Two Poems by Molly Rose Quinn

“Rousing Success” and “Rich Girl”

Rousing Success

  1. I’m interested in poems that begin with sentiments of “in the beginning, I…”
  2. Spending a day reading about the violence of states and the violence of thugs is an easy way to feel good about oneself.
  3. My best friend from high school won’t write me back because she thinks I’m a cunt.
  4. The sky is falling and, apropos of nothing, I feel gross today.
  5. Here is something: For some time, I’ve been on the lookout for language to bear the saddest things that happen to me. This must be the thing about writing, though. We’re always looking for reasons to write about the things we say we’re ashamed to write about, but we’re not ashamed, we delight it in, and enthusiastically. Particularly when the things we love are sad or profane.
  6. By profane, I mean fugitive.
  7. The worst thing that ever happened to me was the death of a friend, but our relationship was so precise and so queer that I can’t ever explain it right. It’s become an afterthought on my life story. But these are the facts: I met someone, she saved all the scraps of my existence at a moment in which I was flayed. Then she grew ill, in a way that colored her mutable presence in my life. And then her death. Such gravitas, that moment. I can still feel my fear about her dying. I feel it in my legs, fingers, etc.
  8. I’ve had the same insomnia for a decade, an insomnia that takes the form of all the dead women I knew when I was younger. Little red pinpricks on a downy silence.
  9. Accountability.
  10. Family: they won’t be mentioned here, for their sake.
  11. He was so in love with me. I think I’m being punished, now, for my unencumbered ambivalence. I didn’t know I’d be so alone at this moment in my life. The man who bought all my dinners while I was 19 and 20, that’s how I think of him.
  12. I wish I were more affectionate with my friends. I’m cold only because I respect them. Also, jealousy.
  13. Leaving my parents’ house last weekend, I cried but I didn’t show them. No one knows that I miss them. I never tell my mother I love her because I’m afraid that adoration means losing control.
  14. I don’t remember all of this starting.
  15. I still imagine killing myself though these days I never take what’s prescribed to me.
  16. It’s not killing that I think about, it’s the sensation of the absence of my life.
  17. My other best friend from high school lives on Havemeyer but she won’t write me back either.
  18. I wish everyone would stop calling me dependable.
  19. Did you hate me when I left you?
  20. My fear of abandonment is so pervasive, but no one has ever truly abandoned me.
  21. When I was home in Memphis last weekend, I saw a little white girl singing on a microphone on the sidewalk in front of an abandoned row of warehouses. Her parents hovered behind her in an SUV.
  22. In the town I grew up in, it’s legal to carry a concealed weapon in a place that serves alcohol. Also a public park, a church, a voting booth.
  23. My two best friends from high school were the only other two people who hated god. Now we all hate each other.
  24. I have some concerns that the last person I fell in love with never harbored any interest in me whatsoever.
  25. Everything about me feels incidental.


Rich Girl

Mirror again

well it’s

morning my face is still white

thank you jesus I march

to the schoolhouse

where heaven inhabits a sink

a soft

perfume chorusing a scab

on my rib several hymns

I commit

to memory softly

the snow attracts
occasional victims

keep up the white queen

tells me

don’t worry the snow looks great
the adults are all dying

the orange peels the mushrooms


one’s rotating gloam

left to my own device

the sex doll

third stall from the right

my money
can suck me

my money can ripple

a common

prayer for

the lazy the chubby

girl to protect
the white

queen called queenie

shucks roots

and wriggles her lotus
the have-nots the haves is my clover

the sun needs

occasional reassurance

just nudge

the bank don’t plan

for investment why

brains why handprints

when real estate could naught



girl and elysium

arrives in the chocolate-fudge sundae


that fat happy you’ve




"I don't know if / I really considered / going but that / it was in the world / like I was"