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'Autodiddle'
by Jeannie Yoon

I am learning to walk while loving
Still tripping into the ditches
Astride the rocky road
A clear and searing day

Burns the air thick and heavy
Singing my nose and my atrophying
Tongue turns restless
In its desiccated bed

The TV bitches splayed on the sands
Of Miami or something
Smell like synthetic coconut
I should get up

I get up
I don’t know what to do with you
Or whither to step, how far
This has less to do with who you are

Than six-year-old me appearing alone
In scores of tableaux sheaved
In shelves of memory
Laid out room by room

We lived above a vast cellar
Set off by slate blue paint on the exterior
In whose shade grew violets
And three vain roses

And the milk expired
And the periodic shaving
Of the man’s haired cheek
And the long grass

Was cool in the afternoon.
I did love you, once.
Whatever radiance of that still quivers
Subliminal, through me, is decaying.

Mirrored sunglasses set off
His excellent face, lean and grinning
Some distance angled from mine
Eyes on the road

I blink and so is uncovered
The wide and imperceptible
Spread of things
A good hard look

I have countless simultaneous themes to resolve
Before I conclude, so why
Should I keep you?
I’m up tonight

Squeezing and releasing your waning
Afterimage, dissolving in light
Which is pressed against darkness
I will it to end

My body is an intersection at rest
I am a colony of life
I am a home for death
I am a whetstone for the language


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Jeannie Yoon called us from Boston, MA.
More about Jeannie.

1-910-703-POEM

thank you thank you thank you

“My body is wildly undisciplined and I deny myself nearly everything I desire. I deny myself the right to space when I am public, trying to fold in on myself, to make my body invisible even though it is, in fact, grandly visible. I deny myself the right to a shared armrest because how dare I impose? I deny myself entry into certain spaces I have deemed inappropriate for a body like mine—most spaces inhabited by other people.
I deny myself bright colors in my clothing choices, sticking to a uniform of denim and dark shirts even though I have a far more diverse wardrobe. I deny myself certain trappings of femininity as if I do not have the right to such expression when my body does not follow society’s dictates for what a woman’s body should look like. I deny myself gentler kinds of affection—to touch or be kindly touched—as if that is a pleasure a body like mine does not deserve.”

Roxane Gay

FEELING: The one where the sudden knowledge that someone will never love you drops into your brain chilly and small like a marble through gelatin, and whether it’s right or wrong it can never be extracted through that same neat bloodless tunnel; you will need to plunge your hand in after it and tear up everything.

HOW TO EAT IT: Bread pudding. Mac and cheese.

A guide to eating very particular feelings