Richard Siken

Richard Siken

New York City, New York
Richard Siken
New York City, New York
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Biography
Richard Siken is a poet, painter, filmmaker, and an editor at Spork Press. In her profile of Siken, Nell Casey wrote, “he effectively juxtaposes holy wishes with mundane images—making them both seem beautiful by some strange lyrical alchemy.” His poems unwind on the page effortlessly, barely pausing for breath; the speaker’s voice wracked with sexu ...
Popular Poems
1.
Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out
Every morning the maple leaves.
Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts
from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big
and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out
...
2.
Detail of the Woods
I looked at all the trees and didn't know what to do.

A box made out of leaves.
What else was in the woods? A heart, closing. Nevertheless.
...
3.
Landscape with a Blur of Conquerors
To have a thought, there must be an object—
the field is empty, sloshed with gold, a hayfield thick
with sunshine. There must be an object so land
a man there, solid on his feet, on solid ground, in
...
4.
The Language of the Birds
1

A man saw a bird and found him beautiful. The bird had a song inside him, and feathers. Sometimes the man felt like the bird and sometimes the man felt like a stone—solid, inevitable—but mostly he felt like a bird, or
...
5.
Detail of the Hayfield
I followed myself for a long while, deep into the field.
Two heads full of garbage.

Our scope was larger than I realized,
...
Popular Quotes
24 May 2016
“You’re in a car with a beautiful boy, and he won’t tell you that he loves you, but he loves you. And you feel like you’ve done something terrible, like robbed a liquor store, or swallowed pills, or shoveled yourself a grave in the dirt, and you’re tired. You’re in a car with a beautiful boy, and you’re trying not to tell him that you love him, and you’re trying to choke down the feeling, and you’re trembling, but he reaches over and he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist, and you feel your heart taking root in your body, like you’ve discovered something you didn’t even have a name for.”
24 May 2016
“Eventually something you love is going to be taken away. And then you will fall to the floor crying. And then, however much later, it is finally happening to you: you’re falling to the floor crying thinking, “I am falling to the floor crying,” but there’s an element of the ridiculous to it — you knew it would happen and, even worse, while you’re on the floor crying you look at the place where the wall meets the floor and you realize you didn’t paint it very well.”
24 May 2016
“Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.These, our bodies,possessed by light. Tell me well never get used to it.”
24 May 2016
“We have not touched the stars,nor are we forgiven, which brings us back to the hero’s shoulders and the gentleness that comes,not from the absence of violence, but despite the abundance of it.”
24 May 2016
“Im battling monsters, Im pulling you out of the burning buildings/ and you say Ill give you anything but you never come through.”

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