Tag Archives: poem

she wrote this poem

a friend of mine wrote this poem which appeared in gloom cupboard. i have been granted her permission to share it; posting it here also lets me keep an archive of it without cluttering my bookmarks or having to scroll through gloom cupboard’s mass of nice writing.


Signs of Being an Endangered Species
by Heather Reddy

I mean, I haven’t heard
the word “unnatural”
for ages.

Raccoons saunter onto the porch
in the mornings, daring me to tell
them they’re nocturnal, refusing to
even squint as they stare
directly into the gray dawn.

And 2 death-moths that look like
baby vultures, circle above my bed. I will
dream of a swarm of them nights later in some one else’s bed.
They are powder wings and buzzard head on my logic
textbook, bolting awake to pretend I’m not trembling.

I keep saying, I’ve got to get out
of this city. My teaching visa
came pasted in an alphabet
of blood-smelling glue and royal
blue ink. I won’t use it. See, this is
already my second language
, I am
saying to myself: barely clever, lying.


i like the poem because of its extreme ambiguity. the title initially leads us to think the poem will be about an alienation, an isolation, even a possible extinction. however, each human being, that is, each human who chooses to be is always-already an endangered species. HR is no exception to this: her choice to be comes at great physical-psychical cost. the decision to “choose to be” is opposed to the accidental nature of existence: no one chooses to exist. so the poem, far from being about alienation or isolation really communicates the solidarity between beings who choose to be, who do not merely accept the accident of their existence (though to be fair, this is the first step in choosing to be).

the first stanza sets the tone for the whole poem, with emphasis on the word “unnatural.” in the second stanza, we have plural raccoons certainly in no danger of being endangered – yet acting in a completely unnatural way. there is also the unidentified number of raccoons there are, unlike the exactly 2 death moths that appear in stanza the third.

and in the transition from each of the stanzas there is a diminishing effect: the first stanza, we have “ages”; second stanza “raccoons”; third stanza “2 death moths”; and finally, we end up with simply the narrator.

more could be said about this poem but i think this is enough for now.


missed Jeffers’ poem

a while back, i posted a link to my selections from the selected poetry of robinson jeffers. turns out i missed one: TRAGEDY HAS OBLIGATIONS.

Why I Did It, A Terrorist Manifesto (part 15)

[This is a fiction I co-authored with Louise Norlie. I will be publishing the story in serial installments, every Monday for the next little while. Stay tuned.]

I poison medicine and finish the sick
So there is no hope of recovering
So families mourn my fallen patients.

I set spikes on roads where traffic roams
So the speed of life becomes fertilizer
So haste ends in hideous fusion of flesh and pavement.

I set libraries ablaze and immolate all inside
So desire for knowledge is turned to an oven
So ashes feed the future flames of ignorance.

I plant razors in beaches
So sand lovers turn cripple
So gulls feast on dried blood.

I design weapons that wound
So dying seems not too bad
So death is the choice to being maimed.

I create forces that annihilate
So no thing can flee from this sure end
So no will obstructs my revenge.

All of this, and more, I do from mortal hatred.

Why I Did It, A Terrorist Manifesto (part 12)

[This is a fiction I co-authored with Louise Norlie. I will be publishing the story in serial installments, every Monday for the next little while. Stay tuned or look back.]

I can truly say
I am my own creation
You gave me all the pieces
All the worst pieces
And trampled them
Beneath your leather boots
I can truly say
I picked up all the rubble
You thought was worthless
All the spider webbed windshields
All the punctured tires
And all the broken toys
I can truly say
That with all your brutality
I will show you what a
Monster really is

And you will be speechless

poem (not mine)

i read this poem in Harper’s magazine, which i hear is in trouble. i love honey, so it made me a little sad; “rapture of the bees,” and all. the title of the poem, their faces shall be as flames, is from the prophetic book, Isaiah.