Featured Poem: A Diary of Open Mouths

A Diary of Open Mouths is a wonderful poem by babybuddha. In this week's Featured Poem, we take a closer look at this amazing piece.

How would you summarize A Diary of Open Mouths?

It's a short, chronological record of people I've kissed, beginning with an attractive but frighteningly aggressive ex-boyfriend. I chose to document each of the kisses not by the name of the person, or even the point in time, but instead by certain images, sounds, and other stimuli that I remember with each encounter. I think these small details document my experiences more accurately than anything else could.

How did you choose the title for it?

The poem itself is essentially a diary of kisses. I considered that as a title, but I felt that the word "kisses" was misleading - it gives off a sense of romance and sweetness, yet the situations described in the poem were not at all romantic or sweet. From what I can remember, many were carnal, physical, and shockingly indelicate. I chose "Open Mouths" instead because it suggests something similar, something more savage.

What inspired you to write this poem?

I realized a few nights ago that I've never really counted how many guys/girls I've kissed. So I wrote down a list on paper, and thought to myself, "Hey Anne, this would make an interesting concept for a poem!" And voilĂ , A Diary of Open Mouths was born.

What was your favorite thing about writing A Diary of Open Mouths?

I wrote the whole poem in one sitting without stopping for edits, sort of as a stream-of-consciousness piece. I simply recalled each experience and wrote down any details or thoughts that came to mind, which I like doing because it always produces something haphazard and strikingly honest. I think my favorite thing about writing A Diary of Open Mouths was just that: watching my memories come together into something flawed yet raw and unusual.

When writing, do you have any rituals you follow?

I use literary devices like a madwoman. Alliteration, repetition, hubris, etcetera. I thought these concepts were incredibly dull when I was learning them in class, but if you make the effort to implement them correctly they can really transform your work. So when I'm writing something and trying to evoke a certain reaction in the reader, I always run through my handy literary devices and use whatever works. I also like to dim the lights when I'm typing something out on my laptop, it helps me to zone in on the screen and really focus on my work.

Is there anything you would like to say to anyone who reads your poem?

Don't believe you should rush into sex, or kissing, or other crazy junk because you think you have to, because everyone else your age is doing it. Wait for the right person, the right time, and most importantly wait for you. It's okay not to be ready.

Do you have any other poems you think people would enjoy?

Not at the moment, but I do have a few stories as well as some blog posts that touch on the encounters described in the poem. My story Genevieve has a lot of the same themes, such as sexuality and powerful physical attraction.

Special thanks to nearly witches and sheepcat; for editing!

Latest articles