Tag Archives: tricia warden

Tricia Warden: Dismemberment is where she’s at.



Poetry is full of aging trees, heaving hearts, and cold fruit. It is not, unfortunately, full of cannibalism, dismemberment or serial killers. At least…not enough, I say!

Tricia Warden ‘s poetry is dark and funny. It unfurls hate so wide open that you see the tender spots where it once touched love. It invites you to feel bravely; like shoving a handful of razor blades into your mouth and tenderly tasting the edges with your tongue.

Read the following poem. If you like it, then check out more of her work:

at this blog

in this book, Brianlift

in this other book, Attack God Inside

It has been over 15 years since I first read a poem by Tricia Warden, and lines of that poem have stuck in my brain ever since. Here it is:

dismemberment is where i’m at
a car on 48th street and broadway
ate a woman’s legs
because it had been running late
and hadn’t any breakfast
at home before it left

she washed them
until their skin came off
so god would dance with them
when her husband came home
he asked
what happened!?
she lied and said
i don’t know…

the devil ate at her table
and wore her face for fun
none of the neighbors
heard or saw anything strange
they stayed inside
and hugged their lawnmowers

the butcher chopped off her breast
and asked her to taste
the fine meat
that he would be tenderizing
for the next two hours

someone stole my howling ghost
and i’m afraid he’ll get sick
without his wallpaper shoes

a girl scout found a flap of skin on the ground
she knocked on many doors inquiring
who might have lost it
finally another little girl claimed it
she was so happy to see it again
she danced on the month of june
and vowed to never buy cookies
from anyone else
they lived happily ever after
that was until the tax man choked to death
on their doorstep

some people have to be taught
to be nice to others
too often they excuse themselves
by saying they did not know
others could say ouch

i asked him for money for our baby
he put a bunch of holes in me and said
try drinking a glass of water now bitch

cutting off one woman’s arms wasn’t enough
so the judge set him free
and told him not to come back
until he had done some real work
on those cunt bitch whores

he loved her so much
he gave her his tongue
his brain
and his heart
she loved him so much
she made him soup

he removed the hearts of children
and ate them
it was nothing personal
said the defense lawyer
a common vitamin deficiency
is all

overcoming despair
is not as easy
as it looks
said the man
with a hatchet
in his head
sitting in a tub
filled with acid