Saturday, November 13, 2010


(Judy Grahn, January 1988, Oakland CA, photo by Robert Giard)

I'm starting a new weekly feature here at Meta Watershed: Every Saturday evening I will post a Judy Grahn poem. Much of her best work is already up here (check Labels to the right for her name) but there is still a wealth more to share. If she'd been a straight white man, they'd have declared her poet laureate a long time ago -- but then she wouldn't be writing the stunning language that she does.

Love came along and saved me saved me
Love came along and after that
I did not feel like fighting for
anything any more after all
didnt I have not that I had
anything to speak of
OR keep quiet about
but didnt I have
company in my nothing?
someone to say You're Great, to shout you are
wonderful, to whisper to me you are my every little thing?
& then one day Love left to go save someone else.
Love ran off with all my self-esteem my sense of being
wonderful and all my nothing.
now i am in the hole.

© Judy Grahn, published in The Work Of A Common Woman


Margot said...

Excellent plan. Thank you for advancing my poetic (re)education.

Last year, whoever decides these things selected the UK's first woman, and first Lesbian poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Not much of her stuff is online, but you might like this one:

"The words of poems are nails which tack the wind to a page, so that the gone hour when your kite pulled you over the field blows in your hair.

They're hand-mirrors, a poem's words, holding the wept tears on your face, like a purse holds small change, or the breath that said things.

They're fishing-nets, scooping sprats and tiddlers out of a stream or the gleaming trout that startled the air when you threw it back. The words of poems are stars, dot-to-dots of the Great Bear, the Milky Way your telescope caught; or breves filled with the light of the full moon you saw from your bedroom window; or little flames like the tongues of Hallowe'en candles.
The words of poems are spells, dropping like pennies into a wishing-well, remember the far splash? They're sparklers, scrawling their silver loops and hoops on the night, again in your gloved fist on November the Fifth.

They're goldfish in their sad plastic bags at the fair, you stood there. The words of poems are coins in a poor man's hat; the claws of a lost cat.

The words of poems are who you were."

(This is the link, but it's ugly:

Maggie Jochild said...

Margot, that was breathtaking! I will avidly look for her work. Wow. Happy to be a dyke poet.