1 poem

by Julianne Neely

Julianne Neely received her MFA degree from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, where she received the Truman Capote Fellowship, the 2017 John Logan Poetry Prize, and a Schupes Prize for Poetry. Her writing has been published in VIDA, The Rumpus, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Hobart and more. She currently teaches college English and her chapbook The Body Beside Herself is forthcoming from Slope Editions in October 2018.

A WOMAN WALKS INTO A BAR

A woman walks into a bar but it’s not a joke

 

A woman walks into a bar and doesn’t want to focus on staying alive

 

A woman walks into a bar and she’s been here before

 

I walk into a bar

 

I walk into a bar and fall in love with a man

 

I walk into a bar and fall in love with a man and why should I see it coming

 

A woman walks into a bar but she doesn’t look both ways

 

I walk into a bar and a man rips the skin off a lime

 

I walk into a bar not looking out for danger because I, myself am the danger

 

A woman walks into a bar and why do men mistake the smell of Versace perfume for desperation

 

A woman walks into a bar and a man sizes up his hands to the circumference of her neck

 

I walk into a bar and it’s a cliché what happens next

 

It’s a cliché what happens next

 

It’s a cliché what happens next

 

I walk into a bar and I am tired

 

A woman walks into a bar and she has her mother’s mouth

 

A woman walks into a bar and she’ll be sorry

 

She’ll be sorry for walking into the bar

 

She’ll be sorry for walking into the bar

 

I’m sorry for walking into the bar

 

Why must I be sorry for walking into the bar

 

I walk into a bar and I say Yes and Would and Like A Drink

 

I walk into a bar and it is something I will not write down

 

A woman walks into a bar and oh be careful

 

I walk into a bar and I am sick of reading this poem

 

I walk into a bar and yes, I am drunk

 

A woman walks into a bar but her voice will not reach

 

I walk into a bar but this is not where I thought I would be

 

A woman walks into a bar and if the refrain is cumbersome then you are the problem

 

I walk into a bar and dear god, let me speak

 

A woman walks into a bar and every flag loses its color

 

A woman walks into a bar and be still

 

I walk into a bar and reach reach everything anything anywhere hurts hurts

 

A woman walks into a bar and enough

 

A woman walks into a bar and here she’ll start dying

 

I walk into a bar and where should I keep the truth

 

A woman walks into a bar and a man believes he knows what must be done with her

 

A woman walks into a bar and I don’t know what to tell her

 

I walk into a bar and become a contour, a silhouette, an illustration of assumption

 

I walk into a bar and I am tired

 

I walk into a bar and silence

 

I walk into a bar and dear god, let me speak

 

A woman walks into a bar, intelligent

 

A woman walks into a bar and it is dangerous to desire men 

 

I walk into a bar and desire is pathological

 

A woman walks into a bar and the perils of a glance cannot be overestimated 

 

I walk into a bar and let me scream with a grate that damages my throat

 

A woman walks into a bar and landscape becomes language

 

I walk into a bar and I still don’t believe in irony

 

A woman walks into a bar and I want to walk into a bar and hold her but I am tired 

 

I am tired

 

I am tired

 

I am tired

 

I walk into a bar and dear god, let me speak