about a body.

5 of my favorite poems about embodiment and one of my own.

 


The body marked by shame at once relieved of its bondage. With violence and orange blossoms; I strongly recommend Simone White. 

It Must Be Shameless
BY SIMONE WHITE

Apart disclaimed wicked pea, split soft skin
of the principle princess, who writhes,
a little blood passes her perineum every night,
grey linen sheets flax talisman plot luxe
to strip and scrub all gore
a plain bar of secret white soap
it is a pine tree, it is an orange blossom, is it a rose hip
under a baby tongue, blood cuts
punisher, swear it closed, closes it

Bodies that want and waste. Temporal hunger is all to familiar. Definitely read the rest of this poem, as this is only a section. Ocean is also a BC graduate! 

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
BY OCEAN VUONG

                     
                     i

Tell me it was for the hunger

& nothing less. For hunger is to give
the body what it knows
it cannot keep. That this amber light

whittled down by another war
is all that pins my hand

to your chest.


Barthes said: “a writer is a someone who plays with the body of his mother.” By this definition, Ginsberg is a writer. He finds his mother’s body as it ages. With affect-heavy imagery, both disgusting and somatic, he reimagines maternal sacrifice and a woman’s undoing through an unwanted stare.

 

Kaddish
BY ALLEN GINSBERG

For Naomi Ginsberg, 1894—1956
Her smells—and oft naked in the room, so that I stare ahead, or turn a book ignoring her.
       One time I thought she was trying to make me come lay her—flirting to herself at sink—lay back on huge bed that filled most of the room, dress up round her hips, big slash of hair, scars of operations, pancreas, belly wounds, abortions, appendix, stitching of incisions pulling down in the fat like hideous thick zippers—ragged long lips between her legs—What, even, smell of asshole? I was cold—later revolted a little, not much—seemed perhaps a good idea to try—know the Monster of the Beginning Womb—Perhaps—that way. Would she care? She needs a lover.

When I read Moten I feel like family. And warm. Whatever that means. 

 

Untitled
BY FRED MOTEN

thrill
the air with a

regular flash.
somebody playing
daydream looking through.
all the sun in colored
glass to play the mystical
body. come and lay your
sister come
and brush your
blues.


Gooey bodies and eternal infancy. Jenny Zhang’s poetry is hard to classify: a inner monologue of anatomical configurations and brass, but somehow honest language. I often laugh. 

My baby first birthday
BY JENNY ZHANG

my mom was a baby and inside of her was another baby
if not for that baby I would still be just
like
an idea no one had yet
I walk around with fists pulled up to my sides
so when someone who has wronged me walks by
I can hit the air
breezing past the goo goo
with my baby fists
my goo goo oozes goo
my cunt hurts
being disease free is a breeze
my mom’s choco coco
gets inside of me and says, “goo!”
I feel close to her
we stay up late and scoop out goo
from one another’s brilliant snatches
diurnal creatures can fuck off
we are quite happy this way


Recently, I’ve thought a lot about bodies. Bodies as containers. Bodies that shake. Bodies that atrophy. Bodies that labor. Bodies that weep and hold. After my father’s diagnosis, I wrote this poem about his body:

sunday
BY EMILY COSTANTINO

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 2.52.42 AMScreen Shot 2018-03-19 at 2.52.57 AM
-EC

 

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