The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas – by Jesse Lichtenstein, May 28, 2014
Just before she took the microphone one soggy night in Portland, Ore., the poet Patricia Lockwood downed a shot of cheap bourbon. She had never had a drink right before a reading, but she often enacts some private joke when she speaks in public. It might be slurping her water loudly into the microphone, or rolling (instead of stepping) onto a stage, or, in this case, ingesting something that tasted to her like a puddle in a forest — anything to erase what she calls the “anxiety kegels” leading up to a performance.
That evening, more than a hundred poetry fans — most of them in their 20s, most of them clutching cans of bargain beer — crowded into a corner of a 12,000-square-foot wood-and-metal shop as Lockwood began a 12-minute romp of a poem called “The Father and Mother of American Tit-Pics.”
Lockwood is all large eyes, apple cheeks and pixie haircut — like an early Disney creation, perhaps a woodland creature; one of her fans recently rendered her as a My Little Pony. The contrast between how she presents and what she writes is something Lockwood delights in.
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