you broke it you
click whir
back to business

click, shudder, click, whir

a long rant
typos and malopropisms and misused homophones
poorly edited passionately written

i had planned to cry in the shower
but i was doing a clay mask
and therefore

click, shudder, click, whir

when’s the next full moon
surely that
explains it

it doesn’t explain it

nothing explains it

there is no
explanation except

i’m a degenerate itinerant
and so is the moon
and so are you

we wander as we wonder
out under the sky
poor wayfaring strangers
looking for a balm in gilead

click, shudder, click, whir

it blows
this way and
that way

it blows

Regular Poem: emily dickinson taught me

30 Apr

emily dickinson taught me
a lot of things
but raymond chandler did too

am i dashes and metaphors and birds
or am i stockings and pistols and
birds meaning ladies
of course
and so many metaphors besides

does contemporary fiction promise
the same promises?

i wish i’d taken a course
i wish i were

i read a book recently
film criticism
ten years out of date
distended in a yawning void of new
ideas i sometimes stumble upon

if only i were present
instead of this
of half-formed ideologies
peppered with arcane phrases
in my own circumscribed shit
pretending and avoiding

if only i were connecting and changing
but what
connections might i make
would they be progressive
or regressive
what neurons would be fired
what fires would be kindled

i stick
to my own house
my own life
my own feelings

i stick to
the side steets the diners
the birds and the birds

Regular Poem: I Don’t Read Enough Virginia Woolf to Make a Valid Argument

29 Apr

virginia woolf says it’s a thousand
pities never to say
what one feels

idk ginny

is that a thing anybody
calls virginia woolf?
do i care?

ginny, here’s the thing
i’ve got a room of my own
too many rooms of my own
and too many feelings in each one

i don’t want to say any of them
because i don’t want them in the first place

when i take a notion
to say a feeling
i say it too loud and too stupidly

maybe that’s the point
you’re making ginny
that to say what you feel
is a luxury
often squandered
on people who refuse to listen
and with lips that refuse to be articulate

Regular Poem: This Maudlin Asshole

27 Apr

this maudlin asshole
is angry at the rolling fog
sighs heavily at a full moon
doesn’t cry even though she wants to

this maudlin asshole
remembers and forgets
is pragmatic enough to know better

but when she looks in her garage(s)
and when she thinks and makes herself not think
of things and feelings past

there is melodrama there

some heightened emotion
best told in black and white

there’s a measure of pretense
in any interaction
a conservation
of private self
even in intimacy

this maudlin asshole
holds back
and calls it
something other than what
it is

it’s fear

this maudlin asshole
gets so
restless and


with her pride and vanity
and notions and fantasies

this maudlin asshole

is judgemental and mean
and romantic and dreamy
and pragmatic and logical
and empathetic and sad
and loves cemeteries and libraries

this maudlin asshole

is me

Regular Poem: creep

26 Apr

we’re all turning into the same


a lot of factors
pull people together
and pull people apart
and there a lot of types of bonds

sometimes that cashier just knows
you’re the right girl
to give her pizza and wine advice

sometimes you know
that dude is going to let you be upset and unload to him
in healing terrible ways

and sometimes
we wind up
wound up
with the exact people
whose clockwork gears
catch on the same knicks

it’s this accidentally perfectly
woven tapestry
of amateur detectives who all
know where each other live
literally but also
what mental spaces are home
and emotional spaces are comfortable
and what weird stuff
are the throw pillows on the sofas of their brains

we start off
different creeps
with our own creepy specialties
one’s the technological–
she facebook stalks, gleans clues from emails, social media, internet, intranet

one’s the covert–
he uncovers conversations whispered other places

and i’m the overt–
driving by with my binoculers,
the roughing someone up in the interrogation room type

but we’re all blending and sharing
standing over people’s shoulders silently
and giving each other looks

some call it a clique
but it’s more a squad a possee
we’ll be rounding up bandits in no time

we don’t share all of ourselves
just the parts that make us work well together
but when you open a vein
it bleeds
and soon there’s more of ourselves
on the table
than we’d realized

and when we try to put it back in
we get some of each other in the mix

we creep into each other
and creep

we’re all turning into the same


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