Poem of the Week, by Kim Addonizio

I’d love to see you in the Zoom room, January 7-13, in our first-ever, informal, kick off the new year with joy and freedom Write Together session! Seven days of morning and evening prompts, join in for any or all. Each session recorded in case you miss one. Click here for all the details

Sometimes don’t you just get so tired of being good?

Of being polite?

Of being patient and kind and clean?

Sometimes don’t you just want to be dirty?

Sometimes do you look back on those few secret memories you don’t talk about with anyone, memories of being bad, of how hard you laughed, how alive you felt, and think, yep, that’s in you too and don’t ever forget it.

Good Girl, by Kim Addonizio

 Look at you, sitting there being good.
After two years you’re still dying for a cigarette.
And not drinking on weekdays, who thought that one up?
Don’t you want to run to the corner right now
for a fifth of vodka and have it with cranberry juice
and a nice lemon slice, wouldn’t the backyard
that you’re so sick of staring out into
look better then, the tidy yard your landlord tends
day and night — the fence with its fresh coat of paint,
the ash-free barbeque, the patio swept clean of small twigs—
don’t you want to mess it all up, to roll around
like a dog in his flowerbeds? Aren’t you a dog anyway,
always groveling for love and begging to be petted?
You ought to get into the garbage and lick the insides
of the can, the greasy wrappers, the picked-over bones,
you ought to drive your snout into the coffee grounds.
Ah, coffee! Why not gulp some down with four cigarettes
and then blast naked into the streets, and leap on the first
beautiful man you find? The words ruin me, haven’t they
been jailed in your throat for forty years, isn’t it time
you set them loose in slutty dresses and torn fishnets
to totter around in five-inch heels and slutty mascara?
Sure it’s time. You’ve rolled over long enough.
Forty, forty-one. At the end of all this
there’s one lousy biscuit, and it tastes like dirt.
So get going. Listen: they’re howling for you now:
up and down the block your neighbors’ dogs
burst into frenzied barking and won’t shut up.

Click here for more info about the brilliant Kim Addonizio.

My podcast: Words by Winter

Poem of the Week, by Kim Addonizio

My new poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

Look at my mother holding my baby sister in this old photo, how impossibly young and unafraid she looks. I used to carry my babies everywhere like that too, the way every parent does. Cradled in my arms, or with their legs straddling my hip. Hoisted onto my shoulders. Swung across my stomach like a football. Piggyback. Twice I flipped one daughter over onto her belly, half-vertical along my extended arm, to force out a piece of food she was choking on with the heel of my hand.

It’s the most natural thing in the world to carry your baby with just your arms. And at the same time, holy crud, it’s almost unfathomable. How all of us balance on two legs on this floating planet suspended in space, hoisting babies around like footballs. As if they didn’t depend on us for every single second of life, and us on them.

Gravity, by Kim Addonizio

Carrying my daughter to bed
I remember how light she once was,
no more than a husk in my arms.
There was a time I could not put her down,
so frantic was her crying if I tried
to pry her from me, so I held her
for hours at night, walking up and down the hall,
willing her to fall asleep. She’d grow quiet,
pressed against me, her small being alert
to each sound, the tension in my arms, she’d take
my nipple and gaze up at me,
blinking back fatigue she’d fight whatever terror
waited beyond my body in her dark crib. Now
that she’s so heavy I stagger beneath her,
she slips easily from me, down
into her own dreaming. I stand over her bed,
fixed there like a second, dimmer star,
though the stars are not fixed: someone
once carried the weight of my life.

For more information about Kim Addonizio, please click here.

Words by Winter: my new podcast