Sandra Simonds

DEAR DIARY,

 

1.
Be collected. Tell yourself there is

  •          no harm done. But what about the precarious spectacle
  •                                                         of the wreck? See the papier-mâché sculpture
  •                                 of the supermax prison my kids made,
  •                                                the moths frozen inside
  •                                                paperweights? Some compressed
  •                                 compassion to break the present.
  • The state where either they spy on you
  •                         or copy you. Copy and spy. Copy-
  •                                                                                 cat spy trap. A spike
  •  
  •                 in the weather says, I am spring. Then, the
  •                                                 barometric drop. The girl who wore the tube top
  •                                                                 was immediately gang-raped by the social
  •                                 sphere.
  •                                 Poet be
  •                                 like “like” or whatever. Poet be like list.
  •                                                 That’s the body
  •                                                 electric. And it hums. It hums a
  •                                                 dumb electronic hum.
  •  
  • 2.
  •                                 It was a time
  •                                 of precarity. All kinds
  •                                                 of time. We were living
  •                                                 on scree.
  •                 Someone always there to like your dumb
  •                 dream or the dumb
  • things your kids say or the new swing set.
  •  
  • Be parking lot. One more selfie
  •                                 closer to Ross
  • Dress for Less.
  •         Be friendly.
  • Dress like you’re from Connecticut.
  •         B+ be surplus.
  • Sometimes B-. Collapse
  •                 the personality. Don’t fuck away
  • my agony just to replace
  •         it with more agony.
  • Be cunt? Be wet. Be kind.
  •         Be Whole Foods orchids. Be pursuit.
  • Be benevolent. Pursuant.
  •         Be communicable. Make claims.
  •             Claim everything.
  •                            Then reverse it.
  •  
  • 3.
  • Eggplants in the garden.
  • They couldn’t remember skin.
  •                 They skimmed the surface only to find more
  • surface. It should have been embarrassing.
  •         They wanted to die
  •             but couldn’t even recognize their own wish.
  •  
  • That is called the “death drive.”
  •                 You follow?
  • It’s the flow of lava from a volcano
  •                 of info. The info came
  • in waves from their
  •                 fingers, spleens, stomachs, mouths.
  •                 It came out clean
  • like the continuous barfing of continents.

4.
[I was also one of them.] [I couldn’t be excluded.] [I cried a lot.] [I wanted to opt out.] [I was a human shield.] [I wanted to “get off the grid.”] [I was crying a lot and it was embarrassing.] [I was one of the ones who couldn’t “manage” my emotions.] [In wife time, I was more like a wolf.] [I kept trying to deflect this truth.] [Give me the fucking medicine, I said.] [I got angry and tired and lashed out.] [Give it to me right now, you fucking cunt.] [I couldn’t help it.] [I knew that it was against the rules.] [The rules were simple: ignore intimacy.] [Ignore the wet parts of the body.] [Keep clicking do yoga be younger workout be full of health never go under under any circumstances.] [Be unified.] [Be consistent.] [Be controlled.] [Never contort space with flesh.] [Manage your house.] [Manage your kids.] [Manage your student loans.] [Manage to write poems.] [Manage.] [Manage.]

  •  
  •  
  • 5.
  • Wave of information after
  •              wave of information.
  • It was a “we have found the plane at the
  • bottom of the Indian Ocean” kind
  •                                 of wave. It was a “you’re going to work
  •                                                 from you grave” kind of wave.
  •                 Wavelength of
  •                         the grave.
  •                         Wave of the grass over
  •                                         the waves of the graves.
  •  
  • 6.
  • Goodbye, honey!
  •             Nighty night, Malaysia370!
  •                 Hello, Whitman!
  •                 In the waves, there were our bodies
  • in waves
  •                 and some were waving nooooooooo
  •                                 and some were waving goodbyeeeeee
  • and some were waving helllooooooo
  • Second-wave medieval
  • state: all peasants get swallowed
  • into the underworld and Orfeo
  • plays his wooden lute
  • And the queen is saved
  • And then everyone sees Orfeo
  • Was really the king though he dressed
  •  
  • like a pauper
  • and when we take off our dresses
  •           We will still be slaves
  • And when they make our skin digits
  •  
  • We will still be slaves
  • And when they cure our cancers
  •                 We will still be slaves
  • And when they make us healthier
  •                                 We will be slaves longer
  •  
  • And when they say “don’t write poems
  • with stories or emotions”
  •                                 We will still be slaves
  • And when they say make some
  •         conceptual art in five minutes that everyone
  • talks about
  •                 We will still be slaves
  • And when we read the stories
  •                 that we have been told we shouldn’t write
  • Then we will begin not to be slaves
  •                 And when we begin to make our stories real
  • Then we will start to not be slaves
  •  
  • 7.
  • The old poets begged for the prison doors to fly open
  • The new poets beg for the prison
  •                 Doors to slam shut
  •  
  • 8.
  • Rose-tinted photo of me, Sandra Simonds, walking toward the garden
  •                 Red shoe half off
  •                 Rose-tinted photo of me, Sandra Simonds moving toward the eggplant,
  •                                 Strawberries, the rotten shed
  • That I rent that isn’t mine, that will never be mine,
  • Moving ever toward everything that isn’t mine
  •                                 Except the subject
  •  
  •                 Rose-tinted baby holding the trowel
  • Who looks not toward me
  •                 But toward some distant bird beyond
  •                 The photographer
  • The sky pink like a seizure
  •                 Eruption of data
  • The foaming present forming layers
  •                                 and layers of figures in waves
  • The lair the lumber the lugging
  •                 Still lugging shreds of the intimate
  •  
  • 9.
  • I have stared at this photograph
  •         on my monitor
  •                 for twenty minutes
  • and I don’t recognize anything.

 


  • SANDRA SIMONDS is the author of five collections of poetry, including Further Problems with Pleasure (forthcoming, University of Akron Press), Steal It Back (Saturnalia Books, 2015) and The Sonnets (Bloof Books, 2014).

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