Rumpus Original Poems
Official inaugural poems are a strange beast. There have only been five of them and the one we recognize as the first, Robert Frost’s “The Gift Outright,” wasn’t composed for President Kennedy’s inauguration. Frost recited it when the sun’s glare off the snow made the poem he’d written, “Dedication,” impossible to read....more
Not in your echoing womb,
to scream at you across your fields to wake up,
not part of your denial that Earth is burning,
dehydrated, suffocating on itself—
I stood in a blue state
while you bled the red of its people—(Our people: recall how they grew up
across Holt Street, Maple Street from us, yes?)—
delusional that you were the world’s own,
I fucked your husband and I don’t feel
__bad enough for the bourgeoisie. My sexuality
roughly translating into teenage vampire,
__my blood a pop song programmed to some
which codes the luminous tree at your gate
which broad night renders its own wild leap
My Body is a Country & I Built A Wall Around It...more
who hands o-
ver their on-
Banjo Yes Plucks an Apple from a Tree in a Park
-For Tamir Rice
I hold an apple in my hand on set
It is or ain’t an apple ain’t a real
Apple depending on am I in the shot
Or am I watching with the crew a real...more
nectarine & leather (riot)
we said they’d never miss it our skin is twisted as harvest & smells like summer all day I hungered outside for something that is not here the rain came went...more
Letters from Satilla
Diann Blakely, 1957-2014
Have you read Andrew Hudgins’ After the Lost War
or even Sidney Lanier’s “The Marshes of Glynn”?
Sissieretta Jones, Carnegie Hall, 1902:
O patria mia.
Aida, buried in the darkness
of her fate. Aida, singing
in the tomb of her lover.
Her lover a notion pale as
the aria circling from her mouth.
The tea must be left on the counter,
or she won’t remember where it is
in the morning. There must be milk
The Problem with Me (Beginning with Abu Ghraib) Is the Problem with You (Ending Where the Earth’s Surface Appears to Meet the Sky)
A dog outside is barking loudly. Inside, everything is quiet.
I said I would not, but here I am looking.