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

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Conversationalist

Name the hardest thing in the world for you.
It’s not the same for me.
What is the worst thing that you could imagine ever happening to you? 
Something so bad, that in the face of it you would die or the world would die around you.
Most people are probably afraid of that. 
What if it already happened? Have you ever thought of that? 
Most people probably fear a repetition of some past trauma not yet present to consciousness. It's what the media wants us to fear. 
But I say, 
Who knows disaster better than me? What can I trust, if not my own senses? I know everything that has ever happened to me intimately. 

You’re wrong. I see your perspective, but you're wrong when it comes to me. 
I don't think you're really listening to what I'm saying. 


  1. In the beginning of April: there was darkness!

  2. You're so good at writing in this mode, Lauren! I don't know what to call it. Oblique dialogic? Gnostic-domestic? I should look through last year & find other examples of what I'm thinking of!

  3. I love those names! I'm not sure what I would call it, either. A kind of persona poem?

  4. I'm not sure if I succeeded at making this persona unlikable..

  5. I was reading it as a dialogue, maybe because of the title (which also indicates just one person--THE conversationalist--but I was thinking there was a conversation) but I guess it does make sense as just one person's speech. I would call this person off-putting and narcissistic and weirdly manipulative ("Name the hardest thing in the world for you./It's not the same for me") but also sympathetic, because who isn't all of those things sometimes? and it's hard not to sympathize with "you're wrong when it comes to me." They always are!

  6. Welcome back! This poem is super creepy!

  7. Yeah, it is! I also like Caolan's suggested labels