Waking to Pablo Neruda Pumping My Chest

Poem by Lindsey Thäden


I am possessed, and detest
this madness by which
I am obsessed. Possession
is nearer hatred but rather
appreciation is. The point:
I’ll never kill one single, solitary
part of myself. Was it Atticus
who said Love her, but leave her wild?

. every buzzing nerve fiber .
. every pinprick sensation .

I won’t balance. I won’t let anyone
tie a tightrope between the Twin Towers
and expect me to perform. I’ll cut that
motherfucker down and fly off a high-
rise like some chill superhero. It’s
blasphemous to mention T. S. Eliot
was the death of poetry, and I hate
him for it. But how near is love to hate?
Simultaneously on Facebook I subtly
infer a jellyfish looks like a Georgia
O’Keeffe painting, which means it looks like
a vagina. Like Eliot
I wrote the most powerful poem ever
written & read it aloud to my lover, who
read himself into the poem. I left
a teakettle to scream. I can say

. whatever I want . I can feel
. whatever I want . I can write
. whatever I want .
. whatever I want .
. whatever I want .
. whatever I want .

LINDSEY THÄDEN is the winner of the City of New York’s 2016 #PoetweetNYC contest, a regular poet contributor at Vending Machine Press and The Ekphrastic Review, and exhibited visual artist. Her poetry has appeared (or is forthcoming) in the Philadelphia-based Apeiron Review, Buddy: A Lit Zine, New York Metro, and Passages North.
First place winner of the 2018 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry