All the single ladies, all the single ladies
all the single ladies, all the single ladies
all the single ladies, all the single ladies
all the single ladies, all the single ladies
all the single ladies.
Now put your hands up,
up in the club, we just broke up,
I'm doing my own little thing.
Decided to dip and now you wanna trip
'cause another brother noticed me.
I'm up on him, he up on me,
don't pay him any attention.
Just cried my tears, for three good years,
ya can't be mad at me.
‘Cause if you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.
If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.
Don't be mad once you see that he want it
'Cause if you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
I got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips,
got me tighter in my Dereon jeans.
Acting up drink in my cup I can care less what you think.
I need no permission, did I mention
don't pay him any attention
'cause you had your turn, and now you gonna learn
what it really feels like to miss me.
All the big beautiful women, bondage women,
divorced women, bisexual, female-to-male women.
All the drug-free, gay, non-religious, Latter Day
Saints, social drinker, straight, widowed with kids women.
Look at the blue ceiling.
Dance because the ghost is gone.
Your husk was brutalized. It’s gone too.
You’ve left the bear, the torpedo, the poodle moth.
There is someone else now.
The man is an almond in a bloom.
Don’t touch his childhood.
3 years is not like a straw, it’s a house.
Find liberty somewhere else.
You didn’t marry the bear.
You didn’t marry the torpedo.
You didn’t marry the poodle moth.
There was no ring for you.
There will be someone else now.
Remember the blue light.
Remember the man.
You can hear him thinking
until he forgets who you are.
Call him the president of your body,
then show him how it must be
to be a president without country.
To My Mother Kneeling in the Cactus Garden
For a month I tried to think of what to say,
how many times you’ve swept a kitchen knife
across your neckline and said, This is how
you end a marriage, how many more wicks you light
for god. I could tell by your eyes you’ve never
seen him. What would you call the feeling
of abandon and caution and relief that keeps me
tethered to you? Let me be the husband
you prayed for, the son you wanted, or mother
who held you. I’ll build your new patio swing
and fold your coffee linens, wash your hardened
feet in warm water. To me you have become a prison
of its own light. I’ll grow greens and the parsley
you love and wrap them into cold sandwiches.
I will place them where you can reach with ease.
The Social Equation
You don’t know how good it is to be female ✓
You don’t know how good it is to be Asian ✓
You don’t know how good it is to be ages 15-25 ✓
I have all these things
you do not have
so you cannot know
the little that people expect of me:
the little they expect me to understand
or speak or know or provide.
Because of that everything I do
is always impressive.
Every time I want to be
I am so utterly impressive.
Just do it. Kill the germs. Play in ours. Apply generously. For fast, fast, fast relief. Obey a few good men. 15 minutes could save you. The best out of crime. I guarantee it. We answer to a higher authority. Anything less would be uncivilized. This is your brain on drugs. Mother approved. Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset diarrhea. Doctor recommended. You go cuckoo for a few good men. This is your brain on drugs. Can you hear me now?
Can you hear me now?
Double your pleasure
This is America
Choosy mothers choose
Because you’re worth it
Every kiss begins
With Zoom Zoom
Nothing else will do
Only you can prevent imagination at work. For everything else, we answer to a higher authority. Like a good neighbor. Gimmeabreak, gimmeabreak. Is it in you? To be all you can be. Great Americans of a new generation. I ask you this: what’s in your wallet? You know what I’m thinking? Break me off a piece of that. Just do it. Keep going and going and going. Because you’re worth it.
Once you pop
Nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, stuffy head
This is your brain on drugs
Have it your way
Think strong enough for a man
Trix so good they melt in your mouth
Not in your hands
M’m m’m you know what I think?
The best part of waking up. Fast, fast, fast relief. Double your fun. Anything less would be uncivilized. What happens here stays. Good to the last drop. Why wait?
I browsed CIA.gov
On the online application
I marked spots for
Intelligence Collection Analyst
The text said:
Be prepared to undergo a thorough investigation
examining your life’s history, soundness of judgment, freedom
from conflicting allegiances, protection of sensitive information,
potential to be coerced, and a Polygraph test.
[The CIA spied on me for twelve months]
I watched more porn than most women.
I wrestled and, upon demanding an opponent twice above my weight class,
was publicly humiliated.
I drank a cup of holy water at a wedding.
I cannot hold my bladder past two hours, making me uneasy
in places where a bathroom is not readily available: subways, banks,
bars, liquor stores, boats, elevators, parks, outdoor malls, small offices,
beaches, buses, waiting rooms, and funerals.
I lied about speaking French.
“How to disable a bomb” in my Google search history.
I pass international customs with suitcases full
of red meat, greens, and seeds into the country.
no drug use in the past two years.
my elementary teacher asked why I’d try for the spelling bee,
she asked what the biggest word I knew was
so I said “masturbation” and she sent me home with a red card.
I lie to people older than me
and tell the truth to younger people.
a Davis high school baseball team bullied me
by flipping my chair and making squinty eyes
I tried to choke one of them
and was removed from class.
I laugh at racist jokes.
I feel responsible for the death of my two parakeets
and my grandmother.
I never litter.
I was fifteen when a Korean hairstylist proposed to me
inside a McDonald’s in Tokyo, Japan.
I danced for a Hip Hop team for two years
by whom I felt largely betrayed.
my mother worked a shopping mall cart and fainted
when a customer stole an expensive makeup kit.
I believe in God.
I’m not particularly smart.
The CIA called
to say I passed
my security clearances.
Only the very best of the men and women comprise
the Agency’s workforce to safeguard some of the nation’s
most sensitive information and highest standards of integrity.
They say the mother in my world has no pulse.
They say the god I talk about is not the god people fear.
They say the subject of race is no exception.
They say I have difficulty with the surfaces, the echoes, the sudden, the no longer there.
They say the shape of the crown on my head is only a narcosis of motherlessness.
They say I am cracked. I am no river but a lizard against a backdrop of oddly
reigned and oblique conversations of people.
I am common, they say, a commoner.
I am a map of betrayal, of refusal to prick into our times.
I am no storyteller, only troubled.
I am not sad, nor inventive, nor magnetic.
I am forgettable man and forgettable woman.
I have done nothing more than create an angry reader
with a sense that nothing is profound, all is meaningless.
I have no friends with cancer.
I have no career and no future.
I have no finest and most famous work that tells a story of a small town.
I do not live in Nebraska, Montana, or Michigan.
I was not born in Colombia with a prize for literature in 1982.
They say, deeper and deeper, I prove there is nothing in me
hard-earned or spiritual or broken. They say I will never have enough to lose.
There is no judge, nor critic, nor author, nor poet that is my friend.
There is no great enterprise in my life.
There is no cult of personality.
There is no exquisite tension created in my deftly stiff juxtaposition of images.
There is no death like the death of expectations after I dare to rear up and ripple language against the innocent pressure of readers that must compromise
nature itself to look upon me.
There is no exuberantly constructed richness in my speech, my speech
that is so unsophisticated in its use, a betrayal of literary traditions
from the language of the Bible to Faulkner.
No words of mine should be required for the entire human race.
My real gift is for my exceptionally non-diverse work.
My words are the most unenticing choices of our century’s literature.
My words punish the reader. My words do not convey sincerity.
My premature, debilitated, crippled words without meaning of drama or self-discovery.
By calling my words poetry, they would be denying its considerable failure as words.
I am irresistible to flies.
I am lame.
I am ugly and sometimes, achingly so.
I am challenged, narrow, and dull.
I am never a delight and never full of lyrical variety that distinguishes a rich tradition
of allusiveness. They say I am an artist that fails both a private and national heritage.
They say I am not funny.
They say I am tasteless.
They say I am a fugitive.
They say I am disturbing.
They say I am descending and disorienting.
They say I am a box of pins.
They say I am an intimate world, incoherent, private, and unrelatable to culture.
They say I write from a common sensibility that no one can admire.
More than poetry, they have tried to find something human in me.
My body is nobody.
My skull is nobody.
My eyes are nobody.
I wake nobody.
I sleep nobody.
Happy is nobody.
Suffer is nobody.
Little and nearsighted, one living thing.
Then the dead in caskets underground
Like gas pockets in rising dough.
Nobody looks for an incision at the mountaintop.
Nobody is a prophet here.
A dead whale floats, and gas-filled, explodes.
There is food now.
There is sleep.
Nobody is language.
Nobody is a pink lake.
Nobody is the sun.
Remember the human light is borrowed.
Flaming spectacles to wear on the face.
I am sorry to leave.
Even the youngest brain glows.
Nobody’s universe, I see you
suspended between lashes.
I love this terrible nobody of shadows.
The cold goes out, pronged and star skinned.
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