My Housemate of 1989

A poem by Daisy Fried

Our magazine is doing a list of Most Overrated Writers (living or dead). Would you like to contribute a pick and a paragraph? 
          —Invitation, 2015

My housemate of 1989
has short hair, lots
of sex and a nervous
way of smoking; doesn’t seem
smug really when in a clear
carrying voice she says, “I like
the idea of having a drawer
in the kitchen that’s full
of unsorted silverware, just
a drawer where you just throw in
the silver any which way”; 
of the professor she’s dating, 
“his skin is just a little loose, 
I run my fingers over it
and feel it move”; and
thinking as she walks,
“This summer what I really
want to wear is white tee-shirts—
men’s white undershirts—and
jeans shorts and nothing else
all summer.” A quarter century
later, sitting around like
a grown up with a glass of wine,
worrying about money,
the state of the world and my life,
my housemate’s sayings
pop into my mind
as if they’re everything right
and true I forgot: drawer
full of unsorted silver, professor
refusing to retire, teaching
Late Auden intensives, nothing
but white shirts all summer.


DAISY FRIED's latest book is Women's Poetry: Poems and Advice (2013). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, London Review of Books, Partisanand elsewhere.

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