Get Excited, and Get Lucky

Hello friends. Have a poem for this hot, hot summer day:

Getting Lucky With Jamie

by Nicole Steinberg

If you want to go a tiny bit hipster, here’s how:
Grab a romper and go to town on the all-natural train
from Jackson Heights to lower Manhattan; mask
any contempt for the matchy-matchy girls under
your straw fedora and un-meltable hair. Always
have Kate Moss’s precise address and phone
number at the ready; indulge in vanilla soft-serve
and run wild through dressing rooms, completely
guilt-free. Hide your arbitrary fears and Connecticut
weakness; call forth your tough, punk rock shine.
Stay pretty in the heat of the New York chill
you’ve dreamed of since you were a teenager, even
after you’re no longer new. Lick your black pearl lips,
telegraph a dose of danger. Let it come, dripping wet.

This poem, like the other poems in Nicole’s Lucky series (here’s a few with audio at Moonshot Magazine), lifts language from the pages of Lucky magazine. I always find myself imagining pages covered with cut-out words like a cartoon ransom note, wondering where the scissors snipped–did Lucky ever recommend a black pearl lip for a dangerous look? Is “Connecticut weakness” a verbatim or collaged phrase? But obviously the poems tell their own stories, create their own characters. That’s what I like about them so much: they use the language of fashion and shopping in a way that sounds both familiar and strange, expressing both the power and self-expression that style can offer as well as the yearning and lack that drives the industry. The poems are critical of the kind of femininity constructed by fashion, but they are also of and inside that discourse–as are we all. The candy-lipped and ballerina-skirted women who emerge from these poems tempt us to identify and aspire to them even when we recognize their impossibility.

Cool, right? Luckily (sorry!), you can now contribute toward a fund to help bring a whole book of these poems into the world! The publisher, Spooky Girlfriend Press, has just about met their goal for publication, but it was a modest goal. The more poetry-lovers contribute, the better exposure and circulation they can get for the book.

If you follow the IndieGoGo link, you’ll also see a short book trailer, featuring a mash-up of several different lines from different poems, read by a number of friends of ours. That’s me jamming gigantic false eyelashes onto my lids, for example. It was great fun to film–and I’m very excited to see this collection get published, since I’ve been reading the poems and hearing them read since I met Nicole a few years ago. I hope you enjoy them too.




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