Morgan Parker's "Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night"

The title grabbed me in such a way, I had to buy Morgan Parker's Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night without reading a single line. I tore through about half the poems, before realizing I was exhausted and emotionally drained.

Parker is an accomplished poet, publisher and creative writing instructor. She builds vivid pictures, and transmits such strong feelings, in so few words, I am thrilled! Parker shares a vivid portrait of life in America, pulling no punches and guided by an unerring moral compass. This collection of poems observes life, from how we use social media to outright discrimination, with an immediacy and power I've rarely found in modern American poetry.

Here one of my favorites (via Pank Magazine):

If My Housemate Fucks With Me I Would Get So Real (Audition Tape Take 1)

I didn't come here to make friends.

Buildings spit their stomachs at me

and I spit back, down the sidewalk

into a bitch's hair. I am a forehead

careening in clouds, a dirty tree branch

brushing against the shingles

of the production room. I am

groundbreaking: two as one.

Brooding tattooed over my art.

Otherwise, black.

Can do angry, can't do

accents. I need little coaching,

provocation. Opinionated and

Everything a man wants.

Lips and boobs camera-ready.

If I hear you're talking shit about me

in your confessional interview,

please know

seven birds have fallen dead at my feet

right out of the sky.

I learned this right hook here

when I was only six. Bitch, please.

I'm so real my hair is going gray,

legs bruised up like tree bark,

veins of my neck as swollen as

ripe fruit, the cheeks of what is growing.

Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night by Morgan Parker via Amazon