Charles Baudelaire trans. Sean Bonney, Le Soleil

Denise Levertov, What My House Would Be Like If It Were A Person

This person would be an animal.
This animal would be large, at least as large
as a workhorse. It would chew cud, like cows,
having several stomachs.
No one could follow it
into the dense brush to witness
its mating habits. Hidden by fur,
its sex would be hard to determine.
Definitely it would discourage
investigation. But it would be, if not teased,
a kind, amiable animal,
confiding as a chickadee. Its intelligence
would be of a high order,
neither human nor animal, elvish.
And it would purr, though of course,
it being a house, you would sit in its lap,
not it in yours.

Mairéad Byrne, YEE-HAW

I love my frontloading bra because I feel like a gunslinger when I put it on. I feel like a sheriff or a plain clothes tv cop, strapping on his gun in the small hours. I always thought being a single mother was a sort of desperado activity. Especially a single mother in academia. Bo Diddly! Like I’ve always thought being an emigrant was like being Clint Eastwood. That time I was Clint Eastwood. Mamma Mia! Being a poet is a lot like being Clint Eastwood. Yessirree Bob. Being a poet is a lot like being a single mother and an emigrant and a poet combined. Bo diddly mamma mia yessirree bob. At least the sort of poet I am. Yee-haw!

Hera Lindsay Bird, Bruce Willis You Are The Ghost

It’s not that your wife doesn’t love you. It’s because you died and now you are a ghost and she can’t hear you talking to her. That time you saw her taking off her wedding ring? It’s because you’re her dead husband and she can’t continue to mourn your absence with heterosexual jewellery indefinitely. Stop haunting her already, Bruce Willis! Bruce Willis, it’s hard to be a ghost and not know you are a ghost. Haven’t you noticed that the only person you’ve talked to in a year is a supernaturally gifted child? Don’t you think it’s weird your wife just cries alone in the living room every night, rewatching your wedding tape and never looking or speaking to you? Don’t you remember being fatally shot in the stomach at the beginning of the movie? Walk towards the light, Bruce Willis. Walk towards the light.

From The Spinoff.

Audre Lorde, Power

The difference between poetry and rhetoric
is being ready to kill
instead of your children.

I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
is the only liquid for miles
and my stomach
churns at the imagined taste while
my mouth splits into dry lips
without loyalty or reason
thirsting for the wetness of his blood
as it sinks into the whiteness
of the desert where I am lost
without imagery or magic
trying to make power out of hatred and destruction
trying to heal my dying son with kisses
only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.

A policeman who shot down a ten year old in Queens
stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood
and a voice said “Die you little motherfucker” and
there are tapes to prove it. At his trial
this policeman said in his own defense
“I didn't notice the size nor nothing else
only the color”. And
there are tapes to prove that, too.

Today that 37 year old white man
with 13 years of police forcing
was set free
by eleven white men who said they were satisfied
justice had been done
and one Black Woman who said
“They convinced me” meaning
they had dragged her 4'10'' black Woman's frame
over the hot coals
of four centuries of white male approval
until she let go
the first real power she ever had
and lined her own womb with cement
to make a graveyard for our children.

I have not been able to touch the destruction
within me.
But unless I learn to use
the difference between poetry and rhetoric
my power too will run corrupt as poisonous mold
or lie limp and useless as an unconnected wire
and one day I will take my teenaged plug
and connect it to the nearest socket
raping an 85 year old white woman
who is somebody's mother
and as I beat her senseless and set a torch to her bed
a greek chorus will be singing in 3/4 time
“Poor thing. She never hurt a soul. What beasts they are.”

Marianne Morris, MORE THAN 1 WAY 2 BURN A W1TCH

There is more than one way to burn a witch. It’s 1497. It’s 2016. It’s Europe. It’s North America. It’s oil. It’s gas. It’s something about how numb you have to be in order to care more about money, control, aggregation of power, power, profit, corporate expansion, tipping the balance, exploitation, rape, than the Earth that gave you life. How numb you have to be in order to only be able to escape tribal law through aggregation of the aforementioned, can only dream in paper green, can only rape your way to the top, can only exploit your way up, can only be a man, can only be a man, can only lie your way to the top, can only be a man, can only be a man, and the feminisms are a new war, can only be a man. Only a woman would. Only a man would. Only a woman would. Only a man would. A woman always. A woman never. A man always. A man never. Stop up your mouth. Swear to me you will never say never or always again. The new Earth is here. It is beautiful.

Anne Sexton, Song for a Lady

On the day of breasts and small hips
the window pocked with bad rain,
rain coming on like a minister,
we coupled, so sane and insane.
We lay like spoons while the sinister
rain dropped like flies on our lips
and our glad eyes and our small hips.
“The room is so cold with rain,” you said
and you, feminine you, with your flower
said novenas to my ankles and elbows.
You are a national product and power.
Oh my swan, my drudge, my dear wooly rose,
even a notary would notarize our bed
as you knead me and I rise like bread.