Biography of Daisy Fried
Daisy Fried (born 1967, Ithaca, New York) is an American poet.
Fried graduated from Swarthmore College in 1989.
Her work has appeared in The London Review of Books,The Nation,Poetry, The New Republic, American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, Threepenny Review, Triquarterly.
She teaches creative writing in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, and has taught creative writing as the Grace Hazard Conkling Poet-in-Residence at Smith College, at Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, Villanova University, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, the low-residency MFA program at Warren Wilson College and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She has written prose about poetry for Poetry, The New York Times and The Threepenny Review and has been a blogger for Harriet, the blog of the Poetry Foundation.
She lives with her husband, Jim Quinn, a writer(not the radio talk show host), and their daughter, in Philadelphia.
Daisy Fried Poems
These cold days when the insane sky's clear, heat poofs away be- yond its net of edible blue. My cat folds, flops across the laundry steps. Flags the size of jeans pockets flip-flap affixed to rowhouse fronts. The nicest, cleanest hands reach to switch out lights in
She Didn't Mean To Do It
Oh, she was sad, oh, she was sad. She didn't mean to do it. Certain thrills stay tucked in your limbs, go no further than your fingers, move your legs through their paces, but no more. Certain thrills knock you flat on your sheets on your bed in your room and you fade and they fade. You falter and they're gone, gone, gone. Certain thrills puff off you like smoke rings, some like bell rings growing out, out, turning brass, steel, gold, till the whole world's filled with the gonging of your thrills. But oh, she was sad, she was just sad, sad, and she didn't mean to do it.
No God in Us but Song
Ruffs are optional for trebles in Anglican church choirs. — Wikipedia Bored in the balcony reading your novel hoping it will keep me awake — religion was always a blind spot — with my Sunday headache waiting for the service to finish so I can retrieve my little chorister, no god in us but song, while pale important teenage Sophia in blue head chorister ribbon, face dumpy as a Flemish burgomaster, bosses littler kids and loves leading them expressionless in paired rows from the choir stalls, holding the processional cross high, shushing and huffily eyeing them for babyish disregard of cleanly neatness, my own chorister dripping orts of tissues she stows in her sleeves for sniffles, in the choir room struggles out of her ruff ringed dark brown inside from years of child chorister sweat, hair oil, dead skin. Me: Your other ruff was white and clean! Her: Sophia said it was too big. She gave me this one instead. I showed her it was dirty and tight. She said "deal with it." I think Sophia changed since she went to high school. Service over, ruffs and black robes dangling awry from a clutter of hangers, restored to bright colors the kids bang out swinging doors to shout among gravestones, delicate stems of ruffless necks bare to autumn sun, leaves hurrying out of trees, leaving Sophia alone striving with their robes, sighing out her burdens in a way she could only have learned from a mom. • I sang twice in church when I was a kid. First time with Katrina and Dona — Dona and I white, Katrina black — we called ourselves the Albanettes, mostly sang strident show-tune medleys, jingled-up folk songs — one day were messing out carol harmonies at Xmas in a nursing home, the inmates nodding, tapping, sleeping in their chairs when Katrina said come to my church, they never heard singing like this. At Katrina's storefront the praying, swaying and testifying rose up as we opened our mouths to twine our voices so they burred and shone together like silver spoons then guitar, drums, keyboard shimmerchords surrounded and supported our Gloria, Echoing our joyous strains, Glo-o-o-o-oria the first time I felt sex in my sweat, the congregation clapped rhythm and counterpoint R&B-ish shivers and thrills. Dona's single mom came along to drop us off but stayed the whole service, amazed and beside herself dabbing fingertips into her hair cried thank you thank you for your hospitality I have never been so ... so ... the same smell in her sweat, embarrassing us, squeezed in at the end of the pew. The second time, the Albanettes and whole community choir sang Messiah at the Catholic cathedral from beginning to end; while the solo basso rolled out Thus saith the lord sounding like Paul Robeson doing Ol' Man River and snow came down outside and I will shake all nations Dona, Katrina and I couldn't, could not stop giggling, was it the little girl down front with her mouth wide open gawping lustless love at the basso, we giggled harder, was it the river pouring from his mouth, hard to stay soundless as he rumbled, our giggles birthing new giggles till we sweated and wept our mirth, our noses gushed, our bodies shook ... whom ye delight in; behold, He shall come ... • Sophia's mom stops me exiting to say You're doing the right thing bringing up your child in the church. I cough into a tissue. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves, I think the communal confession goes, not that I was listening. The morning's scripture lesson: raising the citywide minimum wage. Not that I was listening. Though I agree. If I kept singing maybe I could keep you here. The phrase has dark in front of it, darkness after it, dark riddled through it like whatever isn't sparks in a bad connection. Do you mind I put your death in the poem. You can put the wife from hell in your stories. All the women in my stories are the wife from hell. If I kept singing I could keep you here. We're atheist, in it for the music education I don't explain to Sophia's mom, my Sunday headache lifting, my book closed on my finger, my particular chorister running the graveyard outside the church among stones of colonists — low humps crumbling to soil — climbing the cenotaph dedicated 1971 to Wabash, Piankeshaw and six other chieftains who gathered, 1793, in the city, to negotiate against George Washington's land-stealing treaty, whereupon, dying of smallpox — some people think the chiefs were only invited because the white men knew they were likely to die of white man disease — were interred unknown places in our churchyard, graven image of their frilly headdresses signaling tribal-spiritual affiliation. Me, to my husband, 30 years older: I'm afraid I'll lose you, to death or divorce. Him: You'd rather I divorce you? or die? Me: Divorce of course, we could still talk to each other, and laugh. Comfort ye, my people ... my chorister daughter pretending a basso, chin shoved way down into her neck to manage it, up on the graveyard wall on the far side, and lonely Sophia in the shadowy indoors, unsnapping the ruff of a straggling treble chorister, stroking it neat, gently folding it away as her tired mother nags hurry, hurry up please.
The Girl Grew and Grew, Her Mother Could...
The girl grew and grew, her mother couldn't stop it; it terrorized. What would the finger-dance do? Kindergarten art a buffet of markers, gluings of stuffs to seasonally-keyed paper, Elmer's pools drying clear. A stapling and testing of cylinders versus spheres versus cubes for kinetic and entropic possibilities, stuffing balled newspaper into paper-bag dragons, two sweet silver elephants with heads too small and trunks too long, situated off-center, snuffling flowers. And silver rain. And 16 silver hearts stacked vertically and strips of masking tape, colored in reverse rainbow. Unnamable tendrils diffusing to scribbles. A bird. Another bird, more rain, peace signs, a horse with sideways-flowing mane, and knowledge: that the sky's full of black-struck Ms and Ws, drifting clouds; that her kitty cats watch sunsets; sky doesn't reach down to meet the earth; mother shrinks to the size of a penis.
In memory D.K., Scrovegni Chapel, Padua "Even Duccio can't match Giotto's stage management of great tragedy": Transgendered Professor Y. in leather miniskirt paces before the screen, wood pointer scraping saint faces, slapping hunched women of the Lamentation. Blue-gold tumult of the chapel walls. After-lunch lecture hall heat. You're in that class with me. We go on from there—not long. You do The Waste Land in different voices—Come in under the shadow of this red rock—Strom Thurmond, Aussie bartender, Cantonese. HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME. Twenty years later, I get your news by Facebook update, three hundred characters or less, waiting for the Scrovegni to open in the windy square across from Donatello's horse and rider, dust flecks foaming past fetlocks and stirrups. You're someone I slept with long ago, stopped, pitied, forgot. Some remember the Berlin Wall, some remember Vietnam or the first Gulf War, I don't remember you except standing by my chair in the smelly bedroom, blue sheets undone. You scrub at your head wet from the shower, drop the towel on the floor. You ice my earlobe, light a match to sterilize the needle: Give me a small red new potato, you say. Kev pierced my ear with a needle and potato. We were drunk, maybe tripping. Mom was waiting when I came in, 3am, and saw the blood...You jab. No pain. A tearing through resistance, tissues numbly separating. You do your mom: JesusMaryandJoseph! she screamed. Have mercy!
Econo Motel, Ocean City
Korean monster movie on the SyFy channel, lurid Dora the Explorer blanket draped tentlike over Baby's portacrib to shield us from unearned innocence. The monster slings its carapace in reverse swan dive up the embankment, triple-jointed bug legs clattering, bathroom door ajar, exhaust roaring, both of us naked, monster chomps fast food stands, all that quilted aluminum, eats through streams of running people, the promiscuously cheerful guilty American scientist dies horribly. Grease-dusted ceiling fan paddles erratically, two spars missing. Sheets whirled to the polluted rug. I reach under the bed, fish out somebody else's crunched beer can, my forearm comes out dirty. Monster brachiates from bridge girders like a gibbon looping round and around uneven bars, those are your fingers in my tangles or my fingers, my head hangs half off the king-size, monster takes tiny child actor to its bone stash. Pillow's wet. The warped ceiling mirror makes us look like fat porno dwarfs in centripetal silver nitrate ripples. My glasses on the side table tipped onto scratchproof lenses, earpieces sticking up like arms out of disaster rubble. Your feet hooked over my feet. What miasma lays gold dander down on forms of temporary survivors wandering the promenade? You pull Dora back over us—Baby's dead to the world—intrude your propagandistic intimacy jokes, unforgiving. "What, in a motel room?" I say. Purple clouds roll back to reveal Armageddon a dream in bad digital unreality. Explosions repeat patterns like fake flames dance on fake fireplace logs. Sad Armageddon of marriage: how pretty much nice we meant to be, and couldn't make a difference.
No God in Us but Song
Ruffs are optional for trebles in Anglican church choirs.
Bored in the balcony reading your novel
hoping it will keep me awake —
religion was always a blind spot —
with my Sunday headache waiting for the service
to finish so I can retrieve my little chorister,
no god in us but song, while