REPORT A PROBLEM
A hundred words in an essay is easy. A hundred words in trivial conversation is easy. A hundred words is what? A tenth of a picture? That’s easy.
Somebody asks me for directions to a grocery store. A hundred words jump out of me, fly like ducks at the sound of a gunshot.
But a hundred words for their own sake?
A hundred words seems so easy, I know so many words, at
a hundred. But now when I ask for volunteers, they just sit in the dark classroom of my vocabulary, no hands raised, blinking silently at me.
Last night I was eating animal crackers and there were two of the crackers that were stuck together and I thought wouldn’t it be great if I could breed animal crackers and just have a constant supply of animal crackers? And they could all make me animal cracker children to eat. It would be the most delicious farm ever! I want to be an animal cracker breeder. I wonder if the giraffes would only produce giraffes and hippos only produce hippos or are all cracker animals the same species? Oh man, I can’t wait to be an animal cracker farmer!!!
I had this incredible dream that I knew was a dream but the devination didn’t awaken me. I had a button with writing on it. I was fully aware that people aren’t supposed to be able to read in dreams. I called over Sarah Lessem, “Dude, take a look at this!” and we read together, watching the words on the pin changing, dissolving into other words. Every new word was a surprise and we laughed and read and read and laughed. And I love it that I can play tricks on my dreams and have so much fun on purpose.
I’m a math major but I want to be a poet when--if I grow up.
A LOVE LETTER FROM ONE TO TWO
Two, I love you.
Let us multiply together.
All our products will look like you, two.
Two, I love you.
You are twice what I am.
The difference between us is me.
Two, I love you.
We are so close,
Yet the numbers between us are infinite.
Two, I love you.
Naturally, I envy that you are prime.
I look beside me:
The choice is you or nothing.
Two, I love you.
Do you love me two?
It feels like you’re telling me a secret,
But you’re only looking at me.
It feels like we go way back,
But it’s only been days.
It feels like I’m laughing out loud,
But I’m only listening to you.
It feels like we just got here,
But it’s been hours.
It feels good.
You amaze me.
Your mind Overactive?
No, that’s not it.
What is it?
Your words natural,
Not yet considered.
They makes so much sense
You make too much sense.
My thoughts humbled.
Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. HEY! THIS IS REALLY EASY! Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words. Gotta write a hundred words.
On a bench
Outside a classroom
Where Mika takes (aces)
An essay test
With abandoned crossword
A Maryland girl
Walks out of her classroom
She picks up the paper
Hurries along with her prize
And I smile
She didn't want the crossword.
Like you I want
To stand on chairs
Climb on top the refrigerator
At the fringes of my bookmark
Crouch before I pounce
On unsuspecting prey
To perk my ears
To blink so perfectly
And to purr.
Tonight I’ll be killed in a car crash
The sneak attack train will give me no warning.
I’ll be crushed in a stew of steel and glass
And no one will find me until morning
And when the remains are discovered
Insignificant hopeless and flung from the tracks
When they find my body bloodied and crushed
They will wonder how soon death was after impact.
At which point they’ll glance at the passenger seat
Where my soul will have tried to flee
But instead will have been caught by the seatbelt
And will have suffered the same fate as me.
HOMEWORK: “I’m mad at you, Luhks!”
ERIN LUHKS: “Oh homework! Why?!”
HOMEWORK: “You hate me!”
ERIN LUHKS: “No, homework, don’t say things like that!”
HOMEWORK: “You hate me!”
ERIN LUHKS: “I don’t hate you homework, you’re awesome!”
HOMEWORK: “It’s totally true! you do hate me!”
ERIN LUHKS: “Why would you say that?”
HOMEWORK: “You never spend any time with me anymore!”
ERIN LUHKS: “Oh, homework, I’m so sorry!”
HOMEWORK: “You’re always ignoring me!”
ERIN LUHKS: “Let’s hang out tonight, just you and me!”
HOMEWORK: “Really? You mean it?”
ERIN LUHKS: “You bet, homework, just you and me tonight!”
any such of the
I risk for you
like my nerves
I have been
in and out
I hold it still,
a week I
hold it still.
I have no title for this poem
and no words for these thoughts
Should I name my sighs and tears
So I could speak them? Write them down?
I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone who called me last night and had a conversation with me while I was asleep. Sorry for anything stupid I said, and sorry my Sleep Decision Faculties decided that they shouldn't wake me up for your phonecall.
I dreamt I was in the passenger seat. The car was driving on 95 North, but Penn State kids were crossing it like it was Pollock. In fact it was Pollock. But it was also 95 North.
The driver was trying to avoid them like I avoid them every day on my bike...
...swerving around groups of them, not necessarily slowing down. Most of them were avoided, but then the driver pummeled into some kid and sent him flying through the air and off the road, like that William Carlos Williams poem “The Term.”
I said to the driver: “Did you just HIT that kid?!”
He, like it was a bug that had hit his windshield: “Yeah.”
Me: “Did you just KILL THAT KID?!”
He, like he had only stepped on an ant: “Yeah.”
And he continued to weave through students, who continued to walk across the road where our car was speeding.
This morning I decided that I don't want to be God. (Part One)
I don’t want to be God, because God is all-knowing.
For my finite mind, there are inexhaustible possibilities in even a single blade of grass. If God’s infinite mind always knows all perspectives of every object and every situation, has God ever been surprised? Does God ever laugh?
Also, I love figuring things out, making connections, solving problems. If God has known everything all along, has God ever discovered anything? Has God ever said “aha!”?
I don’t want to know everything, but I wouldn’t mind discovering everything…
This morning I decided that I don’t want to be God. (Part One)
I don’t want to be God, because God is all-powerful.
For me, being mortal, there are so many challenges, so many adventures possible for me to face. But God’s infinite power can conquer any obstacle effortlessly. Does God feel a sense of accomplishment when things work out, or is God just bored?
Without fear, there is no relief. Is an all-powerful being capable of fear? Has God ever said “phew!”?
I don’t want to be able to do everything, but I wouldn’t mind taking on every challenge…
This morning I decided that I don’t want to be God. (Part Three)
I don’t want to be God, because God is all-good.
All-goodness implies all-fairness and that means you can’t have favorites. What fun is that? God can’t think of one particular thing as more exciting than all the rest. Everything in God’s eyes is equal. Wouldn’t that be incredibly dull? God’s gotta celebrate everyone’s birthday—that’s so many birthdays! If he has to celebrate every one, how can any particular one feel special? How can any one thing be special to God if EVERYTHING is special to God?
This morning I decided that I don’t want to be God. (Part Four)
Who wants to count to infinity?
And think about it, nobody would want to PLAY with God. If you played Hide and Seek, he would know where you were hiding. If you played cards, God would know your hand. And guessing games—come on, you don’t have a prayer! Does God get to play? Is being “playful” compatible with God’s perfection? Has God ever given a noogie? Doubtful.
Seriously, who WOULD want to be God? Is it fair for us to attribute all these qualities to God?
Tim told me before that I’m crazy, that I’m “emotionally fucked”. Probably I am. I didn’t think it was the most tactful way to say it. Maybe I wouldn’t have taken it seriously if he said it any other way. I love Tim and I’m sorry.
You happy now?
You got your way?
You broke your hearts?
You liar. Tease. Slut.
I spit on your tears.
Stop—fucking stop crying.
I don’t give a
About you now.
After what you did.
Fuck you and your poems.
Stay away from us,
I thought your life flashes before your eyes when you’re near death. Past few days, my life’s been flashing before my eyes all too often. Extreme blisses and saturating sadnesses so close they’re almost simultaneous. Last night I admitted that I’m manic depressive, I’ve been avoiding that-- giving it euphemisms, understating it. Today was also the first time ever that I considered suicide. I was lying in my bed, and I found myself wondering how it would feel to be flying off a bridge to my death. I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m going to die soon.
I don't deserve for you to love me so much that you could be this hurt. You saved my life; I destroyed yours. It's not a fair trade, is it? But I really do love you. I don't know if there's a way for that to make sense to you or be enough for you. If I could I would lend you my eyes for your tears and my nerves for your pain. I would give you anything, everything, my whole life, my last breath. Everything but that one beautiful disastrous preposition. I wish I could but I can't.
I am climbing a blade of grass
So I can cling to the leg of your pants
I’m invading your picnic
Stealing grapes with my band of ants
Could you notice me
Even though I’m soooo small??
Can I be something to you
Even though I’m
So close to being nothing at all??
It takes a thousand hours
To crawl the length of your spine
To curl up in your ear
Whisper illusions of you being mine
It’s like trying to own the ocean
Like claiming a piece of the sky
Has a lion ever
Been tamed by a fly?
The best was when, after I pied Farzad’s ass, he was chasing me, pie in hand, and I suddenly stopped and ducked and Farzad went flying. The best was when I was sitting on top of that tree and they found me, and I knew I had to escape so I just rolled the eight feet off the tree like I was rolling out of bed, landed on the ground, ran for my life. The best was when I got whipped cream in my eyes and I couldn’t see a thing and it really stung—wait, that wasn’t the best…
I thought that tree would be the best hiding place if only I could just shimmy up the trunks and get on that one branch. Then they didn’t have a prayer at finding me. But I was too excited, I was having too much fun. My limbs were shaking and my pulse was racing and by that time I was way up the tree and I couldn’t get down. Since there’s no narrator like in Winnie the Pooh, I thought they’d have to call the fire company to rescue me. The only thing I could think to do was meow.
My break-down last night didn’t scare me as much as usual when the chemicals in my body told me I have no future, that I am fucked and there is no way out. I recognized them this time: Chemicals of Doom. There is word for them. I freaked out about my dorm room. Not “claustraphobic” More like “this is Hell; I must escape.” There’s not a word for it yet, so I’ll make one up: “Dormaphobic.” But since I saw them in action, I could have a plan of attack. Me vs. Them. There’s a word for that too: “homeostasis.”
JIMI HENDRIX IS WINKING AT ME.
CAN YOU DIG IT??
Jimi Hendrix understands my
…no, yes ‘n’ yes ‘n’
no, yes ‘n’ yes ‘n’…
but he wont send me to the therapist, oh no
he knows my condition,
my FASTS and my
Jimi keeps playin’ looks at me like
…yeah, baby baby
no maybe maybe…
He gives me a wink I’m like
…yeah, this is crazy
whoa, baby baby
how it goes
how we gotta
for the lows
Music sweet music
he knows what I need
Jimi understands me
cause we’re the same breed.
And if there is God, I think he must sound like Stuart Murdoch. Because pretty much anything Stuart Murdoch has ever said to me, I have accepted as truth. So even if that's not what God's voice sounds like to everyone, he will sound to me like Stuart Murdoch. If Stuart wrote a song that told me, "Luhks, sell all your belongings and join an abbey," you know I'd do it. If Stuart told me that my best friends were all robots, I'd believe him. On a side note, the guy from the SugarCubes might very well be the Devil.
What does it mean when you have a dream that something’s clamped its teeth on your arm and you’re punching it with your free hand and it still won’t let go so you’re slamming it against walls and then you realize it’s a baby polar bear and then you look up and see that its mom is looking at you beating her cub and she wants to kill you so you run up to the top of some shelving units and are crying out “I love bears, please don’t kill me! I love bears! I wish I was a bear!” ??
WORDS FOR KRISTIN MALEFYT
It's going to be
Seeing your old things
in a new house
Will your new house
smell like "Malefyts'?"
and you can teach me
how to drive stick.
So I can
pretend to be you
Put in a tape of
Chicago Transit Authority
and when you visit me
we'll wake up early
and take a walk
past 1002 Darby
where strangers live now
we'll get spooked of course
and sprint the whole way
back to my house
straight to the trampoline
until our sillinesses
in other words
“FOUND POEM: a piece of writing not intended as a poem, but is so declared by its ‘finder.’… The odd thing is how the found words seem to take on an added power when removed from their original context and presented alone.”
a found poem
the leap high
into the air the perfectly
numerous ways to play
the most fun and
There is always the chance that
to help them through
Here are two poems I wrote today.
This morning I woke up
Deflated and frightened
And goosebumpedly cold
You rolled me up
in a little ball,
hugging arms tightened
their wonderful hold
You warmed me up
with a little kiss,
a sleepy-eyed blink
and the smile I adore.
You build me up
with a little bliss
you make me think
I’m invincible once more.
AESOP HAS TAUGHT ME NOTHING
Tonight I am the smug
My philosophy paper will
I am invincible.
Slow and steady is for suckers.
Who calls them hares anyway?
MY STAR POEM
When I gaze at starry skies
I can’t help but apologize
To bright excited stars who try
to have their light caught by my eye,
the target that they really seek.
Alas some only kiss my cheek
After they travel light years long
If I don’t look, have they been wronged?
And even still they aim their light
In hopes I’ll notice another night.
Yet sadder to me still there are
the astroids jealous of the stars
who with intentions most sincere
enter earth’s fiery atmosphere
The eager martyrs burst into light
destroy themselves for my delight.
(this is the end of yesterdays poem)
I don’t watch enough of these wonders so starry.
So for my negligence, good heavens, I’m sorry.
in the summer
a few years from now
I’ll drive you
to the ocean.
We’ll leave my car somewhere.
We’ll walk together
to the end of the peir.
I know you don’t like sand.
We’ll smell the waves
and look across
to where the water meets the sky.
And for that moment
We’ll escape the feeling
that forever is reserved
only for somebody else.
We’ll steal a moment
of forever for ourselves.
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