Monday, February 20, 2017

Poetry By Alicia Cole

Alicia Cole is a writer and visual artist in Huntsville, AL.  Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Amaryllis, Eunoia Review, and Hermeneutic Chaos. 

Fat Contemplation #1: Listening to Richard Wilbur's “The Writer”

I am laboring against the fat.
Richard Wilbur is laboring
also, telling me of birds
who batter themselves
against the window. Life, death,
thick poet stuff. My hands rend fat
out of my stomach, then pump oxygen
rich air. I'd rather be his daughter.
I'd rather be anyone but me.
My belly feels as though it will necrotize
my whole world. This is what
I get for being suicidal. Women,
read me: for a low-fat life,
eschew suicide. Be Richard Wilbur's
daughter. Be anyone else.
Be the cans of La Croix
I'm constantly chugging, mouth dry
and famished. Be Andy Warhol's
new series, La Croix Cans.
Be me rounding every bend
as I lug my body homewards
to where my mother
is cooking black-eyed peas
and dinner, at the very least, is lucky.

Fat Contemplation #2: Fat Girl in Space

I've enough fat to fill a spacesuit.
Conversationally speaking,
this weight of my body leads
me to horrendous exaggeration.
I do have enough mental illness
to fill the whole world. My body's
orbital objects slap together, one singular,
jarring gravitational loss. I retain my
appetite, as humongous as my ego;
can you also see me examining
my face in every mirror?
Will I commit suicide just to keep
from feeling my own fat?
I should vault myself into space,
but there is not enough cold
in the entire vacuum to penetrate
all of this unnecessary fat.
I should vault myself into space
and leave my fat suit open anyway.
If I shaved off all of my fat, maybe
I could feed the vultures, several starving
children in India. If I shaved off
all my fat, maybe I could feed myself.

Fat Contemplation #3: Suicide Prevention

The fat is trimming off, slowly.
Underneath, something dark
and dank rolls in my fat-heavy
flesh. When I walk the fat off,
this thing too reels away, keening.
I am like a wide ocean.
Every part of me trembles.
Every part of me contemplates
the nature of air, my lungs
having decided for me to breathe.
When the fat burns off you too
will go, I say to myself. It looks
at me, this thing. No reply.
Just a blank empty I used to chug
biscuits against in the hospital.
Just a blank empty only a few
footsteps shy of my newly
steeped green tea. I would like
to claim my fat suit day
where everything is biscuits.
Fresh baked and slathered in no-suicide
butter, like the no-suicide blackberries
I now gulp from the refrigerator
in sweet, necessary handfuls.
I think my fat suit day would feel warm.


  1. Powerful poetry, Alicia! The series works so well, and is such a bare portrait into the world beyond superficial of weight and how we weigh ourselves in more ways than 'scale'. Well done!

  2. These poems grabbed my gut and yet are so beautiful. I get chills reading them.

  3. Stunning work, Alicia. Beautiful. And if the I in the poem is anywhere near your own I, then be well.