Orpheus Mac (benotstolidus) wrote in not_plagiarism,
Orpheus Mac

Poetry Submission Deadline... uh... TODAY... Eep.

I need fast opinions. Which poems do you like best? Give me your top five choices.


You, your denim jacket and shrewdly bespectacled owl’s gaze, I loved you.
A hero figure if any existed stop smoking it’ll kill you the arsenic and tar and methane and such I loved you
You’re teaching English you loved words your spelling and grammar sucked and you can’t even proofread your own chapter whatever happened to your Azure Angels I loved you
I’m flying from Spokane to Denver and thinking of my date three days ago with remember David he told me what your cousin told him don’t be ashamed I loved you
The clouds are next to me pink tapioca pudding on the wing some purple too I spy a memory I loved you
Every time I use Tupperware I loved you
Every time I read Neruda I loved you
Every time I loved you I teared up and forced myself to write something anything get my mind off things off I loved you


You smoke pot.
My mother trusts you.

You smoke it while you drive, and the residue from your exhalation gathers on the windows and makes it hard to see through the sun glare.
My mother trusts you.

Speaking of, your driving is horrendous- you almost gave me a heart attack in Vegas and I had to grab the passenger bars on more than one road-tripping extravaganza.
My mother trusts you.

Your hands (on the other hand, har har) are coarse and gnarly, your knuckles swollen from compulsive writing habits, tainted pink the color of a rash, your veins holding it all together like a strung out sailor’s ropes, and what you could do with those hands terrifies and excites me to the marrow of my bones.
My mother trusts you.

And I find when I’m with you that I’m not reduced to some barbarically sexual being but elevated to an Aphrodite state of intelligent passion and calm combustion, and your eyelashes, your five o’clock shadow, your skinny legs, I get high off them.
My mother trusts you.

So now I’m watching you out the window fixing your car with your much-abused hands because you’ve driven it too hard, cursing and grinning at the unadulterated masculinity of the situation, wondering if Sartre would have been able to fix a car, me wondering if some of the damage isn’t from a buildup of hashish in the engine block and if we’re ever going to be more than friends and you glance up and meet my eyes and light a cigarette.

My mother, for some reason, trusts you.

Nature Poem

You don’t know how madly I sit two doors down the hall from you, listening to the frogs croaking instead of your breathing

I hear the crickets chirruping, males rubbing their legs together, females opening theirs wide, and I could make money on a bet that you’re snoring.

Fireflies press heatedly up against the windowpane, hot from passion and internal combustion, and I’m watching them like cheap porn because I’m just that alone, two doors down.

And I get this feeling that you’re not as oblivious as you’d like to come off because that would be cold, yeah, that would be insensitive. And I get the feeling that as much as I’m reading into the situation, it means so much more.

He Likes Older Women

We’re staying with my uncle’s lover
(my writer friend and myself)
she wanders in and out from her garden
40 years my senior and in better shape
I imagine, randomly, that my writer friend fucked her when I went for coffee
His pen scratches on the latest draft of a chapter
A real masterpiece
“Better’n Kafka,” he boasts. I don’t think that’s much of a feat.

She hums when she comes in from the garden-
Belly dancing music
(she’s a belly dancer)
my jealousy is retarded
(as most jealousy is)

she reminds me of a Fleetwood Mac song
any Fleetwood Mac song
he reminds me that I forgot to pick up the vodka
she says she’ll go get some when she goes for her smokes

he scratches on his chapter
she hums her tunes from Arabia
hmmm hmmm hmmm
scratch scratch scratchhhh

I wish he’d screw me when she left for groceries
But he just keeps scratching and sighing

And I wish I’d never introduced them
And I feel I’m not even here.

Mischief, or Don’t Hate Me Quite Yet

This chair makes a lot of noise.
The guy on the other side of the room is reading
English Restoration Plays
I never ready any of those sounds boring
I think my chair wiggling-squeaking is pissing him off
He’s sighing but I kind of like
Making noise
I rock back and forth a couple times
And he puts his pen
Down d e l i b e r a t e l y
And looks at me with those Don’t Fuck With Me blues
And I smile
And jive my chair one last good wiggle and sigh
I came here to be with you
I’m working
I know.

And it occurs to me that when he’s finished
Restoring the English
Or conquering academia
He’s going to need a friend who can wiggle her chair
With the best of ‘em
And I shift my ass in my seat and
Make a lot of noise
And grin toothily when he moves to the dining room
The chairs in there
Are worse
Than the ones in here.

Sunday 2:45 PM

He was laughing at a disco movie when I came back from the bookshop.
He stopped laughing.
I brought Kerouac and Burroughs I didn’t have any
Burroughs before how’s the movie? Thirsty?
Nah. He tightens the muscles in his face
Like he might have intended to make a reassuring smile
But the effort got
Lo…..st. Between his brain
And his lips.

I feel like this trip is sponsored in part by Vanilla Coke.
He doesn’t think I’m funny.
I think Burroughs is funny.
I bet Burroughs would think he was funny.

Bukowski’s Bloody Piano Fingers

I just read Bukowski for the first time
Ever so I’m a little
Violet—violent—right now

I sat in my uncle’s recliner chair while
David the Playwright sat on the couch
Re-rewriting his play
(He’s good at that. He’s actually on the 27th re-write)
I let out little gasps and delighted
Hoots of laughter
-A chuckle-
multiple orgasmic sighs
(I do that when I find the meaning of a Sunday afternoon
inside a poem)

And afterward I was
Poking my face
Leaving steam from my
Nostrils on the mirror and
Had a f i t
And banged doors
(momentarily had fleeting thoughts of
banging the playwright on the sofa)
but instead
found my purse and dug through it

…wait. I need that cherry chapstick.
Here is my pen
And my paper.

(purses are mildly useless but I’m far too lazy to invent an alternative)

I wrote this in my newfound calm
Across the room
From the sofa
Upon which David the Playwright sat
Re-rewriting his play. Again.


I wish I were a man
So I could write a sexual poem
About a woman
(I prefer men myself but they’re not very aesthetically poetic or whatever)

I like
Those poems about
And sex

My favorite poets had sex with lots
Of women* – Bukowski, for example, what a horn dog

*Except, of course, the ones who had sex with lots
of men- Ginsberg and Whitman, for example

Me, I’m still a virgin
Still jailbait
Still curious about my own undiscovered realm of sexuality
Still wondering if this poetry stuff is for


I got some letters today
A scholarship for 500 (dollars, American)
From my mother’s protestant church
(I’m converting to Catholicism)
A letter from a publisher
I gotta write some poems
Good ones
With vivid nature imagery

The proletariat of America likes Nature Poems.

Better make them metaphorical
Say something about life
Or childhood.

The proletariat of America misses their childhood.

Things were easier then.
You didn’t have to write nature poems
Or choose religion based on your financial status.

Venti Sugar-Free Vanilla Iced Latte, Please

We, dwellers of your Local Friendly Coffee Corporation (you know the one)
We, addicts, inhalers of liquid stimulation
We, strangers, unknown to one another:

We share a common bond
We can share our closeted skeletons
Come out of the closet
Hide in the closet together

We can share our souls, taste each others’ preferences, borrow a dollar, have a mint, have a tampon, laugh at each other’s follies, fix each other’s collars

We can know each other in this hour
We can empathize
We can always leave each other safely behind

We know each other’s fetishes
We know each other’s fears
We know we’ll never see each other again

I love your tattoo
I love your hair

I love you, cohabitants of this, our mutual respite

that it’s not been said before, but,

You bastard
Call me sister as though
You don’t sweat when I hold your
Hand your heart is in my
In love with your
Face wrinkling beerbelly laugh
Along with your
Friends think I’m the One for you
Capital O- my god
can’t you open your eyes
And see me
Standing here

Barnes and Noble Tuesday PM Amateurs

You beautiful old man
In the pompadour and swagger
Can’t you see I’m thirsting your
Words? Can’t you see me sweat?
Don’t close your eyes to see
Only the page before you
See me here in my
Novice longing
For insight
For depth
For talent
For sex (admittedly)
And let me drink from you

So Mildred said to me “I can’t stand the way the world is these days.”</b>

Get off your lazy ass
And change the world
You bitch about
On your lazy ass

New Spot-Be-Gone Takes Away All Your Worries With One Wipe!

I am
Notorious for littering a
Room with notebook paper
Renowned for knowing
Too much for my age
Alone in this
My journey
Desperately searching
For a kindred touch
Of souls
I am.


Ginsberg and Neruda
Acosta gone
To Latin America
(teaching a language
he couldn’t understand)
Close but out of reach
Consumed by his own

Waiting for the impossible
To occur.

The state of poetry is sad these days.

Gracias Dios

Gracias Dios
For not giving me anything.
I work for my pennies
And my experiences
Gracias Dios
For not allowing me melodrama.
I live in a world full of
Simple beauties
Gracias Dios
For giving me pain.
And anguish.
And death.
I understand joy.
And contentment.
And life.

Truth, Thy Sport is Sumo

I met Truth in the shower today and now I have alkaline batteries under my ribcage, very steadily sending pulses of electricity through my intestines
I’m afraid to eat
I had shampoo in my hair and was scrubbing the grease out when Truth, that 400-lb. sumo wrestler slammed into me
(My shower is not very accompanying, so I had no where to go but down)
I wept on the floor of the shower,
bubbles in my tears
lips on my knees
water and steam and soap everywhere
While Truth continued to pressure me
The crying and masses of fat made it hard to breathe
I choked for air and found soap (not pleasant)
I wanted to scream but could only find a hoarse whisper: “Why, Truth? Don’t you know I’m seventeen?
Is this the culmination of my adolescence, here, one pathetic, naked moment?”
I could not see past the water and folds of Asian flesh but I was under the impression that he meant to say yes.
(Even now, my body feels battered.)
Truth brought memories of rape, honest realizations of my own skewered perception of relationships, the fact that Good Enough is used too often in my thoughts on romance, on career (I don’t really want to write for Harlequin, ya know).

It didn’t occur to me at the time how bizarre or uncomfortable it was to have a sumo wrestler joining me in the shower but it has certainly affected my appetite on all fronts.


Isn’t it a beautiful thing, this?
This longing for acceptance
this nihilation of human emotion
this terrible outpouring of saline and prescription medications?

I come from the generation of rock and roll so hard it makes the Beatles sound like bluegrass.
I come from the generation that doesn’t remember when sex was considered Taboo and you had to live with the consequences.
I come from the generation that universally has Attention Deficit Disorder.
I come from the generation that tried cigarettes when they were nine.
I come from the generation that considers Ben Affleck an actor.
Hell, I come from the generation that considers this a poem.

What happened to Elvis?
What happened to Jesus?

What happened to us?
Isn’t it a beautiful thing, this?

You Could Call This Love

Between skin burning
white leather seats and broken manual turn signals;
Between hidden hole-punched Coke cans
and tiny green herbal patchouli-scented Tupperware containers;
With your demure lopsided smile and cocky short-man stance-
your leather patched tweed elbows and mop of dishwater hair;
Between cups of black joe and were those camels?
and two a.m. shots of vodka and only coming to school unprepared once;
Between your scathing unfounded critiques, comparisons to Kevin Spacey,
and 78-page screen plays in Times New Roman font;
Between getting high and getting creative…
…without getting caught;

Your crinkled twinkling gray eyes
And gnarled writer’s hands
And penny loafers (penny loafers!?)
And James Dean smoking habits
And making me laugh when I didn’t want to (damnit)

Rock Show

You are a temple of reckless abandon
You are my happy misery
(No one would smile through this
bassthump stomachthump stomach pump)
You are my evil salvation
You are embodied in that sweating scarved figure
You stand for freedom
(You’re consumed by the capitalistic ogre you defy
you die)
“nice set man that was really
rockin’ man you’re a god man
you kicked ass out there”
They licked your ass
And the kids go home idolizing

Just a Little Romantic Bravado, Don’t Mind Me

Why did I fall in love with you of all people?
Is it the way you called me sweet last Christmas when I bought your Americano for you to go with the planner I gave you?
Your pink tipped nose looked cold I couldn’t help myself
Is it the way I admire and adore your nervous energy doing pull-ups pacing walking too fast for me to keep up with you?
I didn’t mind the view from behind I couldn’t help myself
Is it in those tacky disco jackets and gnarly corduroy pants you insist on wearing even in the Vegas heat just to embarrass me I swear?
When I helped you take them off I couldn’t help myself
Is it in that moment where we were sitting together watching the stars in the summer heat night and you moved your arm so it rested against mine?
I got goosebumps and wanted to kiss you I couldn’t help myself
Is it in the way I have to whisper your name out of reverence?
Or the way you make me melt when you notice the little things?
Or maybe the way I don’t flinch when you touch my back?
Or the way I somehow trust you though I can’t trust any men?
I can’t help myself.

What Feelings of Resentment Abide?

You destroy me.
Carrying through with your plan we talk about the weather, about your football days past (an injury), your family (divorced or grown up), your ex-girlfriend (a bitch).
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
We take a walk, there’s a little path near the baseball fields, I always hated beauty bark- nothing beautiful about it- it gets in my shoes and you kiss my feet.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
My whole family likes you, I kinda like you, but, uh, I don’t know, maybe we should just be friends? You kiss my cheek and my heart melts I reconsider.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
You don’t smoke, don’t drink, no drugs, tried everything, we’re both still in high school and I ponder the relevance of self-control at sixteen.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
I’m a little fat- you say curvylicious- fat for my age but you find my waist and put your arms around it and you have the balls to look into my eyes and say you think we’ve got something.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.

You destroy me.
When it gets later you offer to buy me dinner I’m not caught up in any moment but my stomach roars, I’m poor, I like the attention, I say sure I could go for French fries and you order a three-course meal.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
And you know I like summer because I get masochistic pleasure from sun-burning and it’s a good excuse to consume gallons of lemonade a day and you embarrassedly admit you like summer because girls wear more revealing clothing.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
And we play footsie under the table and laugh to relieve the tension and when you hold my hand my palms get sweaty and I’m not sure why because I don’t really feel anything for you.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
We share a milkshake- oh my God, how cheesy- and when I lean into my straw you kiss my lips and that’s the first real surprise of the day and I find myself vanillakissing you back out of habitual reaction.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
And I start to sigh because I think you’re playing a game with me, a one-day flirting fling, which is just fine but I’m not sure I want it to end just yet because being the new girl in town is a lonely job sometimes.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.

You destroy me.
Just when I think we’re going to go our separate ways you say Let’s rent a movie and I automatically brighten up and say Okay! exclamation mark and everything and you say A comedy? and I could use a laugh and you say Your place? and I want to make out so I say Yeah.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
We sit on the couch together too close to be platonic, Mom and Dad are out of town and brother is staying with friends and you know all this.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
And all I want to do is kiss you, feel some warmth, be held, be affected, but you’re wanting more than that and I think that sports injury was a lie.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
And when you’re done and I’m trembling, robbed of innocence and even the right to cry, you tell me This is normal but you tell me Don’t tell anyone and I think I nod but I am watching the movie again.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.
When you leave I’m allowed to get angry, I’m allowed to freak out, I hope I’m not… I better not have… How did…? Mostly I’m tired so I go to bed and have a couple nightmares and try to forget but I never do.
It seems so dark for such a sunny day.

On the Matter of Being Bored Enough to Conspire Against the Government

My friend- my karaoke buddy- the nice one- the bassist
Used to work at a filling station
We put on ska rock and swing danced together
Next to the soda refrigerator
We bought ice cream cones for 79 cents at the taco place next door
And made wild assumptions about the patrons that frequented the gas pumps

We stuck gummy bears to the gas pumps where they melted in the heat if the summer

We gave candy to small children
We were entertained for hours by the sheriff’s speed trap across the street
We planned our lives around the late-showing films at the theatre
And the current price of a six-pack of Coke
We read the local police reports and hooted at them like comics

He was a good friend, that one, and
I miss him.


Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.
It has been minutes since my last confession.
I have fallen in love with a man that You, in Your Divine knowledge must not have intended for me
No, Father, we did not give in to lust
No, Father, we did not forsake our chastity
Hail Mary, full of grace…

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.
It has been seconds since my last confession
I have ignored Your Will in my life and proceeded with the feelings that I know are a waste. I have given into sloth in my hesitation to continue with my life.
No, Father, I did not mislead Your child.
No, Father, I did not give in to self-pity.
The Lord is with thee…

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.
I’m still on my last confession.
I have lied to a young man and denied the love in my heart.
No, Father, I did not carry through.
No, Father, I do not have the heart.
Blessed art thou above all women….

Love Letters from My Roman Compatriot

You were cold in the States I never held it against you but now
Now you are warm and alive
I don’t know you
You tell me you admire my strength
I’m not strong I can’t lift things I can’t hold onto them they slip
You tell me you admire my bravery then
I’m not brave I’m terrified I don’t know the difference leave me alone
Your letters stink of olive oil and typewriter ink I miss the smell of your hair
I miss the smell of your skin
It’s not fair you’re seeing Italy while I’m stuck here with my financial and emotional woes
Woe is me
You say you’ve got it harder because you’re away from me I say that’s
Come home
I much prefer you cold and distant and within my reach
Than loving and kind and an ocean or two away
Ciao Bella you say, Ciao Bella
That means hello or good bye beautiful
Why couldn’t you have called me beautiful when you were here?

That is all... Thanks for the feed back everyone!
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Sunday 2:45 PM

Venti Sugar-Free Vanilla Iced Latte, Please

New Spot-Be-Gone Takes Away All Your Worries With One Wipe!

On the Matter of Being Bored Enough to Conspire Against the Government