Anna Meister

Anna Meister is author of the chapbook NOTHING GRANTED (forthcoming, dancing girl press) & an MFA candidate in Poetry at NYU. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Powder Keg, The Offing, The Kenyon Review, DIAGRAM, & elsewhere. A recipient of fellowships from NYU & the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Anna lives in Brooklyn & at www.anna-meister.com.

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IT HURTS NOT / TO BE BELIEVED

 

 

I miss what’s soft

wake elsewhere / walk
past his door

 

 

as if outside myself

 

 

 

 

she shakes
her head
no

(or)

I’ll have
yes
another

 

 

 

wake new
wipe but
still smell
him on
you after

any one pppppany season

(I mean pppit doesn’t matter ppppppwho or when)

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******

 

 

all the beds I never got to visit

want
want
want

 

 

When I’m pressed
against the wall when I let him
press me buy my coffee
when I hear myself say
I’ve only done it the one time
when in the gallery he calls out
my name I have wine
in both hands

I make his figure blur at the edges

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he uses his words he heckles sharply he draws on money he wakes early to look at birds he climbs rock walls he’s a filmmaker he’s a drug dealer he was fat as a child he got kicked out of his old school he says he believes in you he rides a long board his hair is long his hair is in his face he’s bad at math he’s good with machines he’s starting a movement his heroes are dead he lives in the basement he thinks he’s funny he knows about music he knows more than you he wears a windbreaker

his dad is dead his dad’s in jail his dad had off-shore accounts his dad drinks whiskey in the yard & steals pot from his underwear drawer his dad is proud of him his dad is never around his dad is super old his dad cheats on his mom his dad is like everyone’s dad in that he works in insurance

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residue of a sordid history
we don’t have but his voice
is louder than mine

so pppphis friends believe it

 

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******

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Remember
for the rest of the year

the only one to call me cunt pppplike glass
love pppplove like trainpppppplove left
too long ppppnow sour

 

 

 

 

gone funky in the fridge
buried in the back

nothing pretty in the mirror
anymore. pretty what?

 

 

list of what my back became:
question
pppppppmark

kindling

valley

pppknife
slit

etched ppppppppppglass

 

legs

ppppsplit

 

crooked

road

absence

 

 

 

we fry tofu in a wok / he brings a bottle of his family’s wine
made from his family’s grapes / grown on his family’s vines
it’s the oldest / thing I’ve ever sipped / my roommates stay
in their rooms / I said don’t / come out / I’m having him
over / he used to wish / me dead / & now we’re having dinner
on the wooden board I chop / cauliflower from the farm / I guess
this is what I wanted / a friend who still remembers / me naked
it’s going well / until I start talking / with my hands & he says
okay you’re sounding / a little crazy / hysteric he says / & stares
shames me by naming / me the woman / I am

 

 

 

******

 

 

 

Remember him dressed in all white
like a dumb bird for the rest of the year

giving away his tapes, calling me
a feast or a tablecloth,

breaking my glasses with his
body, remember everything

I couldn’t see

 

 

I’m working onppphow to hate my pppself pppless

ppppppppppppppppppppppp(once more with feeling!)

 

 

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there are fireworks now
my eyes all pupil

 

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So quiet always no one thought
to worry or think Oh! The chemicals
she let melt on her tongue

the white square we watched
disappear

in the sun, spoiled

 

like everything is ppppache

cunt like that’s my name
love like punch-line, locked
doorppppppppkiller combo

 

 

 

 

I miss my library carrel pppppppppppppmy hair falling out
from stress ppppbooks stacked like a fort
pppppppparound my bodypppppptaking naps with Hélène Cixous
crying over my dead

I wear my white pppppdress with daisiesppppppleave
when everyone’s asleeppppppppso I don’t have to

give any one ppppMississippi two pppppMississippi three hugs
to the assholes who straight-upppppppslut-cough me on the balcony

it isn’t even a dream

 

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******

 

 

this is not an ode
to Klonopin & Old Crow

plastic handle pp/ppp little green escapes

I had to hide from myself
like knives or chocolate

forgetting is a privilege
what a privilege it is

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the assholes are entering my dreams pppagain

I’m stuckppppp in a room with them pppall the sociopaths

I’ve kissed in the dark ppppp& they’re asking me

why I think ppppI’m pretty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

who is still / who still remembers
I do have
I do follow
I do promise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

why / did I kiss you / I keep / saying but they can’t / hear me or they don’t
want to / the honking won’t stop / the missing won’t / stop / I lean in /
when I’m tired of running / they get what they want

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t remember writing ppppppppppthis

writing the poem
as if outside
myself

then refuse the narrative
say doesn’t sound like me

eat more tater tots

& never
apologize

 

 

 

 

 

swallow something else tonight
pppppppppppppppppppppppppdo it
ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppagain

 

 

the ache likepppppppp everything is pppppppppmulberry colored

bruises like light pppppppppppppLight:
ppppppppppppppppppppppppppas in cheap
ppppppppppppppppppppppppppburn brown
ppppppppppppppppppppppppppsugar

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******

 

 

 

 

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never got to visit his big house,
pppppppproam the gardens, try out all the beds

pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppwant
ppppppppppto lay my head therepppppppppppwant my fists
disconnected pppppppppppppppppppppppppppwant his mother not
pppppppppfrom the rest of me pppppppppppppto curse my name to her tulip beds
I climb into my friend’s bed
on the floor that belongs
to everyone become a series
of ropes & blue glass
while boys make lots of noise
that just isn’t music

 

 

 

 

 

 

it’s not scary / but I do have trouble / locating
myself / I do follow him / back to his room / a hall
way I’ve never seen / before I do / promise not
to tell & think / why? / but say nothing

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when he says If this happens again
you probably shouldn’t cry

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pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppturn one boy / into another collapse / & consolidate
ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppboil down until thick / they are all / the same
pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppptheir words / & dicks soft / bellies / a file compressed
ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppor just one long river

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

slut (a seed
in my teeth) bruises
like moons I can’t make
go away

 

 

(I mean ppppppitpppppdoesn’t matter)

 

in both handspppppI have a voice to cursepppppmyself

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