Thursday, November 3, 2011

A poem from "Snip Snip!" by Tina Brown Celona

Upon arriving in Denver I had some "starter friends," but I've made a few new ones too, among them the poet Tina Brown Celona, who gave me a copy of her book Snip Snip! last night (I already owned The Real Moon of Poetry and Other Poems). I heard Tina read from Snip Snip years ago in Cambridge, at a weird little bar called PA's Lounge, which has a drop ceiling, middle-school-cafeteria-style.

This poem cracked me up:

I wrote a book of contiguous poems then mixed them up so they were out of order. They were poems about my cunt, language, Nature, war, and all of them were marked with drama. 
With the cunt poems I could have orgasms during sex. I had long, luxurious hair, which I wrapped around my throat like a scarf. You could say I was "released from my prison." My therapist was no longer busy.  
We started a business called Ethical Donuts. It was actually a kind of juice bar where you could go and read poems or listen to someone reading poems. If nobody felt like reading poems we would turn on a tape of someone reading poems, usually one of our friends, but sometimes a big star of poetry. Of course, we sold donuts. 
In my dream we were hitchhiking to Iowa City, but later when I looked at myself my cheeks were pink and so were my labia. Like a bird I discovered I had wings. I flew higher and higher, but when I got near the sun the wax melted and I fell into a poem by Auden. It was then that I wrote the poem "The Enormous Cock." 
For a while I hushed. Then I started up again about my cunt. Some said it was a vicious swipe at feminism. Others said it was a vicious feminist swipe. It was the only word I knew.


  1. This is great! I'm going to check this book out--thanks for posting this, Elisa.

  2. How is that a poem? It reads like pure prose to me. Is anything a poem now if the poet says it's a poem?

  3. It worked for Elizabeth Bishop.

  4. I love Bishop's poem "Poem"! "Flyspeck looking like a bird"!