Ariana Reines


when my boyfriend called the cops on me
i waited in my room for them to come
i waited a half hour and then another half
this naked whiteness i could contrive to cleanse me
officer i am in love and now my lover hate me
always having dreamed of being a monk in a cell
if i eat celery for ten days and with an ether commingle
i could sit in the seat of rocks and razors
standing on one foot for ten years near the gingerlight
where the lees of my mind would fizz and then unto heaven sail

everyone i know beats up their lover and their lover beats them up
and the cops come and the cops go and sometimes someone passes a night in holding
i saw a shade pass across his face when he said he loved me
and he would not tell me what that shade was
i’m just a lover officer
but they never came though later they would come for him and i looked at my computer
and the internet was so depressing
then you wrote me a message like
call me sometime
and i think i chatted like how about right now
and you were like
do it
call me right now
when you walk in the rinsed orange light
shining like rotting tangerines picking up a deck of cards
low mean cards a low mean deal
twos and threes of clubs
which is pretty much what we got
blood is a spangle
bright colors are hidden deep in the body
fruits impossibly moist
trees blow out their hair along a furrow
i’m sick of eating beans in ugly light
i should not have spent my friend’s money on a miniskirt
but this is the future
the insects are dead in the cupboard
and dead on the floor
and i left one over there
alongside a clot of strawberry jam
to write this down

the small ones and the fat orangeish ones
they die through the holes in the ceiling
and they live and die upon me no matter how much love I make
sleeping like promises when I have to go
to sleep against the future which is not
going to come to term today and not tomorrow either
why would you sit down and write it
this is the total experience
we’re too big to fail

ariana reines is the author of the cow (alberta prize, fencebooks: 2006), coeur de lion (mal-o-mar: 2007), the play telephone (produced by the foundry theatre february 2009, 2 obies, + published in play a journal of plays: 2009), and the forthcoming save the world (mal-o-mar: 2010) and mercury (fencebooks: 2011).  two translations have appeared: the little black book of grisélidis réal: days and nights ofProxy-Connection: keep-alive Cache-Control: max-age=0 0an anarchist whore by jean-luc hennig (semiotext(e): 2009) and my heart laid bare by charles baudelaire (mal-o-mar: 2009).  in 2009 she was virginia c. holloway lecturer in poetry at uc berkeley.  she has a new tumblr, and sort of lives in la.


  1. Really nice work, thank you.

  2. Stop dating trailer trash and maybe your poetry won't be so terrible.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. anonymous, in the future, and for the sake of poetry, i will date only persons as charming as you are. thank you!

  5. I have read this and another piece on your blog and I think this narrative is already overwhelming. I wonder whether love here is caustic or adhesive, and then you answer me, and instead I wonder how it is at all possible that love be caustic and adhesive at the same instant. You are something else, Ariana.

  6. (different anonymous than the ones above)

    I think love can often be caustic and adhesive at the same time. Remember Rimbaud, Bataille. Knowledge and degradation through love.