2014 Po’ in Review–99 (or So) Lines & Quotes That Effed Me Up, in Chronological(-ish) Order of When I Reddit
Today’s a great day because we all have hangovers. Not from Strawberritas or Coronoritas or whitewinespritzeritas but from a really obnoxious year that did everything it possibly could to test our collective patience.
But now it’s 2015 and we’re on this brand new website together, so I figured I’d pop about 9,000 Advil and go through my pockets to pull out the best lines and quotes I came across in 2014—because despite our most obvious failings, 2014 was a pretty OK year for people who read poetry.
So hi, new everything. Let’s try not to trip all over our patriarchy this year.
****Note: if there are any broken links or misspelled names, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line HEY NUMB NUTS***
There you aren’t hard like that
Hold it sideways or get in all
Close and give way
Cecily Iddings, “The Decision Tree” (Octopus, Jan. 1)
welcome to the poem
i am cold by the window
Crispin Best, “Allow Me To Change Your Life” (Hilda, Jan. 2)
Christine Friedlander (Women Poets Wearing Sweatpants, Jan. 4th)
When I’m horny I can’t have sex because I am ovulating
When I’m on birth control I can’t have sex because I am not horny
When I’m pregnant I can’t have sex because I’m blown out
When I’m a mother I can’t bear to live
Monica McClure “Off-Duty Model” (GlitterMOB, Jan. 11)
How many ways to dry up the money little blue flaii me crowning the stove.
Allyson Paty, “Millennial” (Pen Poetry Series, Jan. 17)
See, God gave us two great big eyes for darting,
two ears for piercing, and only one heart
which he called Phylomina.
Joshua Kleinberg, “Miserere” (Everyday Genius, Jan 19)
The focus group broke into an ecstatic mutual heat
as her escort reached for his wallet
Monica McClure, “Prestige Beauty” (Coconut, Jan 21)
Daniela Olszewska,”Thirteenz” (Birdfeast,Jan 25)
we need tests on monkeys we need tests
Grzegorz Wróblewski, “Test on Monkeys” (Brooklyn Rail, Jan 27)
“The difference between rappers and poets is poets don’t need to have money to get laid.”
Donald Dunbar, (Facebook comment, Jan. 29)
The moon admires a modernist painting, other deeply
annoying things happen, etc.
Layne Ransom, “Cheap Shot” (Sixth Finch, Feb. 3)
The world does not need more dopey men.
I DO NOT DEAL IN BROKEN MEN.
I broke my hymen over water.
Clearly I’ve looked my vagina in the mirror.
Kelin Loe, “from Toxin Tocsin!” (Specter, Feb. 11)
I want to sleep with the dead
I want to feel the bread.
Tomaz Šalamun (Maggy, Feb 14)
Part of me is prismatic
the best part
Brandon Brown, “The Good Life” (Maggy, Feb. 14)
If I want anything, what
I really want is debt.
Lisa Ciccarello, “Worth Is The Wrong Word” (Pinwheel, Feb. 27)
I love to laugh more than anything.
Amy Lawless, “Ten Sources” (Poor Claudia, Mar. 2)
History, majestic as a parking garage, spits us out
into the flinty twilight and look how nice it feels
to be constantly dissolving. Regardless, we endure this series
of stumblings, our minds galvanized by the mutinous air
and, though our point disappears behind its own static,
signs of the move are everywhere. As miniatures of the vital
impulse, what we do next should be something beautiful:
eat a torch, light an orange, focus on the parts of the dotted line
that were never line to begin with. There are backhoes
and there are omelets. There are cherry trees and there is blood.
That’s as much a narrative as anyone needs.
Nick Sturm, “Poem of the Llama” (Spoke Too Soon, Mar. 5th)
maybe I mean I want to talk forever
but is there even a difference anyway
Sampson Starkweather, “Flowers of Rad” (Academy of American Poets, Mar. 12)
I remember how stoned
I imagined I was.
Matt Rasmussen, “The War On The War” (Revolver, Mar. 13)
When you feel your heartbeat in your teeth,
what more do you want to do than gouge under the gum,
whimpering animal, wounded.
Katie Jean Shinkle, “Polaroid of the One Abandonment Where You Felt Alive” (Coconut, Mar. 17)
If you are listening to this,
something has gone terribly wrong.
Adam Robinson, “The Truth About Facts” (Voicemail Poems, Mar. 20)
no beauty in consumerism
but in things
Stella Corso, “Ladies Please Digest” (Jellyfish, Mar. 26)
Because I do not like
ovens and knives but find
the party punishing.
Cicily Iddings, “Why Not Stay In The Kitchen” (Spork, Mar. 27)
First love is
a factory. We sleep in a bed that had once
been a tree. Nothing is forgot.
Yet facts, over time, lose their charm,
warned a dying Plato.
Christopher Salerno, “If You Must Hide Yourself From Love” (Academy of American Poets, Mar. 28)
All those selfies I posted
look really great. So spontaneous. Arm
tentacled through bad light past the frame,
an umbilical toward my ego.
David O’Meara, “So Far, So Stupid” (Best American Poetry, Mar. 31)
I am going home to my majestic marble linoleum
I tell the jokes here
And if you want to
Come into my house
Introduce yourself first
Dorothea Lasky, “I Am Eddie Murphy” (BODY, April 1st)
The only way to touch
a poem is with the mouth.
Dan Chelotti, “Odysseus Amongst the Swine Glances Towards Ithaca”(Boston Review, Apr. 1)
The lovers pull the eggplant from its brine bath, tight placenta; above them, inky gelatin of night.
Sommer Browning, “Rue Daguerre” (Hyperallergic, Apr. 4)
Little is lonelier
than being married. Except not.
Justin Marks, “Raising Children Is Boring” (Failbetter, Apr.8)
(I thought to leave this blank
but who am I to name us nothing?)
Danez Smith, “Alternate Names For Black Boys” (Poetry, April 9)
do you see me
i am out here now
beyond the fence
watching your back
turned towards me
i have years now to study it
i am patient
this much abandon takes time
Jordan DeBor, “Calcium” (Everyday Genius, Apr 10)
now is someone else
different because of
the formal structure
of this poem and are
my thoughts more uniform
I’m gonna write about it
Seth Landman, from “Confidence” (Spoke Too Soon, April 15)
If your therapist could also hear your thoughts—
would that scare you?
Or would you like it?
Dan Magers, “Spiritual Grave Year” (Hyperallergic, Apr 16)
There was no time to take
pictures so I’ll paint it for you now, &
I’ll forget your gamey residues
Marina Weiss, “Long Shot” (Phantom Limb, Apr. 25)
Humility, I mean.
Why do I go on the internet
when everywhere else
Leopoldine Core, “Chair” (Leo’s blog, Apr. 29)
good morning pop music
is inside me like a wind
pop music is in me like
gas in the moon
Crispin Best, “poem in which i mention at the last minute an orrery” (poems in which, Apr 30)
can be too chubby or you
can batter the others in the hall with your backpack or you
can be too loud. You
can make meaning with either end of a barrel. You
can make meaning with a number two pencil then watch it
turn to rubber.
Tyler Gobble, “The Big Permission” (Punchnels, May 1)
“It’s sort of a cartoon in how you think. Writing in that. You can bring your family along, your neighborhood. You don’t have to get normal at all. Just point your voice like you point your camera and go. Stop and start. Or start and start. Putting your energy into organizing the native form of your intelligence, not cleaning it up but making it immediate somehow. Language as wiggly as film.”
Eileen Myles, Vernacular Scholarship (May 3)
If a poem doesn’t have a takeaway line,
it isn’t a poem. Take away my name. Say, when can I commit online suicide?
Sandra Simonds, “Watery Girl Space Prism” (The Cultural Society, May 11)
No one’s around.
Emily Hunt, “America” (Everyday Genius, May 14)
Stephanie Berger & Corina Finn, “Trapped in a minefield of art & nonsense.” (May 18)
Instead of eyes, a tube of sun
lotion. Instead of rafts, I pray
Lizzie Harris, “Fear In Collage” (Six Finch, May 25)
If you are wondering how I am,
I am fine.
If you are wondering what I am doing,
I am missing you
in the aisles of the supermarket
where we decide which tea
is best and which salad
is best and
look it’s this one right here
because this salad
has rice in it
and we both will enjoy
Sarah Jean Alexander, “Apprehension & Other Colors, Fit To Size (Hobart, May 27)
My hands have bad blood in them.
Sam Sax, “Hands” (Smoking Glue Gun, Jun 4)
If you believe a murder successful, you can’t call to being.
The proof is not sunshine. The comfort of shadows
is not my first friend. I am a philosophy,
wanting aloud the part-time lover inside me.
Amy King, “Eyes Without A Face” (Madhat Lit, Jun 4)
all poets are just 100, working backwards or forwards into some preliminary suffering
the life anticipating such resurrection
& numerical void
Cassandra Gillig, “eve of easter” (Elective Affinities, June 5th)
If you were wondering about my heart,
it is not generous, but it meets my needs, which are small and petty
and full to the brim with un-lit fireworks.
I would like to say that most needs can be met at the grocery store
and all those needs unable to be met at the grocery store
will be taken out back and shot. The other day someone came in
and they shouted at me. The days grow longer and the nights die off.
Sasha Fletcher, Ask Me No Questions I’ll Tell You No Lies (Swarm, Jun. 17)
Cue the 8-bit music
and don your sweat suit.
You’re running the causeway
S.P. MacIntyre, “Little Mac Lets Himself Go…” (Hobart, Jun 19)
Now I will solve my problems.
Now I will emerge in the shape of my destiny.
Wendy Xu, “The Shape Of It (Verse Daily, Jun 22)
I am away
in a town where all the men are required
to wear long johns. Pretty bulges. Bad
attitudes. It could be worse.
Chen Chen, “Long Johns” (Birdfeast, Jun. 26)
i found more potato chip crumbs
in my rug
than you’d think possible
Amy Lawless, “Problem Solving” (Birdfeast, Jun. 26)
I’d rather read
a diary than
a book of poems
I’d rather take
a walk with you
Andy Stallings, “To Jay Thompson” (Gregory Lawless’s Blog, Jun 29)
“I can’t imagine writing, or thinking at all, without doing so somehow with others, especially those friends permissive enough to co-create, & then perpetuate, a space where its ok to fuck things up by writing stuff that might say really really stupid shit, change each other’s minds, & then still be around no matter, going on doing writing, not writing at all, keeping up with one another out of need & love, for the specific forms that people make, so doing.”
Dana Ward (Hot Metal Bridge, Jul 2nd)
Poets need to recognize that they aren’t gods, but that they need the power and importance of gods to get their messages across. I think that if you aren’t important to yourself, you will never be important to anyone else.
Cassandra Gillig (LA Review of Books, July 7th)
thrust my mouth on every hose
wide parched with the gray dirt underneath
hard cake filled with worms the silky wet of me
waits for the walls to come down all it means
is less work & the truth is i’m bored again
Alexis Pope, “Maybe these are my last words ever” (Big Lucks, July 9)
my epiphany is an acceptance
I plan on loving more
although hopefully longer
its just that’s how it is usually said
Colleen Louise Barry, “Everywhere In The Desert Is The Heart Of The Desert” (Publishing Genius, July 11)
Don’t look too much or it gets tempting
to regret all bouts with life.
Hanae Jonas, “Small Picture” (LEVELER, July 13th)
what I really need
is to be chaperoned
through life as a series
of lessons to approach
or abandon, like how
life already is but
more easily measured.
Anne Cecilia Holmes, “If You Ask I Will Tell You” (Sink Review, July 14)
The new kitsch operates, to use the latest terms, at the crossroads of the anthropocene, the gurlesque, and the general strike. From this intersection, the poem’s relation to consumerism and the marketplace may be described as homeopathic: the substance of the remedy is an infinitesimal trace of the malady. The homeopathic poetics of kitsch—rooted in the social properties of diction—supports an aesthetic disposition, a mode of critique, at once physically real and undetectable, substantial and negligible, active and trivial.
Daniel Tiffany, “Cheap Signaling: Class Conflict and Diction in Avant-Garde Poetry” (Boston Review, July 17)
i probably should not exist, but i often do exist.
wow. wow. cool.
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza (Electric Cereal, Jul. 20)
He wanted us to take the power
but we just sat there
with our red mouths gaping open
He was like, this is not agape
This is the old way
The way I do it
We were like, no
Where’s the agave?
And he was like,
oh my G-d,
Natalie Lyalin, “Are You Crazy” (Fanzine, Jul. 25)
When you die,
I’ll point to the toxins blocking the constellations,
say that’s you.
Natalie Shapero, “Was This the Face” (diode, Jul. 25)
This late capitalist immigrant bitch
Will ransom your pretty ass home
Marilyn Chin, “Two Inch Fables” (Hyperallergic, Jul 27)
we are tenon
fit into mortise, wearing each other’s
wordless skins through sleep.
Lucian Mattison “Circumambient” (Hobart, Aug 4)
No I can’t say your ankles are fat
But dear lady, who would have had your ass
Dorothea Lasky, Never Did Amount To Anything (Granta, Aug. 6)
Jess Zimmerman, “The Surprising Reasons Men Love the Kim Kardashian Game” (Time, Aug. 7)
what you want
doesn’t want you.
it wants you
to watch it
Lucy Tiven, “Emerald City” (The Quietus, Aug. 10)
Who are these horses
It has to be
What about science
you think and eat
a burger and then who’s
to blame, your heart
very wrong and throbbing
Emily Kendall Frey, “Blood Moon” (Paperbag Magazine, Aug 16)
water swallows oar
air swallows oar
words only float
Mollye Miller, “/////” (Paperbag Magazine, Aug 16)
I wish I could
order my spirit animal online,
have it come packaged in small parts
which I assemble on the kitchen floor.
Abigail Zimmer, “Spirit Animal” (Jellyfish, August 20th)
I feel most colored
when I am thrown against a mattress,
my tits my waist my ankles buried
in veiny White. Everyone claps.
Morgan Parker, “I Feel Most Colored When I Am Thrown Against A Sharp White Background: An Elegy” (Apogee, Aug. 27)
My friends and I have walked all day and all night
and a thousand Tahitis and Fijis and cocaine and motorcycles
have fallen very far into our language
and when Whit and I split a room
at the Days Inn and hell tells me “I like dick”
the sun is blasting her radio and no one tells her to shut up
Sandra Simonds, “To The Reader” (Everyday Genius, Sept. 4)
I’m coming to a curve in this logic.
The line flows itself into a chamber shape
only to swerve, douse my walking project
in ground stimulants, and dissolve.
Emily Skillings, “Flower Chamber” (Philadelphia Review of Books, Sep. 9)
I am still not sure why I was ever a child
except for the unavoidable: generate hopes
then watch them drop to the floor like gold
sconces over a stone fireplace.
Mary Biddinger, “Let’s Do It Again” (Banango Street, Sept. 10)
I don’t want you dirty; I want you
to be the apocalypse and not my broken
ignition, not the sweat in a ditch
under a lifted shirt I wore all weekend,
and if I could just get closer to the window,
I could braid that stranded boardwalk, I could live
until I don’t, but why don’t you sit down, miss?
Amy Jo Trier-Walker “Hold The Door, Please (Ilk, Sept. 12)
“The soothsayer murmured I should
with his leaflet tongue, after dismantling
a praying mantis, then putting it together
piece by piece like a pistol
and that’s the moment I knew
I would own a franchise or be
a seahorse without a pouch.”
Stephen Danos, “Badge of Accomplishment” (BOAAT, Sept. 22)
“I stared at the ceiling and imagined sitting alone by the river in my hometown and dipping my hands into the water. I imagined feeling a beautiful wetness by choice.”
Sophia Katz, “We Don’t Have To Do Anything” (Medium, Sept. 25, serious trigger warning: rape)
Jenni B. Baker, “The Stars” (Boaat, Sep. 27)
“If you know anything about
misattribution of arousal
you might understand
that we are not machines
and I’m not certain we
ever really loved each other.”
Zoe Dzunko, “Things We Never Saw Coming” (Voicemail Poems, Oct. 8)
The years come, unstitched
a face, saddled as one would a heavy beast
for walking, likely I became then a member
of heaven, put up, the years come and reaching
their long wet hands.
Wendy Xu, “The Years” (Guernica, Oct. 15)
The Amish they live in peace
they love each other
they not like greedy
But they have you know
a black arc over the window.
Stephanie Cawley, “Poem About The Way You Can Be Looked At And Disappear (Phantom Limb, Oct. 17)
“The Patriarchy does not believe in chipping in for gas. My apartment is a ten-minute walk from his office, but he insists I drive. Somehow, The Patriarchy never gets a hangover.”
Sophia Holtz, “The Patriarchy Is Drunk, Again” (Electric Cereal, Oct. 24, 2014)
For the record to be a hit:
it also has to be disposable.
Soham Patel, “song:” (Banango Street, Oct. 25)
are u crying in your profile pic
no? no I swear
just mired in shit. deep like in the devil’s eyes,
the ones he keeps for girls.
Danielle Wheeler, “Enchantment Under The Sea” (DESTROYER, Nov. 3)
how is it in Baltimore
there without removing
Eileen Myles, “Sharing Falls” (Prelude, Nov. 13)
I quote O’Hara often (which makes sense
given my keenness for cigarettes and neon signs):
I am the least difficult. All I want is boundless love.
Michelle Peñaloza, “Prayer To The Patron Saint of All Lost” (Pinwheel, Nov 17)
embarrassing anything. Which thing? That thing thing.
We hang around embarrassing our strange everything.
Consider feeling. Are we? Beautiful everything, we that
does and does not.
Mike Young, “Do What Now” (Academy of American Poets, Nov. 28)
I see your
they are moving
in the snow
your hands I wonder how
many dogs have they touched
my heart is a dog really
I do I think
you have touched it
Dalton Day, “You Are In An Avalanche” (Leveller, Nov. 30)
Me I can be more than
You another equation in
Catastrophe the city means well
So many people wander
Alexis Pope, “I Am Always Talking” (The Adirondack Review, Dec. 1)
to be safe
Leora Fridman, “Too Willing” (Powder Keg, Dec. 2)
Moss smuggles stars into your cheeks.
Inside your body’s future, bravery turns to pulp.
The flashlight pendulum. Your face sounds like that
record player. Electric & spinning.
Julia Cohen, “In the dark we crush” (Academy of American Poets, Dec. 12)
Talk dirty to me love. Touch me love,
kiss me love, run your fingers
through my hair, fuck me, in the back seat
of your car, in the middle of the day, in a field
of wild flowers, you can do anything to me,
I’m begging you, I deserve it, make me pay, I’ve been
bad, it can be beautiful, tell me I’m beautiful,
it’s beautiful love.
Donovan Davidson, Love Cycles (Sink Review, Dec. 16)
Everyone can read minds
it doesn’t mean they want to.
Leopoldine Core, “Or” (Imperial Matters, Dec. 20)
What I’m saying is forgiveness.
What I’m saying is a daredevil.
Or a boll weevil. Something
with those sounds in it that
lights up the Christmas tree
while it’s still boxed up
in the attic next to mom’s
Sara Woods, “Dear Hairless” (Shabby Doll House, Dec. 28)
When I tell you about my midnight feelings
I can hardly believe you’re alive–
I let my truck-like interior
crush itself slowly
over & over
against the side of your house.
Kelly Schirmann, from Boyfriend Mountain (GlitterMOB, Dec. 30)