Thursday, January 20, 2011


My contributor's copies of Poetry came in the mail; I'm in the February issue! There are poems from Carolyn Forché and Thomas Lynch and Todd Swift and Jessica Jopp and John Ridland and Lisa Russ Spaar and Andrea Cohen and Ange Mlinko and Alberto Ríos and Alicia Ostriker and then there is a poem from me. Now ask me if I'm going to be cool about this. I AM NOT GOING TO BE COOL AT ALL.

Uncool things I have done so far:

Smelled it
Called my mom
Read the poem out loud in my mirror for like an hour pretending to be Famous

Uncool thing I am about to do:


Okay, this is what the issue looks like. When your first issue of Poetry comes and there's an evil little wolf on the cover you throw a party, period, no arguments. I'm about two seconds, no lie, from getting this wolf tattooed on my face:

My poem is called "The Church of the Open Crayon Box" and it's about crayons and The Frontier and hunter-trappers and horses and and pinewoods and log cabins. There is a man named "Whitey BaLavender" in it. I put a man named Whitey BaLavender inside Poetry. Why did they let me? Pity is the most likely answer, and that milkiest of human milk called Kindness.

As you know, all parties start with a question, like what do you want to drink, or would you mind taking off your shoes, or did you put your key in the bowl. So here is my question: Did you know that crayons look so freaky now?

MORPH PHOTOS INTO A CARTOON CHARACTER. Well there goes the rest of my day.

You know I love to decorate for a party! Um let's see what fun decorations do I have lying around:

 NOT a line from the poem, sadly

Why would a person even do this

Do you like how the letters get progressively darker 
and bolder because I am insane

Obviously I made a crown to wear for the party, did you think I wouldn't? I tried to put some crayon antlers on this crown because there is a deer in the poem but Physics wouldn't let me, so I consoled myself with a frontal sunburst of radiant gold:

This is the closest thing to a Frontier Outfit I had. I swore there were horses all over this shirt but on closer inspection it seems they're actually unicorns. I guess dreams do come true!

This one has Basement Photoshoot written all over it

Nice pose, genius

There is nothing I could say that would make this Okay
It wasn't supposed to be like this. These pictures were supposed to look classy and celebratory and graciously modest, and natural instincts took over? I don't know. The only pictures where you could see my crown, my Frontier Outfit, both contributor's copies, and the plastic wolf also happened to be the ones where I was showing you alllll of my total business.


Then I got the idea to pretend to be throwing up the wolf, and that was rather more elegant, I know you'll agree:

Next I was going to post pictures of me taking shots of corn whiskey out of the skull of a jackrabbit because that's what you do at a Frontier Party, but I don't even know what corn whiskey is and I couldn't find the skull of a jackrabbit and it's only eleven in the morning anyway so why don't you just imagine that one!






Ivy said...

Yup, I love it all.

Patricia Lockwood said...


jorg wobblington lopez said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to read your poem, your description of it is evocative of the party you will throw. A party I wish I was attending so I could join in the festivity of poetry covering junk. And the pictures are great!!!

Patricia Lockwood said...

Thank you my Jorg! The pictures...are a travesty

beth coyote said...

This is heelarious!!!! Unicorns? Aren't they party animals? Or was that My Little Pony? I can't remember. Those years are a (thankfully) a blur.

Congrats, by the way. I'm gonna buy Poetry even tho I usually don't. Because of your festivities and such.

Patricia Lockwood said...

THANK YOU BETH, that is beautiful news

Whimsy said...

This year, I gave Poetry subscriptions to a whole lot of friends, and I didn't EVEN KNOW you would be in it, but you are and LOTS of my friends are going to see you there and you will be famous and there will be no living with you.

Radish King said...

You throw up the best parties! And next time you need a jack rabbit skull don't hesitate to ask.


Patricia Lockwood said...

Did you give ME one, Jeff? I started getting it for no reason a few months ago and I couldn't figure out why--mystery potentially solved!

Consider your invitation to any and all of my parties ever to be a standing one, Rebecca, and yes I will be asking to borrow all the little skulls you have

Jehanne Dubrow said...

This is the best blog post I've EVER READ. So funny. Now I'm just pissed-off at myself: Why didn't I take those kinds of pictures and make those awesome banners when my own first Poetry arrived at my door? Dammit.

Congratulations, you rock!

Patricia Lockwood said...

Huge missed opportunity, Jehanne! It comes but once in a lifetime

Loved your Akhmatova poem in Prairie Schooner, by the way--just fantastic work

Valerie Loveland said...

My first blog post ever was about Crayons. I deleted it because I got embarrassed about blogging. I'm not embarrassed anymore.

Congrats! I can't wait to see the issue!

Patricia Lockwood said...

"Never be embarrassed" is practically my life motto

Anonymous said...

Rebecca sent me here and I'm very glad that she did. Nice boots btw.

Elisa Gabbert said...

Congratulations! On POETRY and on your insanity.

Patricia Lockwood said...

Thank you nursemyra! Those boots have furry insides

I love to be congratulated on my insanity--it's the true star here

Michael Robbins said...

I did this EXACT SAME THING when my poems appeared in the December issue.

Patricia Lockwood said...

Michael Robbins I would pay a million dollars to see those pictures

Backchannel me and let's make this happen

Michael Robbins said...

Will do, but I'm a little embarrassed because, assuming yr photo is accurate, I misspelled "fucked" on my banner.

Michael Schiavo said...

Yeah. Yeah. This is a great blog post!

Patricia Lockwood said...

"Fukked" and "fuxxxed" were alternative spellings I considered, but ultimately I just went with The Classic

Thank you other Michael! ALL THE MICHAELS ARE HERE

Shannon said...


Patricia Lockwood said...


Jee Leong Koh said...

You are one crazy crayon! Big congrats! You so deserve it!

Patricia Lockwood said...

Much love to you my Jee

Robert Mc said...

I read the blog post and then rushed over to my poor neglected issue of Poetry and fell in love with your poem--I kind of want to caress the last stanza in a creepy obsessive way. But I'll reign myself in. Congrats on livening the stodgy old Poetry pages up!

Patricia Lockwood said...

Whoa thank you, Robert! It's so thrilling to hear from someone who's actually seen the poem in the wild, a poem is typically as hidden as a groundhog

pablo said...

@elainebee tweeted a link to your blog. congratulations on your poem that appears in poetry, and really, congratulations on this blog entry. it made my day.

Patricia Lockwood said...

Awww, thank you pablo!