Poetry Files. Loathe, Love, Lathe. Alain Ginsberg. What is in a name?

Loathe, Love, Lathe
Alain Ginsberg
What is in a name?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet:
And what makes a rose but petals and a stem?
Water to make it grow or water to make it die,
To drown or dehydrate is the same by any other name
And no one asks what a rose’s parents would say if they
Chose to be a lily or peony or hydrangea and death by any name
is still finality or the beginning of something entirely new
and I hope at my funeral no one asks if my parents meant for this
when I do not know if they even meant to make this mess
that I blossomed into, and what makes a rose but petals and a stem?
Thorns and I do so forget about violence until my blood is out
Again and I am trying my best not to see myself as a heap but
What is my name except something to wear?

Continue reading “Poetry Files. Loathe, Love, Lathe. Alain Ginsberg. What is in a name?”

Poetry Files. TW. Our Own Soft. Katie Clark. Cinnamon Whiskey.

Our Own Soft
Katie Clark
Cinnamon Whiskey

everyone told me the winter would be bad but
no one said it would be cold all of the time.

it hasn’t been over forty degrees in over five months
and the lake keeps freezing and thawing and i’m less for it.

for now, it’s 10pm and twenty degrees and my friends are all smoking
cigarettes shirtless outside for the second night in a row.

it seems unfair now to live the life i wanted at fourteen,
but here we are.

my 9th grade self keeps drunk texting me things like
“get home safe,” and “can you buy me fireball,” and

i can see her sitting cross-legged in a circle in someone’s
upstairs bedroom in borrowed pajamas with a red cup

and someone is telling them all what it was like to
have sex with a boy named jack or rob and

she’s asking me what it’s like but i’d rather her remember it
this way: small, but significant and eventual.

i don’t want to tell her what’s coming, that the first time
will scar because she won’t say yes, that it won’t be

the last time, that sometimes it’s not fact, it’s
whoever gets there first and says their version louder.

she shouldn’t have to know that sometimes it’s not fair to
have a body, that no one tells you how to know

whether or not you wanted it if you didn’t scream or push,
that sometimes the absence of yes is a dry mouth.

i don’t want her to see this part, but she has to
to know why the time by the water mattered so much

the river salt and that kind mouth. right now,
i don’t think she knows it won’t be jack or rob,

that it will be those long smooth legs draped over
our lap like folded laundry on a Tuesday morning, simple and

happening. this will be the real start.
soon, she’ll know how love will make her unknown to herself

and she will be glad for it, grateful. everything will change
and it will end, and it won’t, and she’ll live.

but for now, i say, “thank you,” and “no,”
kiss her goodnight.


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