SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: ANDREA KNEELAND

By Andrea Kneeland:

UNTITLED

When you put your arms around me and I close my eyes, everything except your body disappears. I press my face against your chest, my eyes all wet, and sometimes I pull away and see that I have left satisfying evidence of tears on your shirt. I will admire the evidence covertly. It looks like a Rorschach blot or a foodstain. When I close my eyes, you could be anyone. Sometimes I forget your name. I can even forget who you are while you are speaking to me, if I want to, if I keep my eyes shut, if I try hard enough. It’s not just you who disappears when I shut my eyes. The ones before you disappeared too. All of your arms, your t-shirts, your reluctant acts of comfort, all of you feel exactly the same and it doesn’t matter to me anymore who any of you are.


HOME MOVIES

the way flesh swarms like ants the stuttering thumps embedded
like morse in our bones forever a history of fingers glistening
like butter the way memory is sort of a stain
in the cloth

like grease or like blood forever there you are unbleached
how you let them touch you forever your breasts fleshed guppyfish
eyes straining toward opposite points in the air forever the arch
of your skin

and the slip of a fisted hand tanned like leather forever the wormy
brown nylon of twisted rug the way it holds the imprint
of swarmed bodies forever the muscle of thighs
the baby

soft skin of the wolves forever the circling throb of impatience
the impermanence of movement the impermanence of face
of the bodies of ten white socked men forever the clutch
like a balled baby

fist forever the way you pressed your self down into the love
ly brown floor forever how your face bleeds forever into the white
round white lights

forever how I wondered if anyone would ever love
you how I wondered how
you would make them


(“UNTITLED” was originally published in PANK Magazine, and “Home Movies” originally appeared in Tarpaulin Sky Press. Both poems are reprinted here today with permission from the poet.)


Andrea Kneeland is the author of The Birds & The Beasts (Cow Heavy 2011) and a web editor for Hobart. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of journals and anthologies, including Annalemma, DIAGRAM, Barrelhouse, Caketrain, American Letters & Commentary, Wigleaf, The Collagist, 580 Split and elimae.

Editor’s Note: Don’t let it be said that I don’t know how to ring the new year in with a bang! I must admit today’s poems are some of my favorites that I’ve had the pleasure to publish on this series. If you’re an avid reader it should be clear to you why these poems are right up my alley. Working strongly within the theme of relationships with an overtly sexual drive, these poems are a one-two-punch to the gut of America’s Puritanical backdrop. With moments and killer end lines like “And this will be proof that I know who you are and I mean it when I say that I love you,” “All of your arms, your t-shirts, your reluctant acts of comfort, all of you feel exactly the same and it doesn’t matter to me anymore who any of you are,” and “forever how I wondered if anyone would ever love / you how I wondered how / you would make them,” Andrea Kneeland is a poet after my own heart, and the perfect start to a new year of poetry!

Want to read more by and about Andrea Kneeland?
Hobart Literary Journal
PANK Magazine
Tarpaulin Sky Press

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Contributing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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