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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 five books of poetry: Milk (Wave Books, 2018); 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 coedited the book 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

Milk (Wave Books, 2018)
Rome (Liveright, 2014)
Thunderbird (Wave Books, 2012)
Black Life (Wave Books, 2010)
AWE (Wave Books, 2007)

 

If you can’t trust the monitors

If you can’t trust the monitors
Then why do they have the monitors
If you can’t trust the cars
Then why have the cars
If you can’t trust that I think you’re hot
Then why do you look so good
Turning me on that way that you do
If you can’t trust the people
Then why have the people
If you can’t trust the cards then why have the cards
If you can’t trust this room then why have the room
Why not just an open space
Where you can be naked and fascinating
If you can’t trust the milk in the bottles
Then why have the bottles
If you can’t trust the wine the song
Then why have the country
If you can’t trust the kangaroo
Then why go jumping
If you can’t trust the sky
Then why have the sky at all
What good the moon and stars
If you can’t trust the stars
Then why look out
Why not just sit in your room
It’s dark and safe anyway
If you can’t trust what’s dark and safe anyway
Then why even bother
Then why even be here at all
I don’t know
I just went and walked
But desire is hopeless
If you can’t trust the windowsill
Then why put the flowers there
Why not leave it bare
Oh I did
And then what
After a while
Anyway
That old sun
It burned it green
The windowsill
And when I returned to the room
All I saw was green
Grass green
Like grass but greener than
A halting hue of it
And I forgot the flowers
And I forgot you
If you can’t trust the daybreak
Then why have the daybreak
Why not sit
Let the night come
It won’t stop itself
The hormones
And all

From Milk​. Copyright © 2018 by Dorothea Lasky. Used with the permission of Wave Books and the author.

From Milk​. Copyright © 2018 by Dorothea Lasky. Used with the permission of Wave Books and 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

poem
Love makes you feel alive 
Johnny my animal you have no idea
How beautiful you are to me in the morning
When it is 5 a.m. and I am lonely
Everyone is dying around me
I eat spinach bread to keep my sanity, I am
Like Lisa in the mental unit with my father
I am Muriel who throws tables
I play blackjack with the
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poem

 

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poem

I would tell her
Except she wouldn't care
I'd write him
Except he'd never write me back
There is a rat they left hanging
I'd save it
Except it's dead
What is the force that swirls me
I asked of the wind
There was no reply
It was beyond me
And I was floating in

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