Keleigh Wolf is a dissenting American poet and Socialist journalist who lives in London. Her work is an act of cannibalism and catharsis, using witchy wordplay, gravity-defying gravitas, and absurdity – housed in the lithe frame of her alternate universe.
I’d rather be boiled down to the sum of my own history
in a cauldron of repatriated Americana,
tread over the tail of my childhood cat in stilettos,
render myself nude & twenty kilos heavier –
actually digest my dinners –
weep sperm & shit live animals.
I’d rather suck plutonium lollipops
& re-elect Donald Trump,
use poor grammar & be plagued with spelling errors,
employ zeitgeist buzzwords in an academic climate,
or be canonised as the Patron Saint of Mediocrity.
I’d prefer my writing paw severed & typewriter splintered,
to go through puberty live on prime-time TV,
forever ride the Northern Line at rush hour,
drink broken-bag decaffeinated tea with knuckley gristle,
soggy biscuits & bland curry.
Pickle my own eyeballs.
Have piano keys wedged beneath my fingernails.
I’d prefer to perpetually listen to air pop & soft rock,
dancing balletic on shattered marrow-pulp ankles,
bathe in communicable disease.
Be continually infantilised by the patriarchy.
Be underestimated – be ignored.
Better to accessorise with guillotine necklaces, & thumbscrew wedding-bands,
paint the walls magnolia & beige –
decorate with Thomas Kinkade,
have the smug Midwestern televangelists be proven right,
gestate a satanic elephant,
fake all my orgasms, menstruate perpetually, or
shop Oxford Street at Christmastime
with a growing Barclay’s overdraft.
Better that my elaborate subterfuge sleuthed undone,
& be denied a social disguise,
solely read historic romance best sellers for eternity,
have every morsel of cake be brought close, then found stale,
& have my fickle complexity commodified,
pre-packaged & sold into homogenised slavery.
I would rather anything,
other than this.