the “i like you” poem -Warsan Shire
December 31, 2012, 7:57 am
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if you gave me
half a moon of a chance
i would
kiss the incisors
out of your mouth, clean
and hold them in my
own, like chippings
from an old mug
pray my tongue into
a bowl of holy water
and ask god to never
leave you thirsty


praise the soft belly -Warsan Shire
December 31, 2012, 7:16 am
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why do you live in your body like you will be given another? as if it were temporary. you starve it, you let anyone touch it, you berate it. tell it that should be completely different. you tug at your soft flesh, wish it thinner, wish it gone. you fall in love with those who praise the way it sighs under their hands, but who praises the way it holds up your weight, even when you are falling apart?

More Bukowski
December 30, 2012, 7:26 pm
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“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

“I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of.”

“Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire…. Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It’s real. And to anybody watching, you look foolish. Like you’ve suddenly become an idiot. There’s no cure for it unless you know somebody who understands how you feel, and knows how to help.”

“We are like roses that have never bothered to bloom when we should have bloomed and it is as if the sun has become disgusted with waiting”

Woman to Man- Ai
December 30, 2012, 1:09 am
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Lightning hits the roof,

shoves the knife, darkness,

deep in the walls.

They bleed light all over us

and your face, the fan, folds up,

so I won’t see how afraid

to be with me you are.

We don’t mix, even in bed,

where we keep ending up.

There’s no need to hide it:

you’re snow, I’m coal,

I’ve got the scars to prove it.

But open your mouth,

I’ll give you a taste of black

you won’t forget.

For a while, I’ll let it make you strong,

make your heart lion,

then I’ll take it back.

December 28, 2012, 7:50 am
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Victor -Denise Duhamel
December 28, 2012, 7:24 am
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loneliness is holding a piece of cardboard
under your new kitchen cabinets
as the handyman drills holes for the hinges
that will hold the door in place
and you are catching the sawdust
so he won’t make a mess
as he looks down your blouse and asks you to lunch
I know you like lunch and you say you can’t
and he presses why not and aw, come on
until he says don’t tell me you have a new man already
and you say Victor, a name you make up on the spot

your handyman says take it from me I’m divorced twice
it’s too early to date exclusively and you say
I hear you, but Victor is really something
this is the last trip your handyman needs to make
to finish the job he started four months ago
when your ex was trying to get alimony
from you and the handyman said no man should take money
from a girl and that’s really low and you loved him
for being on your side and paid him cash
under the table and he was always on time
and swept up because he’d been a single dad

Victor is a champ, a winner, a conqueror,
your therapist will tell you later
but for now you are holding on
as best as you can resisting the handyman
who you actually like but everyone you trust
has said don’t do it and you deserve better
because the handyman is a bankrupt chain smoking alcoholic
who’s looking for a place to live
most probably with you
a sober employed woman allergic to smoke
and you are thinking what do my friends know
when the handyman says let’s take a shower together
and see what happens you almost drop the cardboard
and the mound of sawdust
that you wish didn’t look so much like a mound
and you say are you crazy and the handyman sulks
well it was worth a try and you ask
why did you wait so long to ask me out
knowing he would have had a much better chance
when he first started the tile work
and you probably would have given anything
just to have someone hold you
he says I wanted it to be all proper
so that we could see each other
when I wasn’t working for you anymore
you give him the last beer in your fridge
that you’ve kept stocked just for him
and he folds the bubble wrap
the doors were swaddled in saying keep this
I know you like bubble wrap which seems like
the most romantic thing anyone has ever said
to you and that this handyman knows you
better than any other man ever has
he folds up the cardboard packaging
to take out to the trash and you follow him
trying to think of something that would make him laugh
when he leaves he shakes your hand
and says just for the record I hate Victor’s guts
and you almost say me too

Two Dinners -Nick Vagnoni
December 27, 2012, 1:18 pm
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Sitting alone at the bar,

I watch a waiter prepare branzino tableside
with a fork and a spoon—
he flips back the salt crust chassis, removes
tail, dorsal, head,
peels back skin,
puckered under salt and fire,
limp as wet paper, delicate
as my own.
He curls it around his fork
like a sardine can lid
and with a few fast strokes
splits the fish
open into hemispheres,
removes the spine,
excises the bloodline.
Over my shoulder
I see our table.
Would I have eaten any slower that night

had I known you would soon end our engagement?
The salumi with their constellations of fat.
Slivers of fennel, crackling
with sea salt.
Blood orange sorbet
orbiting our table
in a little metal cup.
And your osso buco—
you ate all but the marrow:
This distillate of grapes and nightshade,
fire and roots,
cocooned in long, cavernous rings of bone,
to be mined with a tiny spoon—
a little drip of silver—
or a tongue.
A hurried waiter
The levels of all the glasses

tremble in unison
as a quartino tips
and the valpolicella explodes slowly into the tablecloth.
The red stain, a growing thunderhead,
stops short before the edge of the table,
before the cloth is pulled back,
as if to say,
this was us
all bluster and storm
but no flood.