Sunday Poetry with Molly Cross-Blanchard
Welcome back to Sunday Poetry! Today we have Molly Cross-Blanchard discussing "WAY OUT, OR/POEM I WROTE WHILE JOGGING ON 12TH AVE" from her CHB debut, Exhibitionist.
WAY OUT, OR
POEM I WROTE WHILE JOGGING ON 12TH AVE
If that Purolator van hops the curb, crushes
my pelvis and spleen, New Balance tumbling acrobatic
into the intersection free of my body, triumphant
bloom of blood across my sweats. If I’m tube-fed
in the hospital and my body has to eat
its own fat while my exes watch
from the visitors wing, distraught
and horny. I’m unable to sit upright,
my new job has to be done by someone
else. I’m released from my contract. I’m brave,
not depressed. Pointing to each purple scar,
the brace around my neck, the needle
pumping morphine into my wrist, I say See? This
is why. And the bosses say You poor thing.
A lawyer from the TV show Suits goes to court for me,
wins a giant settlement from Purolator.
I never have to work again. I heal. My body
meets this dismembering with fervour
and I’m stupid beautiful. Edward Cullen
has drained me of my mortal blood
and filled my flesh with liquid marble.
While the sexy physical therapist is testing
the mobility of my new titanium hip, he can’t help
himself, he eats my pussy and then
tells me I taste like peaches and I really do
taste like peaches. When we swap
tender vows ‘til death do us, two doves
fly a heart around the sun.
A lot of Exhibitionist can be explained away like “I went off birth control and wrote a poem about it,” or “I slept with an asshole and wrote a poem about it.” The stuff of my poems is usually just the stuff of my life. But this one is a fantasy, and for that reason it’s one of my favourites in the collection.
“Way out” came to me very quickly and clearly, while I was taking a silly little jog for my silly little mental health, which had been suffering due to stress from my job. The poem gave me an excuse to cut the jog short and turn back home to get it down before it drifted away. The shape of it also came right away. There is a clear moment when the fantasy turns from realism to absurdism as the speaker dives headfirst into her fantasy, which cascades into a series of increasingly ridiculous images. It just so happens that this shift occurs at the exact middle of the poem, leaving me with two 14-line stanzas. Every poet’s dream.
It was also just incredibly fun to write. A true indulgence of my deep desires to 1) Never have to have a job again, 2) Be undeniably and conventionally beautiful, and 3) Have someone fall in fairytale love with me. And it brings together my love of Twilight and cunnilingus, so what more can you ask from a poem, really?
Molly Cross-Blanchard is a white and Métis poet, writer, and editor born on Treaty 3 (Fort Frances, ON), raised on Treaty 6 (Prince Albert, SK), and currently living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, cka Vancouver. Molly has a BA in English from the University of Winnipeg and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her poetry chapbook is I Don’t Want to Tell You (Rahila’s Ghost Press, 2018) and her debut full-length book of poetry is Exhibitionist (Coach House Books, 2021).