Friday, April 6, 2012

Dispatch from the Future

For National Poetry Month, I will be posting select poems from my book Dispatch from the Future, and the stories "behind" them. Dispatch will be available July 17, and you can preorder on Amazon now.


I am wearing my librarian costume.
Yes, I saved it from the fires.

In the future, when we say antiquity, we mean
state fairs and musicals. We mean affairs

of state, amusement. You left me a message
to say you were sad but you understood
which state I was coming from and I'm wondering

now which state you meant. West of us?
Or did you mean a state of mind?

I don't have states of mind, I only have sweater sets.

I get dressed up and then I undress. I'd show you,
but this is a dispatch. I'm the dispatcher.

The calls come into my call center and
it's my job to say, What's the future

of your emergency?

Our new state flag is an aurochs—
not to celebrate extinction, but

to celebrate the wild part of us that died
in 1627. They moved her skull to Stockholm.

I wear my state flag like a dress.

Notes: I wrote this poem in the winter of 2010 while taking an art history class at Brooklyn College. The aurochs is an extinct ancestor of cattle, and the animal appears in the cave paintings at Lascaux. The skull of the last known aurochs (a female) is now the property of the Livrustkammaren museum in Stockholm. I loved this art history class way more than this guy I'd been dating for a few months and when I broke up with him over email he said he was sad, but could understand where I was coming from. It made me think of travel: where was I coming from? Where was I going?

This poem was first published in InDigest. If you have a few dollars to spend on poetry this month, spend it on their Kickstarter project. They're an amazingly supportive literary community (online and IRL) that I feel proud to be a part of.  

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