Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Poem about Nothing for Rachel, Again

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Poem about Nothing for Rachel, Again

Article excerpt

I don't want to write a poem about nothing. I'm finding it very hard to write one when my child is in a flannel-sheeted p_at my back and another child has my right breast arrayed into his mouth and another child has died and stands in the corner of the room in the form of an altar.

It's difficult to write a poem about nothing when the air could smell like rocket_if only I took the time to grow rocket, nother word for arugula. Hard to write about nothing when oil drilling.

Or the Af-Am woman with the white and orange microbraids who on the train last night was cursing out that man about weed while pushing back her toddler into the plastic umbrella stroller, and then when the man left she was kissing and cleaning her daughter's face with her thumbs. They can't all fit into a poem about nothing.

Nor can how I wept to see her and the toddler and thought about the One Right Path and was weeping so mightily the white woman next to me asked about me, not the other mom, and I could not see my way to help and that is also why I was crying.

2. Sometimes people enjoy poems about nothing.

I'd like to write enjoyable poems.

I am thinking about writing poems about sex.

But they will probably still not be that enjoyable. They will probably have oil drilling in them. …

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