Poetry / Gabrielle Grace Hogan
:: Love Me With the Fierce Horse of Your Heart ::
Then again, don’t. I can’t ride it off into any sunset so why bother. Mitski says I could stare at your back all day, & I do not understand. I go for a walk. This fast-fading sunfall feels like a threat, a throat flowering. I pass that house with the cactus wall. The plumbago bushes pushes whispers of wasps into frame. Lusty neighborhood cat a skipped stone storing heat in its belly before the eventual blossom. The tower blossoms orange as night pinkly fades in. Bats make up a quarter of all mammals— this is felt most in a Texan dusk, the acoustic coil of their clicks, their frantic chittering & blind low swoops, as the animal of the skyline bursts with bright yellowed teeth. I want to love someone enough to buy an island with them— now that, that’s the kind of love mountains move for. The heart is a mountain. Immovable. My geology professor was so beautiful in how he loved minerals—that giddy phosphate grin. Rock after rock coaxed, coddled wonder. I’m afraid I’ll never be in love again. Out of the corner of my ear, I hear the cowboy say we’re more ghosts than people. The heart is a cowboy. Riding off. I want to love someone enough to make them a stone, worn smooth by the brush of my thumb.
From the writer
:: Account ::
I’ve become invested in negotiating loneliness and nostalgia in my poetry as of late. Really, I think I’ve been writing about them for awhile; it’s only recently I’ve realized this, and therefore have leaned into it. I write these poems as an avenue to understanding my own relationship with these topics. Over the past few years, I have experienced two breakups, neither pleasant and one with considerable damage to myself. I have approached romantic relationships with a much more bitter, cynical edge, and have been unable to pinpoint where loneliness can feel so large when you are sharing a bed with someone. I want to examine the loneliness that comes from feeling incapable of loving someone back, rather than incapable of being loved. How do you approach your own loneliness when the alternative—to be with someone—is a much more serious and draining endeavor than the movies make it seem? What does it mean, too, to be “with someone”? What are our decided-upon definitions of love, and how are they flawed? Particularly, how does loneliness affect queer people in a different way—we are already fighting for the “right to love” from those who would oppose us, but we are fighting ourselves sometimes as well. And when we “fail” to love, to find a relationship (particularly one that closely resembles a heterosexual one), is that a greater failure because we are meant to act as representatives of our community? In a similar vein, I have been struggling with the idea of “home”—what, or even who, makes a home? In the past few years I have begun and graduated from undergrad, and started grad school, so I have lived in three places including my hometown. It’s been a nebulous weaving through, where no place feels exactly right because pieces of yourself are stretched over different states, and you’re in such a quickly changing time of life—early 20s, where nothing is stable, where your sense of self is as hard to define as a word in a language you don’t speak. How can you make a relationship, make a home, when you don’t have a grasp of yourself? This poem doesn’t seek to answer those questions, but does seek to illuminate them—I’ve tried to position the speaker in a physical sense of place through description, that then flows into more abstract, emotional territory. The presence of the physical and the emotional together feels necessary for grasping that feeling of being lost in space and lost in self. Some poets I’ve been reading who have had influence on my current manuscript include Sharon Olds, Joanna Klink, Dorothea Lasky, and Eileen Myles.
Gabrielle Grace Hogan is a poet from St. Louis, MO, currently living in Austin, TX, while pursuing an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been published by the Academy of American Poets, Nashville Review, Kissing Dynamite, Passages North, and more. She has worked as the poetry editor of Bat City Review and co-editor of You Flower / You Feast, an online anthology inspired by the music of Harry Styles. Her debut chapbook, Soft Obliteration, is available now from Ghost City Press. Her social media and projects can be found on her website, gabriellegracehogan.com.