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Sample Poems by Allison Whittenberg

woman city coffee

a lone woman walks hesitantly
by her peers
gulping her coffee, she stares at the tall men about her
hoping that she can remain

The Cult of Sylvia Plath

Name ten living poets
Give me ten lines of contemporary verse
How about ten syllables
Want to buy a vowel?
Truth works
Like a magnet in reverse
It pulls us away from it.
The average person would rather watch E! Online
than delve into archetypal memories permutations,
Rosary beads of
Words of ideas
And words ideas
And idealized words.
Poetry remains outside.
Poetry is for eggheads.
Poetry is irrelevant.
Poetry is buried
Name ten dead poets

Kindling Muse

What kind of world is this?
Where the privileged don’t know they are privileged
Where poor kids in row homes white wish lists to charities
Asking for flat screen TVs\while ivy leaguers volunteer in AIDS ridden parts Of Africa
Because it looks good on their resumes
And beauty goes unrecognized
And peacekeepers carry M-16s
And truths testicles are removed
And the overeducated are underemployed
But are free to freelance and get used and adjunct and get used and temp and get used if tempted to make, say eight bucks each hour being taxed, then income taxed at 40%
And sex is everywhere like toothpaste, but where is love? Where is love?
Those AA people are serene, but wrong
We do went what do have

Drive, Drive Fast

you’re wearing your Hollywood glasses like you’re cruising to someplace hip instead of visiting your aunt in Trenton they’re always going fast like you have somewhere to go.
you’re burning down the road in your dented car in your weathered 19 year old Toyota Tercel. what could ever stop you from all this voguing/ feeling important/ moving through the freeway’s lanes like hot butter through a bag of popcorn.

Daryl’s Revenge

“Sometimes I get so mad at the stereotypes I see on TV I swear I’m going to kick the screen,” he told me.

I thought he was like most brothers -- all talk then Anita Hill-
Clarence Thomas hearings concluded and he came in to work favoring
one leg
winking at me
and telling everybody else he had a corn removed.

The Flipped Leaf

I take a steel trunk, my purple purse, a cup of coffee -- hazelnut
no net: start clean
I leave behind bright, white shirts, forced civility, B=breakneck deadlines, beige, bare walls an office building that punches the sky -- no savings
the train pulls no guarantee, no home suite full steam away from filthy security through dirty side windows
eternity notices,
but shrugs.