Dorothea Lasky Milk

ISBN 13: 9781940696638

9781940696638: Milk
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In her latest collection, Dorothea Lasky brings her signature style—a deeply felt and uncanny word-music—to all matters of creativity, from poetry and the invention of new language to motherhood and the production of new life. At once a personal document as it is an occult text—complete with the authors own occult drawings—,Milk investigates overused paradigms of what it means to be a creator and encapsulates its horrors and joys—setting fire to the enigma that drives the vital force that enables poems, love, and life to happen.

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About the Author:

Dorothea Lasky is the author of five full-length collections of poetry: Milk (forthcoming, Wave Books, 2018), Rome (Liveright/W.W. Norton, 2014), Thunderbird (Wave Books, 2012), Black Life (Wave Books, 2010), and AWE (Wave Books, 2007). She is also the author of several chapbooks, including: Snakes (Tungsten Press, 2017), Thing (Floating Wolf Quarterly, 2012), Matter: A Picturebook (Argos Books, 2012), The Blue Teratorn (Yes Yes Books, 2012), Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), Tourmaline (Transmission Press, 2008), The Hatmaker’s Wife (2006), Art (H_NGM_N Press, 2005), and Alphabets and Portraits (Anchorite Press, 2004). Born in St. Louis in 1978, her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, MAKE magazine, Phoebe, POETRY, Poets & Writers Magazine, The New Yorker, Tin House, The Paris Review, and 6x6, among other places. She is the co-editor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney's, 2013) and is a 2013 Bagley Wright Lecturer on Poetry. She holds a doctorate in creativity and education from the University of Pennsylvania, is a graduate of the MFA program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and has been educated at Harvard University and Washington University. She has taught poetry at New York University, Wesleyan University, and Bennington College. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Poetry at Columbia University's School of the Arts and lives in New York City.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Do you want to dip the rat

Do you want to dip the rat
Completely in oil

Do you want to dip the rat
Before we eat it eat it

Do you want to dip the rat
Completely in oil

Before we eat it
Tender tender meat

Like pork shoulder
100 traps set

80 hanging in a row to be broiled
With you

I’d take it raw
Tiny pink feet

Glistening with oil
Legs and feet

Glistening with oil
Matted fur and face

Weighted down with oil
Everything in oil

But the teeth are shiny clean
No what I really want to know

Before you open that mouth again
Should we completely dip the rat in oil

Before we eat it eat it
Should we completely

Dip the rat in oil
Before we eat it

Floral pattern

I feel super needy today
The worst part of admitting this
Is that no one will care
This the pattern I see
When I close my eyes too quickly
Not a pattern of being
But a floral pattern from the 70s
Yellows and oranges
You know social media
Is bad for me
People are too
I am 37 and still a child
In my thinking about people
So I avoid them entirely
I smile
But that’s about it
I’ll never know anyone
Ego dissolving
Not anything
I will never be anything
But that’s ok too
What if anything
On the beach the flowers are
What wild
What was ever wild
He wrote the last thing I could be
Not a relationship
But in art
He said what we were was art
Not a need
Not even an art need
What is an art need
So full of culture
What is a cultus
Coitus
My silly sublime
Bright turquoise palm flowers
Over a magenta hue
Palindrome in the night
Asking me
For my prediction
And upon divination
I said it was a great love in a museum
No I meant me
No I mean myself
Darling all night
I have been flickering off on off
Heavy as a lecher’s kiss
The neon lights of the overlay
The room that will always be timeless
Not an intrapersonal concern
But an art one
The moon
No door
But a face in its own right
My mind
A bloodhound
For oblivion
Already in the house
Answer your phone
Call me
Call me I will answer
From inside your house
Dripping my wares everywhere
Answer me
Was I really so unreposed
Naked corpse
So slowly working
Answer me
Was I really so
Palindrome of shadow and light
Not a thing of worth
But a barmaid
That’s all you wanted
In the lilac light
Where I gave up
My most sacred to you
Without a second’s thought
And you answered the phone
From another sphere
Laughing
Laughing at me
Laughing

Milk, No 2

I keep doing this past what is pointless
I keep doing it past what is good
I rise, and I am not sick anymore
But you are sleeping, breath falling
It is 8 am somewhere
Maybe in LA
Where my brother sleeps, fitfully
In arms of sundress
Maybe where my mother lived
Her whole life and got the sun in her too
I think back to what I was 10 years ago
Maybe 20, the people
Great Aunt Ida told me
To live this one
The dreams they say of men
I paint their eyelids as always
In what colors
Of course, the greens
I just keep making these things
Past the point of what is normal
I look for faces but the eyes are dead
But when you look at me, I can’t lie
Baby, it’s with love
I never knew what it was to be this way
But then again I never let myself be
Cascade of ocean
The beach was lost and dark
The house was dark dark
I went in, I wasn’t scared
It wasn’t the going in the door that struck me
It was the getting out, or even wandering
What’s behind the hidden doors
Can I find a bed there
Can I set up my electronic things
Can I put this machine on
It’s my armor to protect you
I have nothing
You are in a glass house
The fall of it
Orange hearts one after the other
My true love is sleeping
I tell him, don’t rest
I swirl
I find another
Another with the moon
He writes me letters,
The sweet bees are for you
Twenty-nine bees
Like a beekeeper
No it is the bees who are my lovers
For them I am but a flower
I enter the scene
For the bees, I am magenta forever
I enter the scene, not the house
It’s easy to be brave
The house is not glass, it’s plastic
It’s clear and hot
I can see you, Flower
I can see you simply
Your head
And it’s bursting
With colors no one knows about
I can see you Animal
You breathe
And it’s not to raise the dead
I read, and it’s to find the breathing
I read to my baby
About the things
Milk, it connects
Milk it is not cum
A kind of off-white blood
Not an aftereffect
I squirt all over the sheets
My lifeforce
Not blood, but cum
Milk is not what the air gives
It is what you are
You say you let yourself go
Maybe you didn’t
Maybe you should squeeze out
Everything you have
My true love he is awakened
By the flooding of it all
Not blood but me
When I leave
I’ll leave behind not this stain
But this jewelry of being
I’ll put in a vial the frozen things
My baby, you died before it all began
Then you lived
And lived longer
I gave you all I had
Who wouldn’t
This isn’t a story you know
This isn’t an article, I’m sure
I’m sure of it
This isn’t the going in
This is what is out
I squeeze and all the lifeforce
I am not shell, or what I would have assumed
I am snake again, and I can make it a hundred times
True love you sleep on dark red sheets
I bleed everywhere you drink me
It is off-white and iron-filled
We read love letters
Written by the bees
They write of black and blue flowers
They are bursting
In ways we could not see
You kiss me and I squeeze out the orange flowers
In a clear house we and the pansies
Butterflies and bees
Blood red milk
It’s drinkable
You drink me
And I am no longer me
But lifeforce
Blood and bones
Peach
Peaches, and the palm trees
The sun, the beach
Blood red bees
That when I speak
The burn
Hot ash yellow flower
In a clear house
Baby when you breathe
I can feel you sleeping
All alone, darkening rose
I rise, no longer me
No, once I thought it was over
I didn’t go in
I went out
Arrows going away from the center
Not quarterly, but to see
Ash is not cum
Blood red cum, milking
Breathing milk, breathing bees
Blood red bee
He flew
Into the hothouse flower
It was clear
It was not to cum
Yellow pansy
It was to see

I feel the heavy

I feel the heavy feeling
Of being in the dead man’s room
I feel it too
All I have done and not
War-torn
Birth-torn
Into the night
They sought from me
I can’t even imagine
What my ancestors endured
All for what
So I go and buy an island
The mosquito buzzes around me
It seeks me
It seeks thee
Me
Ghosts,
I know you seek me
I seek you
You I seek, too
Bees,
I am a walking
Flower goddess
Goodbye,
I said to the air, the sky
Heavy heavy
You are heavy
In my arms,
The sky said to me
I know I am,
Said the bee

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