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December 18, 2015 Poetry

6 Poems

Elizabeth Ellen

6 Poems photo

Beyoncé Knowles (Wears Nike Kneepads)

Are you Beyoncé? My daughter says.

I am holding a pair of Nike kneepads in my hand.

No, I say.

I am not Beyoncé, I say.

My daughter doesn’t say anything else.

My daughter makes a certain face, raises her hand open palm in front

of her.

This means ‘exactly.’

My daughter means, ‘exactly, you are not Beyoncé.’


I wait until my daughter has left the room to put on the Nike kneepads


I stand on a chair in the middle of my room

I spin while my hands are up

I clap clap clap like I don’t care

I dance down the hallway with a pretend cup in my hand

I hold that coke like alcohol

I wave my hands from side to side,

I am careful not to drop the alcohol

I dance in front of my bathroom mirror

I move my legs from side to side,

I smack it in the air

I clap clap clap like I don’t care


I forget for a minute I am not Beyoncé

(Inside I think maybe we are all Beyoncé)


I think, my daughter is mad cause I’m so fresh

I think, I’m fresher than you, and by ‘you’ I mean my daughter, but

also I mean everyone else I have ever met


afterward I put the Nike kneepads in a drawer in my closet so my

daughter will not find them


I don’t ever again want to be told I am not Beyoncé.




I was heart broken and I couldn’t shit.

It was one, two o’clock in the morning.

I could feel the shit, hard and pellet-like, up in there, up inside of my rectum,

But it wouldn’t come out.

(I had been sitting there a long time.)

I was staring at a picture of Miley Cyrus’s tits in Paper magazine.

I wrapped my middle finger in a wipe and shoved it up my ass,

Felt around, located the hard balls of shit and pulled some out.

I wrapped my finger in a fresh wipe and pulled again.

I could feel my butthole ease up,

And more shit ready to come out, on its own, without me pulling.

I was still heart broken but at least now I could shit.

Miley Cyrus had someone’s name tattooed under her left tit.

I couldn’t make it out.

It looked like it started with a ‘J.’

Jesse or Justin or Jamey.

I have a tattoo of a buffalo on my right rib.

The buffalo might as well be my husband’s name.

I didn’t know if Miley Cyrus had ever been constipated.

I pictured her having a bleached asshole.

I pictured her asshole being nice and tight and pink.


Everyone keeps telling me I am a ‘strong vibrant woman’/please stop telling me I’m a strong woman please

Tanja texted me that today:

“You’re a strong vibrant woman,” she said.

I didn’t reply.

I was on my bathroom floor sobbing into a hand towel as usual.


Before She Killed Herself Letterman’s Stalker Stalked an Astronaut Also

But the astronaut wasn’t famous, or wasn’t on TV, or I had never

heard of him, or whatever.


What I mean is, I don’t know how Letterman’s stalker became

convinced the astronaut was communicating with her


In the absence of TV or Ask.Fm or the Internet or whatever.



Tanja says, “You have a lot of pop culture references in these poems.”

Tanja says, “I started to get annoyed with all the pop culture references while I was reading your poems.”

“But I guess that’s the point,” Tanja says.

“Mmmhmm,” I say.

Tanja likes Hanson and Matchbox Twenty.

Tanja has a Nicki Minaj brand shirt she got at K’Mart before our last tour.

I can’t remember the last time I felt drunk.

Last night I didn’t smoke a cigarette even though I was alone.

I don’t ever know what the point is.


Miley Cyrus II

(I told myself there had to be a reasonable explanation for why I kept

hurting him.)

I just kept hurting him

& hurting him & I hurt too because of hurting him.


I stared at Miley Cyrus.

The pull quote beneath her bared breasts said she didn’t judge



It felt good knowing Miley didn’t judge me for hurting him.