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Lysette Simmons

1st Prize
MadHat Press
2011 Wild and Wyrd Poetry Chapbook Contest



excerpts from




it’s Frank Sinatra’s birthday today                      did you know
mom & dad                     I am awful

tired                  ostrich jockeys whip around my room
but my heart is good                I think              I

dreamt I was good                    my insides called to me
catch up with her                      the woman

that cow           on the Platte                oh I can’t stand knowing
she goes out in that red coat I met her in                    the wind up

here is strong            in motion a point is a line           did you know
the docks at Ellis need nine mill of work                     anyway

you’ll be happy to know          that’s not where I live
another parade on Broadway & I am awful

tied up here                   No World Order
it’s 1984 & I love



This page:            searchlit goliath            written to
            listen to            water we draw from this boy’s back
            in one sure line            I eat single entendre
to get away from me    The awful many

            brambles in things we do…say
the nursery has sold out of privacy
            shrubs they were labeled I
            wanted to tell the owner austerity
hangs long and may I please have some
            ivy instead                     He said no
It rains            We trust



Moment we—
                        Do you remember—
Oh how did you ever
make it out of me

So I finally gave up, but speaking
                          of remember,
I had you
in a sling
plus, me saying Bad

didn’t stop feeling guilty.
                                                        So I gave
you a bottle of Courvoisier
to like.

Then when you came to AFI
                                                        thinking of the band

I was confused—
for retrospective I gave
some man with a long—

you loved me so why did
your knees always rattle
my shoulders?

do you remember sitting
on the porch

                                                                           the illusion of making
whatever it was I vowed to myself.





Lysette Simmons is from California, where she studied Creative Writing at UCLA under Steven Yenser, Calvin Bedient, and Brian Kim Stefans. She is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in poetry at Brooklyn College, where she also teaches English.

Lysette's chapbook, DEAR ROBERT, 1st place winner of MadHat Press' 2011 Wild and Wyrd Chapbook Competition, judged by CAConrad, is to be released later this year. Contact author.

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