Subjective Saturdays

The First Room
By: Joyce Carol Oates

In every dream of a room
the first room intrudes.
No matter the years, the tears dried
and forgotten, it is the skeleton
of the first that protrudes.


Subjective Saturdays

Sturgeon Moon
By: Franny Choi

I hid in his rivers and estuaries.  I ate his wet earth’s crops.  I grew plump for him.  Grew egg-lined, thirty tiny hearts in my belly, fruit thumping with seeds.  He pulled me from the mud.  Laid me out in the sun.  Opened me down the center.  Scraped every dead daughter from my silly maw.  I learned better next time.  Next time, I grew three extra rows of seeds.  Hid them in my mouth.  Sharpened them to teeth.

Subjective Saturdays

Getting It Right
by: Matthew Dickman

Your ankles make me want to party,
want to sit and beg and roll over
under a pair of riding books with your ankles
hidden inside, sweating beneath the black-tooled leather,
they make me wish it was my birthday
so I could blow out their candles, have them hung
over my shoulders like two bags
full of money.  Your ankles are two monster-truck engines
but smaller and lighter and sexier
than a saucer with warm milk licking the outsie edge.
they make me want to sing, make me
want to take them home and feed them pasta,
I want to punish them for being bad
and then hold them all night and say I’m sorry, sugar, darling,
it will never happen again, not
in a million years.  Your thighs make me quiet.  Make me want to be
hurled into the air like a cannonball
and pulled down again like someone being pulled into a van,
Your thighs are two boats burned out
of redwood trees.

Subjective Saturdays


The bird that sounds like a girl sings:
It doesn’t matter who can see
You must keep being a beautiful thing

Forget about your voice traveling
The wind will bring it all to me
The bird that sounds like a girl sings

That black chalk love song starts in spring
Smudged flat is your mass in reverie
You must keep being a beautiful thing

You’ve fallen amongst the empty things
Wail up loud and fight loud me
The bird that sounds like a girl sings

-the witchy feel attention brings
His eyes will bind your soul to sea
You must keep being a beautiful thing

Each call is to forget your offering
No one binds you now to later set you free
The bird that sounds like a girl sings
you must keep being a beautiful thing

Subjective Saturdays

Girls of the Wild
by: Nikita Gill

They won’t tell you fairytales
of how girls can be dangerous and still win.
They will only tell you stories
where girls are sweet and kind
and reject all sin.
I guess to them
it’s a terrifying thought,
a red riding hood
who knew exactly
what she was doing
when she invited the wild in.

Subjective Saturdays

“You deserve a lover who wants you disheveled, with everything and all the reasons that wake you up in a haste and the demons that won’t let you sleep.
You deserve a lover who makes you feel safe, who can consume this world whole if he walks hand in hand with you; someone who believes that his embraces are a perfect match with your skin.
You deserve a lover who wants to dance with you, who goes to paradise every time he looks into your eyes and never gets tired of studying your expressions.
You deserve a lover who listens when you sing, who supports you when you feel shame and respects your freedom; who flies with you and isn’t afraid to fall.
You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.”

-Frida Kahlo

Subjective Saturdays

By: Kay Ryan

From other
angles the
fibers look
fragile, but
not from the
spider’s, always
hauling coarse
ropes, hitching
lines to the
best posts
possible. It’s
heavy work
fighting sag,
winching up
give. It
isn’t ever
to live.

Subjective Saturdays

The Dream
By: Irving Feldman

Once, years after your death, I dreamt
you were alive and that I’d found you
living once more in the old apartment.
But I had taken a woman up there
to make love to in the empty rooms.
I was angry at you who’d borne and loved me
and because of whom I believe in heaven.
I regretted your return from the dead
and said to myself almost bitterly,
“For godsakes, what was the big rush,
couldn’t she wait one more day?”

And just so, daily somewhere Messiah
is shunned like a beggar at the door because
someone has something he wants to finish
or just something better to do, something
he prefers not to put off forever
-little pleasures so deeply wished
that Heaven’s coming has to seem bad luck
or worse, God’s intruding selfishness!

But you always turned Messiah away
with a penny and a cake for his trouble
-because wash had to be done, because
who could let dinner boil over and burn,
because everything had to be festive for
your husband, your daughters, your son.

Subjective Saturdays

The Hanging Man
by: Sylvia Plath

By the roots of my hair some god got hold of me.
I sizzled in his blue volts like a desert prophet.

The nights snapped out of sight like a lizard’s eyelid:
A world of bald white days in a shadeless socket.

A vulturous boredom pinned me in this tree.
If he were I, he would do what I did.