NOTE: Canadian poetry! For no particular reason, I am taking over Melissa Broder’s column for the month of the October to spotlight poems by contemporary Canadian writers. Today’s poet is Laura Broadbent, whose (sharp, funny, underated) debut collection, Oh There You I Can’t See You Is It Raining?, was published late last year by Invisible Publishing.
Oh There You Are I Can’t See You Is It Raining?
Supple with incoherence, I have not
learned how to people myself.
Lose any hope. Above all, lose any hope.
I’ve never enjoyed a party in my life.
The meaning of this hits a little too deep.
The only women for me live a tonal complexity.
The biggest fact about anyone is their mother.
I know this is getting a little complicated.
Art school students love art school students.
There is something unutterably terrible
About art school students.
He likes it when my nails are short and clean.
Since it’s love there’s nothing easy about it
so I threw my wine glass at him.
Old wounds and their flatulence.
No one told me it was problematic to be a woman
until I started getting treated like one.
I Googled ‘Why are all Aquarius men jerks?’
I wasn’t the first.
When I try to describe you
my mouth gets an E for Effort.
I invite you for a dip and you think
its an invitation to drowning.
Find some bearings
then ostensibly learn to keep them.
Obligatory fun is ostensibly fun.
The project of the intellectuals.
Don’t open an intellectual
unless you want to be killed.
To lose those I love most.
What other lessons are there –
how to make a perfect gazpacho?
I still believe in forces.
Anger is one of my charming knacks.
Also panic for no discernable reason.
I remember things with my whole body.
Men like it when I ostensibly behave.
Supple with incoherence
Art school students are
at making the perfect
Obligatory fun gets an E
for Effort. When you’ve lost
those you love most,
your only hope is in
The biggest fact is a little complicated.
So throw your wine glass at it
then clean your nails and Google
I invited you for a dip
then you treat me like a woman.
Google: ‘old wounds
AND tonal complexity.’
Getting killed: obligatory fun.
No need to get all emotional
and intellectual about it.
The project of the intellectuals:
the terrible fact of
women and flatulence.
Everyone’s mother is problematic
trying to do something about
Art school students’ projects are parties.
Be on guard for the projects of art students
Men like when my whole body
is an invitation to drowning.
Laura Broadbent was raised in Stratford, Ontario and has resided in Montreal since 2005. Her first book of poetry Oh There You Are I Can’t See You Is It Raining? (Invisible Publishing, 2012) won the 2012 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.