Two Poems by Meredith Maltby


At a party getting to know all the cute
space time continuums,
I wasn’t spiraling, just getting my name
out there, testing the waters
in bodies not my own.

A cup was full in one realm
and empty in another.

It was fun to watch the liquid timeline
stretch across the room.
I tried to catch it halfway, lapped up
some solitary soda between dimensions.

Everyone was a blob.
Their drinks were grey, and also blobs.

One blob was so fragmentary,
I couldn’t dance with it.

There was no food, just purple
stream lights, black holes I couldn’t
get accustomed to,
Every manner of decoration—
Earth, sky,
and things I had no words for.

I liked the sky best
and decided to pet it:
Silky, and soft.

It’s linguistic kissing,
one blob was explaining
to another, something about
implosives, ejectives,
breath variation.

A blob slyly inserted a Chinese finger trap
onto my index finger and joined it
with the space where its finger
might have been.

I don’t know where it got the toy.
The blob must have thought I’d like it.
The blob told me I was a lovely
compilation of sound, skin,
and matter,
Was mostly interested in
the digestive system.

Frankly, I don’t want to blow
into mouths, it explained.
I suppose I looked grateful,
Some other way to reach oblivion.

Twenty-year-old humans are boring,
I said, wrapping nova necklaces
of comet tails around my neck, instantly
eating my words.

That’s just your own
self-imposed universe,
the blob curtailed, chomping
my leftover quotations
into obliteration.

To illustrate, it created new versions
of time and space
in midair, where events drove forward
when they wanted to,
Create a new world, make it so.

Create a world.
I started in my mind.

I tried to zap purple lights
into pink, switch language
to light:
None of it worked.

I didn’t have the same powers
that the blob did.
Not like that, it cautioned.

It pulled horoscopes out of my mouth
so I’d forget about futures, and left.
It was a sweet parting
with an important friend.

I could only control
my own weight in the world.
Destinies aren’t divinity.

I skirted around the side table
just as one of its legs
vaporized; re-appearing
all propped up in the corner
like some abandoned peg leg.

Things were getting weird.
Blobs were, became, remained,

Every blob shuffled to a secret rhythm
only they knew about.

I wished they’d turn up the music,
Drown out my feet and hands,
Lilt my skin in space serrated, a cut
I’d made through time
I would, or would not, return to.

I’m an 80-year-old Woman with Bad Eyesight and Profound Twitter

A middle-aged man on Bourbon Street told me that I had a nice booty.
I’m not telling this to brag,
nor am I telling it to provide some sort of anecdote.
I’m telling it because he had a magnifying glass
and smelled like Cheetos.

Everyone walks uniformly on the right-hand side
because they want to pretend they’re cars.
I pretended to be a nice Mercedes one day,
and that was the day I got a migraine and my period simultaneously.
2 good imagining provides bad karma for clunking machinery (us).

My twitter compendium got me banned from Heaven.

I’m an apple pie cherry pop girl with nowhere to go and I’m not cool because I don’t have an internship.

Everyone that has a LinkedIn also owns a felt hat, or way more cheap black pens than they’ll ever possibly use.

I played doubles against a geometry teacher who works at my old high school and realized I was old.
I’m so old (20).

I went to a house show and saw a local band and hung out with them.
Remembered looking up to Fall Out Boy/ Panic (!) [?] at the Disco like they were gramps/ coolest of all time.
Local band members looked my age, realized I was old for the second time.
I like solitaire now. Overdoing the number of times I’m remembering I am old.

Consistently on the cusp of not caring while simultaneously caring so much.

Girls like me own chinchillas and prop them on their shoulders for Tumblr photos.
Remember I’m old again.
Caught between blogging Instagram melodies and sitting up in bed with hot tea tray and pressed towel, newspapers in the soil outside to provide growth and support for plants.

Want to support plants of all kinds.

Want to put Plant Support on my LinkedIn profile.

What does it mean if I’m too pre-goth to wear stretchy black super tight necklaces,
I read a poem about a werewolf and cried.
Feel like that’s proof enough I’m not totally anti-liberal
The new liberal is pescatarian postmodernist soft grunge.
I’m too kawaii for brunch.

Don’t know why/ to whom I am proving.

Try to uncover the meaning of life.
Picture 25 cheerleaders mouthing the words to an underground rap song.
Now consider the insignificant notation of your age.
Here, download it.

About the author:

Meredith Maltby is from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is the poetry editor for the Tulane Review. She likes twitter + pancakes without syrup.