Cathexis Northwest Press
We rings; COSI; Weekend Joe
By: Annie Woods
Plastic is not biodegradable but I throw it in the ocean like I think it is. I just want the satisfaction of fooling the earth into thinking it will rot. I want the waves to think it’s kin. Not kin in the way you see your favorite uncle at Christmas and he pulls twenty bucks from behind your ears and it lights you up; I’m talking about the kin that waste you blue. That wrap around your throat like plastic rings from packs of sodas on baby turtles. And you were born into this water. You’re slick like a little duck dunked in black oil and salvation comes like Dawn soap. Dawn soap is manmade and so is heaven.
Scoliosis is the name of the dinosaur who ate me before I went extinct. It’s the name of the dinosaur spray-painted silver in the science museum of my boyfriend’s childhood home. Whatever you’re feeling is alright. It’s okay to watch the model of the human body light up in all the right places. It’s okay. Sink your hands into all the polished, colorful stones and feel the way rocks ripple. Whatever you’re feeling is natural. Whatever you’re feeling sets you on fire and sends you home. Do a handstand until you pass out, bodies are disaster orchestras. Scoliosis is the name of the fossil that formed me before my body went to war.
Today, I’m set to fight Weekend Joe. Weekend Joe is the party man. He wears those sunshades that he wears. And I’m fucking tired of it. I fight him because I want to fight myself; he’s so much cooler than me and I’m insecure I’m insecure I’m insecure I’m punching Weekend Joe silly and hotboxing his car and hitting on his sister. His sister is goth and we scissor in my hospital bed just to piss everyone off. Weekend Joe is a surgeon in this ward. What? It can’t always be the weekend.
Annie has been featured in Hobart, A VELVET GIANT, and has upcoming publications in great weather for MEDIA and Gigantic Sequins. She likes to wear lipstick and spin in circles.
Interview with the Poet:
Cathexis Northwest Press: Can you remember the first poem you read that made you fall in love with poetry?
Annie Woods: I’m gonna go with literally any poem by Pablo Neruda. As an angsty teenager, I did a lot of wanting to be in love but not having a chance in hell because I was ugly. Love that Neruda love. CNP: Who are your favorite poets? Any specific poems?
AW: I really like Kristin Chang and Carol Moldaw. My favorite poem maybe, like, ever, is Chang’s “Poem to cure my mother’s insomnia.” I read it once a month, probably. CNP: Can you share for us a little bit about your writing process? Any specific rituals that get you in the zone?
AW: This is going to sound really annoying, but I write better stuff when I’m in excruciating physical pain. I wrote all these prose poems on a plane ride from Ohio and I might have had lowkey meningitis. CNP: How do you decide the form for your poems? Do you start writing with a form in mind, or do you let the poem tell you what it will look like as you go?
AW: I write in my phone memos a lot; this began as a habit when I was experiencing significant encephalitis-related memory loss and had to type, like, everything in my phone so I could remember baseline anything about my life. Turns out the phone memos make okay poems. CNP: Any advice for poets who have yet to find their voice?
Unless a sea witch stole it in a soul-binding contract, you already have a voice! If you’re funny, you’re funny. If you’re sad, you’re sad. And if you’re boring, be boring! Some people write Finnegans Wake and some people write for Riverdale and they both find unique successes. CNP: What is your editing process like?
AW: Oh, I love editing. If killing your darlings was golf, I’d be Arnold Palmer, and if killing your darlings was sweet tea and lemonade then I’d still be Arnold Palmer. CNP: When do you know that a poem is finished?
I don’t; I’m never satisfied with anything, so I just send stuff out before I’m ready. I don’t want to die with nothing to link in my Twitter bio like some idiot.