ditch,

the poetry that matters

Sarah-Jean Krahn

Sarah-Jean Krahn's poetry has most recently been published by dead (g)end(er), The Bitchin' Kitsch, and experimental press great weather for MEDIA's first anthology. Her work is forthcoming in the second anthology of the same and in the academic journal Feminist Studies. Sarah-Jean is the co-editor of the Canadian feminist creative writing journal S/tick. She resides in Edmonton, AB.

 

menarche

 

i. pronounced

 

like

anarchy

 

Cotton, Dry

 

P.U.

cubicle

unkempt lock

 

unruly lip

a monarch

migration

 

popular

it, if-mot

in the

 

lite rare

arts

 

                                ii. I pump

                               

                                back and forth on the neighbour kid's red

                                swingset

                               

                                the crescent

                                cradles me

                                cups me

                                holds me taught

 

                                in s tinct

                                ur

                                on the rag”

                                he says

 

                                not

                                pushing me

                                only

                                flinging

 

                                bits of dog

                                shit into my lap

                                face

 

                                I try to spit

                                on him I spit

                                on my lap in

                                stead

 

                                                                iii. 11-year-old

                                                                loosens her belt

 

                                                                says “We are

                                                                just as able

 

                                                                as men”

 

                                                                                                iv. He was the only boy I could stand

 

                                                                v. up to

                                                                now he had never paid me any

                                                                head except as the understanding                                                           

                                                                friend but now that his girlfriend danced with some other

                                                                loser he wanted to grind his thing

                                                               

                                                                against me we all

                                                                slept in the same bed that—

                                                                night he spooned her

 

                                vi. STRAWBERRY

                                backaches

                                baked-in-the-sand

               

                                bonks ooze

                with thickredfoldedhalfwaysjam

               

                (It was messy.)

                (I had to explain to my parents.)

 

v. men's

truth

psychs

 

le

man

in la moon;

 

o, pause!

 

one small step

for manners

 

                                                vi. ...then, she transformed into a B-U-T-full BUTTERFLY!

 

 

 

 

 

silence

 

                                                                                                 “Listen to the voice of the wind in the pines when no wind blows.”

                                                                                                                                                                -Ryoko

 

I want you

 

 

 

 

I want you

 

 

 

 

 

I want you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want you

  think

 

what is

 

what is

 

 

what is

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want you

 

uncomfortable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the time

we were at

that poetry

reading

that girl

 

silent

 

weird

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

And to this one do

I leave

 

my funky Monday undies

with the likeness of my pussy

WINK

romping in the posies

OUCH

vibrissa hosiery

kinks

 

and flounces to the lobby

where you tell them one sad story

WAH

but too late have you cussed them out

 

for bleeding on the sheets.


 

 

 

 

A Tea Party in the Co-op Parking Lot, or, the strong arms and soft belly of a gentlewitch incite summer sunlight in her brewding maiden's cheeks.

 

i. “You have such a striking

face, my dear; no need for make-up

a-

 

t'all!”

thinner

all the time

eyes trample

head and neck

 

a

contract

 

ii. “The only thing I did every day

was swab my cheeks

with chamomile tea.”

 

and stood-alone

 

hand-thrown

 

(Of course maybe all

you have to

do is smile . . . !)”

 

iii. ([ . . . For him.])

 

Eat right;

Avoid the sun;

Look at your stupid face!

 

Slough the dead

Bikini;

 

It's one less thing to be shy about.

 

iv. “Thirty years I

was with him, you

 

know” survive or

natal course:

 

on lazy evenings

bestir yourself

 

in the bath of bubble

Pledge

 

not to make-up

not to drink-up

 

                                                                                but clutter your frown with boils!

 

Bedtime autonomy

bodily:

 

push all you've ever

known

to squall.

 

Chamomile and narcissus may be

mistaken. “My dear,

 

not all abuse is physical.”

 

v. You can find chamomile in the most unexpected of places;

for instance, she thrives in the cracks of sidewalks.

 

I place the double-paper bagged produce gently

on the Lincoln coup's passenger—

 

                                                                                Late

 

at home I dump

a box of tea bags

in the tub

 

soak yellow

 

and shirk

the relentless

phone.

 

Her German name is alles zutraut,

meaning capable

of anything.

 

 

 

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                                                                                                     May 10, 2013