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.


Here are some pieces I wrote in bed by hand that are now at Pocket Notes

Here are three new poems at Banango Street 1 | 2 | 3

A new poetry vid called SEX TAPE

Another new poetry vid called TENDER BLACK


NEW POEM IS POEM OF THE DAY AT THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS

NEW POEM AT GIGANTIC INVOLVING ANGELS, CANDY + HUMPING

NEW POEM AT THE RUMPUS WITH LATIN IN IT


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)

Dear _________,

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.

Melissa Broder


“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.


Three new poems in Sink Review (poem 1) (poem 2) (poem 3)

New poem in Ghost Proposal.

Two new poems in Illuminati Girl Gang.

Here is a video of my reading (yelling) at the HTMLGIANT lit party at AWP. Thanks to the rad DJ Berndt for taping this.

 


Here is a new poem at The Yalobusha Review

Here are two new poems at Housefire

I am teaching a class called Grand Theft Poetics. You can take it if you want. It will be rad. Here is what Blackbook says abt it. Here is more info + reg.

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.

 


What does Veronica want?
Does Veronica exist?
Is Veronica aware of reality as we know it?
Who are we?
Who are you?
Are you struggling to pay rent?
Are you struggling emotionally?
Veronica is paying rent easily but she is struggling emotionally.
Can you relate to Veronica on that level?
If you cannot pay rent and Veronica can, and you are struggling emotionally and she is struggling emotionally, can you relate to her on an emotional level?
If Veronica feels like everything is dark, like she is swimming with a blindfold on, can you be friends?
What if she knows nothing about class struggle?
Can you meet her in the dark?
Can you share the dark?
Can you touch her hands?
Can you hold her?
Can she touch your hands?
Can she hold you?
Can you say I do not know what was written?
Can you say I do not know if anything was written?
She will say I am afraid nothing was written.
Can you nod?


dear god
i rlly need yr help right now
begin the terrors
begin the miracles

dear melissa
be with yourself
it is going to come
from being still w yrself
and don’t tweet too much bb

dear god
hey asshole, you got me into this mess now get me out
p.s. fuck you
p.p.s. fuck america & images of romantic love, fuck the brits, fuck the french too, fuck heathcliff, fuck cathy, fuck justin bieber, fuck the video for as long as you love me

dear melissa
i am always here and i am very hot and sexy
i always want you
call on me more often

dear god
what do you look like?

dear melissa
what do you want me to look like?

dear god
sorry but you seem like a crappy substitution for something more awesome

dear melissa
okay

dear god
this note is not for anybody besides you and me, just kidding it’s for the internet. wld be cool if you cld appear as candy, boys or the internet, but you are such a nebulous prick and i’m not in the mood to try and get closer to you as you are

dear melissa
don’t move
i’ll be right there

dear god
i need to hear you say puke for me baby
i need you to make me feel like a beloved child

dear melissa
puke for me baby


SHORTLIST OF FEARS EXPERIENCED WITHIN ONE HOUR OF WAKING

not ‘bohemian’ enough
not canadian
using fb ‘wrong’
not major life event-focused enough
inability to do anything offline and let it stay offline
ignoring __________ to his face last wk
being doomed
not being doomed but still feeling doomed
not meditating long enough
being tired
i’m bad
i’m wrong
i’m dying
internet addiction
haircut
__________ probably didn’t like my poems
i’m getting worse
not reading enough
probably going to fall off the face of the earth
prejudice
not checking my messages or calling __________
probably coming off as needy and ‘too much’ to  __________
emailing ppl back too quickly
forgetting to email ppl back
what’s the point?
probably coming off as an oversharing loser who doesn’t ‘get it’ to __________
my intentions
being awkward w  __________ last week and not as cool irl as online
writing __________ on __________’s fb wall
judging a mentally handicapped person
taking too long to get to door being held for me
being a cougar
demi moore’s fate
my fate


Something funny is that Fast Company reviewed my twitter feed. Here is what Fast Company says about my twitter feed:

” Melissa Broder’s alter ego lives on Twitter, where each beautiful, neurotic, self-effacing line accumulates in a never-ending poem. Go here when you need to shake your brain up.”


Somebody sent me a stalker email and I hope he is hot and under 30. He believes I am having a good day, but he is wrong unless this pain is going to break open into some phoenix shit soon. I don’t know why I expect that I can be a poet and never go through the dark woods. I want to go around the woods and write about them from the outside but this is not the truth of my life right now. Nail polish, dicks and control are some tools that I have used to go around the woods and they all delivered me right back there when they ended. One spiritual teacher says we can sit with our pain without identifying as our pain, but I don’t want to do either. Last night I saw a video by a band named Methface or something. It was just scary ghost screams and a woman, hanging.

 


Here are two new poems at Coconut. After a few yrs hiatus, it’s back and the whole issue is amazing.

Michael Robbins covered MEAT HEART at The Chicago Tribune along with Dorothea Lasky and Eileen Myles who are two of my favorite contemporary poets. #mainstreammedia

This is what he said:

With a title recalling Yeats (“Consume my heart away; sick with desire / And fastened to a dying animal”), Broder risks the divine in her second book: “Yesterday the worship rattled like an engine / I said Let this voltage last forever.” But the voltage won’t. These shrewd, funny, twisted, sad poems were written by a “Lonesome Cowgirl” who “stopped looking for magic” somewhere and now just wants to “buzz all night.” “Once I was a nightrider with a wild rag. / Now I haven’t seen a horse in three years.” The familiar vacillation of spiritual yearning and sensual pleasure is given an upgrade: “Please describe / your vomiting; it is like a psalm to me / a place where wilderness might be new.” “Boredom is going to get crucified” on Broder’s watch. She likes “the taste of scabs” and eats from “a trash can at Hardee’s.”

 


When I go to the shaman I can’t breathe. She says I am full of foreign beings from my belly to my throat. She says she can feel my energy. She keeps burping.

My head is going to pop off. I am scared she will judge me. Her room is meant to make a person comfortable, 1000 crystals and a cat, but i am not responding to the good vibes or I am positioning myself against them as if they are reflective of a cosmic arbiter who knows I am a piece of shit.

The shaman and I find a bat, two rats and a shield-shaped being inside the walls of my sternum. She invokes the angel Michael to give them a boat to heaven.

The bat and the rats leave easily. They didn’t know they were inside me.

The shield-shaped being was passed down from my father’s family.  He believes he is here to protect me.  The shield-shaped being is trying to protect my soul orb, which is behind my ribcage and looks like snow.  But no light can get in.

The shaman talks to the shield-shaped being in shield-language, which is English, to let him know I am not his home. He cries as he leaves my body.

Now I am vacant of beings.

The shaman says my core will not stay empty. She says that I will repopulate it with me.

When I leave the shaman I feel like I can breathe again. When I return to the people who love me I suffocate.


Two new poems in beautiful Sixth Finch (poem 1 and poem 2).

Two new poems at The Good Men Project.

Poetry Crush asked me to write abt a dead poet I want to fuck, but I am tired of dead ppl so I wrote abt poetboys and pubes and porn.


The Pisces

THE PISCES

"A modern-day mythology for women on the verge — if everything on the surface stops making sense, all you need to do is dive deeper.."
–The New York Times

"The Pisces convincingly romances the void."
–The New Yorker

"Explosive, erotic, scathingly funny…a profound take on connection and longing that digs deep."
–Entertainment Weekly

"The dirtiest, most bizarre, most original works of fiction I’ve read in recent memory…Broder has a talent for distilling graphic sexual thoughts, humor, female neuroses and the rawest kind of emotion into a sort of delightfully nihilistic, anxiety-driven amuse bouche…"
–Vogue.com

"A page turner of a novel…funny and frank."
–Washington Post

"The Pisces is an intellectual, enthralling voyage into one woman’s swirling mind as she brushes with the extraordinary."
–Refinery29

"Get ready to laugh-cry over and over again...a perverse romance that captures the addictive and destructive forces of obsessive love. The Pisces is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking."
–Vulture.com

Last Sext

LAST SEXT

So Sad Today

SO SAD TODAY

"What separates Broder from her confessional cohort...is that she doesn’t seem to be out to shock, but to survive."
–Elle

"Broder presents a dizzying array of intimate dispatches and confessions…She has a near-supernatural ability to not only lay bare her darkest secrets, but to festoon those secrets with jokes, subterfuge, deep shame, bravado, and poetic turns of phrase."
–New York Magazine

"A triumph of unsettlingly relatable prose."
–Vanity Fair

"Her writing is deeply personal, sophisticated in its wit, and at the same time, devastating. SO SAD TODAY is a portrait of modern day existence told with provocative, irreverent honesty."
–Nylon

"At once devastating and delightful, this deeply personal collection of essays…is as raw as it is funny."
–Cosmopolitan

"Broder writes about the hot-pink toxins inhaled every day by girls and women...and the seemingly impossible struggle to exhale something pure, maybe even eternal...there's a bleak beauty in the way she articulates her lowest moments."
–Bookforum

"Broder may be talking about things like sexts, Botox, and crushes, but these things are considered alongside contemplations about mortality, identity, and the difficulty of finding substance in a world where sometimes it’s so much easier to exist behind a screen."
–The Fader

"…So Sad Today is uplifting and dispiriting in seemingly equal measure. It’s a book that’s incredibly human in the way it allows for deep self-reflection alongside Broder, which speaks not only to her powerful writing but also the internet’s magical ability to foster connections."
–A.V. Club

"...delightful...Broder embarks on an earnest, sophisticated inquiry into the roots and expressions of her own sadness...deeply confessional writing brings disarming humor and self-scrutiny...Broder's central insight is clear: it is ok to be sad, and our problems can't be reduced to a single diagnosis. "
–Publishers Weekly

"Broder is probably the Internet’s most powerful merchant of feelings…"
–GQ

"Vividly rendered and outspokenly delivered essays…Sordid, compulsively readable entries that lay bare a troubled soul painstakingly on the mend."
–Kirkus Reviews

Scarecrone

S C A R E C R O N E

"Broder manages to conjure a psychic realm best described as one part twisted funhouse and two parts Catholic school, heavy on libido and with a dash of magick. This gritty, cherry soda–black book...is bizarrely sexy in its monstrousness."
–Publishers Weekly

"I don’t know what a book is if not a latch to elsewhere, and Scarecrone has pressed its skull against the hidden door. It is neither drunk nor ecstatic to be here—it is a state unto itself."
–VICE

"Lushly dark and infused with references to black magic, Broder's work often feels less like a book and more like a mystical text."
–PAPERMAG

Meat Heart

MEAT HEART

"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..."
–Publishers Weekly

"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"
–Flavorwire

"...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."
–BOMB

Melissa Broder's Book Cover

MOTHER

“This debut from Broder is as funny and hip as it is disturbing… a bright and unusual debut.”
–Publishers Weekly

"…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."
–Bomb