Poem of the Week: “Hammond B3 Organ Cistern,” by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

iced green tea

Amy Potchen, Center for Poetry Intern, discusses this poem: “The poet is able to express a dark topic in such a poetic way. Interns in the Center have recently transformed this poem into a letter-pressed broadside to give out at Calvocoressi’s reading.  Get your broadside on Wednesday April 3rd at 7:00 in the Snyder-Phillips basement theater at the reading.”

 

Hammond B3 Organ Cistern

by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

 

The days I don’t want to kill myself

are extraordinary. Deep bass. All the people

in the streets waiting for their high fives

and leaping, I mean leaping,

when they see me. I am the sun-filled

god of love. Or at least an optimistic

under-secretary. There should be a word for it.

The days you wake up and do not want

to slit your throat. Money in the bank.

Enough for an iced green tea every weekday

and Saturday and Sunday! It’s like being

in the armpit of a Hammond B3 organ.

Just reeks of gratitude and funk.

The funk of ages. I am not going to ruin

my love’s life today. It’s like the time I said yes

to gray sneakers but then the salesman said

Wait. And there, out of the back room,

like the bakery’s first biscuits: bright-blue kicks.

Iridescent. Like a scarab! Oh, who am I kidding,

it was nothing like a scarab! It was like

bright. blue. fucking. sneakers! I did not

want to die that day. Oh, my God.

Why don’t we talk about it? How good it feels.

And if you don’t know then you’re lucky

but also you poor thing. Bring the band out on the stoop.

Let the whole neighborhood hear. Come on, Everybody.

Say it with me nice and slow

      no pills       no cliff       no brains onthe floor

Bring the bass back.          no rope         no hose        not today, Satan.

Every day I wake up with my good fortune

and news of my demise. Don’t keep it from me.

Why don’t we have a name for it?

Bring the bass back. Bring the band out on the stoop.

Hallelujah!

 

 

Published 11/19/2018 in The New Yorker

Published by cpoetrymsu

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: