Clarice Été: Every Girl Is Dangerous

Maybe the point of all the time we spend browsing the internet in a trance is to make us forget that what we really want is something to take us out of the boredom of life, so that when we find it, its newness and excitement are that much stronger. At least, that's what I felt when I came across Clarice Été's "every girl is dangerous." The poem had a rare sense of urgency, coherence, and power. Everything seemed so right that I wondered why this piece wasn't already a classic. I thought, "Everybody needs to read this."

The forms of writing on Clarice's blog range from confessional stream-of-consciousness essays to freeform poems to more composed pieces, and I believe the three texts below showcase the different aspects of her style. What I like most about her work is how it takes advantage of one of the Internet's original contributions to poetry: the formerly impossible juxtiposition of the hidden life of the writer with the possibility of anyone having immediate access to that world. Her writing is vulnerable without seeming contrived, has the intimacy of chamber music, yet still feels that the intimacy is only possible because there is someone else there to witness it.

(versión en castellano acá / spanish version here)

every girl is dangerous

every girl is sad
every girl writes beautiful poems
every girl lives uncontrollable passions
which lead them into death
every girl listens to galaxie 500
and writes about fatal diseases
every girl reads clarice lispector
and wislawa szymborska
and knows her so well that she can write
her name as if it were her own
every girl falls off her grandfather's bike
and covers her pale body with nettles
every girl longs for the unexpected
and masturbates in dirty cafeteria bathrooms
every girl died when she was twenty
and killed her father while she slept on the bus
every girl is innocent of the sins
that she hasn't yet dared to commit
every girl wants
to be a pornstar for a day
and for a guy to penetrate her until she loses consciousness every girl talks to her cat on her lap
about the lovers she's never going to have
every girl looks through the window
always more than she should
waiting for an inflatable mattress to fall
or in a universe that disappeared
every girl dreams of delirium
and excuses herself taking seroxat, lexatin, prozac
in the morning
and lsd, mdma, drugs without names at night
every girl debates the existence of god
in her gynecologist's office
every girl studies the names of the galaxies ngc1512, supernova 1987a, m81, m104
out of fear they'll all suddenly disappear one day
every girl goes to art shows
so she can fuck in some stranger's kitchen
every girl throws up in the elevator
before going into her house drunk
every girl lied in the third grade of elementary school
so that her teacher would feel sad for her
every girl ignores the verb to love
and tosses and turns in her room from the pain of being alive


I'm looking for a home like someone digging into their wound

I need to write as if I knew that the world was going to split into a million pieces. Full of fear and dread but with a private hope that someone can hear me and the terror will go away. It wouldn't matter to me if everything ended if I knew that somebody could read me, and, that we could save ourselves from non-existence together. I need to write because I need to feel that I exist in some part of myself that I don't know yet. I need to feel that my hands move, quick and vivid over a keyboard that still seems inhuman to me. I need to feel that my tears can still float through my eyes before killing themselves bravely on my oily cheeks. I write I write I write and my existence strikes against nothingness. I write when I get dressed carelessly and when I untangle my knotted hair. I write on the street while I smoke and disobey some warning sign that I don't understand. I feel like I'm constantly writing poems in my mind that nobody will ever be able to read because they don't exist outside of time and the tumultuous state of mind I was in when they were created. I don't know if this makes any sense, but I promise that I write tirelessly and that my work is as unknown as I am, as unknown as everything that has never been born. I see the world as if it were a great, injured poet fighting to survive in hell. I see the world and I look at myself in the mirror of the unacknowledged and it makes me sick that everything has to look so much like death. I need to write to know I'm alive and still determined to throw myself into the emptiness of those who will never be loved. The needed love of a real love. The needed reality of something tangible. The needed tangible of a painless dream with space to make its desires grow. If I don't exist I'm begging someone to forgive me for so much suffering in vain. If I don't exist I need someone to cure me of all the bruised existence that surrounds me. But I exist, I know it because my bones are always about to break. I know it because of this futile need born in my gut as strong as a dead son. I know it because of the vomit and the unexpected dizziness that convinces me that my life is real and that it’s a life of loss. The son that I don't have screams at me at midnight and I get up half-asleep and I spit out the nausea I still have so that I can drown. The power of literature is the power of an idiot girl that can't sleep through the night. It's the power that's only given to the unhappy so that they feel that there's still some reason to survive. To create something beautiful, in an unjust and cruel place, where everything seems surrounded by so much sickness and death, does it deserve respect or derision? I distract myself by wondering about the absurd meaning of things as if I wanted to play philosophically with my sadness. Absurdity is trying to die when your desire to be alive chokes you until it makes you into somebody constantly disappointed. Oh, finally silence, the dark night of the soul and my cat getting tangled in my sheets. If life is this need to feel something, then I'm alive and even more, there's so much life that surrounds me and I don't even know it.


my room will never stop being an adolescent drama. if you close your eyes and just remember that this is what you wanted last night

take me to a concert
one of those depressing ones
where girls start to cry
and their boyfriends check out the asses of the girls standing in front
kiss me like they were playing terrible love like the drums were striking our hearts and the city, time, life
only lies that choke
let me take your hand
(fuck they're cold)
even if this is a game
a god damn stupid game
of running down the stairs to the subway and getting lost in the cars pretending to look for the exit
take me to that place (does it exist?)
far, always far
and let's run away from time
let's run uphill to the mountain let's make a bonfire in its gut let's dance with all its ghosts memories feeding the fire (fire always burns the skin)
there has to be a place in ruins god damn it a fucking place where turning 21 is a lie the last stop on a non-existent line
a far away, pretty place
a place without street lamps or traffic lights with ruined houses
gardens without flowers
dead and happy
let me die here dancing in your blood this is hardcore pulp whispers god damn it let me stay here forever


Clarice Été's blog can be found here:

Evan Leed is a writer and filmmaker currently based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition to being Assistant Editor and Translator for ¡OOMPH!, his writing has appeared in Shabby Doll House, Thought Catalog, Internet Poetry, and SEVENTY-FIVE, a collection of essays based on Marina Abramovic's "The Artist Is Present." His play "Calicut" was presented as part of the 2011 New Paltz New Plays festival.


(versión en castellano acá / spanish version here)