Poems by Lisa McCool-Grime

Are You Kidding Me? Are You Kidding Me:

from BBC interviews with the Westboro Baptist
Church members under the ministry of Fred Phelps

The ultimate smash-mouth in-your-face insult
to God Almighty. He can’t help but lie about the scripture
every time he opens his mouth. No tears for queers.
Not one word falls to the ground, not one of them

to God Almighty. He can’t help but lie about the scripture.
God hates fags. God hates you. God hates America.
Not one word falls to the ground, not one of them.
Make what was already in their heart come out of their mouth.

God hates fags. God hates you. God hates America.
Those guys who are taking it up the tailpipe
make what was already in their heart come out of their mouth
crawling all over this earth like ants on a banana.

Those guys who are taking it up the tailpipe,
knowledge of the bible, knowledge of the moral realm
crawl all over this earth like ants on a banana.
These are wonderful signs: fag troops, dyke liberty,

knowledge of the bible, knowledge of the moral realm.
A nation of people who have risen up with one voice
These are wonderful signs: fag troops, dyke liberty.
Noah, do you know what fag troops are?

A nation of people who have risen up with one voice.
You’re usurping oxygen. Don’t be a snake,
Noah. Do you know what fag troops are?
Your impertinent questions. I’m ashamed to be an American.

You’re usurping oxygen. Don’t be. A snake
everytime he opens his mouth. No tears for queers?
Your impertinent questions. I’m ashamed to be an American.
The ultimate smash-mouth in-your-face insult.

“Driving Home, My Soldier”

Cup to her lips, this tea
made from ration and cardamom
bows like a warrior at each highway marker
counting the miles to him.

Sunsets glare through the blood of insects.

Beneath the bombardment
of billboards that color her face
a wartime map, she whistles
in the place of teapots, longs for veils
of steam coughing up from the kettle,
shooting every loose leaf.

Seeking her home in him, she finds exile.

He has occupied her
the long length of the interstate. He has
settled in the hollows of her cheeks.

Nothing Better Than a Box

The house grows perpendicular to the ground,
stops miles short of the sky. He folds
her hand into his when they go in
by the front door, hedges struggling,
branch by little branch, out of their trim.

During yoga, her body makes a Y, then an X,
a child, then a cage. He works late
on computer simulations: geyser fracture
patterns, seismic wave propagation. She smokes
while painting, the canvas a rectangle.

But don’t we all dance the four-step?
We write our letters in rows.
Even the honeycomb we cut
at right angles to fit into jars. The veins
of an oak leaf can be blown up:

projected as a pixelated fractal
onto the classroom wall. How my labia
fits around your cock. Is there
nothing better than a box for all
our creative lunges? Here we are breaking

like a shoreline
halved and halved again by the picture frame.

tea-gardenWhile teaching mathematics to high school students, Lisa McCool-Grime began pursuing poetry in earnest after winning the May 1998 Raleigh Poetry Slam. Since then she has been a featured reader at venues from North Carolina to California, from universities to bars to basements. She worked as a poet-in-residence in North Dakota, receiving a grant in 2008 to teach students ages 8 to 18. In December, she graduated with an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles and in January she gave birth to her son, Austin. Her poetry has appeared in Napalm Health Spa, Writer’s Dojo, The Citron Review and is forthcoming in the North Dakota Quarterly.

Later this week, the Poetry Editors will present the first of what we hope will be many Q&A sessions with featured readers. Check back soon for a chance to meet the writer behind the work.

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7 comments for “Poems by Lisa McCool-Grime

  1. November 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Lovely work Lisa. The first piece is one I am sharing around 🙂

  2. November 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Nothing Better Than a YEAH!!

  3. Nancy
    November 20, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Lisa, what smart, compelling, intelligent, fully-realized poems. Full of sass and intelligence and surprise. Kudos!

  4. Nancy
    November 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Lisa, what smart, compelling, fully-realized poems. Full of sass and intelligence and surprise. Kudos!

  5. November 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Lisa’s poems unite the intellectual logic of a math teacher and the intuitive logic of a poet. Lovely!

  6. Loree
    February 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Dear Lisa — I miss you and still think of you often – – – …. I live in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg now – we moved here from London three years ago. Congrats on your new baby – I saw the picture!!! You guys are back in California? Do you ever drive up to where we lived near the Eucalyptus trees? I am on FB now, but know that must not be your style…. I don’t know how to get back in touch w/ you guys…. I hope one day we see each other again…. We should move to Boston next year. Would love for you guys to visit if ever in that area…. Happy Valentine’s Day Love always loree

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