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.
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HOW TO (UN)MAKE: (DE)BONELESS CHICKEN
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
THE REAL THING
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), darling.
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.