It’s May 2, but I’m still celebrating National Poetry Month this week. And why not? Poetry is to be celebrated and highlighted at any time. The week started with April and poetry, so it’s going to finish with poetry as well. And furthermore, even though I’ll be closing the National Poetry Month project soon, I’ll share poet and poetry throughout the year as well.
Today I’m very excited to showcase a friend I adore – Claire Holland, author of the poetry collection I Am Not Your Final Girl that busted onto the scene last year as her debut work. Claire makes me laugh, chuckle, and smile and is always so kind, but she also is really cool too. She empowers me as a woman. Her poetry is biting and raw and real.
Featured below are two poems by Claire that will be upcoming in her NEXT collection (get excited). Prepare yourself for an emotional ride with these as in this one she tackles motherhood within horror film females.
Motherhood and Following up I Am Not Your Final Girl
by Claire Holland
First off, I’d like to thank Erin for being kind enough to invite me on her blog for National Poetry Month! I’m so happy to debut a couple of poems I’ve been working on for my next book, a follow-up of sorts to I Am Not Your Final Girl. As you may be able to tell from these two poems, I’ve been thinking about motherhood a lot lately – how impossible it is to do “perfectly,” the expectations piled on women whether they choose to pursue motherhood or not, and also what it means to be the daughter of a strong woman. These probably aren’t the poems you’ll want to break out on Mother’s Day, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless!
We fucked like animals the night before—
Just like before, barbed bodies all nail and scratch,
our eyes torches in the wild dark.
Your tongue wrote a line down my inner thigh, and
when you kissed my lips I could hear your thoughts
like they were mine.
I’ll find your tooth lodged in the soft skin of my neck,
later. Hold it there like a vow.
Still, you were gone in the morning.
All you left me with: this land that stretches, stretches
too far and not enough, this warping gray sky,
this child with torch eyes.
My body, wanting.
Does nature know forgiveness? I could never ask.
My love, I’m so sorry
I only wanted you.
How many ways are there to ruin a child?
Sweetie, that land is boundless.
You can lop off their heads
one by one, reach down their reedy necks and pull
out what’s inside. Sift
through the pulp and grue
til you’re covered in it. You still won’t know
what they really need.
And am I culpable?
For giving birth? They say
you always have a choice, always,
no matter how horrible it sounds, it’s the woman’s
but there was no choice.
Show me where I went wrong. Show me how
I could’ve knocked that crown off
his head once they decided to put it there.
Because there never was a choice,
and all your self-righteousness, all of this
won’t change a damned thing.
I’ve tried. I tried. I try.
Your children aren’t your children,
didn’t somebody say that once?
Claire Holland, Biography –
Claire is a poet and freelance writer from Philadelphia, currently living in Los Angeles. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found reading or binge-watching horror movies with her wonderful husband and her Wheaten Terrier, Chief Brody (yes, like from Jaws).
Her debut book of poetry, I Am Not Your Final Girl, is available now on Amazon.
About I Am Not Your Final Girl
From Claire C. Holland, a timely collection of poetry that follows the final girl of slasher cinema—the girl who survives until the end—on a journey of retribution and reclamation. From the white picket fences of 1970s Haddonfield to the apocalyptic end of the world, Holland confronts the role of women in relation to subjects including feminism, sexuality, violence, and healing in the world of Trump and the Me Too movement. Each poem centers on a fictional character from horror cinema, and explores the many ways in which women find empowerment through their own perceived monstrousness.
Photo credit: Thrillist and DigitalSpy