A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


You should hear mama on the chapter of governesses: Mary and I have had, I should think, a dozen at least in our day; half of them detestable and the rest ridiculous, and all incubi - were they not, mama?" 

snaps at them when they leave for the bathroom,
makes them talk out loud, makes them pretend
to like to talk out loud! makes them guess 
what words mean, makes them use context clues,
wears mismatched socks, adjusts a slipping
bra strap, has smudged lipstick,
smears banana goo on their papers, 
is just like those terrible professors in Tehran
who won't let you wear makeup, just texted
her girlfriends about getting a beer after class,
snaps at them for whispering, bellows
at them for talking, then forces them to talk,
then cracks a whip, then cries, then marks
those papers up and cries and gnashes
her teeth and cries and laughs and bends
over the last page like a scribe w/ stylus,
sending her message to the other world,
safe in her own apartment where her breakfast
is her own & at least there are no predatory dads.

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