Friday, December 11, 2009

What Do Women Want? a poem by Kim Addonizio.

Post 385 - As I think about what to gift the women in my life for Christmas, this poem by Kim Addonizio comes to mind. She was born in Washington, D.C., in 1954, and received her B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University. Her books of poetry include Tell Me, (from which the current post was taken) which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000. Addonizio was a founding editor of the journal Five Fingers Review. Her awards include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, a Commonwealth Club Poetry Medal, and the John Ciardi Lifetime Achievement Award. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared widely in anthologies, literary journals, and textbooks, including Alaska Quarterly Review, American Poetry Review, Bad Girls, Chick-Lit, Dick for a Day, Gettysburg Review, Paris Review, Penthouse, Poetry, and Threepenny Review.

Previous occupations include working as a waitress, fry cook, tennis instructor, Kelly Girl, attendant for the disabled, and auto parts store bookkeeper. She currently teaches private writing workshops in Oakland, CA.

“I originally wanted to be a singer. But I think I've ended up being a singer in another way.”

What Do Women Want? by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

No comments: