Jan: A Proem

Jan: A Proem



Take me home
to dirty alligator water,
water moccasin land.

Wear a gold band
with the stone turned into the palm,
an oyster’s pearl
tapping on a wine glass.

Do you know
what my mother would say?


Put the wine bottle down.
Stop crying.


Forgive a Thursday night:
bathroom make-outs,
a fight in cowboy boots,
wanting to undress a color
that only loved me on special occasions.

Pronounce the name
of my parish, its river.

Predict the year of the next flood.

Stop crying.

Cook me a po-boy
with gravy and fries.




I keep praying to Mary. I’m looking for fruit in her blue eyes, putting my hands like a prayer in her ice cream. Hail Mary, full of Brooklyn, our diadems are guilty.





where I cried less. Drank less.

Or maybe that’s not

entirely the way it was

but it’s how it feels

in my gut or memory or—





What’s so great

            about her?


This is the one that broke.




It’s easy after this: a lie

I’m telling myself and some other
people and also my mother.




When I can’t sleep I think of paper dolls, babies, birds, stars, cotton, backyards, kitchens with garbage disposals, parades with beads, lakes, pools, porches, drive-thru daiquiris, etc. These are all things I suppose I could count but I never feel like quantities of a thing really make anyone feel better, just the thing itself—and usually you just need one.




I want to make a pie  

in the kitchen


There are peaches       

for preserves


I am messy


You won’t kiss

my fingers


sticky reminders

of the hours between



As it is, I’m not sure

whether I’m hungry or grieving.




Stop crying, I’m telling you.





I think I read this three times. It's so RICH. I'm still trying to unpack it like an e.e. cumming's poem or a living room of just-moved-in boxes. I love the frenzy that is going on here. Pardon my endearment, but thank you, my darling for writing this. -- Lauren


I am not really sure how to connect with you, but I was wondering if you could be my mentor, you write wonderfully. -Chelsey


After my first read through this poem I first fell in love with it's uniques structure. I love it! I saw that you are listed as a mentor and would love for you to read the first poem that I have posted. I have written several but have very little confidence in them. My first poem is entitled "How to Help." Thank You!


I like how the words fold over one another. This poem has aspects everyone can relate to but remains very personal.


Your point of view with little emotions hidden between actions are hard to capture, but worth remembering.

I would like, if, you be my mentor.

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