Poet XXL

This poem has come directly out of my discovery of Andrea Gibson’s spoken word. I use some of the elements from her poems here, as well as pay homage to some of Marie Howe’s turns of phrase. It is intended as a spoken word piece, though I am still not all that comfortable with this medium.

Metaphors float off her tongue and form a
Sparkling braid around my heart and
If it weren’t already tethered to its
Own inadequacy

My veins could be kite strings too
If my imagination had not been cut with the shards of
Its own making
Bent knees like dog-eared pages could have
Held your place if
I had not been so eager to get the deal closed
Instead I am simply remembering the girl
When she started to use the sterile bookmark afraid to
Leave a piece of herself on that page
Praying it would keep someone different from
Opening the book the next time

She believed
When they said You have to be this
And she said What and
They said This holding their hands close and
Parallel to each other
The confidence interval looked
Narrow and precise
When she just wanted to be

She who is made of honey and wild flowers
Who carries a timeless piece of the universe in her flesh
Who is descended from nameless women
Too cautious to live into their hearts’ double-XLs
She roars in your honor and here and now
Testifies to your vastness

Make way for the OVERSIZED LOAD of her words
Barreling at full-throated speed down the freeway
Stand back and heed the warning of
Those perspiring little men in suits who monitor their seismometers
Lest you miss the impending tectonic shift

She speaks for all of you exiles
Who have willingly snapped the lock shut and
Tasted your captor’s tongue

All she needs is to see the cuts in your eyes
All she needs is the shape of love
And to wire forgiveness into your body
Without the amnesiac’s marriage certificate
All she needs is to bury you deep in silence
When she is ready to share her secrets

Infinity is ripping out of her coffin to
Bring you your fragile reflection
In a gift box
Wrapped in the chains of your own making
Kiss her on the mouth and be led by your blindness
To the pulsing ventricles of your voice to
Pump your truth back into her and to
Nourish her in all her glory

Join the Open Links Night party over at the dVerse Poets Pub — opens at 3PM Tuesday, July 2



  1. great imagery throughout marya…..Instead I am simply remembering the girl
    When she started to use the sterile bookmark afraid to
    Leave a piece of herself on that page… this is tightly penned…also the expectations of others when she just wanted to be loved…think love sets us free in so many ways to grow beyond us

  2. boom. i would love to hear it…some good pausing in there…spoken word is def about establishing your cadence but being willing to speed it up or slow it down….and what is intended to be spoken doesnt always come across the best on page, but this works…you def have to write different….my fav lines…

    My veins could be kite strings too
    If my imagination had not been cut with the shards of
    Its own making

  3. Great rhythm–I can definitely hear this as spoken word. You might want to try playing with it on audioboo.com and hearing what you sound like with different variations…

    honey pools
    and pools into
    a buzz buzz
    beeline tune

    1. Dear grapeling, are you kidding me? I love your enthusiasm! Was away from the “approve” button, but now all approved. Yours is the most exuberant comment I have had! Thank you, you have made my week!!!

      1. LOL. Alrighty then. You know what would be potentially fun, or a disaster? Setting up a link where poets could easily record themselves and then have a prompt that required a recording along with the text. Heck, could even cross record – poets pick another’s piece and read it.

  4. There is power in your words tonight ~ I love how you painted her ~ The read of this would be good but in fairness, I too am afraid of this medium ~ Smiles ~

    1. Thanks, Grace, and thanks for your understanding. There is something about putting your voice out there — like taking a picture of a vampire. I have given more talks than I can count, and have had my courses recorded. But there is something altogether different about performing a poem…

  5. I read this out loud and it rolls out effortlessly. Great job and cudos fr trying this.I love spoken word but have never embraced writing it – let alone trying to perform. Although I would love to

    1. Oh, thanks so much, LaTonya. I have heard that Detroit has a vibrant slam scene. We do ok here in the Pioneer Valley for a small community. I just need to get myself out of my shell of silence 🙂

  6. Marya wow I am blown away by the beauty and mastery of your poetry. I aspire to write so brilliantly I am a long way off but you are inspiration this is stunning absolutely stunning!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s