:: Article

As Mina Loy & other poems

By Lauren Hilger.

Miss Turnstiles

“She must be pretty important!”
“Oh I wouldn’t say that.” –On the Town, 1949

the veil of highball.

I still walked around.

Part heat,
part grief:

a streak,
not human
in me.

Drunk on
sailors and
a fame that ends.

A surprise:
as is purer.

The limited body of ancient data.
The finite body of a short woman.

I had to
myself out of the house.

As Mina Loy

To bear meaning is a perk of being
a noblewoman in the Middle Ages.
Never is to where I now inhabit as
any anywhere is to a man. He once said
Treasure, the word is cold as a box, as
a glass case is to be made of language. That’s
not it. As hero worshipper is to a delicate
man onstage, as outside your body is a bad
place to be. A mind of phrases is to Voltaire’s
fifteen million word corpus and not
through touch, as to understand is to relate more
to me before I could speak, which is a quality that
“kills men” my boss tells me. Not it.
How to be less demimondaine.

Miss Turnstiles

All of me, all of me, s’marvelous, worth one day.
All the scales, the practiced evenings, all the tackles,
(Line 1: Literally, “…in inloveness”) barre, all the brass
tack pearl faced peach, the modern men who pity
my head in their hands. All my cells shake themselves
crazy—awake! Rev alone in tire spinning diction. Less
hard and less against you. Less adrenal, less mirthless.
Come see: Ivy and her ludicrous burlesque! All skirt belled,
I too am a world—all steps ruled by a tight stitched hem.
My heels portend the height from which I’ll fall. No!
All antlers ram enemies—all strength from my true
and female head. (Line 10: Literally, “…even if lips blend…”)
Mise en abyme, tarnished glass. Gene,
my big American, every one is gone.

Lauren Hilger was named the 2012 Nadya Aisenberg Fellow from the MacDowell Colony. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, The Cortland Review, and Harvard Review Online, among other journals. She is a finalist for the DISQUIET International Literary Prize and serves as the Poetry Editor for No Tokens Journal.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Monday, April 28th, 2014.