Inventory of a Black Girl & Gourmet Ars Poetica
Inventory of a Black Girl
Model Made: April 27, 1992
|Value in USD
|2||Lungs full of broken glass||When I cough little bits come loose
And scrape against my teeth
I have learned to bleed quietly
|27||Bones (in right hand)||Formed from statues and statistics
I vote on which ones to break
|4||Failed deaths||Each more urgent than the last||0
|1||Mouth full of matches||Only sulfur passes through these lips
Only fire is respected
I am used to swallowed ash
And burned tongue
|2||Stolen songs||The first, when I was born
The next, I haven’t been told
|0||Deeds done right (in the world’s eyes)||
Gourmet Ars Poetica
My poems taste terrible, too many chewed up
Metaphors and overcooked analogies.
They need more salt, less narcissism.
More technicality, like practicing to how perfectly
Poach an egg, or be consistent with verb tenses.
I need a bigger pot with a sturdy lid
To contain this wild free verse.
Maybe throw it live in boiling water,
Garnish it with pretty diction,
Say it’s modeled after the classics.
One day I’ll be the Gordon Ramsay of the page
Dragging syntax from hell into my notebook.
I’ll subvert entire stanzas into submission,
They’ll say: “Yes, poet” and “No, poet”
And “That’s not the way I’ve been taught, poet.”