what hurts more? that the world doesn’t comply with my fantasy or that i try to make it comply?
when i have a peak experience i fall off the other side. i want the world to rise to meet me. when i taste sugar i want to stay in sugar.
but real life isn’t like that.
what is real life like?
my father says: if the world was as you see it, the world would be a better place. i am 13 and haven’t started fucking.
the poet Maggie Nelson says: Fucking leaves everything as it is.
is it worth it to have the experience when i will only fall off the other side?
i am not even falling. i am creating the illusion of falling by rising. i am altering my template of arousal till nothing else is quite as good. i am putting sugar in the wound and it crusts. i am _____________.
when i am in the experience it is an intravenous shot of YOU ARE GOOD. if only i could give myself that feeling.
the clock is ticking on me giving myself that feeling.
also the clock is not ticking.
i am the one making the clock tick.
also the clock is ticking.
in the dream i ate a handful of black pills yes i wanted to be cradled yes i was trying to die no the black pills were not drugs yes they were vitamins yes i tried to kill myself with vitamins yes i had to kill myself with vitamins because i wanted to protect my sobriety yes even in dreams i protect my sobriety yes even in death i protect my sobriety no the vitamins were not time-release yes they were coffin-shaped no i did not die yes i woke up in my bed yes i got in the shower yes the shower turned into a coffin yes the coffin filled with all my headstuff yes my headstuff is loud yes this happens every morning yes i can make anything into a coffin no i do not pride myself on this yes sometimes i do yes sometimes i build a persona around my coffin-making yes female poets and suicide no i do not consider myself a female poet no i do not consider myself a male poet yes i am tired of considering myself no not tired enough to stop considering myself yes all i do is consider myself yes this is what the headstuff is made of yes it is made of made my considerations of myself yes the headstuff is an allergy yes it is an allergy to reality yes there is a way to turn it off yes i can turn it off with light no i cannot do this by myself yes i know where to find the light yes that is a blessing yes hallelujah yes sometimes the light comes to me yes that is called grace yes most times i have to walk to the light yes that is also grace yes the grace to keep walking yes i must like the light yes i must really like the light yes i must like it better than the coffin yes i keep walking there
I don’t know anything about ego-slaying except I know a little.
I fail and fail and fail at ego-slaying every day.
I mean, ego-slaying is about the practice anyway, and practice includes total failure, so it’s fine.
Also, ego-slaying is about the rehumbling, I think, the building self up on ego bullshit so as to then have it cut away AGAIN and be slain and laid fucking bare AGAIN and have to surrender to the benevolent and egoless truth AGAIN.
I only choose the benevolent and egoless truth as my last-ass resort.
Like, I don’t choose it until I am forced.
I crawl towards it begging.
And it always takes me back.
And it always takes me back.
I think it chooses me.
But that is also another story.
The story I want to tell is thus:
Ego-slaying in writing poems is doable.
You can so get out of your own way.
It is a muscle and it can be worked–the getting out of your own way muscle.
I don’t write poems from my brain anymore, not anymore ever.
I write from somewhere fucking else and am grateful to have found that place.
I wrote my way into it and prayed and meditated and channeled.
I pray and meditate and channel only because I have to.
I fucked up my way into it, really.
I write from there and there alone now.
I like it there.
I like that place.
Fuck the rest.
So I write from that place and then I put the thing I wrote away.
Then later, only later, I take the thing back out.
I edit it until the thing is quiet.
When I say quiet I don’t mean quiet like sound-quiet or tone-quiet.
I mean quiet in the sense that there isn’t any part left that when it speaks I feel like ‘shut the fuck up asshole’.
Asshole is ego.
But you knew that.
That’s all I have to say.
I am not in love with anyone, only god. God of the caves and god of the boys. God of the dumpsters and god of the ash.
And I don’t want to be taught anything anymore.
When I read ______’s essays I feel completely wrong, like everything I have done is wrong, cos this is who I am most of the time–the kind of person who feels wrong. A person who does not trust herself.
No I don’t want to be taught anything anymore.
Sometimes there is trust. When I am alone on my _______ I am aware that things would be easier if I got a better one, and that I would be safer with a ______, and maybe even safer if I had more knowledge, but this is the one I have, and this is the knowledge I have, and so the only one.
Trust that this is the only way and feel free.
I felt a freedom like this in walking down the street alone in ________, writing on my ______, oblivious to everything around me including time. I could have been anywhere though I was very much in ________.
I was scared that when I moved to ___________ I would lose those pockets of freedom, like that freedom was contingent on place, like the need for it wasn’t inside me and it wasn’t something I would make happen anywhere.
But lo and behold I have found the pockets here too–or I am making them–the same amount of pockets, maybe even more, where I actually like myself cos I have disappeared.
I say I don’t believe in the flesh but I totally believe in the flesh.
My altar is way shittier than where I claim to worship.
Most of the things that give me hope are slops.
The miracle already happened but I forget what it was.
Last night some thing was inside me.
I know this because I hurt down there.
At least I don’t hurt in my heart.
I totally hurt in my heart.
Here are two new poems at The Green Mountains Review.
Flavorwire says I will make you care about poetry (thx Jason Diamond).
Sampson Starkweather and I did a collab thing at HTML for his new anthology.
Been sexting a lot. Might post some here (just mine, not the ones I get).
**update** Not going to post any sexts just yet, but–
Someone emailed me and asked if I am able to sext without developing feelings. And if so, how do I do it? And if not, how do I move on when it stops?
I said this:
‘I always get feelings and it’s always a problem and it can be a distraction from poetry but in the end the feelings are generative for poetry. I think.’
There is a lot more I could say on this subject regarding the heartache and blessings of being a creative human/addictive human/human inclined toward projecting my own fantasy narrative onto others so as to generate wonderful feelings within myself that are the equivalent of a high, which then lead to a low when the fantasy inevitably dissolves one way or another (as fantasy always does) (thus exacerbating the tension between want and reality) (which leaves me no other choice but to write or die) but it’s all there in my poems.
Ultimately the poems feel redemptive, despite my sometimes-failure to learn from my own mistakes.
I don’t think you have to suffer to make art, and I don’t think my sometimes-failure to learn from my own mistakes has the goal of making art in mind at the outset, but I do think that both come from the same place within me maybe. It’s the wanting out of self, the longing for something higher–sometimes by way of misguided vehicles– beautiful and ugly.
RESPONSE TO A WISH EXPRESSED BY ONE OF MY TWITTER FOLLOWERS TO FIND A NOTE FROM ME IN A BOX OF BANDAIDS AT CVS (I SENT HIM THIS NOTE IN A BOX OF BANDAIDS)
If I found a note inside a box of bandaids at CVS I would want it to say YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY. I keep waiting for a grownup to tell me YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY but that grownup unfortunately has to be me for me. I also want that grownup to tell me what to do though I hate being told what to do or maybe I love it.
In any event, I can barely do anything IRL. The ghost I pine after is a midwestern fantasy and I know nothing about chili or bratwurst or having people come stay in one’s home and feeling relaxed about it and making them feel welcome, so even that ghost is not for me.
I don’t know anything about you but I assume if you hung around my twitter feed long enough to want a note in a box of bandaids you actively feel some uncertainty about things, maybe your life, the world or your place in it? What I mean to say is that none of us really know what is going on or what we are doing but if we can just reach out to each other once in a while and express that in the ways we can (which for me is sending this note) then I think that helps us feel less alone, terminally unique, weird in the ways we don’t want to feel weird.
Or maybe you have it all figured out, in which case mazel tov and thank you for wishing for this note — it made me feel special and weird in the ways I want to feel weird.
Be well, I wish you exciting and meaningful experiences, people and things.
“What is the use or function of poetry nowadays?’ is a question not the less poignant for being defiantly asked by so many stupid people or apologetically answered by so many silly people. The function of poetry is religious invocation of the Muse; its use is the experience of mixed exaltation and horror that her presence excites…poetry, since it defies scientific analysis, must be rooted in some sort of magic…
Welsh poet Alun Lewis…wrote just before his death…of ‘the single poetic theme of Life and Death the question of what survives of the beloved.’ Granted that there are many themes for the journalist of verse, yet for the poet, as Alun Lewis understood the word, there is no choice…Perfect faithfulness to the Theme affects the reader of a poem with a strange feeling, between delight and horror, of which the purely physical effect is that the hair literally stands on end…
The Theme, briefly, is…the birth, life, death and resurrection of the God of the Waxing Year; the central chapters concern the God’s losing battle with the God of the Waning Year for love of the capricious and allpowerful Threefold Goddess, their mother, bride and layer-out. The poet identifies himself with the God of the Waxing Year and his Muse with the Goddess; the rival is his blood-brother, his other self, his weird. All true poetry…celebrates some incident or scene in this very ancient story, and the three main characters…not only assert themselves in poetry but recur on occasions of emotional stress in the form of dreams, paranoiac visions and delusions. The weird, or rival, often appears in nightmare as the tall, lean, dark-faced bed-side spectre, or Prince of the Air, who tries to drag the dreamer out through the window, so that he looks back and sees his body still lying rigid in bed; but he takes countless other malevolent or diabolic or serpent-like forms.
The Goddess…will suddenly transform herself into sow, mare, bitch, vixen, she-ass, weasel, serpent, owl, she-wolf, tigress, mermaid or loathsome hag. Her names and titles are innumerable…The reason why the hairs stand on end, the eyes water, the throat is constricted, the skin crawls and a shiver runs down the spine when one writes or reads a true poem is that a true poem is necessarily an invocation of the White Goddess, or Muse, the Mother of All Living, the ancient power of fright and lust—the female spider or the queen-bee whose embrace is death…
Sometimes, in reading a poem, the hairs will bristle at an apparently unpeopled and eventless scene described in it, if the elements bespeak her unseen presence clearly enough…
The Night Mare is one of the cruellest aspects of the White Goddess. Her nests, when one comes across them in dreams, lodged in rock-clefts or the branches of enormous hollow yews, are built of carefully chosen twigs, lined with white horse-hair and the plumage of prophetic birds and littered with the jaw-bones and entrails of poets.”
–Robert Graves, The White Goddess
I don’t want to say yes to the future.
Dracula come kiss the mouth and suck backwards.
Sleeping in a garden there are always wires.
Lasceration music I do it to myself.
I make boundaries against the glorious anon.
Women of devil’s island vs. boys of heaven.
Works by me and others I don’t care.
The unknown dead are underground.
I still want you to be okay.
When I slice my heart in half I am surprised.
There are still maskless people in there.
They really care about other people.
Movie stars have bees in their eyes and I don’t care.
Graduate from self to self and I care.
At the end you get a box or urn.
In the middle somebody hugs you.
Here is a new poem at The Yalobusha Review
Here are two new poems at Housefire
Ellen Frances video-interviewed me at Everyday Genius abt hot boys on beds in pink smoke <3
Also, I’ve started doing some video stuff. I call it ‘video stuff’ not ‘video art’ bc it’s bad.
"Out to 'crucify boredom,' her poems show us how any relationship with the divine is no less at risk of engendering grotesque lust...What makes Broder such a pleasure on the page is her insistence that these dramas play out on a workaday stage infused with surreal Pop and imaginative muscle..."
"With a title recalling Yeats...Broder risks the divine in her second book...shrewd, funny, twisted, sad poems..."
–The Chicago Tribune
"Meat Heart...is unbelievable and overwhelming for its imaginative power alone, but if you listen past the weird you can hear all sorts of things: sadness, seriousness, life, death, and a whole lot of laughter....Broder is a tremendous talent"
"...Meat Heart embodies that strain of sustenance, that sort of psychosomatic excitement most valiant art more or less tries to pull off…Her poems don’t bore or bear down. They beam oracle energy. They pump a music of visions for the life-lusty death dance."
“This debut from Broder is as funny and hip as it is disturbing… a bright and unusual debut.”
"…obsessive, energetic and pop-culture-infused poetry…"
–Time Out New York
"Broder’s insight and honesty will make your brain light up and your hair stand on end.”
–The San Francisco Examiner
"Broder’s verse is acrobatic and whip-smart… its own creature."