Eileen Mary Holowka



Instructions: Cut each of these six stanzas out, put them into a hat, and draw them at random, reading aloud as you do. The only part of this poem that you have control over is the phrase “I am,” which you can say once before any of the stanzas. Repeat/ reread to see how the poem changes.

Screenshot 2015-04-22 16.04.34

[click to enlarge]





you said I need experience to write
but I don’t want any more experiences, 
I’ve had  (been had)    enough already.   I’ll stick 
to hypo(theseus) & theories, deconstruction gets me 
hot, like Judith Butler   (I only wish) but my theory 
class makes me suicidal,    you (or she?) 
keeps deconstructing it (or me, her?)
(I have trouble with pronouns—I need
someone to edit me), please, edit-her (yes, I am,				
but not a very good one) you see   I   avoid 
saying what I mean (because I don’t know
what it means)   and, like Butler, my pleasure is
dislocation:        your shoulder, my sense of self
my body & my voice     because    there is no place like away
from home, and there is no place
like a place for us, and there is no
place,     it doesn’t exist, its mis/p\laced,
a trace    of something, somewhere, (sorry, Tony and Maria, how 
derrid-ivative of me/her)   oh!    I’m stumbling    over 
words—I’m drunk    (I hope) — I’d mount Olympus,
(I’d be accomplished,   quelle phallacy!)
but I might not be able to find my way back 
down afterwards, limbs akimbo, spread
eager for your oh-so-limp-pus, oh how ( )holesome, 
saying an oh God (holey wholey!) that you think refers 
to yourself, I defer my (in)difference, I (   ) mean
you’re fine, but undefined, I circle my tongue
around a definition, and it’s on the tip of my 
understanding, but I (ed)ited it out, because
I’m prefixed by a mere Miss, suff( )xed by a near
kiss in black out    , see     I    back  down 
to the face of a face of a mountain       ,.   ,         (what else?)
afterwards there are only more w( )rds,        a ward     ed.
less meanings    meaningless like me
/them / him  /  her   /   this  poem   /   my   self caught
in my own throat. don’t	
come in it/me, I’ll choke      on my own Freudian death drive 
and I’m not in the mood       for self-psychoanalysis, this isn’t
the three-way I’d been hoping for, so
please let me know when someone	      (someday)
other than me shows up to this party		
so I can avoid them/ it / memories (         ) best forget
I ever came  (best come
I ever forgot)   am I    inspirational
now that I’m naked    on this pedestal?    this bed?    see
my boyfriend says I look like a Greek goddess and I am 
horrified picturing myself 		(suffixed by an “ess”: Miss-ess)
with those fluffy painted breasts (they’re tits, not clouds, I say,
he doesn’t understand, so I call him my big roman
and he thinks I think he’s fat—I meant strong, besides
he’s not so lumpy as you, ol’lympus) anyway, it’s all a matter 
of perspective (granted mine is fucked) 
and that is all that matters   (my manners)   I don’t mind, mind you, 
being nude,     but I am unable       
to be touched    anymore,     any     more  
than with eyes (and even then) be careful    
what you see       because I am unable
to be sculpted ( >> ) ) ? /  I am shapeless
(not fat, but boneless, like chicken) you can eat me
with your eyes but I’m not inspirational,
just repetitive.    another body, another day.
my experiences are unoriginal: even medusa
was abused.       he doesn’t understand      (because I’m avoiding the word)
and I don’t want him to (but I kind of want him to) but he can’t (and I’m stuck)
between (me)anings, and me’s & him’s,	    )you cuming 
between us(  and I have trouble with pronouns     ((   I know   ))
there is a u in a me in an olympus    (but what’s missing?)—   no matter, what matters    is
that I am my experiences, however (un)pronoun(ceable)—
and my poems are my experiences and me&him are             constructed and deconstructed
by my ex-periences       and my body is      a body is mine
by ex-spear-iences       	not mine	  	      is yours  &
I’m drunk (I hope), so it couldn’t be my choice       (just)	, my mistake 		
he doesn’t understand 	      (I only wish	    ((       (I wasn’t even drunk)
my s-ex-perie-ncess weren’t all (stay a)	ways		
my choice		(from him)              what I’m trying to say              is
“                               (   ) ((  ) () )) (              (                        .”

that’s not what I meant




Lipstick lids (twist,
glide, shine). Gloss
       ‘d over features
are (closer than they appear),
		(twist[ed]) in this mirror. 
       (Imagine), (just do it    )
				Don’t worry,
    (   we can help). 
This tipped Bourbon, unspilt, is (built)
like these (men [who]
				       never change).
It’s manufactured (style);
it’s (fresh).

It’s (the real thing),



Eileen Mary Holowka is a Winnipeg writer and upcoming graduate student. She is interested in feminism, digital media studies, and narratology. She tweets and writes music under the name @elmahka

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