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Phillip Lopate describes the shape of Manhattan Island as‘a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere’. This feeling of being tethered to the land, unable to get to sea, was a feature of New York life for much of the twentieth century. New York was an island without a coast. The West Side piers that once welcomed the Lusitania spent most of the twentieth century crumbling or behind barbed wire, while the East Side’s coves and points were cut off from pedestrians by six lanes of the Robert Moses-designed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. It wasn’t much easier to reach the shores of Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, either: with a few exceptions, they were largely reserved for municipal or industrial use, and easiest to see from the Staten Island Ferry (en route to the borough with the most beaches). Now, slowly, the city is reclaiming its shoreline, with some spectacular results.

Nothing Can Hurt Me by Molly Rose Quinn

OBJECT: Baby Doll Leg, Baby Doll Heads

BODY OF WATER: Dead Horse Bay

 

 

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE my doll, my decapitation

 

is very political. My ass burns

 

on the roof of a Cadillac. My ele-

 

phantine limbs are basically done for.

Her shuttering lids kiss my pointer when I worry the lashes,

 

jerk her dull body up hard then down hard BIPOLAR WHATEVER

I discovered beer that year. I was Alexander I so discovered the world.

 

In my loot: the good erotics of hypoallergenic rubber. I keep feeling evil.

A core (detected) of fat girls and B.O. Can I continue being evil?

 

Can I continue being evil if the geography between my legs

 

is a holeless plain OOH SHE’S GOT IT BAD.

One girl (“jane doe”) wields a weapon.

One girl (“jane doe”) gives head.

One girl (“jane doe”) gums puny lacquered revolvers slung round her neck.

 

Its glint fulfills LOVE IS NOT A CONSOLATION

 

a heading via Simone Weil. I never do find it, so I have longed

 

to be consoled. The mystics holding their peculiar court,

salutations abreast, a groovy reckoning, white stallion, etc.

FOR THE TIME BEING I could not even bear myself

 

in any light. Henry and William and other Scholars,

 

I bow my own little crackled head at their sorry fantasies. And you

do nothing. How many shitty little kids will die before we finish, depends

on the rewards of girl-on-girl. OUTLAW don’t start WON’T YOU

 

she ends with a psalm of her own miraculous design: but now

in my very young age I’ve known little I shy away from much

all I’ve know so far of love is death which is a great deal to know

but not enough


Molly Rose Quinn was raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Everyday Genius, Coconut, Two Serious Ladies, No, dear, Four Way Review, The Fiddleback, Singing Saw Press' Parallax, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn. She works for the literary programs at Symphony Space in Manhattan, and also with the Brooklyn Book Festival, the Moby-Dick Marathon NYC, and The Atlas Review.