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About this poet

Born on March 27, 1978, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dorothea Lasky received her BA from Washington University. She continued her studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she received her MFA. She has also earned a masters degree in arts and education from Harvard University and a PhD in creativity and education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lasky is the author of four books of poetry: Rome (Liveright, 2014); Thunderbird (Wave Books, 2012); Black Life (Wave Books, 2010); and AWE (Wave Books, 2007). She has also authored numerous chapbooks and pamphlets, including The Blue Teratorn (YesYes Books, 2012); Matter: A Picturebook (Argos Books, 2010); Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010); and Art (H_NGM_N Books, 2005). She is also coeditor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney’s, 2013).

"In lines that remind me of the way William Carlos Williams insisted that only the imagination gives us access to reality,” Poet Julia Bloch writes, “Lasky's poems evoke a practice of living, as bloody and awful and lovely as living can ever be."

In 2013, Lasky was named a Bagley Wright Lecturer at Harvard University. She currently lives in New York City, where she is an assistant professor of poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

 



Bibliography

Poetry

Rome (Liveright, 2014)
Thunderbird (Wave Books, 2012)
Black Life (Wave Books, 2010)
AWE (Wave Books, 2007)

 

To be the thing

Dorothea Lasky, 1978
To be the name uttered, but not to have the burden to be
To be the name said, but not heard
To not breathe anymore, to be the thing
To be the thing being breathed
To not be about to die, to be already dead
To not have to disappoint
To not have the burden of being late
Or punctual
To not eat, to not have to eat
To not feel anything
To not be the one whose affect is criticized
To not pick up the fallen over boxes
To be everywhere but the boxes or plates
To not break the plates
To be beyond breaking
To have been broken 
To not bear the burden of not being present
To not have to feel the pain of being hurt
To have transferred that pain over
So that hurt is only part of the imagination
And the imagination is everywhere, is every color
To not contain color, to be color
To not make sound, to be sound
To not have language, to echo, to plan language
To be the stream of words
To not be sad for
To not have those to be sad for
To not eat alone
To not fuck those who do not find your corpse attractive
To not fuck
Or stuff
To be ashes and non-placed
Not displaced, but to not be in any place
To enter the ocean on not a whim, but a physical force
Where there is no center
Where there is no safety
There never was
There was never any anger
There was never anything to look at
I never looked at anything
I just went and walked
I tried to love
But love is hopeless
And I have lost all hope, so bleak I am beyond
I am beyond what might be considered low
There is low nor high, space or time, I have 
Gone away from that which is uttered
I have not burdened to be spoken of or spoken for
To croak everyday to the livelong bog
I do not speak a thing
I exist
No, no I don't
I never did
And you may have
But I never did 
And you may have called out for me
But I was already gone
And I am already there
That which you speak of
I am already spoken for
In a world of light and ashes
They all call my name
They have waited for me
And now I know
I was always
Already there 
With them

Copyright © 2011 by Dorothea Lasky. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2011 by Dorothea Lasky. Used with permission of the author.

Dorothea Lasky

Dorothea Lasky

Born on March 27, 1978, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dorothea Lasky received her BA from Washington University.

by this poet

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poem

Because speaking to the dead is not something you want to do
When you have other things to do in your day
Like take out the trash or use the vacuum
In the edge between the stove and cupboard
Because the rat is everywhere
Crawling around
Or more so walking
And it doesn’t even

poem

I never noticed before
How the red flowers hang from the blue branches
I never noticed before the light in this room
I never noticed the way the air is cool again
I never noticed anything but you
But you but you
So that I couldn’t sleep
I never noticed what was anything but you