Never Mind

By Dorothea Tanning 1910–2012 Dorothea Tanning
Never mind the pins
And needles I am on.
Let all the other instruments
Of torture have their way.
While air-conditioners
Freeze my coffee
I watch the toaster
Eating my toast.
Did I press the right
Buttons on all these
Buttonless surfaces
Daring me to press them?
Did you gasp on seeing what
The mailman just brought?
Will the fellow I saw pedaling
Across the bridge live long
After losing his left leg,
His penis, and his bike
To fearlessness?
Will his sad wife find
Consolation with the
Computer wizard called in
Last year to deal with glitches?
Did you defuse the boys’
Bomb before your house
Was under water, same
As everything else?
Aunt Til grabbed her
Silver hand mirror
Before floating away.
The dog yelped constantly,
Tipping our canoe.
Silly dog.

Dorothea Tanning, “Never Mind” from Coming to That. Copyright © 2011 by Dorothea Tanning. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.

Source: Coming to That (Graywolf Press, 2011)

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Poet Dorothea Tanning 1910–2012

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Relationships, Home Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Dorothea  Tanning


Artist and writer Dorothea Tanning grew up in Galesburg, Illinois, and spent almost 30 years living in Paris, before moving to New York City. Tanning started writing poetry in her late ’80s, and her work was subsequently published in the Yale Review, the New Yorker, Poetry, and the New Republic. Her first collection of poems, A Table of Content, was published in 2004. The epigraph to A Table of Content comments that “it’s hard . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Home Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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