SIX POEMS by KAITLIN NOEL HANRAHAN

SIX POEMS by KAITLIN NOEL HANRAHAN

SPIRIT COOKING 1996
for Marina Abramović

the blood could be from anywhere
                  WITH A SHARP KNIFE
                  CUT DEEP
a stuck pig, wrung panties, a.c. moore
paintbrush ruptures embolisms
                   LY INTO THE MIDDLE FINGER
                   OF YOUR
against the tin bucket in her hand
to make way for instruction:
                  LEFT HAND
                  EAT THE PAIN
to follow her recipes is to misunderstand
                  MIX FRESH BREAST MILK WITH
is to believe too deep down one vain
of ritual   is to turn off the lights
of a whole italian city to keep one room
bright is to say satan cares for me only
                 FRESH SPERM MILK WITH LIQUID SILVER
                 WITH SALIVA
she paints with one eye on the golem
the unformed substance in the corner
before its breath of god she will not
forget suffuses the body
                OF YOUR LOVER
with splash after splash of menses,
her imperatives willful as the wet
word-drips down the gallery wall:
              POSTPONE CLIMAX SPIT
you can see her figure rise high
above a human kitchen
spirit-cooking regular soup
you can see her drink a fanta
after fasting for days
             “fanta is beyond”

                                                          INSIDE

                              YOUR NAVEL
ask her what any of anything means, she’ll say
we just call things funny names, that’s all.

//

nets

i want to think
this position
is true, spray paint
you dark yellow
to honeycomb,
to trace the seams.
face me. let’s be
thirsty and dry
as trellised vines,
make some sense of
our holes. take off
your clothes. we can
do surgery,
be grid paper.
when we stretch we
are important
graphs, all these lines
must be data
somehow. when we
stand too long with
bodies haloed
we hard-boil,
go limp against
the threaded fence
and get minced up,
cut up like math.
i don't really
know about you,
a JPEG from a bad website,
color hex codes,
pixels spread wide,
tomato caged
so small red beads
drop from your joints,
salt 'n eat em.

i still don't know,
except that we
are both bottles
of light, sewn in
to segmented
intimacies.
when we try to
touch we are just
knotted fish in
nylon, gasping.

//

sorry i didn't respond earlier: a voicemail

been too caught up
in fragments and aftermaths
    you know how it is: ugly
dogs, ugly autarchic excuses,
    shrimp deveined lazy   like i eat
shit all the time anyways
    like i have olive oil
but not extra virgin like
    i have this other thing but
not the thing i need. and i broke
their bodies in my dumb hands
and i felt bad like what if
i know nothing of death or
sentience? i was hungry
and in love with the big fat
bing cherries on the counter
    the manifesto impulse
they gave me. i was breathing
slow i was wrung out i was
galvanized to empathy
    like i spent the whole morning
bathing and i spent the bath
on the phone and i spent the
phonecall alternating head
under water and several
ways to insist it’s over.
    on the radio, concern
for arugula, carrots
& okra:     i wonder how
they’re gonna make it?? like what
could be any less ugly
    like i’m alright now the weeds
are looser huge blooms and hot
dinner  shasta daisies not
for me to touch just to look
    just to think about
a brief intersection of time and
color.     well.     i hope you are
doing good let's meet next week
for coffee or something.

//

merlin & molly

i declare this day irrelevant in the heat i know too much about pores and fat and saliva i am sweating patterns of my degeneration into stolen levi’s a faint wish to wane like bar soap as clean and slender and necessary i go outside to trace various noises strangers on my porch are pointing at the sky an arm of caterpillar veins and sailor jerrys as if connected by wire to each military jet he says isn’t that spectacular? and she cackles not really they are drinking straw-ber-itas they just cut the lawn but i never know why he asks what i think about amazon building a warehouse here and i say i hope it means drones and he asks if i know how to fly a drone and i say no so he tells me about the book he is reading it’s called shortcake mysteries it’s about murder in florida and she says she is reading dark matter because her son is an astrophysicist he tells me his name is merlin and her name is molly i don’t know if they are a couple or if they just cut lawns and drink straw-ber-itas together maybe they play pool on saturday nights or curl up in respective armchairs with sudoku all quiet til merlin slips away to the freezer and fixes two big bowls of pistachio ice cream i can feel my eyes dry way up they are talking about trump now molly says his daughter-in-law lives here in north carolina merlin says oh yeah i heard about that i notice around his forearm he has two thin braceletstattooed one blue one red and then one blurry eagle with butterknife wings i need to practice confrontation and eat less mayonnaise i need to find a thin sharp object to dislodge pepper from my permanent retainer i wonder if he is a wizard i wonder if she knows a spell to make it rain the dough of my body sticks to itself i am too aware i want merlin and molly to take me home and give me lots of nyquil and read me stories of violent crimes and quantum physics i want to be their doll i want them to tie me up with yellow ribbon to the lawnmower until my hair grows long again and my waist an intangible shape i want merlin to put a leather belt between my teeth and give me blue and red tattoos with a homemade gun i want molly to dress me in long lacy sundresses with pastel hibiscuses more military jets more pointing and merlin says we started too late molly we should have planted the pumpkins in july

//

hoping god thinks i’m sexy as i stumble thru the quotidienne

dreaming of strangers throwing oranges at me

admiring the yellowing spiderplant that is my bedhead

arriving late to whatever because i sneezed
while applying mascara and smeared it
all over my temples and screamed

spitting out a hard candy and placing it on top
of its wrapper on the interview table
so i can finish it after

sighing with relief to hear my roommate
say she is not fazed by all the cockroaches

pretending not to see that scratch on my cat
because i don’t know where the neosporin is

freebleeding in my blue jeans

wanting to be suffocated by togetherness
to avoid the panic & malnutrition of being alone

becoming briefly disillusioned with intimacy
(as forever is maybe certainly not real,
drinking a lot of water each day is real,
having bad skin anyway is real)

reading that the good & bad bacteria inside
must maintain a disgusting balance, a sort of
cervical yin-yang

becoming a cam girl to alleviate boredom & debt

googling symptoms of a rare parasite, then
images of fergie peeing herself, then
how to rob a bank without getting caught

wanting to write about how he threw away my toothbrush,
and also about how the chicken shawarma wasn’t
as good as usual today, but without either of those
sounding vindictive

waiting for the morning afternoon or night someone finally
steals my car radio

wondering how exactly i am contributing
to the “local color”

preparing excessively to order the way i want my burger
cooked (pink pink pink) but the bartender never asks

getting out of plans with a girl i barely know
by referring to myself as a “busy idiot”

inching forward in traffic because i can predict
traffic patterns like wow good for me

scoffing when someone on tv recommends
that wives always submit whenever their husbands
want sex because that’s what makes
a happy marriage

dreaming of a dog that will never ever be mine

//

thin to thick to thin

my dad is always handing me
             a yogurt when i visit says my legs
are two sticks i can’t wait
                                            for the world to never see me again

                                sometimes waking up tastes
                                     like copper and marlboros and i trip over the rug
                                                                                                to pet my cat

       the thing is i don’t want to be a favor don’t want to be favorable don’t want to be a flavor don’t want to be a favorite

how thin can i get
                to needle into open space to be
                               the fish that looks like nothing
                                                                        from the front

                                             sometimes i start to rub
                                             my nose and can’t stop

                                                          sometimes i spit where i shouldn’t
                                                          and the warmth of no one’s eyes emboldens me

      please never dogear me please know that
i have never not ever found my living proof
                                  there are places i could have stayed somewhere
                           i am treading malaysian water

                                i am okay with everyone
                           i ran away from with everyone
                                                             i stopped becoming

                                i am okay even though this morning i sprayed perfume
                                                   on my tongue because i thought it might taste as good as it smells


Kaitlin Noel Hanrahan is a second-year MFA poetry candidate at UNCW, with previous degrees in French and Philosophy. She has been published in print and online at Atlantis Magazine. She hates radishes and loves a good knife!

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