Erin Belieu

Erin Belieu Poems

I've known the pleasures of being
fired at least eleven times—

most notably by Larry who found my snood

When I think of the many people
who privately despise children,
I can't say I'm completely shocked,

Mother, I'm trying
to write
a poem to you—

This hideous,
upholstered in gift-wrap fabric, chromed
in places, design possibility

for the future canned ham.

at the altarpiece of Saint Teresa

No need to be coy—
you know what
she's doing

Make your daily monument the Ego,
use a masochist's epistemology
of shame and dog-eared certainty
that others less exacting might forgo.

Some of us
are chum.

Some of us
are the come-hither


Field is pause field is plot field is red chigger bump where

the larvae feed corn wig curled in your ear. Field cares not

a fig for your resistance though kindly gently lay your

Omaha, Nebraska They do not sleep nights
but stand between

rows of glowing corn and
cabbages grown on acres past

Come, Lord, and lift the fallen bird
Abandoned on the ground;
The soul bereft and longing so
To have the lost be found…

It bothers me: the genital smell of the bay
drifting toward me on the T stop, the train
circling the city like a dingy, year-round
Christmas display. The Puritans were right! Sin

Ferdinand was systematic when
he drove his daughter mad.

With a Casanova's careful art,
he moved slowly,

I'm watching football, which is odd as
I hate football
in a hyperbolic and clinically revealing way,
but I hate Bill Parcells more,

Erin Belieu Biography

Erin Belieu is an American poet Life She graduated from Boston University, and Ohio State University with an MFA. She taught at Washington University, Boston University, Kenyon College, and Ohio University. She teaches at Florida State University. Belieu is the author of three collections of poetry. Her first book, Infanta (1995), was a winner of the Nationa Poetry Series, selected by Hayden Carruth. Infanta was also chosen as a best book of the year by The Washington Post and Library Journal. Her second collection, One Above & One Below, was the winner of the Midland Authors Prize in poetry and the Ohioana prize, and her most recent collection, Black Box, was a finalist in 2007 for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is presently Director of The Graduate Creative Writing Program at Florida State University. Belieu is also the coeditor of The Extraordinary Tide, an anthology published by Columbia University Press that features the work of contemporary American women poets. She has worked extensively in literary publishing and was previously the managing and poetry editor for AGNI magazine, as well as the founding editor of Hotel Amerika. In addition to her writing, editing, and teacher, Erin Belieu is the co-founder and co-director of VIDA, a literary organization that seeks to explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women through meaningful conversation and the exchange of ideas among existing and emerging literary communities.)

The Best Poem Of Erin Belieu

From On Being Fired Again

I've known the pleasures of being
fired at least eleven times—

most notably by Larry who found my snood
unsuitable, another time by Jack,
whom I was sleeping with. Poor attitude,
tardiness, a contagious lack
of team spirit; I have been unmotivated

squirting perfume onto little cards,
while stocking salad bars, when stripping
covers from romance novels, their heroines
slaving on the chain gang of obsessive love—

and always the same hard candy
of shame dissolving in my throat;

handing in my apron, returning the cash-
register key. And yet, how fine it feels,
the perversity of freedom which never signs
a rent check or explains anything to one's family...

Erin Belieu Comments

June Walker 08 May 2012

I enjoyed reading your poem -From on being fired again in the newsletter. I particularly loved the humour.

3 4 Reply
William F Dougherty 07 May 2012

Farming memory-instruction by emulative example of thinking in images.

2 2 Reply
William F Dougherty 07 May 2012

Rondeau on the MBTA cunningly made: the startling genital smell of the bay in line one whips back to mind in the rump-up closing; the sweat and bother might suggest a hormonal humidity and ambiguity and an equine referent for bay in want (heat) in close quarters.

4 0 Reply
William F Dougherty 02 May 2012

Enter a poet to the slim minority, the bobbed tail; keep your proud/proficient rump up against the vasty wind.

4 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 04 June 2019

" And Of The Poet's Youth" is never to find on Poem Hunter Poem Site. So very pity. This poem is chosen by PH and Org as The Modern Poem Of The Day. CONGRATULATIONS. I wished to have read this surely fascinating poem, Mrs. Belieu. God's Blessings in Abundance. Amen.

1 0 Reply
Anthony Burkett 07 May 2014

I know just how you feel Erin...From On Being Fired Again... a very liberating emotion isn't it! ? :)

2 0 Reply
Sanjibsaha Aniketa 22 December 2012

I don't know whether you are aware of Indian poems & poets. I like your poems Very much.

6 4 Reply
Sanjibsaha Aniketa 22 December 2012

I don't know whether you are aware of Indian poems & poets. I like your poems Very much.

6 4 Reply
Sanjibsaha Aniketa 22 December 2012

I like your poem s very much. Looking for your next poem.

5 4 Reply

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