The Poetry Project


Simon Kress

I HATE penny loafers. I hate angels and late-period Rod
Stewart. I hate when the future is out of place. I hate
skeins of yarn — for some reason. I hate when people tell
me I’m actually asking two questions. I hate common
sense. I hate the power of positive thinking. I hate how
nostalgia hits like a hoosier when I drink gin. I hate treat-
ing things the same that are not the same, mount-
ains/molehills. I hate hot wet Autumns and statistics. I
hate those short pencils. I hate the sound of wipers on a
dry windshield. I hate the biscuity smell kids leave in
minivans. I hate bullshit choices, like pick perfection of
life or work. I hate the ambiguity of tear/tear or eye/I. I
hate, obscurely, Mannheim Steamroller and those
blond boys that rode me to ground with their shame.

I HATE Bradley Cooper. (Not really.) I hate when people
talk about how hard they’re working. I hate how busy I
am. (Not really.) I hate goodbyes. Or maybe I just hate
that I don’t know how to end things? Or maybe that this
has to end? I hate my self-doubt. I hate my Instant Pot. I
hate some afternoons in November when I’m too hot in
my jacket and stuck in traffic. I hate how much I get
things wrong — trying to be myself, but fake. I hate how
I can’t sleep some nights thinking about how much I hate
southern Illinois. I hate Dali, Magritte — that sort of
treachery. I hate Rudy Giuliani’s dimples and “accessibil-
ity” in poems. I hate how I take the weather so person-
ally. I hate how time feels. I hate losing sight of my hands
in the fog. I hate the crimes I walk and walk away from.

I LOVE curly hair, pick-up trucks, long arms, and divers
entering the water without a splash. I love clouds — espe-
cially big cumulonimbus, but stratus too can blow my
mind. I love running my hand over crewcut stubble. I
love Toni Braxton. I love the words “yes” and “bando-
lier.” I love my thoughts when I’m stoned and listening to
jazz records (like how Louis is a rom-com. Coltrane is
like a dream. Think about it.) I love automatism in art. I
love harm reduction and thinking about things in terms of
public health. I love checking the weather before a trip. I
love the feel of firing a nail gun — like I love ladders,
greenhouses, and early-period Rod Stewart. I love rusting
metal. I love moss. I love the honesty of your bare feet
probing for warmth. I love sawdust.

I LOVE similes. I love spelling it out. I love the weather
today! I love acceleration — how it feels like prairies. I
love John Wieners. I like John Wieners? I love John Wie-
ners. I love Linda Ronstadt singing “Cry Like a Rain-
storm” when I’m driving through rain in Virginia. I love
cold cans of Moxie — opening them. I love the feel of a
clipless bike shoe snapping into its pedal. I love mulch,
Fritos, hedgehogs. I love strike-anywhere matches. I love
namedropping Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. I love things like
trees and wind that have to be held by their edges. I love
being the one to do that. I love floating on my back for
hours, the sun’s weight on my eyelids. I love how the
mountains could give a fuck. I love giving the time of day
(12:03). I love believing someone will be there, waiting.


Archive of the 1981 Feminist Reading Group