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3 Poems || Monica McClure



I would do addy over cocaine any day

Let’s take a long ride on the A train snorting

orange crushed time release beads

This older man I dated

called it his performance-enhancer

When he went to lecture at a Rabbinical school in LA

he let me stay in his Park Slope brownstone

Thank G_d he approved of abortions

I felt bad for blowing a guy on his futon

during the carnival scene of The Third Man

I’m too young to manage a full-time sugar daddy

I never saw an amphetamine I didn’t like

Why should I be stuck with this

gentile mental process

I weighed this powder on a balance

Already I feel it tipping in my favor

There’s never been a worse poor person

I didn’t avoid pregnancy and county jail

to sound like George W. Bush

I reject a language manipulated by folklore

and middle class people watching ESPN

I want to live in a kingdom of style and camp

I want to relate this smut to Vienna after the war

When finally those who really got glamour

despite their abject poverty

with just a little industriousness could live

like movie stars in the bombed out rubble

Jean Rhys up to her dimples

in black market velvet, meringue, and chartreuse

clouds hanging in the death sky

It’ll never be this good for her again

There’s a child who needs money in the orphanage







I was starved for love

Now I’ve just had an abortion

It is Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

but I don’t want to go to the shows

The social worker who performed

my intake consultation looked like

she lined her eyes with Kohl’s

I think I would like to be a part of culture

While remaining without

Michel Foucault says

There is no such thing as outside

But that’s exactly

Where I need this thing to be

Lack, you are my lackey bitch

I refuse to be stuffed full of myth

I can live like a blade on surfaces

W Magazine

I study the wedding photos

of Margaux Hemmingway and Bernard Fauchier

On a poor girl her brows would look unkempt

I see only what I know to be baroque

the white patio furniture hot from the sun

“I’m a crazy witch!” screams the receptionist

and I’m so startled I throw up my Vallium

Why should “I” be in Massachusetts

scared shitless by the symbols of other people

their paranoid existences

when I could be getting photographed

wearing a nude bodysuit in a white room

If that’s what she wants to put out there, whatever







Religious men will try to tell you

that every abortion is special

and to an extent I agree

I was inconsolable when I missed prom

I had to pay a woman to pretend

to be my mother so I could

obtain parental consent

Every citizen of this world is on trial

I’m learning to speak legalese

I stroll through civil law like a sample sale

Kendra said she knew a doctor

who would do abortions for minors

as long as you didn’t cry

during the ultrasound

I looked all over Houston for him

getting fatter and richer as I went

This all could have been avoided if I’d

convinced an over 18

to sell me her birth control

If my mother wasn’t a Christian

If the nurse hadn’t insisted that Kendra

swallow the morning after pill

in front of her as I waited

in the parking lot of TJ Max

It wasn’t my prom exactly

I was a freshman invited by

my upperclass boyfriend

Gulp your items down

the nurse had said

Now that I’m free I can go

to the DVF party

in droll East Hampton

sponsored by Veuve Cliquot

I’m not a wise man

I’m too fertile for that

But I can tell you that some abortions

are more convenient than others

and I’ve taken notes on how not to be poor in soul




Monica McClure’s poems have appeared in the Los Angeles Review, The Lit Review, Lambda Literary Review’s Spotlight Series, Paperbag and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Mood Swing, is forthcoming from Snacks Press, Inc. She curates the Atlas Reading Series and teaches at Bloomfield College. She lives in New York City.