Three pieces from “skirt disaster” by Marina Blitshteyn

a catalogue of indignities

that smell again this morning, noxious, shrill. sick of this shit. i lyfted to queens, defeated. the shower water rusty so i speed-washed. also no tp. i mostly got by with your help. so thanks. still you shouldn’t have to. trouble that line between break-up and -down. it’s mine not to burden. it’s mine to lay down every night. i carry it shrugging, because it’s new york and i’m grateful to be here. because i get up and can’t do it alone.

the single life

now that i’m single again what else to have effort for? the work, always. playtime, scribbles, naps through time. i loved my young life once. it thrummed with inner mischief, some transgressions maybe but all tongue, all textures, all translated through that funnel in my head. it is between the ears when i hear it wholly, it is between my life and the world where it’s always been.


certain things in life are sacrificed in order to survive. it’s true i say i’m busy i’m busy to anyone asking but usually it’s to replicate progress. like if i’m busy my life will proceed, is proceeding. i’m just treadmilling. it’s a hamster wheel and i’m the adjunct hamster. i work so much to support my lifestyle, my choice to live in new york, to be where the art is, or was. but in exchange for my 5 courses i miss the readings, the launches, a date. i miss my time to walk around during the day absolved from guilt and repercussions. i miss a life rooted in chance. these days i have no roots, no money, no chances. these days i write during class just before we begin.

Marina Blitshteyn is the author of Two Hunters, her first full-length collection, published by Argos Books this year with a CLMP Face-Out grant. Prior chapbooks include Russian for Lovers, Nothing Personal, $kill$ (read ‘skills’), and most recently Sheet Music. She lives and works in NYC.

Image: “Barbie Birds” by Matthew Klein

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