15 April 2014

Day Fifteen: April 15


Missed Connections

Eyes met on 7 train
Subway eclipse conversation
Asian girl with black pants
You asked if I needed a wife
YOU=frosted blonde Starbucks
mom Corsican senior who
i met in the Village you
didn't call All time need
sex 3rd floor
"hey"

we worked together...
kind of

You took Zumba class
"Lady in Beige" I am
looking for Helen A
beautiful girl at Shake
Shack Petite Latina on
E train Earth Angel Do
You Feel The Same?
Miriam of Acropolis
Gardens Gorgeous Goth
on N line We met at a
sacred place

Red-haired girl!!! Love
Actually (sucks) I
wimped out You're a
total bitch You caught
me masturbating JUST
A THOUGHT: you
read socialism history
nice sista huge sexxxy
ass came into Amy
Girl, where'd you go?

Lost my soul mate the
smile the blue eyes Petite
Indian girl with gray
TeddyMae Q train
beauty Cupcake on the
L Saw u and still do
For when I can't sleep
at night Why'd you leave
Our Jazz Warrior's Struggle
when did things change?
U appreciated me

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I've taken on the Poem-a-Day Challenge. Thirty poems in thirty days. Yeeouch! Please visit my new website at sarahdohrmann.com for more info, news, events, and blah di blah blah. Thanks, and check back for more poems!

*Art © Sophie Blackall "Missed Connections"

Day Fourteen: April 14

Another One for You

This is another poem for you.
It's about my black eye (sort
of) but first I'd like to mention
Iowa and my dad and my step-
mom and their new puppy and
the rib eye steak I ate tonight
and this morning's snowfall and
the four Goodwill stores I've
visited in the last three days and
how I fell—no, collapsed, really—
in my living room back in Brooklyn
before I had to board a plane to
come to Iowa. But I won't get into
all that stuff because quotidian talk
bores you, and that's never been
the part you wanted me to play—
the everyday.

Here, love, this is for you: I
keep remembering lately how
we used to say that thing about
the ER, that if one of us got hurt
and we had to go to the ER,
we'd want the other to be
the one who was called. We'd
want to open our eyes from the
gurney of our terrifying ordeal
to see the other; you me, me you.
Remember that? That was kind
of a weird thing to say. I think
now it was our way of saying how
we mattered to the other. I remember
fantasizing that I'd get hit by a car
while on my bike and I'd reach to
the nurse's badge dangling in my
broken face to say, "Here's the number
to call." I had it memorized. She'd
dial the number and you'd rush to
see me, and I mattered.

A few days ago I collapsed or
fainted or I'm not sure what happened
except that my face made hard contact
with the metal strip that holds down
the linoleum edge of my kitchen floor,
that strip that separates the kitchen
from the living room. (Remember?)
I blacked out a bit and then got
swallowed by a cloud of refrigerator
sound that burrowed into my ears and
I knew then that I had hurt myself
badly, that something had gone wrong
with the system that is my body. But
still, I thought, "This will pass," as I
lay on the floor. Things do.

I was alone there face-down on
the floor, and that deepened my fear.
You know? Alone. And now, a few
days have passed and I've been
thinking that we said that thing
about the ER not because we
needed to express how the other
mattered, but because we needed
a salve for the horrors of what it
is to be alone.

But I have forgotten your number
by now. And eventually I will stop
writing you poems. I hope this is the
last one. I lay on the floor for about
five minutes until I got myself up and
poured myself a glass of water and
texted a friend who came to my place
right away. My eye is healing. I see
now that I was never going to be
the one you'd call in an emergency.
That was my fantasy, and you knew
that all along.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I've taken on the Poem-a-Day Challenge. Thirty poems in thirty days. Yeeouch! Please visit my new website at sarahdohrmann.com for more info, news, events, and blah di blah blah. Thanks, and check back for more poems!

13 April 2014

Day Thirteen: April 13



Crazy 'bout Cats

Someone once said that falling in love is an acceptable form of insanity, which I think is true of cat lovers especially (Harper's Magazine recently reported that "middle-aged women are the most common victims of cat bites to the hand"), and which I think explains what was happening when I, a 41-year-old woman who lives alone in New York City, fell for a cat who lorded over me with a regal quality you'd have to admire if you didn't think of his discomfiting gaze, a gaze that any woman of any age would recognize as a gaze, a gaze of a blue eye that was bluer than the other, a gaze that was at once wild and calming and most definitely come-hither, a gaze that rested at half-mast as he lay in only a robe on his bed, his feline body propped up on one elbow, the robe opened just so to expose a ball sack resting its tender weight on the inside of his left thigh as his noble tail lolled up and down with an ease that showed approval of all current proceedings, a gaze I absorbed from across the room where I sat on a hardback chair at his kitchen table feeling a giddy dread, unclear of how I'd make it out alive as I chattered on about my demons and my day and my desires, a gaze played as a higher-order attentiveness that I'd never before enjoyed from a cat, a gaze that belied the fact that indeed he'd listened to very little of what I'd shared but instead retained the bits he could later pounce upon in sport, a gaze that purred, yes, an audible gaze that did this reactive synesthesia thing to my lady brain despite the fact that he'd already ripped the tip of my ear off during play, a gaze cast with a kingly dismissive air as he licked one terrific paw for a terrific while, enjoying how I looked on with admiration of his thorough work—it was the thorough work of how he cleaned himself free of dirt, how he seemed to dig into the yes-ness of the moment that put me at the mercy of his gaze—a gaze so powerful I was sure it had been cast upon me in a previous life, a gaze that even made me forget that he was a cat, hoping as I did that he be a human man with the strength of a human man's heart, which is just the kind of thing a woman who's crazy 'bout cats would hope for and forget—that cats are cats and as such, love nothing more than the attention of a woman who has, in her time of need, confused him for a true mate.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I've taken on the Poem-a-Day Challenge. Thirty poems in thirty days. Yeeouch! Please visit my new website at sarahdohrmann.com for more info, news, events, and blah di blah blah. Thanks, and check back for more poems!

12 April 2014

Day Twelve: April 12


Des Moines (in two haiku)

Storms here. Quarter-size hail.
Dad says the weather lady
has gotten fat. I

drink a glass of port
and let the insults fly by;
black is my black eye

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I've taken on the Poem-a-Day Challenge. Thirty poems in thirty days. Yeeouch! Please visit my new website at sarahdohrmann.com for more info, news, events, and blah di blah blah. Thanks, and check back for more poems!

11 April 2014

Day Eleven: April 11


Be Brave

Nothing can be undone now.
We toughed it out like we were told.
Look, our blood of self-fulfillment
has broken us whole.

You can't wonder why we scattered.
We cling to the errands for our salvation.
We drive further on to find what we're
missing, though we've gone too far and we're cold.

We can't say we're afraid.
No distance is enough,
though we've lost all sense
of what it feels to be warm.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I've taken on the Poem-a-Day Challenge. Thirty poems in thirty days. Yeeouch! Please visit my new website at sarahdohrmann.com for more info, news, events, and blah di blah blah. Thanks, and check back for more poems!

10 April 2014

Day Ten: April 10


Metta Pantoum

Eat a cake on your birthday and make sure
there's a candle to blow out
to make a wish. Buy a cake or bake it,
who cares if you have to buy or bake it yourself.

There's a candle to blow out
to wish for peace,
who cares if you have to buy or bake it yourself,
who says you can't learn happiness and

to wish for peace.
Observe ceremony.
Who says you can't learn happiness and
even the ones who've been major assholes in life should

observe ceremony,
deserve to celebrate their birthdays.
Even the ones who've been major assholes in life should
have their wishes come true.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I've taken on the Poem-a-Day Challenge. Thirty poems in thirty days. Yeeouch! Please visit my new website at sarahdohrmann.com for more info, news, events, and blah di blah blah. Thanks, and check back for more poems!

09 April 2014

Day Nine: April 9


Shelter

For eight long years we lived in the same house where our mother had died in the garage and where the dog dug holes in the corner of the backyard so she could crawl under the chain link and run wild on the suburban streets for days until she returned weakened and starved only to get penned up in the backyard again and bark at the neighbor boys who threw rocks at her from up top of the hill and where she'd start digging again in the packed hole in the far corner of the yard again but without success this time because Dad had thrown bricks down there so her digging cut to the quick of her nails and later sure enough there were tiny blood marks on the brand new peach living room pile that my new mom had put in and then somehow the dog managed to get out again through some kind of different hole who knows I don't remember and Dad cursed and we all worried because this time she was gone for days and days maybe a whole week this time maybe more and Dad theorized she probably got locked up in someone's garage maybe she went into someone's garage to go through the people's garbage or something and probably the people drove off and went away for a few days so don't worry once they get back from their trip the dog will come back to us she's pretty smart and she knows who feeds her and she finally did come back and we rejoiced like you can't know like you can't even imagine how our insides bloomed but whether Dad was right about her whereabouts we'll never know it doesn't matter the important thing was that she did come back and the poor thing was wobbly and glass-eyed so much so she had to sleep in a withered ball at the foot of my bed while my new step-sister and I fed her Kraft American Singles like she was a baby bird each slice of fake cheese lovingly unwrapped for the dog that never did try to escape again.


In celebration of National Poetry Month, I've taken on the Poem-a-Day Challenge. Thirty poems in thirty days. Yeeouch! Please visit my new website at sarahdohrmann.com for more info, news, events, and blah di blah blah. Thanks, and check back for more poems!