Two Poems

by Robin Richardson

Robin Richardson is the author of two collections of poetry, and is Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review. Her work has appeared in Salon, Poetry Magazine, Hazlitt, Tin House, Partisan, Joyland, and The North American Review, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and has been shortlisted for the CBC, Walrus, and Lemon Hound Poetry Prizes, among others. Richardson’s latest collection, Sit How You Want, is forthcoming with Véhicule Press. Poems from the collection have been adapted to song by composer Andrew Staniland for The Brooklyn Art Song Society. Richardson’s memoir Like Father is forthcoming.

 

Autobiography As A Child In Second Person

 

After considerable something
just beyond your ability to recall,
you’re human. Not just any,
you’re a human girl incapable of calm.

It was the Turkish potter at The CNE,
deliberate, hard-edged as a scimitar,
first made you bodily aware. Little girls
like you get kidnapped daily, dad says,

don’t take candy. So you take the potter’s
pot instead. His clay-caked hands
just big enough to close like rope
around your neck, slow-hoist you,

as he hoists his carver’s rib, back
where you came from. Don’t be
so squeamish. In the Port-a-Potty
there’s an angel dressed in drag.

He is as new as you are to the myth
of matter, master of compassion,
valiant as he pledges endless friendship.
You will both be unadulterated after earth.

The meantime’s just a stage to play on.
You play bold, your Go-Kart guided
by divine light as you sharp-turn past
the pedophile’s white van, hand-in-hand

with every wish you’ll will into fruition.
God is just a hug, is everything when
you’re in love with being but the body
(little bitch) won’t love you back.

 

 

Disembodied At The Botanical Gardens

 

Could be a raven, humiliation of, a wife.
Or better: koi, albino in that garden
where a bridge arcs like two arms joined
hand-to-wrist or fern-to-lookout to a kid

who stops to add me to his catalogue
of reasons to exist. The corridor of cherry
blossoms laced with little girls in Vogue-
appropriate attire makes a pink so sweet

it’s hard to swallow. Could be the effigy:
life-like, dwarfed by ferns, drawn by boys
with Asperger’s and aptitudes in line
to be unearthed. Maybe my face will be

what clicks: some shy savant who finds
his gift. There is a word for stuck in form.
Please let me be a blaze. I will destroy,
I mean create again this place.

 


Robin Richardson is the author of two collections of poetry, and is Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review. Her work has appeared in Salon, Poetry Magazine, Hazlitt, Tin House, Partisan, Joyland, and The North American Review, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and has been shortlisted for the CBC, Walrus, and Lemon Hound Poetry Prizes, among others. Richardson’s latest collection, Sit How You Want, is forthcoming with Véhicule Press. Poems from the collection have been adapted to song by composer Andrew Staniland for The Brooklyn Art Song Society. Richardson’s memoir Like Father is forthcoming.

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