Our poet-friend Mark Bibbins is the author of “The Dance of No Hard Feelings“, a prof in the graduate writing programs at The New School and Columbia, and the poetry editor of The Awl (“Be Less Stupid”), where he features one or two pieces by a poet each week. His latest selection — “Romeo + Juliet Poem” by Krystal Languell, who’s on the board of the Belladonna* Collaborative — really caught our attention: it’s fun, sexy, visceral (see excerpt below).Â Since our enjoyment of good poetry usually involves quoting THE PRINCESS BRIDE (“No more rhymes now, I mean it.” “Anybody want a peanut?”), we asked Mark to give us some insight into this particular poem:
As Gertrude Stein said about her own work, “If you enjoy it you understand it.” I think that’s great advice, whether you’re used to reading poems or not. I have a feeling, based on the + in the title, that the poem is using Baz Luhrmann’s movie as a jumping-off point. I could be dead wrong about that, but my uncertainty doesn’t hinder my enjoyment in the least. Not all poems have that kind of openness going for them, but I like that this one does.
Here’s an excerpt from Languell’s “Romeo + Juliet Poem” – enjoy!:
Letâ€™s watch each other die. Repeat. Letâ€™s watch each other die
and repeat it in a loop.
I am having what you might call a hard time
with whatâ€™s happened. The light turns
to bubbles turns to pool water turns to champagne and we are
in swimsuits drowning.
Letâ€™s lose a lot of blood in the rain during
a misunderstanding. I am wearing a tasteful
glitter bra I made myself, and have to use both hands to pull
up the manual car window.
This is as soft core as it gets. So star-crossed I canâ€™t take credit,
the same song over.
A cloud of silver confetti marks the night
as significant in case anyone missed the cues.
If my coping mechanism doesnâ€™t work for you, shut up. You
do shots of bourbon, Iâ€™ll pretend Iâ€™m Nick Cave. Letâ€™s shut up
Letâ€™s shut up and grind and get sore.