portion of the artwork for Lauren Yates' poetry

Lauren Yates’ Comments

“Seven Deadly Sins”
This poem came out of Rachel McKibbens’ Writing Exercise #78.

This poem was an exercise in free association. I was struggling to verbalize the heartbreak I was feeling once my relationship with the love of my life ended. Then the first two lines visited me, so I wrote them down. Everything else was a response to those two lines. I think the progression is a pretty accurate representation of how my mind works.

This poem came out of a free write I did at a Santigold concert. Theophilus London had just finished his set, and the crew was preparing the stage. I was alone, and it was my first time in public in the midst of a horrible depression. I saw some people I knew, but chose to stand in the back and type a poem on my phone instead of saying hello. I remember being really angry that they were playing Flying Lotus’ Los Angeles album on such a muffled sound system. And at how “hipster” it was for people to brag about knowing the album, despite it sounding unrecognizable. And at myself for recognizing it before the bragging hipsters. So I wrote about a wrecking ball destroying the venue. After the show, I went back and incorporated my favorite lines into a pantoum.

I wrote this poem during my freshman year of college for my poetry writing workshop. Each week, I had to write a poem in a different form. My professor would then write comments, and rate the poems out of 10. I had gotten a string of 4’s, and was really angry that my professor kept giving me low marks. That particular week’s assignment was a prose poem. In a fit of rage, I decided to just write whatever came to mind, since he wouldn’t like it anyway. This poem got me a 9.5 because it included a gratuitous “and.” Once I replaced the “and” with a semicolon, I got a 10.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 39 | Winter 2013