Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.
by Rachel Mennies
Last night, Naomi, I typed piano music where you can hear the pianist breathing into my browser.
I tried to write to you at one a.m. and couldn’t begin, the habit of morning-letters already set.
Last night the ivory ranunculus—birthday flowers from a friend, the friend newly and still in love—finally opened on my writing desk, bright until their heads hung from the weight of their openness.
At my desk I searched for two women fucking and found nothing intimate enough to arouse me.
I refreshed my Twitter feed after a woman tweeted so often we sleep through the horrors of the world.
Last night I did not sleep, but I did nothing kind with my wakefulness.
I bought two books of poems online with the sole intention of reading them to you, thinking about how they would make you feel.
Last night I read that the season for ranunculus is April and felt guilty for my atemporal hungers.
For loving flowers that flatten the world.
Copyright © 2021 by Rachel Mennies. Used with the permission of the author. Previously appeared in On the Seawall on January 5, 2021.
About the Author
Rachel Mennies is the author of the poetry collections The Naomi Letters (BOA Editions, 2021) and The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, the 2014 winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry at Texas Tech University Press and finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. Her poetry has recently appeared at The Believer, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Rachel’s essays, criticism, and other articles have appeared at The Millions, The Poetry Foundation, LitHub, and numerous other outlets. Mennies took over in 2016 as the series editor of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry; she also serves as the reviews editor for AGNI. For more: rachelmennies.com
- Day 1: Pride Month by Shelley Wong
- Day 2: Is This or Is This True as Happiness by Derrick Austin
- Day 3: Nature Poem by Sam Herschel Wein
- Day 4: Ana I Don’t Forget by Gala Mukomolova
- Day 5: Eavesdropping on Adam and Eve by Andrea Cohen
- Day 6: Billow of Thistles by Ruben Quesada
- Day 7: Prayer for My Trans Siblings by H. Melt
- Day 8: Summer by Chen Chen
- Day 9: Embers by Henri Cole
- Day 10: Male Beauty by Richie Hofmann
- Day 11: [unsent draft] by Rachel Mennies
- Day 12: Forty by Julia Guez
- Day 13: Of Contour, of Cadence by Phillip B. Williams
- Day 14: The Men We Loved by Cyril Wong
- Day 15: Riding the Bus Back to Oxford by Catherine Pond
- Day 16: The Window by Jay Besemer
- Day 17: Want Could Kill Me by Xandria Phillips
- Day 18: What a Waste by Jill McDonough
- Day 19: Eros by Randall Mann
- Day 20: An Act by Michael M. Weinstein
- Day 21: Things I Didn’t Do With this Body and Things I Did by Amanda Gunn
- Day 22: Puzzle Pieces by D. A. Powell
- Day 23: Duplicity by Jameson Fitzpatrick
- Day 24: Is It True All Legends Once Were Rumors by Carl Phillips
- Day 25: High School Sleepovers with Straight Girls by Julian Guy
- Day 26: Abu Nuwas by Kazim Ali
- Day 27: Observation Car by Lauren Clark
- Day 28: Love Song by Eileen Myles
- Day 29: Donuts by Dan Kraines
- Day 30: The Lone Palm by Jenny Johnson
Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this second year of our series is the first movement, Schéhérazade, from Masques, Op. 34, by Karol Szymanowski, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.