Kim Addonizio is the daughter of tennis champion Pauline Betz and sports writer Bob Addie.
She briefly attended Georgetown University before moving to San Francisco and receiving a B.A. and M.F.A. from San Francisco State University. She has taught at San Francisco State University, as well as Goddard College.
She has a daughter, Aya Cash, and currently lives in Oakland, California.
Her books of poetry include Lucifer at the Starlite (W. W. Norton, 2009), Tell Me (BOA Editions, 2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Award; Jimmy & Rita (1997); The Philosopher's Club (1994); and Three West Coast Women, with Laurie Duesing and Dorianne Laux ... more »
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Kim Addonizio Poems
What Do Women Want?
I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me.
You Don't Know What Love Is
You Don't Know What Love Is but you know how to raise it in me like a dead girl winched up from a river. How to wash off the sludge, the stench of our past.
for Aya at fifteen Damp-haired from the bath, you drape yourself upside down across the sofa, reading,
In this shallow creek they flop and writhe forward as the dead float back toward them. Oh, I know
Look at you, sitting there being good. After two years you're still dying for a cigarette. And not drinking on weekdays, who thought that one up?
The First Line is the Deepest
I have been one acquainted with the spatula, the slotted, scuffed, Teflon-coated spatula
I know my friend is going, though she still sits there across from me in the restaurant, and leans over the table to dip
That Mississippi chicken shack. That initial-scarred tabletop, that tiny little dance floor to the left of the band. That kiosk at the mall selling caramels and kitsch.
The woman came home to find her husband and children sitting around the table as they'd done so many nights, the lamp on the sideboard casting its usual glow
Lucifer at the Starlite
—after George Meredith Here's my bright idea for life on earth: better management. The CEO
I used an arrow to kill the spider. I used a steamroller to flatten the worm.
Poem for the New Year
So far it's suspiciously similar to the old year: the same wild cold wind circling the yard, and that oozy substance
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
What Do Women Want?
I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only