Happiness is Poetry: Amanda Oaks

Happiness is Poetry: Amanda Oaks

happiness, poetry

Tonight another poet I found on the recommendation of Hosho McCreesh, her name is Amanda Oaks, give her work a read and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane


If Our Beginning & End Shared a One Bedroom Apartment

The day they move in together the End will say,
I know how ugly I must look to you, but baby,
my entire existence is because of you & for so long,
you didn’t even know that I was alive, but I,
I watched you. I watched your lips
like train whistles taking off their clothes
so they could collide with everything
that was in front of them, watched you
Desert Storm your way into the thick Middle
fencing us off from one another. I thought
it was because you wanted to touch my face, trace
full moon-shaped patterns around my navel, baby, you
were the most beautiful when you wore your bravery
like an open trench coat running across a packed stadium;

& the Beginning, the Beginning will be terrified,
her stomach will flip over on its back, she’ll feel
like a welcome mat in front of the infirmary,
& she’ll say nothing. She’ll say nothing
because everything she ever believed to be true
already crossed the great divide without her.
The End will try so hard to get her to speak,
will try to kiss the words out of her mouth,
will whisper all the good stories that came
between them into her ears but her lips
will stay pressed together like two books
on a shelf, like two frigid legs.

Every morning, he’ll sit her up in bed,
bring her a cup of tea to try & warm
her hands hoping that she’ll lift it to her lips
just once. He’ll get out the record player
in the afternoons & dance around the bed
like a brush on canvas trying to get her to
bloom into him but there will be nothing,
there will be nothing but winter behind
her eyes.

Every night, he’ll settle down into the couch
like a string of red balloons hanging off
the arm of a tree, strung up & deflated,
wavering in the wind & whispering
over & over again, baby, please— please try
to remember how much you loved yourself
before you met me.


‘You Flood’ (audio link to the author reading the poem)

It’s raining your name & five miles back
my windshield wiper eyes gave up on
clearing the way you used to mother me
into thinking that it was okay to love me
like that. It’s raining your name like
the way bones shake when they are
standing in the tallness & balancing
on the hollowed-out surface
of either our love or fear. It’s raining
your name like bomb squad, like
battering ram, like fallout shelter.
It’s raining your name & I want it to be
hymnal. I want it to be like two sets
of legs intertwined inside a sleeping bag
in a covered bed of a pickup truck parked
on a forgotten dirt road. I want it be like
the way the body remembers touch. The way
a smell or a song can jet ski you back 20 years.
It’s raining your name & if it can’t be that,
I’d rather it be volcano ash falling over a town
we just mowed over. I’d rather it be the debris
from the crash between our two airplane hearts
dead-dropping to the ground. It’s raining
your name & I turn slow leak. I turn puddle.
I river. I ocean. I fuckin’ tsunami. You
waterboard. You constant drip. It’s raining
your name & I can’t seem to remember
the way the inside of my head sounds
without it.


How to Appear Dangerous (audio)

When they come at you with all of your crimes
spilling from their hands to tell you that you’re
dangerous, don’t shrink. Believe them. Lift
your dress. Tell them that the city in your soul
never sleeps no matter how many lullabies
have tried to weave their way through its streets.
Tell them about the sirens. The glass. The boys
you made messiahs. The back room at the bar,
the picnic table in the rain, whose bed you woke
up in the morning of 9/11. Don’t hold back.
Tell them. Tell them about the shoplifting.
The slashed tires. The smashed windows.
When they come at you like your skirt
is an invitation. Tell them to go home.
When they come at you with fists,
make your face the storm
that will swallow them


Listen to My Eyes

I often wonder how long we could
carry on without speaking. The last word
hanging astrally abstract in the air.
By morning there’s a whole galaxy
tangled in my hair & I’ve already
dressed myself in vowels.

My tongue has its own zip code,
swollen with words & bleeding
against my seam ripper teeth.

When our mouths don’t open,
the whole universe is silent.

Not even a clang
from one

Just quiet.
Our lips sitting witness
on mountaintops, signal fires
burning to touch.



Happiness is Poetry: Langston Hughes

Happiness is Poetry: Even More Bukowski

Happiness is Poetry: Doug Draime

Happiness is Poetry: Z Deacon Blue

Happiness is Poetry: Hosho McCreesh

About Michael Kane

Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His books on hiking and poetry are available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon.
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