A Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz Tumblr

A Collection of All Things COA

We loved like we invented it.

 Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz from her poem, “The Bowery” from her book, The Year of No Mistakes (Write Bloody Publishing (2013)

(Source: lifeinpoetry)



More beautiful women have loved you,
more talented. Poems about you have
already been written by better hands.
I can’t help but cover up my bare skin.
I flee. I’m not still enough for your love.
My lips are attached to a nervous face.
My No is always quicker than my Yes.
I want to touch you so badly I don’t
know how to even reach out. I’ll never
know how to say it: how sunk I am
in this love for you, how salty,
how sweet.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

From her book, TheYear of No Mistakes (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014)

You can’t control whether or not you have talent. You can’t control whether or not your work will be recognized or valued. But what you can control is how much work you put your art—both in terms of creating it and in terms of getting it out there—and that is where I try to focus my energy.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, interviewed for Some Weird Sin (via bostonpoetryslam)

Because I have heard poets say things in front of roomfuls of strangers that made me pulse, made me sweat, made me want to push further, risk everything, be that beautiful.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, “For the People Who Keep Asking Me Why I’m Still In Slam” from her book Everything is Everything (Write Bloody Publishing, 2010) (via modernlepers);

(Source: hellohum)

It was then that the present became the present, became every possibility, became anything I wanted, became a room full of hands waiting to feel something.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, excerpt from “February” (collected in The Year of No Mistakes, 2013)

(Source: like-being-here)

When my body had forgotten its purpose,
when it just hung off my brainstem like a whipped mule.
When my hands only wrote. When my teeth only ate.
When my ass sat, my eyes read, when my reflexes
were answers to questions we all already knew.
Remember how it was then that you slid your hand
into me, a fork in the electric toaster of my body. Jesus,
where did all these sparks come from? Where was all
this heat? Remember what this mouth did last night?
And still, this morning I answer the phone like normal,
still I drink an hour’s worth of strong coffee. And now
I file. And now I send an email. And remember how
my lungs filled with all that everything? Remember
how my heart was an animal you released from its cage?
Remember how we unhinged? Remember all the names
our bodies called each other? Remember how afterwards,
the steam rose from us like a pair of smiling ghosts?

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, “December” (via poetrist)

From her book, The Year of No Mistakes (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013)

It was the year of the unannounced arrival.
The year my fingers felt made to drag tracks
through your hair, to brush beneath your collar,
gentle as an eyelash. The year I’d wait all night
for your hands to trace the length of my shoulders
as we hugged goodbye. The year of the dog walk,
the milkshake, the long shower. The year I’d ride
my bike all day going nowhere. It was the year
of the broken seatbelt, the lock that just wouldn’t
click. It was the year of the reckless passenger.
The year you surprised me by opening my door.
The year I found you waiting in the darkened frame
of my door. The year you walked thru the open mouth
of my door. It was the year you said, I remember.
The year you said, I always remember when a girl
says she likes something.
It was the year I became
that girl.

January by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz (via notmanetstype)

From her book, The Year of No Mistakes (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013)

"At The Office Holiday Party" by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz [from her book Everything is Everything (Write Bloody Publishing (2010)] 


I can now confirm that I am not just fatter
than everyone I work with, but I’m also fatter
than all their spouses. Even the heavily bearded
bear in accounting has a lithe otter-like boyfriend.

When my co-workers brightly introduce me
as “the funny one in the office,” their spouses

I’m sorry I could never see myself
out of the twitching fever of my heartache,
that I traded everything we had for something
that never ended up being.

But if I could take
any of it back, it wouldn’t be the glittering hope
I stuck in the amber of your eyes, nor would
it be the sweet eager of our conversations.

No, it would be that last stony path to nothing,
when we both gave up without telling the other.
How silence arrived like a returned valentine
that morning we finally taught our phones not to ring.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz (via rarararambles)

From her book, Oh Terrible Youth (Write Bloody Publishing, 2011)

I always tell young writers, if you want to learn how to be a great writer, then be an organizer! Start your own reading series or lit journal! See what it is like from the other side of the divide, and what they want and need from the artists with whom they are working. It is surprising and helpful and the lessons I learned then continue to guide me to this day!

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, interviewed for Some Weird Sin (via nps2013)

(Source: bostonpoetryslam)

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