other peoples poetry, poetry

dorothy wordsworth

The daffodils can go fuck themselves.
I’m tired of their crowds, yellow rantings
about the spastic sun that shines and shines
and shines. How are they any different

from me? I, too, have a big messy head
on a fragile stalk. I spin with the wind.
I flower and don’t apologize. There’s nothing
funny about good weather. Oh, spring again,

the critics nod. They know the old joy,
that wakeful quotidian, the dark plot
of future growing things, each one
labeled Narcissus nobilis or Jennifer Chang.

If I died falling from a helicopter, then
this would be an important poem. Then
the ex-boyfriends would swim to shore
declaiming their knowledge of my bulbous

youth. O, Flower, one said, why aren’t you
meat? But I won’t be another bashful shank.
The tulips have their nervous joie-de-vivre,
the lilacs their taunt. Fractious petals, stop

interrupting my poem with boring beauty.
All the boys are in the field gnawing raw
bones of ambition and calling it ardor. Who
the hell are they? This is a poem about war.

– Jennifer Chang


a letter from a poet

“I met someone.

About three weeks ago. She’s in the grad program at U.S.C.. She’s a musician and the kicker is… she’s Chinese… i never thought in a million years, i’d be attracted to an Asian girl. Everything about her just hit me like a wrecking ball. I did not see this one coming, in a good way. The bells went off big time. She “gets ” me. I’ve known a lot of woman, but very few ever understood me or related to me. She gets me. I’m very sure this is going to work out. I think she is a gift from god. And when god sends you someone, you don’t have to chase them. You don’t have to prove to them you’re worthy. I like being weird and nerdy. I was never about being a baller or a thug. I love being artsy and intellectual. Fuck being hard.

I got tired of proving to women i was worthy; i’m tired of being “friendzoned.”

Janet has never been married. i’ve never married. She doesn’t have kids. I don’t have any. I don’t want any. In 6 months, ill be 50, i feel like i’ve accomplished some things, but i’m still a work in progress. Maybe Janet will help me get to where i need to be.

Maybe i was out of line for thinking you liked me, but i can tell when someone’s not interested. One thing my dad always told me, i take to heart. “If a woman don’t want you, she don’t want you. Let her go and find someone else. ” elizabeth, you’re sexy, smart and you have a good heart…maybe you just don’t like black men. And that’s youre choice. Some people are just like that. I’ve had jungle fever since my 20s, but i’m starting to realize i like other kinds of women too. I’m glad i never had children. Its a lot of work. I don’t want to spent my 50’s and 60’s chasing a rugrat around. I’ve been there and done it dating single moms. The kids resent you for taking their dad’s place. The ex hate you cos you’re dating his ex. Doing all you can to feel like you belong, but you never really do.

And when push comes to shove, a mom will always pick her kids over a man. Thats the truth. Maybe i just never found the one who could fit the glass slipper. Hopefully Janet will change that. But if it doesnt work. I wont cry, ill keep being me. Ill keep being weird and happy. Im done with sending you mail. So this is the last one. I do think you deserve happiness. I hope you find it.
God closes a door and opens another one. Don’t cry cos its over, smile cos it happened.

I hope your year goes well…”