2 poems by Lee Ann Roripaugh – The Feminist Wire

2 poems by Lee Ann Roripaugh

……………….tsunami battles the pink robots / french poststructuralist tsunami



it’s such a pitiful bukkake

those post-tsunami Roombas


cooling down   plant walls

stripping off paint


and concrete surface

with their waterjets


(Hitachi’s “Arounder”

Mitsubishi’s “MEISTeR”


the diesel-fueled



but hers / is still bigger

than theirs / mythological


slippery and apocryphal

as Butler’s lesbian phallus


she doesn’t give a shit

about the ring of pee


crescenting the toilet

or if the hamper


overflows, she’s a hoarder

and slob, deconstructing


the domestic (symbolic) order

of the melted-down core


with the fluid roller-ball

cursive of jellyfish


the spilled milk ink

of octopus and squid


the squirted rush

of salt and brine


unbolting the bolts

unscrewing the screws


oh tin men, she laughs

and laughs at you


with her gulls and crazed

seaweed hair / rusting down


your hearts to orange filing

and cringing flake


tick tock / tick / tock

until they all / stop




………………………….tsunami grrlsplains allergies



fuck taupe, she says:

milquetoasty blood cells

band-aiding faux infections


whitewashing the body’s narrative

spinning a tail to wag the dog


anaphylaxis with shellfish

the superhyper bowl of peanuts


a gorgeous explosion

of mold spores like cosmic glitter

in the bloodstream:

alternaria, aspergillus,

                                                cladosporium, and penicillium


allergens barbarians

at the gate melting down

the candy shell

of the nuclear power plant’s

chocolate core


did you know taupe’s

French vague

for the color of moles?


which might be brownish-grey

or grayish-brown

or sometimes pinkish

as in rose taupe

or mauve taupe

or faux taupe


immune system’s false hope

against REM and mSv


so just gloss over it

paint it all taupe

duct tape shut the doors


wait for the frantic

castanet clicking

of Geiger counters:


Three Mile Island


Fukushima Daiichi


duck and cover


stick your head

in the sand

to glow

and smolder

and strobe


Lee_Ann_Roripaugh-headshot1aLee Ann Roripaugh is the author of four volumes of poetry: Dandarians (Milkweed, Editions,2014), On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009), Year of theSnake (Southern Illinois University Press, 2004), and Beyond Heart Mountain (Penguin, 1999).She was named winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award inPoetry/Prose for 2004, and a 1998 winner of the National Poetry Series.  She is currently aProfessor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she serves as Director of CreativeWriting and Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review.