Friday, April 4, 2014

National Poetry Month: Daisy Fried

"Econo Motel, Ocean City"
(Daisy Fried)

Korean monster movie on the SyFy channel,

lurid Dora the Explorer blanket draped tentlike

over Baby’s portacrib to shield us from unearned

innocence. The monster slings its carapace

in reverse swan dive up the embankment, triple-jointed bug legs

clattering, bathroom door ajar, exhaust roaring,

both of us naked, monster chomps

fast food stands, all that quilted aluminum, eats through streams

of running people, the promiscuously cheerful guilty American

scientist dies horribly. Grease-dusted ceiling fan

paddles erratically, two spars missing. Sheets whirled

to the polluted rug. I reach under the bed, fish out

somebody else’s crunched beer can, my forearm comes out

dirty. Monster brachiates from bridge girders like a gibbon

looping round and around uneven bars, those are your fingers

in my tangles or my fingers, my head hangs

half off the king-size, monster takes tiny child actor

to its bone stash. Pillow’s wet. The warped ceiling mirror

makes us look like fat porno dwarfs

in centripetal silver nitrate ripples. My glasses on the side table

tipped onto scratchproof lenses, earpieces sticking up

like arms out of disaster rubble. Your feet hooked over my feet. What miasma

lays gold dander down on forms of temporary

survivors wandering the promenade? You pull Dora

back over us—Baby’s dead to the world—intrude

your propagandistic intimacy jokes,

unforgiving. “What, in a motel room?” I say.

Purple clouds roll back to reveal Armageddon

a dream in bad digital unreality. Explosions repeat patterns like

fake flames dance on fake fireplace logs. Sad Armageddon

of marriage: how pretty much nice

we meant to be, and couldn’t make a difference.

 "Econo Motel, Ocean City" by Daisy Fried appeared in Poetry magazine, 2005. Fried is the author of Women's Poetry: Poems and Advice (2013), My Brother is Getting Arrested Again (2006) and She Didn’t Mean to Do It (2000), all from University of Pittsburgh Press. In a 2009 essay in Poetry magazine, Fried discusses her mixed feelings of reading poetry on the web: It's hard for me to feel published unless it's on the page. But recently I met this guy at a party who told me he saw a poem of mine on a website. "That's the way I like to read poems, by accident," he said. "Like once I saw a poem by—have you heard of William Carlos Williams? I read it online and then bought this book, Desert Music. I sat down and read it through." I asked if he'd read any other books by Williams. Of course not. Just as he never read another poem of mine. He had to get on with his life. But take heart, poets who stay up nights worrying about audiences for poetry. Clearly, the web disseminates our work more widely than ever before.

No comments: