Ali Power


Object Relations

It was the end of something and we all knew it
homunculi of weeping willow
shielding us from the city's ugly parts
it was us and it wasn't us obliviously
untranslatable on the sturdiest balcony
covered in lacy interference
canopy made out of our browsing histories
we entered the master bedroom that will never be ours
if you lived there you'd be happy you said so surely
as if crown molding had anything to do with it
one moment you're sober and in coral
the next you're fielding questions
wishing you had worn a sports bra
what if you can't dig yourself out of the hole
what if your life is the hole
when will we stop this muscling


Process Recording

The descendants of Narcissus now lie upon an analytic couch, as self-absorbed as ever,
while behind them, as in the myth, sit the determined but still frustrated counterparts of
Echo, trying to be heard. – Bromberg, “The Mirror and the Mask

Escapism classic, where the doors are sturdy
Mahogany abutting approved figures
Well-nourished, I've positioned myself
Centrifugally, repeating in order to resolve
Compulsion of being, e.g. replace that seed
With this one, you'll no longer feel that sensation

Born into Individualism, empathy fails
In the sports bar you once loved your ex
Which is to say we don't see very well
You see, this city is one big hospital
"Is that important to you?"
Blends into its precedential suite
We are not self-sufficient

Dude presented a cure for narcissism by presenting a case
Turned out he was the case

I spit out my intervention
I write my intervention down
Recreating a feeling
Assembling What's Familiar
I generate chants from a tiny room
Plan a potluck, begin to understand anarchism
This bifurcation cannot hold
This is normal, it is normal
It is quite a common response
I meditate on the sound

Once at the center of a great hotel courtyard
I approached nothing
The pool off-limits
Asked to respond in gesture
I bowed my head
I must save myself
I cannot not speak in the first person

The corridor was long
It was a surprise to all
At the end was one large window
You couldn't see out of
It was dark
Hint of dick
Distressed wall
Hollowed out
There were always difficulties
Yet everyone kept on
Because that's what was prescribed


Overwhelmed by the feeling for a wasteland, rust-colored, threadbare, choosing not to, the
            illusion of, someone close to you, suite of running away, airbnbs w/ names like Ocean
            Dawn, outside the beach, pointing up, pride, bobbing, drifting, flowing, white veils,
            strung out, expectation of falling apart, cartilages glowing around, a tangle, I knew
            the sails, had studied the agony, remembered everything, the sun going down, I
            learned to distinguish restraint from lunatic, numbness by a heavy loss of anticipation,
            rays of rowing across, surface, I turned in the direction of the daughters, the mountains,
            the blooms, multi-colored, mower, cucumbers, midsummer, torch, hurled, wallpaper, I, no
            longer caught in listening, piers, gateways, I was approaching, blue, heavy with beginning
            from scratch, great featureless plain now overgrown with a moment, I felt, disaster
            deliverance, this sweeping across, wife, her planning and executing, I’m now leaning
            against, long droughts, crowns in their shade, turned upside down, elaborate, practicing,
            bearing, breeding, liberties, I write, the cocoons spread out, forever,


These Are Just Little Poems And Nothing Else

When you stay home too long things feel wrong
the world goes on without you
it's sad when the world goes on without you
that's what happens when you die
to survive you make a collective
everyone fucks each other
the children can't think abstractly
I go to the store
come back as your mother

These are just little poems and nothing else
where now this is something else was
Mac worries about over-disclosure
Kevin's caught up on contracts
Matt keeps smiling
there are so many drafts between us

Just little poems
I call out from the longest escalator
mall-walkers below
pink line down my center
asking to be micro-managed
I bend over
place your hand on my ass

These are just little poems
nothing else
we get comfortable
watching Italian film during fascism
wake up to the sounds of drains
bad people making profit
bloated maniac above us
we rub our eyes
hold a dollar to the light
little poems
we have been able to live like this
for this long


Ali Power is a poet and psychotherapist. She is the author
of the book-length poem A Poem for Record Keepers (Argos
Books, 2016) and co-editor of the volume New York School
Painters & Poets: Neon in Daylight
 (Rizzoli, 2014). Her poems
have appeared in the Brooklyn RailjubilatLITPENStonecutter,
and elsewhere. She curates SOLO, a reading series at Wendy's
Subway in Bushwick, Brooklyn. For more:


Note: "These are just little poems and nothing else"—Stanislav Lvovsky, as quoted by
Kirill Medvedev in
It's No Good: poems/essays/actions translated from the Russian by
Keith Gessen, with Mark Krotov, Cory Merrill, and Bela Shayevich, published by N+1 /
Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012. 


Published July 2017.