Two Poems by Sandra Simonds



Further Problems with Pleasure

I like the way you look a little depressed. Anyone here got anything
for me to suck on? Shouldn’t down bottles of red wine:
I’m a drum on the run I’m a bummer a sad sack of brain matter.
Do all your boys know about each other? I’ve got some venison
in the freezer. Sometimes I read your poems at work and it makes
me feel better but when you say the word “cunt,” I have to
close my browser. I’ve neglected my
studies. I’ve neglected to wash the baby socks.
I like the way you look depressed staring out from your
Facebook prison maybe we can talk? Am I creepy? Am I horny?
Anyone here got anything for me to suck on?


My Sexuality Is “Victim of Capitalism”

My gender is pink jeans. My sexuality is longing
and taking that longing
down the long, red dawn
spread like a fan
across the bed. I don’t think
I’m gay. I don’t think I’m straight.
I think I’m going to change into my pussy
is always wet these days as if Eros
itself had taken up permanent residence
in the stupid garage of my body.

My pussy doesn’t believe
in ecological collapse or
trees or the sunset; it doesn’t believe in the moors,
the Brontës, the heart
or the landscape opening and closing
like a fist. It can’t resist. It just keeps going
going like a machine
placing its bets like an idiot
on a rigged game.

I’ve made a few babies.
I built them from some cross between
revolution and youth like a girl
who has the word fate tattooed
on her forearm because she can’t
stand anything and the act
denotes her lack of intelligence
which is sad but real.

Yesterday, at a birthday dinner
someone was talking about Rumi,
some fable that involved a lion
and a woman. Something abstract was stacked
on seven Korans. Maybe it was Eros or
love or the sun. I can’t remember.

But something about the story
moved my flesh like light against
the crescent moon
and I wondered, Alex, if you too wanted
to make a spirit
out of this nothingness,
an ash spirit, trash everywhere trash,
and fling it across the hotel
window to make reality
a scene before us.


Poems first published in Further Problems with Pleasure, by Sandra Simonds, University of Akron Press, 2017.

Cover photograph by Jean-Baptiste Maurice

About the Author:

Sandra Simonds is the author of six books of poetry: Orlando, (Wave Books, forthcoming in 2018), Further Problems with Pleasure, winner of the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize and forthcoming from the University of Akron Press, Steal It Back (Saturnalia Books, 2015), The Sonnets (Bloof Books, 2014), Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012), and Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2009). Her poems have been included in the Best American Poetry 2015 and 2014 and have appeared in many literary journals, including Poetry, the American Poetry Review, the Chicago ReviewGrantaBoston Review, PloughsharesFenceCourt Green, and Lana Turner. In 2013, she won a Readers’ Choice Award for her sonnet “Red Wand,” which was published on, the Academy of American Poets website. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida and is an assistant professor of English and Humanities at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.