poetry

Cosmic vibrations

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music, poetry

L.A.U.S.D.

//

“Yeah, taste the city’s agenda, most of you outta town niggas
Get caught up and turn bitter, the city of bullshitters
Where hopes are blown, not even money for the phone
Now tell me what’s the solution, how to get back home?”

//

This song goes out to my girl, who I pick up after work, in the dark, because it’s December and it’s 6 pm, and I am late, like I am everyday,

And she’s lost her sweatshirt for the hundredth time, and she’s cold, but that’s not why she’s crying.

She’s crying because, per usual, the mean girls’ are manipulative cunts, and she is on the spectrum somewhere, and she only understands direct communication, and she’s genuine, always, even when she’s being a beast, and she reacts, to their passive aggressive abuse like the red-haired viking that she is, genetically speaking.

And so, never knowing what to expect, I walk up, exhausted as fuck, barely alive, desperate to get my kids from three separate locations that span the greater Hollywood area, reaching from Western to I-5, and get them into our apartment, and peel off my tight pants and heels and bathe them, and FEED them, and hold them while they fall asleep, and pretend for a moment that I am good at this,

But this time, the well-intentioned and probably underpaid after school monitor, Pam, through a mouth full of braces, proceeds to tell me that Clem can’t go home until she apologizes,

and I say for what now?

And she points to one of the mean girls, who we’ve known since preschool, and she’s sitting on the ground, as if she’s just had the wind knocked out of her, with a face full of crocodile tears, clutching the remaining scraps of her (shitty) drawing, which I am told, was recently ripped into two surprisingly symmetrical pieces by my very own sweet child,

And god damn I swear, in retrospect I should have probably counted to ten, or prayed or paced, but honestly does that ever work for those of us made out of fire?

And I wonder to myself now, at 4 am, how many other people have yelled at someone else’s child?

I’ve really done the school a service, because home girl needed someone to finally call her bluff, right?, I mean, she’s lucky I didn’t slap her bullshit tears right off her face, frankly.

I am comforted, slightly, that I didn’t use any four letter words, or transform into the hulk, which is a super power that I am not particularly proud of, but that exists inside of me somewhere, nevertheless.

That all is to say, I need to blame someone in order to get through today, just for a second, in a safe space, my throat hurts and its a Thursday, and I have to remain composed, and among other things, interview a man who according to his resume elects to go by Bob, even though his parents named him Robert, which is suspicious to say the least.

So fuck you, LAUSD, for being overpopulated and overwhelmed and unable to fill the gap between me and my kids, that haunts me, every second, of everyday, that is probably my fault, but fuck, I’m a woman on the edge,

And fuck you, single parenthood, fuck the relentless weight of responsibility, fuck knowing that I am an asshole, fuck me for even complaining.

Fuck waking up at 4 am, fuck the incessant ding of new emails, reminding me that someone needs something from me, that I owe everyone a piece of my brain and time and heart, and fuck you Christmas, for highlighting all of my worst features, laughing at me, while I trip all over myself in the glow of your full moon, and yell at a child.

I still am not sorry, which is not a good sign, I think I need more church in my life, I might be turning to stone, again.

Or maybe I just need coffee?

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other peoples poetry, poetry

on disaster and poetry

“Who is the Author of Disaster?
For an answer, read
The Book of Nature or
a woman’s face.”

Disaster shuts down language. Disaster cannot be fathomed. Disaster stops all speech because the suffering it causes is so total and complete….

Does disaster really render language inadequate? What is its relation to the language of poetry in particular? In 1965, cultural critic Theodor Adorno asserted that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” Disaster is so often discussed in terms of silence and the inability to speak, but I want to think about how disaster produces speech, writing, and testimony and how disaster is reproduced through language. I’m not talking about disaster as metaphor in poetry but about a poetry that arises in direct response to a disaster, a poetry of disaster.

Nicole Cooley

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