in our lives
we will talk about fathers
in our white wet dresses
with tobacco undernails, handgloves

& beaded mantilla veils
with the posture of a dressmaker’s mannequin

with desert water sprayed thick like the rotting
at the vanity with a soft gilt hairbrush



I looked at the most common words in my newest book, APOCRYPHAL. It appears that they are “want,” “body,” “wear,” “father” and “Javi.” So I talk about each here.


My work has always been about wanting—usually, it’s the want of something unnatural: to be abused, to abuse, to want something that one shouldn’t (and I don’t mean someone’s husband, I mean someone’s father, someone’s blood, someone’s death). I spend an awful lot of time in life keeping together my sanity. Sometimes I am prudish. My friends will say, for example, “But you’re Lisa. How could you hate porn?” And secretly I will think, “I love it,” but in reality, I say it’s bad, and desire is dangerous, and the world is soulless. It’s because maybe I am in some ways, and my poetry lets me explore that.