Issue 1

Pure Poetry

A series of tributes to the poets who made us who we are … and showed us who we could be.

Pure Poetry Week Starts Now! With Pure Poetry Post #1: Def Jam

We have declared this week Autostraddle Pure Poetry Week, when we are going to talk about poets we like all the time! First up is T.S. Eliot. Just kidding it’s Def Jam.

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Pure Poetry #2: Eileen Myles

“Every time I read a new Eileen Myles book, I ended up carrying it on me for weeks. I think I’m going to end up with a good collection. I would never lose it.”

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Pure Poetry #3: Anis Mojgani

“I was here. I was here motherf*cker. And ain’t none of y’all can write that in the spot that I just wrote it in.”

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Pure Poetry #4: Has Anyone Ever Heard of This ‘Andrea Gibson?’

So in order to include Andrea Gibson in this article, because we know you want us to, we (Carmen and KC Danger) decided to pay homage to her by watching her on YouTube and writing in notebooks.”

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Pure Poetry #5: Leonard Cohen

“It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I realized that Leonard Cohen was an accomplished poet, that his songs were poetry set to a soundtrack.”

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Pure Poetry #6: Staceyann Chin

Chin’s writing covers a lot of topics- so I’m going to share excerpts of two very different pieces with you. Because I love you.

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Pure Poetry #7: e.e cummings

“e.e cummings is also really hard to read aloud because of his weird use of syntax. He’s kind of like Yoda but more sexual.”

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Pure Poetry #8: Louise Glück

It was the last line of the poem that was the most striking. ‘The love of form is a love of endings.’

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Pure Poetry #9: Shel Silverstein

(from Intern Lily & w/a 12-year-old boy who lives with Laneia) – “Silverstein writes what children see. He reminds us all of what it is like to view the world in its purest form. A world without stereotypes, biases, and social norms.”

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Pure Poetry #10 : Michelle Tea

“hey now tall girl
aren’t you bored
all by yourself in your messy room”

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Pure Poetry #11: Saul Williams

“Admittedly, as a 21-year-old middle-class queer Asian woman, I probably do not share that many experiences with Saul Williams, except for maybe being from New York and having a profound appreciation for women’s bodies.”

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Pure Poetry #12: Maya Angelou

“And when I leave to
find another house,
I wonder, what among
these shades will be
left of me.”

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Pure Poetry #13: Jack Spicer Breaks My Heart Into Small Pieces

“I think that anyone’s a fool to become a junkie or a poet… it’s the same kind of hook really, and it has the same withdrawal symptoms if you ever try it.”

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Pure Poetry #15: Pablo Neruda

“Cómo logró su libertad la bicicleta abandonada?”

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Pure Poetry #14: Sady Doyle on the Great Poet Diane Di Prima

“This woman found the riskiest, weirdest thing to be, at any particular moment, and then she became it.”

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Pure Poetry #16: Vanessa Hidary, The Hebrew Mamita

‘Should I fiddle on a f*cking roof for you?’

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Pure Poetry #17: Adrienne Rich Came to Explore the Wreck

I came to explore the wreck. The words are purposes. The words are maps.

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Pure Poetry #18: Raymond Carver Could Drink Ten Quarts of this Beer

And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?

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Pure Poetry #19: Rock WILK is a F*cking Experience

“Rock’s voice was more powerful than my desire for a fresh beer.”

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Pure Poetry #20: Veronica Franco, the Courtesan

“Veronica Franco became an icon for women to leave the confines of the home and enter the world of men. Unfortunately, in those days the only real way to do so was to become a prostitute.”

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Pure Poetry #22: William Carlos Williams and Beyond

This is just a post (mostly) about old white men. But it’s happy. It’s Autostraddle is Pure Poetry week and this is how we do it.

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Pure Poetry #23: NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday Knows Sex is Pure Poetry

“Oh, to be ready for it, unf*cked, ever-f*cked.”

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Pure Poetry #24: Charles Bukowski

I don’t want to write my essay, so here’s some Charles Bukowski poems.

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Pure Poetry #25: Notes on Rainer “Rilke” Maria Rilke

Did you know that Rilke’s Mom initially raised him as a girl? True story.

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Pure Poetry #26: Lee Harwood

“I like his poetry because it’s kind of all over the place without being noisy about it.”

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Pure Poetry #27: Jeffrey McDaniel

“You must nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a special beach.”

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Pure Poetry #28 : Dorothy Porter

You really need to know about Dorothy Porter. She was an Australian poet, an out lesbian, and basically awesome.

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Pure Poetry #29: Sylvia Plath is Depressing

Once upon a time I hated Sylvia Plath. Now I don’t! How did this happen? The answers lie inside this post…

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Sarah Kay on TED

“I don’t know if I could change the world, yet, because I don’t know that much about it.”

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Pure Poetry #30: These Poems Are Gay, Just Like You

“You can’t trust lesbians. You invite them / to your party and they don’t come, / they’re too busy tending vaginal / flowers, hating football, walking their golden / and chocolate labs.”

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Pure Poetry #31: Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver writes poetry about nature. Both kinds of nature.

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Pure Poetry #32: Gertrude Stein & Mina Loy

Did you know that Gertrude Stein and Mina Loy were friends? Do you even know who Mina Loy is? I didn’t until about ~5 days ago.

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Pure Poetry #33: Sappho Was a Right-On Woman by Marisa Meltzer

“I kinda only care about lesbian poets.”

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Pure Poetry #34: Of All Poets, Stephen Dunn

In which five of us talk about our favorite poet ever. “Those of us who think we know / the same secrets / are silent together most of the time.”

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