Rumpus Original Poetry: Three Poems by Eileen G’Sell






At best, life is hard.
At worst, life is easy.
I believe it is true.
I would like to believe
I believe it is true.
And what about the words
that cannot teach us anything?
I have two new shoes
and neither is practical,
though I love them both,
though I treat them best.
The secret is not hiding
from the music at a party.
We are more important than the secret,
we are more practical than the secret,
we are more secret than the secret,
which makes us the secret.
Which makes us the secret
beauty that at worst is still
a sort of belief. A cheap love
for easy truths is hardly
going to kill you.



Let’s say red.
Let’s say trickling southward Sunday briefs.
Let’s be brief, fiercely genius.

Let’s take the diamond out of the box.

Plainly we would wed the world
entire were it original. Ready to serve,
the season thickens. Ready
or not, the winter shrinks.

Why else does faith belittle
those who spread their sheets
so thinly? The rings rush down
a thousand rooms, a finger’s
worth of brilliance.

The trick is how to trick
yourself. The heart is rock
until it is thrown.



Lately I’ve stopped seeing rich white men. When they come my way, I only see what happens to hide behind them—the velvet folds of a lobby curtain, a happy homeless dog, the abstract art on an abstract wall that no one bothered to sign. Such blindness (or vision) is an enviable asset, though I suppose there are those who take affront. I can’t know for sure, but had I the chance, I would stand on my toes behind them. I would cup my palm and whisper warmly: Please, don’t take it personally. I just happen to see right through you.

A Features Editor at The Rumpus, Eileen G’Sell has contributed cultural criticism and poetry to Salon, VICE, Boston Review, "DIAGRAM, and the Denver Quarterly, among others. Her chapbooks are available from Dancing Girl and BOAAT Press, and her first full-length book of poems, Life After Rugby, will be published with Gold Wake Press in early 2018. You can find her on Twitter @Reckless_Edit. More from this author →