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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, January 12, 2017.
About this Poem 

“This poem is a tiny excerpt from my trance trilogy’s second volume, Camp Marmalade, to be published in Fall 2017 by Nightboat Books. The first volume was The Pink Trance Notebooks. Aphorism, lament, notation, murmur, scratch: am I the ‘sick tint’ inundating my own language?”
—Wayne Koestenbaum

from “[the old soiled carpet of the wish to be Anaïs]”

            writing on the bruised
body and seeing into the
bruise’s locked backyard, not
psychoanalyzing the incursion
but appreciating its scissory
up and down

———————

            remembering the wish
to be Anaïs Nin—

———————

            stepping on the old soiled
carpet of the wish to be Anaïs—

———————

            liking
the pullulation of scratch marks
and their glistering anonymity

———————

                       florid
British perfume wrongly purchased
for stepfather—the perfume stank
so why did I buy it?

———————

            the entire sky
with a palette knife is scratched
turquoise opal—
no underlying tint to betray it

———————

a sick tint inundating the marsh

———————

I celebrate mother’s sunset
or I am cloud making her
sunset more inspiringly Turneresque—

———————

to scratch through the page until
it dies, and no credit given
to the scratcher

 

Copyright © 2017 by Wayne Koestenbaum. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 12, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Wayne Koestenbaum. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 12, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Wayne Koestenbaum

Wayne Koestenbaum

Born in 1958, Wayne Koestenbaum is a poet, novelist, and cultural critic. Among his poetry collections is The Pink Trance Notebooks (Nightboat, 2015).

by this poet

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the atonality of folded underwear

the Tel Aviv of Chinese water torture

the martians of My Three Sons 

the parsimony of Tel Quel

the archivist of beatitudes

the Helsinki of Frankenstein

the Winchester Mystery House of devil-may-care

the worldwide franchise of Croatian mystery plays

the Bettie
poem

 

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2
poem
            sell me a clip-on
bow-tie or a mock
fringe chapeau worn on
the collarbone—a
new style of “shoulder
hat,” a cape to
protect your shoulders
from rain and chill and
to prevent the wearer
from sliding (like
Mickey Mantle) into
a third gender
 
__________
 
            now I’ve
reached the “clinker” zone