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Tome On The Range

Two Poems By: Siobhan Bledsoe
Karl Smith , September 15th, 2013 13:42

Week two of new writing comes once again via New York City in the form of two poems by Siobhan Bledsoe

Siobhan Bledsoe is a twenty-five-year-old writer and photographer living in Brooklyn, New York - a city she recently decided that she wasn't ready leave, subsequently deferring a photography MFA to hang out just a little longer. Her collected photographs, which include among them the above image simply titled 'Colby' and 'Rory' below, make for a visual companion to her written work and can be found - and should subsequently be given your time - at http://andthenilistenedtomyself.tumblr.com.

Bledsoe's poems also happen to be the first pieces of new writing published on The Quietus without commission or any kind of prior knowledge: that is, entirely on the strength of the first work submitted, 'august 2013', imbued with a kind of honesty and drive, not so much toward the creation of "poetry" for its own sake but the necessity of self-expression for the purpose of self-preservation. And that's what it's all about, really, isn't it?

august 2013

was the month i decided to ditch art school MFA
san francisco and a chance for a beginning overlooking the Pacific
even though when i flew out i smoked a joint with a stranger and felt at
peace.

the month where i gave up my room for the romance of transience
which meant getting drunk almost every night at Irene’s . . . $2 PBRS, shots.
i got fake engaged this month, he claimed love at first sight,
we drew rings with Bic pens on
each others fingers and Instagrammed it;

i found my other magnet:
we'd lay on his cot in his studio without a bathroom door
and hold hands, wake up at 10:22 AM, he’s off to work---no time for coffee,
peeing in front of someone isn't that vulnerable.

i shared the toothbrushes of at least five people and carried deodorant,
a change of clothes, must and perfume. church pews make for
good naps if you light a candle out of rusty
catholic guilt afterwards.

i still don't know if i'm engaged but either way
we'll have a party: disengagement or a bash on a farm somewhere green
music plays, wine is paid for.

august was the month i took a seven hour
bus ride down to Truro with $5 in my pocket (dunkin donut hashbrowns; water)
to visit my father and his second family, jumped into the ocean hoping
it'd wipe some of the depression away that has settled like a heavy
fog;

my exboyfriend was/is a heroin addict was a real august realization
that liars lie, that the dialogue is more complicated than
"you're an ADDICT" reduction, but, still, FUCK YOU, how many times
did i worry i'd wake up and you'd be dead beside me? sometimes humans suck,
sometimes.

august was the month of sex, sex with
a rich hippie who had a girlfriend (surprise!) but he took me to L'Avventura
anyway and i took away my self­esteem by sleeping with him that night,
he'd make eye contact while inside of me and then i'd stare at his painting
hanging over his bed, a portrait of a chinese man wearing a hat that said "follow your
heart" there are so many words within "follow your heart" ­­­ i'd trace them as
i'd trace his back. ALLOW, ALLAY, YORE, YURT, HURT.

august: where friends became real and revealed, where
i needed leeway not judgment
and found those that gave it (friend liz; anointed sister)
the month i spent two days in bed
with annie smoking js watching Netflix while she waited for her German
boyfriend to return -­­ massages always help.
i did the same at omars, our eyes binge ate all of "house of cards"
kevin spacey, that voice.

the month i looked for a job and found one just yesterday, my uniform
will be all black + a turquoise red bull, the month where i ignored my
mom for two weeks because she was all "back to Boston" but no i was too busy
learning that change really added up to money, usually a single ride
metrocard, the month when i had to e­mail my therapist on vacation and have a
panic attack over the "subject line" so i took more anti­anxiety pills and
that never ends well, where a BOA employee talked to me about my history of
overdrafting.

what else doesn't end well? having sex and not peeing after, that decision goes straight to your kidneys and then 1,500 MG of Amoxicillin later

you can breathe without hurting.

What I learned on a Wine Tour

A chateau
isn’t the
same as
a castle.

Barns
filled with
wine urinals
exist.

Processing
smells like
horse poop and
drunken grapes.

I am too
damn young
for this.

Give me
more wine or let
me sleep­­--

­­--on the tour bus,
while the
rest of us
young acting old

assholes,
smell,
swish,
study, and sophisticate.

Siobhan Bledsoe can be found on twitter at @myheartbledsoe and on Instagram as @skbledsoe

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