Kim Roberts

What would you give for art?
Chocolate for a month, as if it were Lent?
Your eye-teeth?  A pound of flesh?
When the great poets approached the podium
for the National Poetry Month kickoff reading,
I started to menstruate.  I gave
the blood of my womb for Anthony Hecht.
It seemed the least I could do.
I sloughed off vaginal lining
for Mark Strand.  Would he expect less?
Art is like ham, said Diego Rivera,
It nourishes people.  What would you give?
I would not gnaw off a paw
to leave in the Muse’s silken trap,
but my bodily fluids?  Two hours
without a bathroom and a few
stained undergarments?  Any time.
So much sustained reading
has weakened my eyes, given me
a quixotic way of speaking, lost me friends
and gained me a raft of personality quirks.
What of it?  Take my body.  Take my blood.

Copyright 1998, Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is the author of The Wishbone Galaxy (Washington Writer Publishing House, 1994), and has appeared internationally on-line and on-paper.  She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the DC Commission on the Arts, and has been a writer-in-residence.  She lives in Washington D.C. 

Switched-on Gutenberg 
Thematic Contents / Vol. 3, No. 2 
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