Heart Heart Heart

As the new year begins, emotions of all kinds are being stirred with resolutions, break-ups, breakdowns and, judged using the U.S. citizen's alert-o-meter, are at level red. Kim Addonizio has a poem that attempts to categorize this feeling of high intensity in the poem "My Heart."

That Mississippi chicken shack.
That initial-scarred tabletop,
that tiny little dance floor to the left of the band.
That kiosk at the mall selling caramels and kitsch.
That tollbooth with its white-plastic-gloved worker
handing you your change.
That phone booth with the receiver ripped out.
That dressing room in the fetish boutique,
those curtains and mirrors.
That funhouse, that horror, that soundtrack of screams.
That putti-filled heaven raining gilt from the ceiling.
That haven for truckers, that bottomless cup.
That biome. That wilderness preserve.
That landing strip with no runway lights
where you are aiming your plane,
imagining a voice in the tower,
imagining a tower.

So what can we learn about extreme feeling in this poem? First, that it is multifaceted; second, that it is imagined, and through these imaginings we rev ourselves into a furry of feeling. What better outlet than poetry, where everything is permissible and imagination is rewarded with oohs and ahhs? In this poem, I find myself doing that a lot.

To read more of Addonizio's work, click on her name to discover more poetry.

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