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). 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!:
Let’s watch each other die. Repeat. Let’s watch each other die
and repeat it in a loop.
I am having what you might call a hard time
with what’s happened. The light turns
to bubbles turns to pool water turns to champagne and we are
in swimsuits drowning.
Let’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 can’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 doesn’t work for you, shut up. You
do shots of bourbon, I’ll pretend I’m Nick Cave. Let’s shut up
Let’s shut up and grind and get sore.