Your Life is Meant for Someone Else by Liv Lansdale
Associate poetry editor Caleb Nelson on today's bonus poem: Liv Lansdale’s poem employs a hard-won lyrical complexity that survives in the particular. Our narrator actively remembers what feels like the only lesson from public school: conform to authority. Authority is the chalk board. Authority is measurable. There is life to be had but that life is for someone else.
Your Life is Meant for Someone Else
It’s graffiti at the public school where I first experienced speed-kissing at its most furtive. Exerting authority was clapping erasers for two minutes instead of five, back when cider came from the place next door & girls were already throwing out their lunches at ten.
Memory banks are small by necessity & not by choice. But one could get away with sincerity easy, learn about joints without asking am I a ball or a socket. Oh, heaven help Mrs. Whiteford & Ms. Carter: still out there with crayons, pondering Judy Blume.
Liv Lansdale is a reviews editor and associate director of Poets at Work and an intern at Farrar, Straus & Giroux.