Melissa Broder: MEAT HEART

Poems from MEAT HEART, Publishing Genius Press (2012)


All day long my skull
That horsey gulper

Goes braying after sherbets
Busts up ventricles

Trashes valves
But pauses somehow

Hinge open
The day falls off its reins

My brassiere goes unhooked
God walks in

And says I’m back baby
What now?

We smile at each other
Go horseless and headless

It is so god
When the voice is like wheat

Spooned wheat
In whole milk

Come closer it says
You cute little fucker

Good old god
What a hoofer

Ran around with Edie Sedgwick
Underneath her leopard skin coat

She said I love you god
God said I love you Edie

And she ate that wheat
In whole milk

Went smokeless and ginless
It was a dazzling year

Then she turned to wheat
I want to turn to wheat

Relieve me of my teeth
God loves my hair.

**Also appeared in Court Green

* * *


I controlled my words, my deeds and nothing more.
God wanted no revenge on my body.

I was afraid to do good will for my body
or I might vanish. I was a child and you were too.

Let us bathe each other and exact revenge.
Everybody needs a lot of fathers.

When I am father I will sew us curtains
made of other men’s voices, first a patch then a moan.

Sometimes the curtains will come between us.
Mostly they will be around us.

When you are father you will build me a hardhat
with a light in it. I will not be afraid of light.

I will feel my muscles under me
like good pavement. Beauty won’t kill me in the street.

Then will come a silence over every house
and every town, a year of it but up.

In the air among the insects, our first bodies
and everything we don’t know about physics.

* * *


There are 200 flavors of panic,
the worst is seeing with no eyes.
Cowboys call it riding your feelings.
I call it SUPERDOOM.
On April 5th I was 98% alive.
I saw my blood sugar at the mall
and spilled into a hall of numb light.
The earth kept coming and coming.
Every human was a baby
puncturing my vehicle.
I tried to stuff a TV
in the hole where prayer grows.
A salesman prescribed zen.
I said How long have you been alive?
He said Six minutes.

* * *


She was worshipped for her togs, all owls,
black kimono, glass swans, angel belt.

The mascara was her, but corpsy.
She’d put away her knitting.

What a phantasm said the fans.
What a honeyed reality.

They lit flames in her honor
and took an oath to turquoise.

They felt a unity like babies.
They moved their bowels in solitude.

I tried to grab the oil vial off her neck
to totem with or link our navels

but I couldn’t reach it.
I didn’t need her to spit glitter

I just wanted to plant my crib inside her head
and play with stacking blocks.

The sum of us seemed like a tiny egg.
Maybe it was.

* * *


I fleshed and fleshed on the skewers of sailors.
I kept busting onto their boats
in search of flame.

Was I an egoless starfish?
No, my needs, my needs
have always been needy.

I must have had deafness.
I could not hear my coconut phone
not ringing.

I used my mouth on them too often
and I cracked
or was cracked.

Now I stay away.
I have cabana wits.
I am a pool pearl, no waves.

I find the piggy
in my heart
and barbecue a Hawaiian feast.

I gather heat
from my skin.
I call the heat Professor.


Melissa Broder is the author of two poetry collections, most recently Meat Heart. Poems appear in Guernica, The Missouri Review, Redivider, Court Green, et al. She edits La Petite Zine.

All the poems featured here are from MEAT HEART,  Publishing Genius Press (2012).

More information on MEAT HEART and all things Broder can be found at



  1. […] some of Melissa’s poems here. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Filed Under: Melissa Broder […]

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