Kirstin O'Connor


From the mouth of my uncircumcised son

Whenever my toddler sees a clock he calls it a cock,
which got me thinking about some connection
between measured time and male oppression,
three dicks spinning round
in the same direction
all day long
daring me
not to look.
In the end, though,
unlike, say, a double rain
or a rain-glazed wheel
or the
and cold
touch of
a steel
I think it’s all just a false


To the twenty-three-year-old face-down topless in the sand with the B-cups, blonde dreads, and translucent skin that, I might add, you have no real chance of tanning:
It isn’t that I think you’re a bitch
so much
or think you should gag
so much
on those grapes you keep sucking down—
it’s just, let’s say, that if you happened to craptastically
crap yourself and shuffle off this beach in shame
with your black bikini bottom bulging
in the wrong place
it would make my day,
If you could just for a minute lose control
of that bladder, that rectum, that easy decorum,
if your innie became an outtie,
if your boobs became bagpipes,
if your tan little tummy puffed and popped
on a scalpel and a parasite leaped out
and attached itself orally to your teats—
and if I could watch it all, record it all,
play it back over and over in some sped-up,
slo-mo time-lapse,
it would really improve my mood.
See, it’s not even that I resent your face
so much.
It’s not even that I resent myself
so much
for once upon a regrettable afternoon,
letting some academic shitwit get his
dick wet (at a time, I might add,
in my blossom of youth, I might add,
when I looked not a little like you,
only hotter, surely, hair coiffed
more carelessly).
It’s just that these fantasies, like TED talks,
motivate me:
Kirstin, shave your damn pits,
trim your damn bush,
get your damn ass off the towel,
and make sure the kid doesn’t drown in the lake,
And another thing: don’t tell me
this is all symptomatic of postpartum depression
or that I should cut back on my drinking
or mind my meditation
or do some fucking yoga
or run a fucking mile
or find some dude who’s not a loser
or beg my mom for a little more help
or go and make some female friends
for like the first time in my natural life
or find a sense of community by reaching out
to my tech geek pothead green-thumb neighbors.
I don’t need that.
I got a Hitachi on my nightstand
and youporn on my iPad.
I’m a blissed-out
21st century


Vagina Eclogue, poem cover
My boyfriend showed me his cock bib,
shit you not,
cloth hanky
tied round his rod.
He was all,
“Just cuz my dick’s hungry
don’t mean I have to get cream,
blood, and chocolate sauce
on my nutsack.”
Like it’s clean to begin with.
Gotta say I’m offended.
Gotta call foul on sartorial genital
For either sex.
While I’m on it, I’m no fan of condoms.
Who is?
Mother says, “You’re a fool’s feminist,”
and may have something,
but hell, I got the pill,
got Obamacare,
got my antibiotics
got my HIV exotics.
Bareback’s one of those things everybody practices
but only rappers preach cuz the rest of us are rabbitized.
No matter how many Trojan MTV ads advertize,
the feel sucks
for cunt and kisser alike.
In movies, TV, women against contraception
tend toward baby craziness or trepidation—
afraid of their men losing confidence
(Read: Pushing slugs. Sensitive creatures).  
That’s changing.
Can we get an AMEN
for XX chromosomes liberated enough,
educated enough,
powerful enough
to make the same mistakes as XYs
for the same delicious reasons?
And not petrified to say so—publicly?
Don’t sneeze on me, Sailor.
Don’t touch me arm, either.
Don’t tickle me cheek, don’t finger
me honey hole.
How well you know the half of me?
Who you think I am?
A woman. White. Irish. Irish American.
My words any less important if I were black,
Indian, Indian American?
German, Honduran?
A straight up guy,
all out gay,
hemale, shemale, tranny, bi?
I don’t believe half what I say.
Born again Christian (dead again).
True-to-God virgin (broken hymen).
Whateverthehell I am,
to the bowties
on yer manhood.


Bridges: essay cover
I am so sick of bridges as metaphors. Sometimes I just like walking on a bridge, dammit. Sometimes I like climbing the scaffolding. Sometimes I like jumping in a river (really for real, not, like, figuratively). When the hell and why did it all have to start meaning anything more? I love bridges. I love the functionality arched or flat, covered or open, static or, for want of a better word, drawable (retractable? Upendable? No, not better words…). This asshole the other day was telling me about bridging his past selves with his future self as a way to balance his chi and I wanted to hit him very hard. I wanted to, with tweezers, pluck every pubic hair off his body slowly, testing each one’s tensile strength. Maybe pulling two at a time. Maybe three. How many pubes do you have to yank simultaneously before they don’t break? That is, before the skin rips first? Give me a bridge any day. Give me a metaphor only with a glass of gin so that I have something to occupy my hands and dull my senses while you bore me… My mother once told me, “No one likes a whiner, Kirstin.” If I didn’t rant, what would I say? If I couldn’t speak, what good would I be at all? I sometimes feel like roadkill not yet killed, merely hit, bleeding on the concrete while so many others speed by happily going wherever it is happy people go. I sometimes wish that I really were about to die like that—how self-important, right? “No one wants to hear you bitch about death.” I think my mother would say that if she had the nerve to say bitch, which she doesn’t. When I’m up on a bridge alone and in the country those thoughts slip away. Something about solitude and a bird’s-eye perspective and the nearness of the brief rail-to-ground abyss and proximity of the fulfillment of the death wish allow me to feel comfortable in myself, in my silly, verbally diarrhetic existence. “Can’t you ever shut up,” I think 3,000 of my ex-boyfriends and friends and lovers have said to me. Like, no, fuckers. And why should I? I’m way up here. I got rain on me nose and breezy breeze breezing breezily on me toes. Doing okay.


I stubbed my toe on the step of your Winnebago.
My sister says, “He’s a cracker Lothario.”
My mother says, “He’s an egomaniac sans home.”
Darlene says, “Find a Cadillac dude to bone.”
I say, “Geez, Darlene, don’t you think I would
in an inorganic second?
If I could trade in this
sex lair on wheels
for an open-air lovefest machine—
I mean, how could I say anything but yes, yes
if it’d get me out of this shithole relationship
with the ‘RV King’? Don’t I want the smell
of forties off my breath? Chew stains off my dress?
Vinyl imprints off my ass?
My spit’s molasses from Camel Lights.
My eyes are marshmallows after
smoke-fueled nights.
But remember, please:
He’s a mattress steed.
No one likes to be alone, untouched,
a peony passed over by every bee,
untroubled by a single ant, glorious bloom
wasting daily, petals decaying, dropping,
insides rotting top-down until the stalk
falls to the soil. I obsess over death, Darlene.
El Dorado guys are sky pies.
My RV baron is flesh, shit, a smile,
a squeeze on the tit. He’s a man, honey.
He’s a man.”


You always confuse beauts, buttes, and butts,
one of which gets me all worked up.
How’s about you and me
find a place where the land falls
ninety degrees? You can cop a feel
under a cliff wall
while blabbing about all the buffalo jumps
of two-hundred odd years ago,
Indians disguised as wolves, stampeding the beasts,
1,500-pound buffs plunging to their deaths.
“They’re bison,” you’ll tell me. “Not buffalos.”
There you go again, killing my hard on.
There you go again.
I hate my single friends.
Here I am again,
about to be one of them.