Thursday, July 17, 2008


I hate how we artists, so different from the majority, so insecure and yet sure of our own genius, feel the need for disclaimers before presenting a piece of their work.

Backstories however, those are sometimes necessary. This is the first poem I ever published, which somehow came into my head nearly complete, a rare and magical gift for any artist, especially one whose medium is words. It is also the first poem I ever published, my junior year at UConn in the notoriously hard to get into Long River Review. I didn't appreciate the value of this until I worked on the review senior year and watched thousands of poems dismissed, picked apart, and thrown aside until only 39 remained. It is still a bit hard for me to fathom why a couple of poets got more than one spot. Then I was angry, now I just wonder who they were blowing or how much less partying they were doing than me. When I got the letter this poem was published, it was the best feeling I have ever had.. And then of course my delusions of grandeur had me dreaming I was the next Allen Ginsberg, put on this earth to bring poetry away from it's ivory tower of acadamia and back to the masses. But then I remembered. The masses are unable to understand poetry, and that I have never been a fan of the masses. Then my lofty ego decided to submit work to the most exclusive of journals, The Paris Review, etc, got a few rejection letters and buried my head in shame. I need to put myself back out there.
So I'm planning on reading this at the Bohemia Room's Cunnilinguistics night July 23 at Santo on Lincoln Road...Hope I don't talk myself out of it. I find the more I embarass myself and my loved ones, the better my work is... It's scary when the best stories are the ones that might make your family disown you... I'm starting to realize I'll forgive myself much easier for that than for not putting out the work I was put here to do. I'm rusty now, but I can get back to where I was... Someone once said there's nothing worse than wasted talent.... and I'm not getting any younger...

Whew! You still with me?

Here goes, brutally honest 19 year old me:

Naughty Nudie

Walking into high schools
blurred orange morning
I glance down
surprised and ashamed
at my own bare breasts

I have never had that dream

I was born naked
a baby playing in summer sun
shrinking and shrieking
from the confines
of bathing suits and sunscreen

I was the little girl
who told all the neighbors
what happened when
you pulled her Daddy's finger

Who forgot to wear underwear
to a cousins Bar Mitzvah
announcing it as
we pulled into temple
a place where even the hair on my head
should not be naked
my parents laughed at my inanity
the next few hours
I enjoyed the breeze

Naked has been my way
in every sense

On a tipsy adolescent night
two boys dared me
to run naked
from pond to pool
and back

At private school on Monday
I was the slut.

Reputation fails to erase the memory
of the feeling
night wind and bare skin
unencumbered movement
the thud of my entire body
and nothing more
as it met with the earth.

In a summer sundress it is easy
to be naked
even as I sit here now
I am still naked.

Some may wear cloaks
and masks
makeup and jewelry
to show the world
who they think it thinks
they should be.
That's fine with me.

I'll be naked.

Naughty Nudie


The Black Lines That Dont Make The Headlines said...

bohemia room is coming back :)