Rebecca Lindenberg
Contributions

Rebecca Lindenberg’s first poetry collection, gloss, is forthcoming from McSweeney’s in early 2012. She is the recipient of a 2011 National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship and a 2009- 2010 Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship. Her poetry, essays and criticism appear most recently in POETRY, The Believer, 32 Poems, Conjunctions, Huffington Post, Iowa Review, Mid-American Review, No Tell Motel, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly and elsewhere. She teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Status Update

for Michael Morse

Rebecca Lindenberg is writing a poem. Is drinking whiskey, her second. Feels guilty. Is caught in one of her feedback loops. Is a blankity-blank. Is a trollop, a floozy, a brazen hussy. Is a third-person present-tense conjugation of the verb “to be.” Would like to add you as a friend. Would like to add you as an informant. Would like to add you as her black marauder. Would like to add you as her Lord and Savior. Has trouble with boundaries. Rebecca Lindenberg is lonesome. Is keeping lonesomeness at bay with frequent status updates designed to elicit a thumbs-up icon from you. Rebecca Lindenberg likes this. Rebecca Lindenberg dismisses this with a backhanded wave. Rebecca Lindenberg wraps her legs around this. Has this ball of string you can follow out of her labyrinth. Has this labyrinth. Rebecca Lindenberg has high hopes. Rebecca Lindenberg has high blood sugars. Rebecca Lindenberg has more issues than the Wall Street Journal. Rebecca Lindenberg doesn’t want to upset you. Wants to say what you want to hear. Wants the truth to be what you want to hear. Tells the truth. Rebecca Lindenberg thinks of poetry as the practice of overhearing yourself. Thinks about love. About ribbons unspooling. About tangles. About estrangements of the soul. Rebecca Lindenberg likes poems that don’t necessarily sound sincere but really are. Rebecca Lindenberg would like to add you as a profound influence. Would like to add you as a loyal assassin. Would like to add you as her date to the reckoning. Rebecca Lindenberg is the eye of the hurricane. Is the hurricane you are the eye of. Rebecca Lindenberg remembers a statue of a faceless girl with shapely feet. Rebecca Lindenberg remembers the Italian for “chicken breasts” is petti de pollo and the word for kilogram is kilo and that a kilo is way too much chicken breast for a family of three. Steals sage from other peoples’ gardens. Runs for it. Misses Rome. Misses her family of three. Is lost in her own poem. Rebecca Lindenberg has dreams in which you come back. Rebecca Lindenberg lets it go. Lets it all hang out. Rebecca Lindenberg crescendos and decrescendos. Rebecca Lindenberg is: Hey, you, c’mere. Rebecca Lindenberg is: You are not the boss of me. Rebecca Lindenberg is not the boss of you. Rebecca Lindenberg admits, okay, fine, she likes to be bossed around a little, but just a little. Rebecca Lindenberg admits. Rebecca Lindenberg pays admission. Rebecca Lindenberg goes to movies. Needs a bigger boat. Gave you her heart and you gave her a pen. Can’t handle the truth. No, Rebecca Lindenberg is in love with the truth. Is in love. Loves Craig. Loves Robin. Loves the smell of dirt gathering in water and the sleep-smell of your morning body. Loves her rumpled cat. Loves her jimmied window. Loves your long letters. Will write soon, call soon, see you soon. Rebecca Lindenberg promises. Keeps her promises. Keeps you safe. Saves your poems. Takes a leaf out of your book. Leaves you be.



Dispatches From an Unfinished World


A leaf the green a child
would choose if asked
to draw a leaf.

*

A leaf whose name
I do not know.

*

Inside, a jealous cat.

*

This heavy-petalled rose
is humid as the accent
of my current correspondent.

*

What’s coffee for, if not
a strawberry morning
in a fox’s season?

*

Trees unberried by bird.

*

Trees unleafed by beetle.

*

Humid rose a white
blossom browning at the edges.
Paperback book.

*

Inside, my mother humming
a song I’ve never heard.

*

My correspondent
is a tentative man and I am
unaccustomed to tentative men.

*

Trees unbarked by winter deer.

*

Green things make
such mild noise.

*

Milder than water, even.

*

Kinds of holiness.

*

The fox will not show his snout.

*

I love you, fox.

*

I do not love
my correspondent
because he will not let me.

*

Kinds of holiness again.

*

I uncross my legs
to find, with a bare foot,
that sun has warmed the stone.
I partake of the sun.

*

And the stone.



Status Update (2)


Rebecca Lindenberg likes your status. Rebecca Lindenberg updated her status to status-symbol. Rebecca Lindenberg is in a relationship and it’s complicated. Rebecca Lindenberg is single and it’s complicated. Rebecca Lindenberg joined the group “It All Seems So Simple Now, In The Aftermath Of This Consciousness-Altering Tragedy.” Rebecca Lindenberg desires to keep desiring. Rebecca Lindenberg seizes the day. Rebecca Lindenberg wants to go to bird-spotting in Nicaragua. Wants to walk the Lake District. Wonders at the lavender sky over these soft red rocks. Wonders at the silvery smell that precedes lightning, and where these owls live in this expanse. Rebecca Lindenberg wonders. Rebecca Lindenberg is Eden-bound. Rebecca Lindenberg offers you this olive branch. This fig leaf. These laurels. Rebecca Lindenberg has the audacity. Rebecca Lindenberg joined the group “I Wish I Looked Like a Piece of Birthday Cake”. Rebecca Lindenberg joined the group “Play With Me, Play With Me!” Rebecca Lindenberg will be the tulip if you’ll be the bee. Rebecca Lindenberg will be the French waitress if you’ll be the movie star. Will be the bandit if you’ll drive the get-away car. Rebecca Lindenberg became a fan of “Talking About Sex Makes Us Blush”. Rebecca Lindenberg became a fan of “Blushing”.