Poetry Suite by Adrienne Novy

Editor Carrie Seitzinger, Poetry, November 7th, 2017

"ring light as a moon! don't you dare declaw this bitch!"

Adrienne Novy Poetry Nailed Magazine
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LET’S MAKE THIS A GAME

 

Distract yourself from itching the histamine welts,

………………………………………………………ask your mother to read Junie B. Jones
………………………………………………………to you and the girl who just got her
………………………………………………………tonsils out.

Start a round of Simon Says.

Epidural Scratch.

Simon did not say scratch.

………………………………………………………Play scar hide-and-go-seek.

Pediatric Trivia: Dial [This Number] on the hospital room phone,

be the first to correctly answer the riddle,

………………………………………………………pick a prize from the red toy wagon.

…………………………You, the Sick Kid, were so brave today,
…………………………swallowed the whole hospital library,
…………………………called it taking your medicine.

 

 

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LAST BREAKFAST

 

Today is the day you finally get to go home. Your mother serves chocolate chip yogurt as a celebration breakfast. You and your brother bring your bowls into the Ronald McDonald House family room to watch The Brave Little Toaster on the small television. Blankie is paused drifting mid-air as you rush to the bathroom and your stomach unloads progress into the toilet. Your mother gently rubs your upper back and hushes you as you are bent over, crying. The drive back to the hospital is quiet.

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THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL

 

If you lifted the roof off of my childhood bedroom, the flashlight hours spent curled under blankets, reading past bedtime could brighten a house of prayer.

When I was nine, I checked out Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl from my town’s small library.

After coming home, I asked my Jewish mother and my Roman Catholic father which faith I was supposed to practice, which holy being I was meant to pray to.

I did not have a Bat Mitzvah or a Confirmation, but since Anne and I were both door slams of curious girls who loved to write,
searching for god in a library became gospel enough for a child.

In fourth grade, a girl in my class teased me on the playground
told me her great-great-uncle was a Nazi,
said he would have killed my whole family.
I stopped bringing Anne Frank with me to school.

Growing up, I had a crush on a boy from my town’s Jewish center,
but also thought about kissing my friend, Gracie.

I wondered if she tasted like sparkling grape juice, the champagne of a star,
the words from the best book I had ever read.

Before Anne Frank’s diary was published,
her father removed all the entries where
Anne questioned her sexuality,
lifted away arguments with her mother from the final transcript,
claimed he did this out of respect for the dead.

When you are Jewish and queer and you die on every page,
and you die in every book,
you convince yourself that the sky must be only the place you are allowed to live.
I think about how quickly I would have unwritten myself
if my father had found all of my truths.

Anne wrote about how she saw this universe.
She wrote about everything from the fights in the annex,
to journaling her desires and masturbation,
about liking both boys and girls.
She knew that there was good in this world despite all its honest ugly, how we both believed that there must still be kindness in the hearts of people who wanted to set us on fire.

If the unedited version of the diary did not exist,
I would have continued to tear chapters out of my body,
burn all the love letters,
pray the candlelight out of my mouth,
ban the library of me,
bleed the ink back until I am both the unlit match and smoke-choked sky,
until the queer Jewish girl within me becomes a different story,
until there is nothing left to be created or destroyed.

Until I burn from the inside out.

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ODE TO CAITIN STICKELS

 

girl’s got fangs and a bold statement lip!
cat eye keratin sharp! crescent retinas!
ring light as a moon!
don’t you dare declaw this bitch!
these scars call for a celebration!
now more beauty mark than burden!

Caitin, you taught me to look at my malformed shoulder &
decorate it in tulle!
tattoos! say, fuck you! to the photoshop!
let the jewel of bone beg the camera to focus!
my low muscle tone as model material!
no more shying from lingerie or two-piece swimsuits!
amalgamation of present me & my three-year-old self!
with fused teeth, grinning at purple mountain’s dusk!
Cat eye syndrome lunar eclipse!
body willing to love the light!

 

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CAT EYE SYNDROME: MY RETINAS AS A SOLAR ECLIPSE

 

trisomy of Chromosome 22—

…………………………………………………………….a fragmented holy. coloboma halo,
fractal iris,

…………………………felinus pupils;

……….tthe midnight

……………………….slink underneath Jacob’s ladder.

the genetics doctor as a god.

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Header image courtesy of Smith Smith. To view his Artist Feature, go here.

 

Adrienne Novy Poetry Nailed MagazineAdrienne Novy is a teaching artist and student from the Chicago suburbs studying Creative Writing and Education. Her work can be found in FreezeRay Poetry, Harpoon Review, Vagabond City Lit, Voicemail PoemsMaudlin House, and on Button Poetry. She loves My Chemical Romance and wants to meet your dog.

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Carrie Seitzinger

Carrie Seitzinger is Editor-in-Cheif and Co-Publisher of NAILED. She is the author of the book, Fall Ill Medicine, which was named a 2013 Finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Seitzinger is also Co-Publisher of Small Doggies Press.
Learn more about her at her official site.