1 poem

by Jamie Hood

Jamie Hood did her doctoral work on women’s confessionalism and the poetics of trauma & affect. Since leaving that world, she has been working on RAPE GIRL, a book-length sequence of poems, lyric prose, and personal history concerning sexual assault, rape culture, and the media. Most recently, she has published with Burning House Press, Bomb Cyclone, and The Rumpus. She lives, writes, bartends, and dog moms in Brooklyn.

each night i dream of rising waters &

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of another compulsion to swim the mute body out
in all that        endless        ; what dreck;
wading through the wrecked & waterlogged hot topics
stinking abercrombies & auntie anne’s of my youth; jet black band
t-shirts limp        on the rippling surfaces of another dead totality;
              o monochrome
corpses  i tell u i am binge-watching this future        i am gorging my/self
                        on the UN climate report        i am growing sick
              w it                 being driven now to speak my feminine in slicker tongues

an astrologist once informed me that
               in point of fact
                            i am

                                                         a kind of seer

is it any wonder i cannot sleep alone
is it any wonder i need the weight of a man to still all my reckless
is it any wonder i am always looking for love
                        which is to say not love-in-itself
            but in its function as a solidity of fleshliness              o my lusty intangible self
                                         o my taurean overreliance on the comforts of all the beautiful meat                              of us

the pythia at delphi was required to abdicate all earthly pleasures; what a terrible seer i’d make; good only for being filled up by gods; o lord is this your manna leaking

            still;

dream-me is a more devotional woman than
i  she lies on her back & alternates
float and stroke           float     and stroke                    and float          (as we all shall do)

            it is a gift
to know when we should reap or else lay fallow—

                     also a blessing to not be trapped in shallow stagnant waters             all choleral

dream-self goes on against the tides
gathering her cherishments even
as the relentless waves stir the whole big world; this
damned cauldron of 24 hour news cycles
administrative erasure of our lovely loving bodies
& bezos killing each and every one of us
just so as to plan amazon’s first HQ on mars
needless to say we won’t be on the flight

            my anti-capitalist sentiment feels here like a usualness
i think if i am to have an audience  they are saying
                        or thinking all this already
                                    or else expecting me to  o cassandra in a sea of us seekers; us seers

but this is a kind of detour      let me confess

                                                                        this was supposed to be a love poem

this was supposed to be about
how each time my ex-boyfriend entered
            me       he’d close his eyes & i would train    
                                    mine to watch
his expression transform         how i wanted to die in the bashfulness
of his contented smirk                        

                                                            o innocence
                                                            o song of u
                                                            o also;              o song of o o o o o
                                                this experience;                       what purity; in its pure & total
                                    presentness; sex disaffiliated from shame for the first           time     my                                                                               body mine & also yours

o my god i could write an ode to ur teeth darling
            did i ever tell u the gap between the front two

                                                                                                (o blessed tooths)

nearly made me blurt
            i           love     u          (but i didn’t)


                                                            say it
                                                i mean                          of course                      i loved u
love is not a logic;       it is a feeling & i love
            it as i love all feelings             o abundance of embarrassed sincerity
                        i love & despise everything in near-equal measures & honor this
            for every feeling is right & is mine

another detour                       this was also supposed to be a break up poem; where fracture;

where torn
                                    perhaps

my mistake
                        (of course)       thinking what had made him happy
            was me                        when perhaps it was only the hug of something warm
perhaps he too sought the solidity of material form               or else  ; the anchor
            of a pretty face to cum on                   i know the colors that suit me             i called him

apollo              & for some time was not wrong


two griefs i am trying to unlearn:

(1) u can’t water a root rotted plant back to life

                                                                                    &

(2) u can’t fuck a man into loving u

i should say:

~i can’t water anything dead to life; ~i can’t fuck a man into loving me

            (must refuse tendency to deny the individualness of failing)

the feeling a plant & a man share is they neither of them wish to manage the intensity of my attention; the dilation of my pupils as i observe the bloom of them; i think how the sun must have especially loathed icarus & the airlessness of his terrible desire

still i fall in love too fast; have fallen
for nearly every man who ever held me

it can’t be helped        i told u
each night i dream of a globe of pools            the last
            woman                       
                                   
                                                to see the bluebells