“Discarded Hashtags Are Filling Up the Ocean”: Poems by Elizabeth Scanlon

“Discarded Hashtags Are Filling Up the Ocean”Poems by Elizabeth Scanlon

“Discarded Hashtags Are Filling Up the Ocean”: Poems by Elizabeth Scanlon

POETRY: THREE BY ELIZABETH SCANLON

Advice

Don’t die on the toilet;
it’s really the worst way to go.

Even Elvis never lived it down,
and he got away (for a while) with fake kung fu,

white jumpsuits, dyed eyelashes,
using the word “ghetto” in a ballad,

and fluffer-nutters.
You’re no Elvis.

Also, don’t die in the driveway:
the likelihood of being backed over.

Don’t die on the subway platform or you’ll be cursed
by thousands for fucking up their commute

before they even scrape you up.
Oh the eight thousand inconveniences.

Deadheading

Have I become already the person writing about flowers?
And yet you have to tear the dead things away, in order
for more to come. They say you have to.

Though of course in the wild there’s no one
keeping track of when the begonia stopped blooming,
no deer with a clipboard shaking his tender head

and measuring soil acidity, his blackish tongue
probing the roots for diggers. The conditions
are always changing.

Way Down Deep

Discarded hashtags are filling up the ocean,
fishnet throwaway comments winding around legs and fins;
years from now we will see misshapen coral
and tiny-waisted turtles who ran afoul of Kim K’s latest craze
or the weighted-down corpses of things we tried to say without saying.

– + % * + § + * % + –

image

Elizabeth Scanlon is the editor of The American Poetry Review. Her poems have appeared in many magazines, including Boston Review, Ploughshares, and bedfellows, and in her most recent chapbook The Brain Is Not the United States / The Brain Is the Ocean (The Head & the Hand Press).

About the Author

More Like This

5 Unclassifiable Books by Women, Recommended by Kathryn Scanlan

The author of "Aug 9—Fog" picks books that break boundaries and expectations

Jun 6 - Electric Literature

A Perfectly Normal Interview with Carmen Maria Machado Where Everything Is Fine

The author discusses her very personal connection to a new edition of the 19th-century vampire novel "Carmilla"

Apr 18 - Theodore McCombs

7 Books Written as Emails, Reviews, and Letters

Mary Adkins, author of “When You Read This,” recommends epistolary works of fiction with subtextual storytelling

Feb 7 - Mary Adkins