Five Points, Vol. 12 No. 3

Fall 2009

From J. D. McClatchy, “What I think of as distinctly American in [my poems] is their interest in the idea of Elsewhere, and their obsession with the self.”

Sample Content

Lauren Watel
Being with You

Being with you is like being crazy.
Except that my visions
of a Jewish saint floating above me
are real, except that when
I start hearing voices—snarling, weeping,
howling, stark and feral,
begging to be enslaved—I realize
they are mine. Being with

you is like being in prison. Except
that I sentenced myself
to this incarceration, to serving
my time suspended in
cells with grandiose names, The Marriott
Renaissance, Crowne Plaza,
Embassy Suites, except that I want more
time for bad behavior,

except that when you drop the soap we are
so dirty I drop it
again. Being with you is like being
sick. Except that the cure
is the same as the illness, except that
I never want to get
better, except that the sicker I am
the more healthy I feel.