Last Ten


Tag Archive: poetry

Have birthday
cake right
on the kitchen
counter I would

love to

meet you

In a loop


The time
lapse thing
we do

Sped up

Stone faces

I always
the stairs
in the light rail

two at
a time



a little


I’m jungle


In the
of a

& a perfect
beat on

The radio,

what touches
& dips
The ribcage,

changes the
soft center
of gravity

of our

& nothing kills
me more

a moment
like this.

It’s like
not wanting
to leave

The car.

They want to build a lab.
They want to reprogram the environment.
They want to make you palatable.
They don’t want you to win.
At least not in a way that helps you any.

Like time and space and yadda yadda yadda.
I’m sick of repeating myself.
I’m ready to be soft.
I’m ready to be flesh.

I want to take my skin off like fruit from paring knife
in one long continuous spiral.
Let you get to know me better.

I want to show you my ragged seams, that I have nothing to hide

Taking control of my timeline. In the littlest ways possible. With as few expectations as possible.

Don’t equate sex with vulnerability. Don’t be so superficial.

Dig around a little. Get some earth under your fingernails. Take advantage of the open spaces. Analyze my nonconscious input, where my decisions are made.
Before I can think about them.
Before I can overthink about any of them.

Dried out and oozing. Splayed out and knowing.

You could never disappoint me more than I’ve already disappointed myself.
You could never troll me more than I’ve already trolled myself.

I am available and I am forgiving, and you are random.

Let’s keep it unreal. Let’s keep it accountable.

Kat Dixon’s Black Racket Ocean was released in February of 2014 and I’ve had a pdf of it on my laptop since December of 2014. I read it – all 113 pages of it – for the first time this November and frantically messaged Dixon on Twitter: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me” (I’m paraphrasing here) “and why it took me so long to read your book… but it is fucking fantastic.”

It is fucking fantastic.

It’s fantastic for all the reasons poetry books are generally fantastic: the subject matter is interesting and the delivery is compelling. But it’s also the kind of poetry book that is, for lack of a better word, kind of inspiring. Not “inspiring” like books that help middle-to-upper-class white women manifest their dreams via motivational quotes on Pinterest kind of inspiring, but “inspiring” like you are reading something both innovative and relatable. It’s not the friend that finishes your sentences, or says what you were going to say but better – it’s the friend whose brain makes you go “wow, how do those thoughts even happen” and “yes, totally this” simultaneously. There is some really fascinating stuff going on with Dixon’s line-breaks. There is repetition used in a way that turns meaning labyrinthine rather than pounding it into clarity. There is even some rhyme. And it works.

If the Woman Is Told

If the woman is told she is crazy
after so many years in one marriage

is she crazy still? I went crazy
when told I’d turned twenty, when told

I’d turned. I was crazy before that,
maybe, I was maybe crazed. To become

twenty meant to become a woman,
which of course meant to come up

dressed in women’s clothing, to come
up for air, from underneath

any man, any man-sized creature coming
into what could be a man, like church

like sea breeze, gentle, dead melody.
It did not mean to kill all the men,

to kill what men would make me, a woman,
to kill what men would have me say.

Black Racket Ocean’s poems are laced throughout with self-awareness, an awareness of “what men would make me,” “what men would have me say.” There are multiple lines that mention poems –

“This is a girl who knows what a poem / is supposed to feel like”
“he didn’t / want to make me into some good poem”
“poem-shaped as a boy would / Have me”

– and women in poems, and women in men’s poems, all of this getting at the constant argument of whether we are allowed to author our own narrative while not being about that, as in not being a book that has A Point but a book that is A Person, or rather the shed snakeskin of a person, marking the world with its irrefutable, alive in-your-faceness. It’s a chronologically reversed echo of Dixon’s Girl in Poem from Tinderbox Poetry Journal: “Who writes / This poem? Who is allowed to write this poem?” It’s a sister work to something like Kate Zambreno’s Heroines, which also speaks to the writing and overwriting of women’s narratives while loudly telling its own. It’s political, because the personal is political, and it’s personal, because it’s intelligent and human and vulnerable and strong, and it’s written really, really well in a style that’s no-one else’s. Summary: It’s fucking fantastic.

Order Kat Dixon’s Black Racket Ocean (89Plus/LUMA Publications) here, or download the pdf here.

I wrote a chapbook today.

sext: 1996 Romeo and Juliet is tacky as fuck and hella 90s but I think it’s perfect.

Wouldn’t it be really cool to just lay in a field

Feeling like a less coordinated Ms. Frizzle.

Remember the time I was asked to do a poetry reading and instead of reading I just cried on stage into a microphone for 8 minutes and wiped snot and tears on my sleeve before walking to the back of the bookstore and crying more.

It’s kind of hard to believe good things are happening to you when you’ve been conditioned to believe that good things aren’t supposed to happen to you.

Yeah but, how do you feel about my brand.

A bird just took a shit in my hair. ‪#‎awp2015‬

Note to self: I am going to die.

I write narcissislit. Can you not fuck with my aesthetic.

Feeling like a first season Nancy Botwin.

Basically my life has become a longform version of Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead and I am Christina Applegate except I’m working for a neuroscientist instead of a company that makes ugly uniforms.

Talking to people in real life is hard because I can’t just send them a blue cat sticker when I don’t know how to respond.

My name is Alexandra Naughton and you can find me on facebook commenting on a status near you.