by Andie Carpenter

I’m going to be a Subculture Princess
Wear big black eyeshadow with
Too tight pants
Buy a pair of steel toed combat boots
Sign my autograph as
I will put out my own ‘zine and never get glossy
Slicker than Bob Holman and
Deeper than MTV
I’ll write poems on napkins in
Bars in hotels in parts of town you’ve never heard of
I will have web pages and message boards and fan clubs
That will promise I answer each and every letter
I will know everyone who ever died
For art as art with art in bed next to them
You will be sick with jealousy wanting to be me when
You hear my latest album
See my latest concert
Watch my new commercial
Smell my new perfume (it’s really a toilet water, but)
I will wear all black except on special occasions and
Pluck my eyebrows because I’m a supermodel too -
You will call at night and beg me to read your stuff
Try to date me so I will write you into a poem
And I’ll laugh at you and say ‘I am not an open room’ and
Hang up on you while you’re still talking
I will drop names like you shed hair
And I will never recognize you again in public
My press kit will be thick and shallow and full of compliments
Only my best friends may photograph me now
My childhood will be rewritten so
You can talk about my troubled youth in artistic isolation
How I grew up so fast in that greasy trailer park-
No, no, on the Lower East Side, so wise so young-
No, no, it was with gypsies for parents in Paris no Belgium no Rome-
I will be at all those openings that show up in the Times, ’cause
All us artists stick together, you know
Except for you, because we won’t like you anymore because I said so
Now that I’ll be a Subculture Princess
I can do things like that
I’ll be the only person ever to drink for free at the
Nuyorican Poets Cafe’
I’ll be so cool I won’t even pay at the door
In fact, I’ll have my own reading and I’ll make it on Friday nights and no one
Will ever complain about having to come uptown for it because
It’s worth the subway fare to get to see me
The Subculture Princess
I might even do a special documentary on PBS
But my poems will only be printed in those underground poorly bound newspaper
Because I’ll be way above The New Yorker and stuff like that
I would never write about flowers or bunnies or John Ashbery or anything
I will brag that Hal Sirowitz published my first poem which is a lie but only
Because I started writing long before I met him (did I tell you I met him?)
But you won’t know that because he wouldn’t even talk to you now
Because I said so, and Subculture Princesses can say whatever they want
And I hate you
Because way before I was where I’ll be you treated me like crap
And told me my work was too intimate so no one would ever like it and I took
criticism so personal
And you wouldn’t date me since I wasn’t in some fat backed perfect bound
independent press anthology
But now you’ll wish I was still intimate and I will never admit to taking you
in a personal way
Now that I’ll be a Subculture Princess
Just as soon as I finish this poem