Melissa Broder: Super Poet

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We Will Find Ourselves Hating a Blonde Stranger

Forget the field hockey fillies
and cotillion colts we grew up with in Greenwich,

Gladwyne and Chappaqua. In Lithuania
they’d be obsolete and we’d split hairs on our terms

over who is holy and who’s stopped bleeding.
Now we lose it different over cream cheese

thighs, lip hairs and moles the color of kishka,
going up against fawns. We have no business

playing lacrosse. The Boca altar kakers
with road map lipstick, Barbara Streisand bobs

and chocolate egg cream straws will tell us
that’s the straightest way to the sanitarium.

When the tow-headed strangers attended
our Bat Mitzvahs in schleppy paisley sundresses

we trembled big in black, with some appetite.
What was expected of us but to stay sane?

Plenty of things. Abstain from honey-baked ham,
Nantucket, seersucker, Volkswagen,

Bloody Marys, Laura Ashley, turning
the other cheek and the non-Ivy League.

Forgive the expectors. But remember the moles
and hairs came from them. The moles and hairs make us

lose it faster than nowheresville and to lose it
is the same, with or without a suntan.


Double Dubuque

She hit a new bottom when she couldn’t opt
on a pair of flip flops. Hollywood rhinestone
or earth mother hemp? This gal is no wellspring
of mental wellness,

the saleslady said. She cried then. She drove
cross-country, with incense in the vents, alone
that summer. Such heavyweight states. Las Vegas
and Salt Lake City

rose out of darkness like neon snakes above
the interstate. A wild horse sanctuary
in Hot Springs and the red light ladies of Butte,
lacey and winking.

While she slept she dreamt the road and when she drove
she smoked menthols, Djarum cloves and good shit sold
behind a fireworks shop in Tennessee,
solid company,

her head a motel for the bohemian.
Like The Beats, she thought, smoothing the Travelodge
sheets, in California they’ll understand
mavericks like me.

But Los Angeles was only more highway
on the flip side of the driver’s side air bag.
In Marina del Ray the loneliness came,
an ancient handmaid.


Booking Your Resurrection

The antidote began the species. Then came
Jim Jones, Jim Bakker and a travel agent
in heaven who engrossed you with Mallomars
for seventeen years.

When you resurfaced at your corner deli
on 21st and planet Earth, the night Sikh
no longer carried Little Debbie’s Snack Cakes.
He forgot your face.

You are already forgiven. You know that,
don’t you? Once you ate paper in Science class
to make people laugh. Love alone, totally
sane, illumined you.



Watch Melissa Broder perform Dear Aging Anarchist / Melissa Broder from Leigh Stein on Vimeo.




"We Will Find Ourselves Hating a Blonde Stranger," "Double Dubuque" and "Booking Your Ressurrection" excerpted from When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother (Ampersand Books, 2010).


Melissa Broder is the author of the poetry collection When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother (Ampersand Books, February 2010). She is the chief editor of La Petite Zine and curates the Polestar Poetry Series. By day, she is a literary publicist. Find her online at: