Monday, April 8, 2013

National Poetry Month: Elaine Equi

"To Sam Fuller"
(Elaine Equi)

Sam, I know there's more to life
but why are the best things
found in B movies?
Most of us are so confused
we believe that as long as we're inside
it's not raining but sometimes
I think communism's taking over
and there's not much we can do.
You know my fear of going crazy
right before I'm given the Pulitzer Prize.
And you know I wouldn't marry a child molester.
Like that pimp who told me,
"You've got to put it up front
whether it's pussy or poetry."  I was violent
but I never wanted feelings hurt.
Tough cookies crumble fast, according to Vogue
and I believe it. I wasn't tough
but my nickname was Cookie,
kind of like your women
who are Muffins, Bon-Bons, Good Kids and Swell.
Only instead of drinking sodas
they fall in love with criminals and kill people
who are rotten anyway or if they fall in love 
with the wrong guy, he gets knocked off too.
Then they talk to the cops about Mozart and Goethe
while guzzling Angel Foam.
This is something I  would enjoy.
Sam, I know there's more to life
but why are the best things
found in B movies?

Bellemeade Books begins a week of featuring the work of women poets.

"To Sam Fuller" by Elaine Equi originally appeared in the final issue of Jack Skelley's Barney: The Modern Stone Age Magazine (March 1984). Equi's first book of poetry was Federal Woman (1978). Her latest collection, Ripple Effect, was published in 2007; she also edited a special section for Jacket Magazine: "The Holiday Album: Greeting Card Poems For All Occasions". In a Fall 1997 article for Conjunctions, Equi commented on the poetic intent she found in the writing of Frank O'Hara: "... it was Frank O'Hara who first made me understand the intrinsically sociable and extroverted aspect to writing poetry--no small realization, and one that continues to shape my poems today. ...  Oddly enough, what Frank's attitude toward writing most reminds me of is a Bible verse (Romans 10:6-8)--particularly if I substitute the word "poem" for "Christ." Having done so, it would read: Do not say to yourself, "Who can go up to heaven?" (that is to bring the poem down) or "Who can go down to the abyss?" (to bring the poem up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you: it is upon your lips and in your heart."

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