Becca Klaver was born and raised in Milwaukee and now lives in Brooklyn. She holds degrees from the University of Southern California and Columbia College Chicago, and is now working on a PhD in Literatures in English at Rutgers University. A founding editor of the feminist poetry press Switchback Books, she is the author of the chapbook Inside a Red Corvette: A 90s Mix Tape (greying ghost press, 2009) and the full-length collection of poems, LA Liminal (Kore Press, 2010)
STARE TOO HARD & THE BAD FEELINGS CREEP BACK
When I finally arrived at the cataloged town, prefab
and fabulous, anticipation had already wrecked me,
warped my steel. I'm sure I'd've been
an okay denizen if the whole goal hadn't been
a primping hope of discovery, the chance
scouts would sling their crossfires on me
as on a pouty skinny thing at the mall. As it was
I built things wrong, I loved things wrong—
across the border, left to sit in the hut of the blind
with a blindfold on, ohhhming and offering up smoke.
When I came back I was so sorry for the bloody
smudges I'd left on all the buildings. I knew they'd
been erected for Olympians and had once kept me
swaddled, though I'll admit I took pleasure in saying
Nothing in nature wants to go home.
All these animals just dig holes. Everything at the limits
of every town is a body double—heart's fence
of bayonets, heart's engine, heart's swamp.
It's that readable. It's just a picture book.
ON THE BALCONY
with smogged-out moon
& my back to the street.
I took a sip I tossed my hair
I cocked my wrist but
all along I knew there lurked
a crossfire with night vision
aimed at the base of my skull.
It was easy to climb up
or I was blonde against black
a cascade of dahlias
stems cracked & milking.
Or I was easy.
I was asking for it.
BACK IN AMERICA
weird light in the halls
weird light on the mind
yawping street roam, lusty embrace
drawer tuck sewn shut—
I wanted it all
wanted the slather
of every tradition
I wanted to stick up
for you & your experiment
for you & all the
tiny glass figurines
you're inside of
inside of you
Their looks said fool
but I really wanted something
of my poetry / country
I wanted to go down
into my mind
knock the sewer grate
& come back up
on the outside
I wanted not to be
she once said
there so alone