Soft Money

By Rae Armantrout b. 1947 Rae Armantrout Read the Q & A
They’re sexy
because they’re needy,
which degrades them.

They’re sexy because
they don’t need you.

They’re sexy because they pretend
not to need you,

but they’re lying,
which degrades them.

They’re beneath you
and it’s hot.

They’re across the border,
rhymes with dancer—

they don’t need
to understand.

They’re content to be
(not mean),

which degrades them
and is sweet.

They want to be
the thing-in-itself

and the thing-for-you—

Miss Thing—

but can’t.

They want to be you,
but can’t,

which is so hot.

Source: Poetry (April 2010).

 Rae  Armantrout

Biography

Rae Armantrout, one of the founding members of the West Coast group of Language poets, stands apart from other Language poets in her lyrical voice and her commitment to the interior and the domestic. Her short-lined poems are often concerned with dismantling conventions of memory, pop culture, science, and mothering, and these unsparing interrogations are often streaked with wit. “You can hold the various elements of my poems in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Gender & Sexuality

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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