a poem a day (exceptindreams) wrote,

1501: for women who are 'difficult' to love. | Warsan Shire

"for women who are 'difficult' to love."
Warsan Shire

you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn't you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
prettier
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can't make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.


On this day in...
2011: "The City" by Constantine P. Cavafy
2010: "For A Senior Killed on Prom Night" by Gail White
2009: "My Father's Back" by Edward Hirsch
2008: Weekend, no poem

Hi! I'm taking my first solo trip and have decided to go to New Orleans. Do you have suggestions on what to do, see, or anything when I'm there at the end of July? Thank you!

This city will always pursue you.
Tags: constantine p. cavafy, warsan shire
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  • 17 comments

tulita

July 17 2012, 06:44:25 UTC 1 year ago

this is stunning. thank you for sharing.

jeweledhibiscus

July 17 2012, 16:21:40 UTC 1 year ago

I live in New Orleans! You want to go to the Riverwalk and Jackson Square, where the Cathedral is. You want to walk down Frenchman Street at night and hear all the music. You want to make time to wander around City Park because it's gorgeous. You want to go to the zoo and the aquarium and, if you're into bugs, possibly the insectarium as well. You want to ride the streetcar. If you want to do shopping, I suggest Magazine Street; if you want cozy, comfortable bars where everyone knows each other, we have a couple thousand but I'm familiar with the ones in Mid-City. You want to eat a burger at Port o' Call or Lakeside Harbor, you want to get a drink at Pat O'Brien's at night so you can see the fountain that is on fire, you want to walk the Quarter in the daylight, especially on the Marigny side, and look at all the beautiful houses and tiny tucked-away gardens.

exceptindreams

July 17 2012, 18:30:07 UTC 1 year ago

Thank you! I knew you'd know what to do there. Side note: even from just reading your travel advice, it's obvious that you are a poet and that poetry has seeped into your blood.

jeweledhibiscus

July 18 2012, 02:14:09 UTC 1 year ago

Aww, thank you! If you want to meet up or just want advice on where to get some particular kind of food, feel free to give me a text - 504.610.3854. I don't mind phone calls, either; I'm just horribly awkward during them.

exceptindreams

July 26 2012, 17:13:09 UTC 1 year ago

Yes, I would love to meet up! I just texted you. Thank you!

listeningirl

July 17 2012, 16:56:46 UTC 1 year ago

that's a wonderful poem

fumblewumble

July 17 2012, 17:30:24 UTC 1 year ago

love this.

versipellis

July 17 2012, 18:04:21 UTC 1 year ago

you can't make homes out of human beings

Yes. THIS. Great poem.

_eiko_

July 17 2012, 21:29:22 UTC 1 year ago

you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.


There are several lines in this poem that painfully ring a bell... but that ending somehow makes it all okay. Thank you.

judas_denied

July 18 2012, 05:04:19 UTC 1 year ago

I love this poem and am so glad to've had the chance to read--and discover--it here. I've read it over several times now and it gets better each time. <3

As someone else from New Orleans, I have a bit of a different take on a couple of things: I say walk the Quarter at night, drift through Jackson Square and talk to people. My way of "doing" New Orleans is to go out in the dark and just... let the night take me in. I know a lot of people will/would say that's dangerous, but I've been doing it since I was old enough to venture out on my own and I've never had a hard time. I say walk down Toulouse Street and look at the glitter on the dirty pavement there and find your way to One-Eyed Jack's and look at the glitter scattered all over the stoop... it's always felt like some kind of sparkly path to me and no matter how many times the glitter gets swept up... someone always throws out more. Then go in and marvel at the old wallpaper and if Dax Riggs is playing a show (which, I am not sure if he'll be in the city when you're there) I say stick around and listen to him wail because he has a voice like the most amazing kind of madness and heartbreak. I also have to recommend Royal Street and the Clover Grill, which is across from The Pub on Bourbon. I love the fries there and the staff is at once prickly and still, so friendly, at least to me. And finally, if you have a chance, check out the New Orleans Museum of Art; I rather like it there. There's also a used bookstore on Dauphine that's (roughly) across from the Dauphine Orleans that you may like, it's cramped and crowded--to me--but if you look, you can find some cool stuff... and not so cool, but that's the fun of used bookstores.

bluedelirium

July 19 2012, 02:31:39 UTC 1 year ago

As yet another resident of New Orleans, I'll second the Museum of Art-- it's free on Wednesday, and besides which it's in City Park which is quite large and also has an interesting outdoor sculpture garden. For bars, I like Mimi's-- Monday has swing nights, which are fun, and the tapas are spendy but super delicious.

If you get tired of the Quarter and Marigny/Bywater (it's fun but can be tiring if you find crowds tiring), you could take the streetcar Uptown and check out little shops on Magazine, the nice old houses in the Garden District, or go on to the Audubon Park/university area, which has some interesting cafes and shops scattered around.

Lastly, if you like cemeteries, I like Metairie Cemetery the best. If you take the Canal St. streetcar to the end it will be in walking distance. It closes at like 4 in the afternoon though, so come early if you don't want to sneak in.

exceptindreams

July 26 2012, 17:15:27 UTC 1 year ago

I am definitely going to check out the cemeteries -- I was trying to figure out which ones to go to, and so thank you for saying that Metairie is the best one. I will be going there (probably tomorrow, actually!) And thank you for the other suggestions!

exceptindreams

July 26 2012, 17:14:00 UTC 1 year ago

Thank you. This is amazing advice. Thank you again!

kyreii

July 18 2012, 13:52:30 UTC 1 year ago

Just in case anybody's interested, here's a reading of the poem. :)

http://vimeo.com/38766162

haldis

July 19 2012, 06:13:56 UTC 1 year ago

This hurts. I understood myself just a bit more.

onestringed

July 19 2012, 15:04:09 UTC 1 year ago

just wanted to let you know - your post title misses out the 'f' in 'for' :)

exceptindreams

July 19 2012, 15:50:35 UTC 1 year ago

Fixed! Thank you.