Saturday, February 20, 2010

Amazing Poet Alert

Maya Stein
I have posted one of her poems here before, but I am kind of obsessed.  Maybe because it is like Ms. Stein has a private webcam into my life, and then she writes about the most mundane things with exquisite beauty and profound understanding? amazing...

Let the world spin as it spins
Eat the last cookies in the box.
Wear the same pair of jeans two
weeks in a row. See the orchid die, leaf
by leaf. Wipe the countertop carelessly,
so it’s sticky as spit the next time
you lean on your elbows wondering
what’s for dinner. Watch hours
of television. Call for pizza, for Chinese,
for the cable company to give you even
more channels. Drive by the gym
without skipping a beat. Wash your hair only
when it starts wilt, when the mirror
produces someone who doesn’t look like she wants
to get laid. Think about sex constantly.
Order cocktails. Play pool. Spend your money
on a massage, on t-shirts from the warehouse sale,
on inflation-priced bagels from the café down the street.
Ignore the obvious fact that the sheets
need changing. Occupy your bed gratuitously.
When you’re done reading for the night,
flop the pages open, straining the jacket.
Allow the avocados to ripen beyond repair.
Stain the kitchen sink with grape stems,
mango peels, olive pits with the meat
still clinging. Use vast quantities of paper towels
for a simple spill of water.
Lavish attention on the minute landscape
between your eyebrows.
Lose time. Ditch the mail into the bulging
plastic bag near your desk. Almost mistake it
for trash. Abandon the task of fixing
the dresser drawer. Turn your car
into a wastebasket.

And when it comes, fall with extravagant
ugliness. Grieve noisily into the balls of your fists.
Push your heels against the carpet, your chest squirming.
Feel the walls of the house vibrate with your pain.
Make pockmarks of your heart.
Collapse if you have to. It is like this.
The world spins as it spins.
No one knows,
even though we all know
this is between
you and you alone.
So yield. Commit your entire body.
Recognize your own astonishing anguish.
Tear it from your skin like a wolf
eviscerates her trapped leg. Shriek like
the downed bird you are.
Invest wholly in your damage.
Lap up each tumescent despair. Swallow
the pinbones of your loss. Caress
every razor edge of not enough. Gift yourself
long, bruising hours of hopelessness.
The world spins as it spins.
Your life is on that same axis,
half shadow, half radiance
and turning, always turning.

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