April 30, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 30

Huzzah! I made it!

You sit too close
and I scoot over

You lean in
and I jump up
to avoid a peck
on the cheek
my revulsion felt
in each freckle
on my face

You grab my hand
I jerk it back and you
fall forward
without checking to see
if you're hurt
I turn
and dash away

April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

NaPoWriMo Day 29

"It is a just retribution for improper sexual misconduct" - Mother Teresa on AIDS

A disease is not
viruses do not care
who you slept with
or how many.

They only want what
every other organism wants -
to live.

Nothing personal, you
just happened to be
the warm body
that showed up.

April 28, 2009

Confession Tuesday

I've found that unpacking and organizing our new apartment is very helpful with writer's block. Something about trying to figure out where everything belongs in a new space somehow unclogs my mental snag.

However, cleaning does not have the same effect.

NaPoWriMo Day 28

I have heard various iterations
of a worn-out homily
that you're supposed to
love the journey
that it matters more
than the destination

But it is precisely
the hell of delays
canceled flights
flat tires
gas station bathrooms
bad food
wrinkled clothing
muscle stiffness
other people

that prohibits me from
planning more arrivals

April 27, 2009

NaPoWriMoDay 27

For J.
I feel as though you don't
actually know me, because -
despite the dinners, and the late nights,
and the parties, and the secrets -
you've never seen my
bookshelves, you've never
glimpsed the way I've
organized this library

You've seen the books I care
with me, but how can you
truly understand until you've seen the

Atwood, Bradley, Bradbury,
Danielewski, hooks, Lorde,
Morrison, Oliver, Ondaatje,
Perry, Sedaris, Whitman

on their shelves, arranged
in a code that signifies
only to me

What will you think when you
finally begin to
interpret my
literary arrangements?

April 26, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 26

We Keep Starting Over
And no resolution ever comes
except the act of giving up
and creating another beginning

We have yet to make a choice
that leads us to stability
just another city,
another apartment, another job,
another set of strangers
who take their time
enfolding us in their history
until they are almost too late
until it is almost time for us
to quit and try our hands at
a different story.

Perhaps the error is in
assigning significance to
each changing, in expecting
new movements to create meaning.

Perhaps we should just be
content as urban nomads,
drifting, and let go of these
intentions, the seeds we
keep expecting to take root.

NaPoWriMo Day 25

Okay, technically it's the 26th, but I haven't gone to bed yet. Today my spouse and I moved to a new apartment, so this is the first chance I've had to write or blog at all.

Silent Goodbye
Packing the final dregs of our life at this apartment into the moving truck, I find the last book you lent me before the silence fell between us. How foolish I've been, keeping it these five months in hopes that you might come back. But for what? Yet another ending? Convinced you did not want to see me, I went to your apartment anyway, and held the book, and stood without ceremony, wondering if I should try to find my voice. I'm sorry that we ended. You did not deserve that kind of finale. I regret that I could never be the Vita to your Virginia. (Not that they were without shouts and silences, not that Vita was able to save her life, but if only we could have had so many years.) I wish I could have found a way to make you happy. But instead, I put the book at the first of the door, knocked three times, ran away, not even glancing over my shoulder to see if you answered the door. You would not have wanted to hear it, anyway. But know that each day I am burned a little by the tiny flame in my brain that still glows in case you ever want to find your way back.

April 24, 2009

Review: Cheating at Solitaire by Quinn Collard

Cheating at Solitaire: Poems by Quinn Collard, 2008.
32 pp., $7.97 USD

Quinn Collard's second collection still largely employs the confessional mode seen in her debut Contusion, but stands out in that the work displays a substantial increase in artistic maturity and personality.

Collard has a gift for extrapolation, particularly evident in "Upon Arriving in Newark," one of my favorite pieces in this collection. The narrator says: "The blown-out factory windows leered at me / and I glimpsed how people become desperate." What I like most about these lines is a sense of empathy. We actually find a good deal of desperation in Collard's work - but that desperation is her own. In "Newark," we see Collard reaching outside of her limited universe and understanding the world around her, not just acquaintances but also strangers, and people she will never meet. The reader appreciates seeing Collard step outside of her comfort zone.

As in Contusion, Collard re-interprets classic works for Cheating at Solitaire, this time with "Hansel and Gretel Revisited." This is without a doubt the most memorable poem of the collection. One of the aspects I love most is the narrator's depiction of their home life:
Son and daughter
Disposed of with all the effort
of yesterday's sports section
Box score
Between twilight and dawn,
It's all the same
One of Collard's strengths is "making it new" - and what is more important than that?

Collard still hasn't quite perfected her style yet. We still see some instances where she falls back on tired or hackneyed phrases. However, these appear far less frequently. One can see that Collard is developing as a poet; her progress between these two collections is substantial.

While steeped in the confessional mode, Cheating at Solitaire also has more of a balance than Contusion. We see glimpses of other facets of her life, other interests. While I appreciated the force of Contusion, I also like the equilibrium featured in this new collection.

Hint Fiction Contest

What is hint fiction? The basic definition is that it's a story consisting of less than 25 words (excluding title). If you'd like more than just the basics, check out Robert Swartwood's essay on the form he has coined.

Swartman is also sponsoring a hint fiction contest, with Stewart O'Nan acting as the final judge. The deadline for your brief stories is midnight on April 30th. For more information, check out Swartwood's blog post.

NaPoWriMo Day 24

Goodness, what a mess
we've left, one more
lost security deposit
in our trail of destruction
from rental to rental
across the states.

When will we
repent? And mend
our ways, and buy
a mop and broom
and keep down
the dust?

When will we
our adulthood?

April 23, 2009

Review: Contusion by Quinn Collard

Contusion: Poems of Pain and Longing, by Quinn Collard, 2004.
28 pp., $7.97 USD

Quinn Collard's first collection of poetry illustrates her grounding in the confessional mode. While it seems the confessional mode has fallen out of fashion in recent years, Contusion shows that the style is not dead.

Collard is also not afraid to steal from the past. Her "13 Ways of Looking at an Urn" is a successful re-imagining of "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," and is one of the most memorable poems in this collection. For example, the lines of section two provide a simple, stark examination of mourning practices:
Etched flowers.
Why do we kill something beautiful
To honor another dead?
Is this the first time anyone has expressed such a thought in verse or writing? In all honesty, it doesn't matter, for when I read these lines, especially in the context of the entire poem, I feel as though this is the first time such a thought has ever been put on paper.

While Collard is adept at the confessional form, in Contusion, she has not yet developed her style and come into her own. For example, in "Husk," she concludes with "I am a husk / Void of emotion." While we know from earlier poems that she is capable of preventing a phrase from sounding like cliches (and excuse the appropriate accent mark, I have not figured out how to do that on this particular keyboard), there are times when she falls back on phrases that are overdone, vague, or trite. Collard elsewhere demonstrates that she does not need these overused ideas to get her point across, and I hope that she matures as a writer, these will disappear from her poems.

When reading Contusion, be aware that you are going to be exposed to the extremes of a narrator's emotions. I for one enjoy Collard's forceful rhetoric and anger. You may not like everything she has to say, but you most certainly will respect the force with which she speaks.

NaPoWriMo Day 23

She hopes she will forget
that they never said goodbye
that they never had a deathbead confession
(or even pillow-talk)

All she remembers
is absence -
is that they never
made any memories

April 22, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 22

I'm just under the wire for the 22nd. It's been a looooong day. We're in the process of moving, so everything is incredibly hectic right now.

SoCo Wednesday
It was in Texas that
I discovered my love of Italian sodas
and Oriental medicine
and where I lost what I had
come to find

Having chucked the past
out of the moving van
into the highway
now without record
of life before
and memory too fallible
to serve as a blueprint

I began the reconstruction
eleven months later
I am starting to emerge from a cocoon
shaking, sticky
not sure who
I will be when I finally burst through
this shell

Not sure if I will be recognizable
when I expose myself
to the outside

Wordless Wednesday

April 21, 2009

Confession Tuesday

Although a self-proclaimed foodie, I have a culinary vice that makes anyone who loves Middle Eastern cuisine squirm: I love to put yellow mustard on my felafel.

Yes, I know, it's terrible that I'm ruining such a delicacy with mustard. But if you tried it, you might agree with me.

I do enjoy felafel with traditional dipping sauces as well, and I even like it plain, but sometimes, adding some mustard really hits the spot.

NaPoWriMo Day 21

"Now it begins, now we start
One hand, one heart" -- West Side Story

Except, apparently,
Maria was too busy dreaming
of love to pay attention
to arithmetic.
And Tony, though reformed -
well, we know a bit of
his history, do we actually
think he went to math class?

What happens to the second heart?
Does it simply atrophy and fade
beneath the strength of the first one?
Or are they fused together
so the organ doubles, beats
oversized? In which rib cage
does it reside? Will the frame
increase in capacity to accommodate?

And which person loses the hand?
Or do they meld, so that the lovers can no longer
separate? How fast will resentment spread
through the bodies -
an aftershock of the death
of autonomy.

April 20, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 20

For today, I stole Eavan Boland's "Against Love Poetry" and created a new version. I can't decide if I like it and want to revise it, or if it was just a cop-out on a day I wasn't feeling very inspired.

We were married in the summer last year. We have discovered new ways to love each other since then. We have loved different people as well. Why do we speak of our other partners? Because love is exponential. Because monogamy is static. Therefore, every word here is written against love poetry. Love poetry can do no justice to this. Here, instead, is a lament for the potential loves I smothered: There was a time when I believed love was a finite resource. I was taunted by potential intimacy. I abandoned many to save my supply for one. I rejected friends the second I started to desire more. Only when I learned you were also frustrated did I suspect my infinite capacity for love. We only found loneliness in the rings of monogamy. But we have loved each other more as we have learned to love others. It is to mark the contradictions of our daily love that I have written this. Against love poetry.

April 19, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 19

April brings to me another year
and it brings to someone else an end
and someone else begins a new life here
and the rest live out each day as they intend.
Months pass on, and we all pretend
that each cycle will remain the same
that at no point will our bodies send
our souls away, suffocate our flame
with nature all we really have to blame
though humans create murder and manslaughter
death is truly wild, it is not tame.
Whatever we might do is simply fodder
for mortality, a part of our design.
Someday we'll have no choice but to resign.

April 18, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 18

A Housewife
She folds the laundry, then puts in
another load, the dirty clothes don't end
and a life she thought she would defend
creates in her resentment towards her kin
and despondent, her body grows too thin.
She folds the laundry.

The static of her dreams creates a din
and all the words that she might intend
remain unwritten, and her goals descend
each hope so painful, she decides hope is a sin.
She folds the laundry.

April 17, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 17

I brew some tea, and then I try to write
the room is dim, I rise, switch on the light
turn up the heat, make myself a snack
check the weather, and then I go back
to my desk, and vow I'll sit till night

Then my muse decides to pick a fight
I give up, and throw her out in spite
my brain feels like it's on the rack
I brew some tea

My pen inert, the page remains plain white
none of my ideas have taken flight
perhaps I am a phony, just a quack
my mind cannot get off this hopeless track
I rip out a page, ball it up tight
I brew some tea

April 16, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 16

The Physicist
I ponder existence in verse
he ponders life in equations
my stanzas and lines are still terse
his mathematics is still speculation

He ponders life in equations
formulas fill the page
his mathematics is still speculation
still in an untested stage

Formulas fill the page
still fumbling towards a solution
still in an untested stage
still trying to create resolution

Still fumbling towards a solution
working through the Greek alphabet
still trying to create resolution
trying a new matrix set

Working through the Greek alphabet
I ponder existence in verse
trying a new matrix set
my stanzas and lines are still terse

April 15, 2009

April 14, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 14

Meeting the Motorcycle
Amazing how this feels like dancing. Like leading your partner through the sharp curls of a cha-cha or the elegant tight corners of a quickstep. Incredible how little pressure you need, how just the angle of your head can foster a turn, how a minuscule impetus can catalyze dynamic, controlled movement.

Confession Tuesday

I only write poetry in verse form when I can't come up with any ideas. I much prefer writing in free verse, but if I have committed to writing a poem (i.e. for NaPoWriMo or another challenge) and just can't get inspired, I force myself to write in form of some kind. The exception to this is the villanelle; I LOVE villanelles and write in the form frequently because they're fun. But I dislike writing most other types of formal poetry (reading is a different matter; I love a well-crafted piece of formal verse), so I challenge myself to write in form. I'm not sure what I hope to accomplish by doing this. It's not like writing in verse gives me inspiration for free verse poetry. It's not like making myself write verse is the type of negative reinforcement which stimulates me into not getting writer's block.

Also, sestinas always confuse me. I screw up the form several times before I can actually get something that follows the form properly.

April 13, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 13

Another in what I hope shapes up to be an actual series.

Dream, April 11
Three times in the night
the car crashes again
once into the Honda I
t-boned in February
once through the club
that in March was
the victim of an anonymous Corvette
and finally, a wreck
new and unfamiliar
not my city, not even
my vehicle,
perhaps a prophecy.

April 12, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 12

I am thinking about doing a series about my dreams, and so this poem (a very first draft, no time for revising today) is something that might be part of that series, should I decide I want to continue the project.

Dream, April 12
Last night my tattoos
holes in the ink revealing
unscarred epidermis
no flaking, no cracking, just
the infestation of blank canvas

My firstborn ink rotted with whiteness,
became just a memory.
My pride became pockmarked
and then invisible.
My commitment thinned
and vanished with my summer tan.

April 11, 2009

C.O.R.A. Diversity Roll Call

Susan invited me to participate in the C.O.R.A. Diversity Roll call, and I was really excited to find out about it, as it gives me a chance to share the work of a woman who happens to be both one of my all-time favorite poets and all-time favorite feminists.

I have a bit of an obsession with Audre Lorde, so much so that I even have an Audre Lorde dress:

(You can purchase similar feminist fashions at KMStitchery)

So in response to the prompt, I'm posting Audre Lorde's "Song for a Thin Sister."

Song for a Thin Sister
Either heard or taught
as girls
we thought
that skinny was funny
or a little bit
and feeling a pull
toward the large and the colorful
I would joke you
you grew too thin.

But your new kind of hunger
makes me chilly
like danger
for I see you forever retreating
into a stranger
in flight -
growing up
black and fat
I was so sure
that skinny was funny
or silly
but always

I'm drawn to this poem because, as a feminist and as a dancer, I'm interested in body image, size, and perceptions of beauty. "Song for a Thin Sister" also adds the dimension of race into interpretations of the body.

As a white woman, I was brought up with the ideal that "skinny" is "beautiful." Although I'm somewhat close to the ideal, I'm definitely not model-thin, and I struggled with my body image for years. It was a shock to me when I discovered that there were groups in the world who considered large bodies beautiful. I had to reconsider my own culturally-imposed interpretations of bodies, just as the narrator does in this poem.

The reason that the intersection with race works so well is because thinness and whiteness are so conflated within the United States. In "Song for a Thin Sister," the writer does not just have to reconcile perceptions of thinnness or fatness; she also has to reconcile body size in perception with racial identity. A woman who grows thin does not become white, but nonetheless, the narrator recognizes that size and race are connected in ways that are not altogether desireable. Considering "skinny" to be "funny" and "white" might work for awhile - but what happens when a black woman's body changes?

Going beyond the poem, we might ask ourselves - how might this poem be different if we knew why the subject became thin? I don't think it's entirely clear here. But hypothetically - would it make a difference if the subject was ill, and therefore lost weight? Would that give the poem a different tone than if the subject had simply decided to lose weight by getting more exercise? To what degree might individual agency in body size affect the meaning of the poem?

Now moving on to the third part of the prompt, asking for recommendations for contemporary women poets of color. I am sure that several others are going to list Elizabeth Alexander, but I'm going to anyway, because I think she's just fantastic. Also, I knew about her months before she read at President Obama's inaguration. My favorite of her books is American Sublime. I think the "Ars Poetica" series is excellent. Alexander isn't just a poet, either; she is also a prolific essayist. She has created an amazing body of work, and is definitely worth checking out.

"Song for a Thin Sister" found in The Complete Poems of Audre Lorde, W.W. Norton & Co., 1997, p. 137.

NaPoWriMo Day 11


Living on the outside has its perks
too many people just leave you annoyed
and anyway, it's better to avoid
anyone who cannot love your quirks.
Alone, you can focus on your work
your concentration will not be destroyed
alone, you'll find your time is best employed
with all that you observe when you just lurk.

Our species does consist of creatures curious
existing in their complicated states.
And though their behavior leaves you furious -
(rarely will you find a decent trait)
and though your stories wind up being spurious -
at least they give you fodder to create

April 10, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 10

Nursing Home
My grandma sits, a stranger in her chair
her mind has been erased, her body broken
(she still has the dark color of her hair)
remembers not a single word we've spoken.
She says she wants to leave, she wants to swim
(I swear she has her senses, they're just hidden)
my father wants to give in to her whim
but knows her greatest joy is now forbidden.

Will there come a year when my own mind
gives up, commences its own slow decline?
Perhaps before then researchers will find
a way to overcome my flawed design.
She's wheeled away, again forgetting me
I turn to leave, pondering what might be.

April 9, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 9

Inspired by the Totally Optional Prompt for "A Letter."

Shedding the excess weight of the past
I'm emptying all the high school boxes
and find letters from a Mormon ex-boyfriend
who wrote while on his mission in California.
I wonder what to do with all of them -
to toss them in the trash, or keep them safe?

Remembering when he made me feel safe
from the trauma of a present now the past.
The high school friends - I have abandoned them
now I'm bleeding memories from boxes
dreaming of a trip to California
with a man who will become an ex-boyfriend.

I only care to remember one ex-boyfriend
I make arrangements to keep each letter safe.
Now he does not live in California
now I have stopped living in the past
the present is being placed in empty boxes
hope the new place has room for them.

The new friends - what will become of them?
How many more men will be an ex-boyfriend?
How often will I pack and empty boxes?
When will I want to settle and be safe?
Why am I so willing to drop the past?
What is there for us in California?

Maybe we won't go to California
maybe I will give up all of them
and make this present a new recent past
maybe he will be my last ex-boyfriend
only on my own can I be safe
keeping history stored away in boxes.

Soon I'll be unpacking all these boxes
still dreaming of a trip to California
not any closer to keeping myself safe.
Grateful for my friends - I hope to keep them
I'll enjoy us before he becomes an ex-boyfriend
I'll give more attention to the past.

I'll teach myself to feel safe with them
California will signify another ex-boyfriend
though in boxes, I will not forget the past.

April 8, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 8

The Recovered Woman Speaks
"Take bread away from me, if you wish." - Pablo Neruda, "Your Laughter"

I do not need bread, I already
taught myself not to eat
thirteen years ago

I cleaned out my kitchen and gave
each calorie to the food bank
(but kept my pots and pans
just in case)

And I abandoned
the grocery stores
the restaurants
the malls with food courts
the cineplexes with popcorn
the bookstores with coffee
the friends with kitchens

Only my home
and the library
were safe

I grew rich on deprivation
saving every cent I did not spend on nourishment
I grew intellectual from starvation
nothing to do but sit
among the stacks and read
especially after I became
too weak to stand

Wordless Wednesday

April 7, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 7

I think perhaps I like the dinner best
the food distracts me from socialization
I've never been much taken with the rest

I have always been an awkward guest
approaching each event with trepidation
I think perhaps I like the dinner best

I much prefer the quiet of my nest
to bland yet overwhelming conversation
I've never been much taken with the rest

I never learned the art of getting dressed
for parties, each look gets consternation
I think perhaps I like the dinner best

No matter what, the host is looking stressed
causing me to speak with reservatino
I've never been much taken with the rest

Each even another trying quest
to end, to go home for relaxation
I think perhaps I like the dinner best
I've never been much taken with the rest

Confession Tuesdday

I love collections of authors' journals and letters. Even if I don't like a particular writer very much, or their work is unfamiliar to me, I'm still interested in reading any collection of their personal thoughts or correspondence. Sometimes, I'm more interested in a writer's thoughts to themselves or their friends than I am in their actual creative work. I just love being in people's heads, particularly if I have a collection of journals in which the writer is focused on their creative process - I'm fascinated by the ways in which people create and revise.

I have copies of Plath's Journals, Woolf's Writer's Diary and two volumes of her Diaries, plus I'm right now reading The Letters of Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf. I have Rand's Journals and Sarton's Letters. And I plan to expand my collection as I go.

April 6, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 6


I have divided from the mind
and entered into
my own body
and no longer see the new
stretch marks on my hips
or feel the unaccustomed tightness
of my old jeans
or poke at the cellulite
that emerged last year
or overwash the acne
because that is all invisible
from this perspective

I'm surrounded by
each developed muscle
compressed within my own power
and my heart
beats beats beats
without complaint
and my synapses
fire fire fire
without vacation
and my tendons
stretch in triumph
for now I have looked
and lived
and loved
beneath the surface

April 5, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 5

She Slept With Him

Next morning, breakfast
took precedence over
her workout, she was
hungover and hungry.
If she exercised
she would either
throw up or faint.

He did not cook for her
instead, made tea to share
(he was sicker than she was).

They had to separate
for the holidays -
he to his parents
she to her in-laws.

They made out goodbye in his driveway
she wished she could stay
to care for him
but he had others to see
and her husband was waiting
for her phone call.

She told her spouse where to meet her
he asked about her night
and she loved him all the more
for enjoying her honesty.

April 4, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 4


We all know the prerequisites for catching a man. You must be able to calculate the proportion of your day you need to spend on rituals and exercises to stay attractive for him. But that's all the intelligence you're allowed. You must have your virginity intact to try. Must be able to apply the skills learned in Homemakeing 101.

Because we waste our time and intellect in the sport, we are much easier to catch. The only prerequisite for snaring a woman is a piece of glittery, distracting bait. The bigger the better, of course, but even half a carat is acceptable if it's otherwise flawless, set in gold, and if he thinks that love is involved.

April 3, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day3


We should believe in ourselves first
before we let in
people, deities,
ideologies, opinions

But we cannot close ourselves
off to develop in isolation
without risk of contamination -
the tabula rasa
would remain empty

Before we have a concept of trust
- in ourselves or others -
a society launches an attack

we begin without belief but
become infused
before we know what it means
to question, to comprehend

April 2, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 2


I've never seen a bridge go up
in flames so fast
I didn't even know
I was holding a match
or that dynamite was
hidden beneath the structure.

I had intended an act of
not terrorism.

Goal Setting for April

Review of March Goals:
I met all of my submission goals for March. Hooray! I also got 3 copies of my novel out to readers so that they could give me feedback.

However, I did not finish revising draft 4, and so I did not get to marking up draft 5 of the novel. Nor did I attend a poetry reading or finish reading my friend's novel for our novel-swap. I did not finish my revisions because my attention has been focused on other writing projects for most of the month. I did not attend a poetry reading because I have been out of town so much for my full-time job. And I have not finished my friend's novel because on top of my full-time job and working on my own writing, I started working part-time for a bookstore. I'm doing both jobs because the bookstore is where I'll be working when I'm focusing on my writing, and they needed someone to start immediately, so I took the job even though I cannot quit my full-time job until later this month. I am not thrilled with the arrangement, but I know it's only temporary.

So I only achieved 50% of my March goals. But it's not the end of the world. I know this will get easier when I'm working just one job. Plus, we have a lot of events at the bookstore, so working there will facilitate attendance at literary events.

April Goals:
1. Finish revising draft 4 of my novel
2. Mark up and revise draft 5 of my novel
3. Finish commenting on my friend's novel draft
4. Attend a poetry reading or other literary event of some kind
5. Get a draft of my novel to 1 person for comments/criticism
6. Enter the Shine Journal poetry contest
7. Enter the Bottom Line poetry contest. Poetry about colonoscopies? That's a challenge I'm willing to take.
8. Submit writing to one literary periodical, either in print or online. I have a database of about 70 right now, so there are plenty for me to pick.

April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

NaPoWriMo Day 1

Accidental Dancer

You imagine him dancing
the way Duncan did-
ecstatic, the way Graham did-
disjointed, wrapped in
his own soul.

Despite knowing the beat passes
through his head without
reaching his limbs-
despite knowing he's been too feral
too long to be trained
you want to set a work for him,
and his freely awkward
frame because you love
the effortless clumsiness
and the confidence of each
second he performs, and the
yearning shyness on his
face the moment he is finished.

You hope to find a composition
in which each note sounds
only of joy, and you want
to give him your steps and
your style and have him
translate and deconstruct
each idea into his
dancing body.