National Poetry Month Day 16: Sandra Simonds


Sandra Simonds is the author of six books of poetry: Orlando, (Wave Books, April 2018), Further Problems with Pleasure, winner of the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize from the University of Akron Press, Steal It Back (Saturnalia Books, 2015), The Sonnets (Bloof Books, 2014), Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012), and Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2009). Her poems have been published in the New York Times, the Best American Poetry 2015 and 2014 and have appeared in many literary journals, including Poetry, the American Poetry Review, the Chicago Review, Granta, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Fence, Court Green, and Lana Turner. In 2013, she won a Readers’ Choice Award for her sonnet “Red Wand,” which was published on, the Academy of American Poets website. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida and is an Associate professor of English and Humanities at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.


Maggie Said

Before she found a girlfriend
and got a house
every night she imagined
having a girlfriend and
a house before she
fell asleep and that just imagining
a girlfriend and a house
brought her closer
to getting them and now she’s making
coleslaw in the kitchen
and her girlfriend is at the swimming pool
with Ginger and Raquel
and I say okay I will try imagining
getting things but what if I wake up
and then get what I want but like a week
later decide I don’t want a boyfriend
and a yurt but two girlfriends
and a cabin anyway that night Maggie throws
a party and I tell myself not
to drink but of course I get drunk
and call Alex and here I am again walking
away from another party and now
I’m just roaming around Athens, Georgia
on the phone like the drunken idiot
and here I am on someone’s lawn
and it’s late and I should have stayed
at the party but it’s like my entire life
is about abandoning things like houses
and girlfriends and boyfriends and parties
and then I wake up in some bed
and Maggie’s texting me that the party
is over and people want to say goodbye
and I think I recall that maybe the party
was for me or at least in part for me
so I leave my dream in the quilt
as if it could fulfill its own wish
without me and I walk back
into the dying light
of the end of the party
half a bowl of coleslaw soggy,
sinking under the weight
of its own mayo
and say goodbye



Took a Klonipin
Made a few calls for Hillary Clinton
Read a poem by Paul Verlaine
Music in the phone bank

Ate graham crackers for dinner shaped like Yoda and Darth Vader
Went on that huge monetizing site, site as big as the sea, so far out on it—
so far out on disaster capitalism’s wave, I couldn’t see straight
It told of the super moon (very huge)
It told of the voyager
It made me laugh like a baby splashing in a fuzzy puddle
But my body still hurt
And I was overworked
And the politics breaking me like too many bees

Please don’t call me tonight

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