National Poetry Month Day 1: Lee-Ann Roripaugh

By

Lee Ann Roripaugh is the author of four volumes of poetry: Dandarians (Milkweed, Editions, 2014), On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009), Year of the Snake (Southern Illinois University Press, 2004), and Beyond Heart Mountain (Penguin, 1999). She was named winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in Poetry/Prose for 2004, and a 1998 winner of the National Poetry Series.  The current South Dakota State Poet Laureate, Roripaugh is a Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she serves as Director of Creative Writing and Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review.

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#klonopinsongs  #ativancan  #string of beads

hell-o, 3:00 a.m.  ::  vise-clench aching in my chest  ::  hot spillage of tears
hell-o, exponential woe  :: trouble’s raggedy nibble

hell-o blues / you know  ::  my tune / your note well-creased, soft  ::  in my back pocket
your stain whorled into the groove  ::  of my thumb / your bruised hour ripe

~

hoarse laugh of awkward  ::  first light slatting through ozone  ::  just enough to still
antennae’s frantic scramble  ::  for dangerous signals / float

in medias res  ::  in this weak amber / to dream  :: the weakened spent dreams
of palimpsest and leaf-vein  :: that recycled teabags dream

~

o, the relentless  ::  extraction of stuff from self  :: as if the self’s just
a spent tube of mutinous  ::  toothpaste / or a melon balled

all the way down to  ::  sheer-scraped rind / or a cat-licked  ::  plate / o ativan,
(o) tiny moon / please eclipse me  ::  from this cracked and jagged day

 

 

#nyc-esque

the holland tunnel  ::  a long paper towel tube  ::  but shiny inside
like streaked abalone shells  ::  graffitied by red headlights

~

hotel 17  ::  at night you pee in the sink  ::  i tell you i wish
i could pee in the sink too  ::  with a dongle-y penis

 ~

snipping at my own  ::  bangs with cuticle scissors  ::  a bad idea
i was going for something   ::  vaguely kathleen hanna-esque?

~

black squirrel lies down  ::  plays possum for a pigeon  ::  in tompkins square park!
elias sleeps through the heat  ::  are your eyes really that green?

~

boy with faux boa  ::  fuchsia hair / describes sexting  ::  on two phones at once
circling thumbs semaphoring  ::  that slurred delirious blur

~

forbidden planet  ::  hello kitty ugly dolls  ::  the infinite wait
tons of bendis and ellis  ::  a godzilla tee for you

~

arielle lets down  ::  her spiraled corkscrews of hair  ::  crisply flips the tarot cards
tin-cupped moscow mules  ::  goddess deck @ st. dymphna’s

~

blow that up for me?  ::  you dream i’ve crashed the website  ::  it’s okay, baby
it was fran tarkenton’s fault  ::  stop laughing at me, you say

~

a brutal cold snap  ::  we use the domo plushy  ::  as a back cushion
naked netflixing arrow  ::  chocolate croissants / nested spoons

~

there’s nothing to do  ::  in south dakota / mansplains  ::  the shuttle driver
on the way to LGA  ::  any city’s big to you

~

a great white egret  ::  lifts off by sioux falls airport  ::  snowy plumes aplomb
twiggy feet tucked tight and neat  ::  as folded up landing gear

 ~

wake up home alone  ::  hungover fog from jetlag  ::  and ativan / sound
of cat tongues licking shower  ::  curtains / rasp rasp rasp hello?


Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →