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Jean Rhys

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I'm preparing myself for an extended period of loneliness
That will begin very soon I think
I've illegally downloaded two new depressing songs
I've placed a copy of Good Morning, Midnight under my pillow for easy reference
I've printed out the tablature for every Morrissey song I know so I can sing them to myself
Alone in my room
Just a few things are needed really
To make me calm
While I figure out a simple, clean, and effective way to kill myself,
With minimal stress for the person who has to find and dispose of my body
But I'll probably never think of a way
Because I'll probably never kill myself
I'll just lie in my bed suffocating myself with my pillows
While listening to the four songs you said were your favorite
And maybe burn myself a little with the iron
On special occasions
And the next time I'm in a subway station,
I'll stand a little further on the yellow line
Or maybe the next I'm at your apartment
I'll try a little harder

Ellen Kennedy, "Jean Rhys" from Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs. Copyright © 2009 by Ellen Kennedy.  Reprinted by permission of Muumuu House.
Source: Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs (Muumuu House, 2009)
Jean Rhys

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  • E.R. Kennedy’s debut collection, Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs (2009), was published by Muumuu House. Within a sleeve of narrative storytelling and conversational exchange, Kennedy creates prose poems that explore themes of ambivalence, sex, and longing while shuffling though the throwaway details of daily life. “On the rare occasion that she does use metaphor, she does so to call attention to their inadequacy, thereby casting the idea of the apt metaphor—so central to the way poetry has historically been understood to operate—into doubt,” noted Octopus Magazine reviewer Kathleen Rooney of Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs, who also observed that Kennedy’s pieces “resemble conceptual art at least as closely as they do poetry.”
    Kennedy co-founded the small press ass hi books with poet Tao Lin, with whom Kennedy collaboratively wrote the online book Hikikomori, a collection of prose poem-letters. E.R. lives in Boston and is a poetry editor...

  • Poems By E. R. Kennedy

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