Poetry | Wild geese

With apologies to Mary Oliver


Today my laptop registers like an organ

like I can feel it, even from the other side of the house


I should find my own rotten way

back to some kind of mindfulness practice


I should open the windows of my dark room


I should read more of the works of

celebrated poet Mary Oliver

she wrote about geese—which is huge


but I hate poems that offer me forgiveness

for all the shitty indignities of being alive


Feeling bad and watching YouTube about it is a human right

I will not be seduced into self-compassion

by something as embarrassing as poetry


Maybe my ‘despair’ is private

Maybe my despair is embarrassing

Maybe my embarrassment is sacred


I would like to worship at the altar

of a more cringe God


I think I’d really like a God who I’d see out on the weekend

and feel a bit bad for

like in the scheme of things, God is fine

but He’s not having……. the most charismatic night


Then I could pray about my stupid little life like:             > hey man

> oh yeah don’t even ask—I was crazy

And I’d know He’d get it—like get it get it


Despite Mary’s insistence, maybe I’m not lonely

so much as under-stimulated

I keep describing emotionally charged situations as ‘weird’


The soft animal of my body wants to cop a filthy root

and then not talk about it to anyone


I’d like to see wild geese and just see animals

and not a metaphor inciting me to feel better


Or asking me to feel calm about my failures, which are

only human, and therefore intolerable


and if that fails, I’d like to see

if you want to come over

no pressure tho—only if you have time


I actually DMed God after you kissed me

and He was like       > oh you’ve got it BAD babe

> it’s okay, i reckon just go with it—that’s what

> being a soft animal is all about


Jini Maxwell

Jini Maxwell is a writer and curator. They are currently working on a poetry collection called Summer Animal

More by Jini Maxwell ›

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