I recently finished reading Diane Wakoski’s The Magellanic Clouds, and I loved her poetry so much that I have to post snippets. Enjoy.
“Not until later did he find two women / who needed him, one for the mind, / one for the body // [ . . . ] I never encountered / this problem, / my life having / been full of deprivations. // Choice was a watch never presented to me at graduation. // Loss was a light turned on at night, / something I was used to / and used to / read and write by.” – from “Greed, I. Of Polygamy“
“One stroke at a time / metal in soft shimmering chains / folding it like cloth / feeling it slide link by link across your knees / I want to gather everything I feel for you into a bouquet. / I want to present it like a quilt / over a bed, / flapping it up once in the air / to come down smooth and puffy again.” – from “Now Perseus’ Face”
“Words mean nothing if there is not a life to back them up. // [ . . . ] In the words of the lion-poet, ‘For you I would build a whole / new universe around myself.’ / But you should in fact / be a little frightened of it. / You are / in it / anything that I choose / to make you.” – from “The Universes, fifth universe“
“I cannot scream / so I whisper / I cannot dance / so I whisper / I cannot have my children / so I whisper / I cannot have my husband / so I whisper / I cannot sleep / so I whisper // This sac that holds my life / finely woven of / whispers / rustles as I slip it over my / head. Rustles as I walk down the street / rustles in a world only made of / mouths / rustles and rustles / These whispers that clothe me / and take the place of my life” – from “The Old Impossibilities”
“‘Look at that hearse with the yellow flowers on it,’ she said, / but her friends on the bus did not see what she saw, / and she looked again, to find a beige colored truck with sacks of / potatoes on its roof. It happens all the time, I told her, / some of us have bad vision, are crippled, have defects, and / our reality is a different one, not the / correct and ascertainable one, / and sometimes it makes us dotty and lonely / but also it makes us poets.” – from “The Birds of Paradise Being Very Plain Birds”
“The lesson of innocence: / that love is not inevitable / but must, like other good things / be chosen / to make any sense.” – from “Love Passes Beyond the Incredible Hawk of Innocence”
“let yourself be pulled through the fire / if you come out of it / you will know how it really is to die / and how then / to be passionate for life / how to be hungry to move / to never stand still / [ . . . ] I will point to my scars constantly and remind you that they are / what wake me up and renew my desire to live. / I will wish and pine and long for my own goals but show you / those feelings are only beautiful when backed up by spunk and willpower / and the drive and energy to explore everywhere, / to look for beauty in each motion.” – from “Exorcism”