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Wordsworthian Sublime

I am the boquita.
I am the sociopathic, evil twin
taking your calls.

I am raging and misfiring
neural pathways.

O my stars.
O my miserable
and cryptic poetry.

Me is a mama.
Me is a descent.
Me is mine eyes.
Me is so funny.

My being sane because
I pay a lady a lot
of my wage for it.

My etymology: song
and theological promise.

My poems are in the crypt
of my poetry corpse,
corroded by glitter and zombie
juices and affect theory.

Tendencies: self-destructive.
Impulses: well-meaning.

The first spouse:
The second: a divinity.
The third will be an Artemis,
because, sakes alive,
that’s my slow jam!

My wedding dress
is made of wood:
an admission
of complicity.

My stunted
yet singular
intellect pushes against
the emperor’s slop.

I mime
an understanding
of your boxes
cracking them
open for an audience
of privilege and aspiration.

I southern
mise en scène.

Grandmother told me
I’d be a guitar, but
she just wanted to pluck me.


Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir, Bring Down the Little Birds (University of Arizona, 2010), and three poetry collections—Goodbye, Flicker (University of Massachusetts, 2012), The City She Was (Center for Literary Publishing, 2011) and Odalisque in Pieces (University of Arizona, 2009). She is the recipient of a 2011 American Book Award, the 2011 Juniper Prize for Poetry, and a 2011-2012 fellowship in creative nonfiction from the Howard Foundation. She teaches in the creative writing programs at New Mexico State University and Ashland University, while serving as the editor-in-chief of the literary journal Puerto del Sol and the publisher of Noemi Press.