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  Dorothea Lasky
Dorothea Lasky
Dorothea Lasky is the author of ROME (Liveright/W.W. Norton, 2014), as well as Thunderbird, Black Life, and AWE, all out from Wave Books. She is a co-editor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney's, 2013) and has authored many chapbooks, including Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). Her poems have appeared in numerous places, including The Paris Review and POETRY. She is an Assistant Professor of Poetry at Columbia University's School of the Arts, is a co-founder of the Ashbery Home School, served as a 2013 Bagley Wright Lecturer in Poetry, and co-directs New York University's Writers in Florence program. She lives in Brooklyn and can be found online at dorothealasky.tumblr.com

Why poetry can be hard for most people

Dorothea Lasky
Because speaking to the dead is not something you want to do
When you have other things to do in your day
Like take out the trash or use the vacuum
In the edge between the stove and cupboard
Because the rat is everywhere
Crawling around
Or more so walking
And it doesn't even notice you
It has its own intentions
And is searching for that perfect bag of potato chips like you once were
Because life is no more important than eating
Or fucking
Or talking someone into fucking
Or talking someone into something
Or sleeping calmly and soundly
And all you can hope for are the people who put that calm in you
Or let you go into it with dignity
Because poetry reminds you
That there is no dignity
In living
You just muddle through and for what
Jack Jack you wrote to him
You wrote to all of us
I wasn't even born
You wrote to me
A ball of red and green shifting sparks
In my parents' eye
You wrote to me and I just listened
I listened I listened I tell you
And I came back
Poetry is hard for most people
Because of sound

Death and Sylvia Plath

My student in the city college
Really likes the poems of Sylvia Plath
She is writing her research paper about
Lady Lazarus
I like this student
She spends some time
Leaning over me and telling me
How in the poem Plath turns from an object
Into an entertainer
And finally into a demon
Oh yes, you are right, I tell her
We are pleased
I wonder afterwards,
Why do young women like Sylvia Plath?
Why doesn't everyone?
The student tells me that when she was young
She liked Plath
I did too
I did not ride horses
Sylvia Plath rode horses
I don't have a thesis
I don't have a structure
I am a demon
There are blue streaks in the sky
It is Spring
I am not you
Nor do I want to be
It is 2:21 on 2/21/2010
I am not alive
No, I am no longer breathing
I don't live in this world
I already live in the other one

Georg Trakl in the Green Sun

Georg Trakl, in the sun
I am in love with you
I want you to come back to this earth
So that we can be lovers
I will wash your hallucinatory sheets
With bleach
And give birth to your Austrian kin
It took a while
Now I am me
You were always you
Come back to this earth
I will wash you in a bath of violet milk
I will take all of your cares away
I will be your mother father
I will be your sister, little bunny
I will birth you in the ocean
And when your head disconnects from your body
I will scoop up the black water
Until I find it
And put it in a pail of blue
And sail the ocean back to land
To put your eyelids in a jar
A tiny capsule
To take with me, everything
Yes I will eat
I will swallow your eyelashes
And if you don't think I'm serious
And if you don't think I am serious this time, poetry
I am

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