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On Beauty and other poems by Olivia Mardwig

I’ve run out of eyeliner.
Which isn’t really a problem.
It’s not like running out of milk, or money.

For a while I thought I wouldn’t need it.
And let me tell you,
it felt nice to get rid of something to need.

The make up would last one more day, so I used it.
And on the way to the train station,
admittedly with the care I just took, was feeling beautiful.
Which is a way to say, ready.

A young man noticed me
and smiled in a way that suggested
we could know each other.

Really good eyeliner costs about $20,
which if you think about it,
is not very much to exist in somebody else’s mind.


On Mind and Body

My mind knows things my body doesn’t
and vice versa. It’s always been that way.

There are days, or parts of days
that I live in one, more than the other,

I try to get better about bringing them together
even if I continue to fail, impossibly.

I eat. I have sex. I dance.
I even run to the nearest bridge, which is not so near.
But I can’t escape thinking, always in these two selves.

Yesterday I dropped two round earrings onto a dark floor
I reasoned that from where they landed where they could have gone
And I found one, but just the one.

This morning I walked toward the doorway of my bedroom
where I received an unexpected message of pain,

sticking out of my foot was a pinhead of blood
and an earring.

Finally I understood something,
one self at last.


On Singularity

As was often the case, I was in my body,
Standing in the kitchen, bemoaning the very limits of it.

I remember I was standing in front of the microwave,
At intervals of 30 seconds,
till the coffee was heated, just where it must.

I would never get outside of myself and I knew it.

There is a window facing the back
where some sun gets caught around noon.

A figure outside tapped the glass for my attention,
introduced themselves as an angel and asked
if maybe I would like to be one too.

“If I did, what would I have to do?”

They explained that it would take very little
and that I would be free
to roam, and visit anywhere and into anyone.

Imagine, having someone else’s past.

“But what would I have to give?”
I asked, to which they said,
we’d just switch places and it would be easy.

It took less time then you’d think
to decide, it wasn’t a deal worth making,
when you consider how much would be lost.

I didn’t get any pleasure denying the angel what it wanted,
when they sulked off and I was finally alone.

Besides the coffee was warm and ready and in my hands.


Tower poem

I imagine a church tower that is sinking
unbroken, into the beach it was built
where staring out from the stone window
is a man I have not loved,
or a man who loved me, once
before he knew better.
And it would seem just as likely
that all my ex boyfriends
are in sinking towers like that
with a bowl in the corner for rainwater
another for books.
But don’t worry, I yell from below
I’ll help you climb out
give you a glass of clean water
and each one will say, no, no thank you.

It will take 50 more good years
for the towers to be completely buried
for them all to have died
and I’ll think, what a shame that is
and probably not care that much
because, 50 years is a long time you know,
and I couldn’t have loved all of them anyway.


Wherever You Are, Straight Into You, I Go.

I think I know so much, realistically it is just a lot that I know, only that.

I was once told that I wise man says nothing.

I am foolish & wrong & I like it.

The sun is rested and quiet.

The heat does what it wants with me.

I hear a voice outside my window.

A door closes then, to a room I’ve been in, maybe for the last time.

On Humboldt street, the trees become touched with activity,

and it crowds me with feeling.

The badness of the day is in its banality.

The sky is soft enough to put your hands through.

Somewhere in there I am joined by the idea

that everything could be mine, as long I belonged to it.


The Last Guest

It was for a birthday-
around a table, flutes of wine
and smoke. Laid out-
dishes of shifting water
for the ash, tapped into and eroding.
Hours worth of talk,
blowing on desert
it is the way we know
that a year is truly over,
our way of recognizing.

Someone says the word born.
We talk about blur, tangled hair
in the kitchen broom, about orange paint
streaked with a rag
about luck, about brevity
our tremors of love.

According to what I know,
the sun will rise just before 7
and I hope, it will be like a hand
pulling me low, to where I need.

Even this late
We are waiting,
for the night to break
like we are waiting
for the last guest to arrive
the one, who isn’t coming.

Olivia Mardwig is a poet and writer from NYC who is currently working on a filmed series of sketches about women.

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1 Comment on On Beauty and other poems by Olivia Mardwig

  1. Great writing by a exciting new talent

    Like

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