“What do Women Want?” (poet spotlight)

With my writer brain occupied with polishing a manuscript, it seems the perfect time to feature award-winning American poet, Kim Addonizio and her bold and unapologetic poem, “What do Women Want?” πŸ’ƒπŸ» This poem contains one bad word and lots of sass. πŸ™ˆ Enjoy!

β€œWhat Do Women Want?”
by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what’s underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their cafΓ©, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I’m the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment
from its hanger like I’m choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,
it’ll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.
Poet, Kim Addonizio

Born in Washinton DC, now a resident of San Francisco where she earned a BA and MA at San Francisco State University, Poet Kim Addonizio has received numerous awards for her work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, and the John Ciardi Lifetime Achievement Award. Addonizio has published several poetry collections, novels, a memoir, and books about the craft and process of writing poetry. Her poetry covers subjects “ranging from mortality to love to substance abuse” and is known for its “gritty, street-wise narrators and wicked sense of wit.” She has also taught classes all over the country.

β€œWriting is an ongoing fascination and challenge, as well as being the only form of spirituality I can consistently practice. I started as a poet and will always return to poetryβ€”both reading and writing itβ€”for that sense of deep discovery and communion I find there. There are only two useful rules I can think of for aspiring writers: learn your craft and persist. The rest, as Henry James said, is the madness of art.” ~ Addonizio

Source: Poetry Foundation

My writing brain is trying to stay sane during the necessary, but tedious tasks of adding commas, writing other ways to say “said,” and the many other pesky steps needed to polish a manuscript. The hardest part of this writing stage is having less time to create original content – where my passion is freed. Soon I will be moving on to the challenging task of structural changes. At least that stage will offer space for creativity! ✨ Brain breaks are a must, which includes reading and enjoying the work of other poets. Thank you for visiting, reading, and listening. Be well. πŸ’— Michele

More poems by Addonizio: Poetry Foundation

Featured Photo: by Wallace Felipe

Β© 2022 Michele Lee Sefton

97 thoughts on ““What do Women Want?” (poet spotlight)

    1. I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for mentioning. I like this poem too and what I have read of her other poetry. Talented, fierce, confident! Great minds think alike! Did you also write about wearing a tight red dress? 😁

      Liked by 3 people

  1. So inspiring poem and a special Tribute to the poem β€œwhat do women want β€œ Very fearlessly
    the Author ✍️ wrote , what her mind keeping wishes with her beautiful red dress , admiring πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜Š
    Your written words and lines also so nice to read and very stylish and beautiful you are , as well 🌷
    Grace wishes and happy Saturday πŸŒ·πŸ™πŸ˜Šβ™₯️🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted that you are inspired by the poet’s words. She is fearless and talented! Thank you so much, Thattamma. Your energy and compassion are a gift to me. πŸ˜ŠπŸ™πŸ» Have a wonderful weekend. πŸŒžπŸŒ»πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Kim, great inspirational poem and video for women to take the world by storm! Thinking of you during your revisions. So challenging to separate ourselves from our work. Hope you will make the changes that feel right to you and keep what you know must stay in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate you and your thoughts about my post and about my book changes! Thank you, Rebecca. You are right, it is a challenge to separate from work. Breaks are important, but I am ready to reach that edit finish line! Best to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A red dress can make a statement. Addonizio took that truth to another level! ❀️ Well said! She is a talented storyteller, uniquely crafting her words. Like you! If you have a moment, check out her other poetry. I think you will like it. Thank you, Jaya.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I must agree with you Jeff! She created an entire scene. A mini movie. I love it and her sassiness! Thank you for reading and appreciating! Thanks about the book! πŸ˜… How’s your poetry collection coming along? Thanks, wishing you the same. 🌳 βœπŸ»πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s an amazing piece! I loved it for the same reasons. You’re always welcome, Michele. Can’t wait to read your book! Ah, my collection is coming along well. I selected the final 4 poems today. Now it’s edit a little, write a short intro, then the manuscript is off to Ingrid. Probably about two more weeks. Exciting! Thank you. It’s a lovely evening. πŸ’–βœ¨πŸŒ³

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for the support, Jeff. πŸ™πŸ» Congrats on your collection progress. You are so close! πŸ‘πŸ» Those abundant poetry trees! 🌳 Writing and sharing enriches life! βœπŸ»πŸ’—

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your perspective. πŸ™πŸ»I would love to hear the poet’s thoughts on your comment. Yes, that’s the word. I am a bit sarcastic in describing the word, but as a long-time teacher trained in preparing readers for potentially sensitive material, I like to give others a heads up on content. Thanks for the visit!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Red hot fiery and strutting her stuff, no oppression there and you gotta love her grit, her style and her gift..Thanks for sharing her work with us Michele!
    Alrighty, I’m going to go put my red p.j.s on and they ain’t silk I can assure you but I could lie and say they are as it sounds much better.. lol. πŸ˜‚
    Happy Sunday soon!
    πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, she is all that! πŸ”₯ Thank you, Cindy, for reading and appreciating. πŸ™πŸ» Red pjs, silk or not – next best thing to a red dress! 😁 Thanks! Happy Sunday to you too! πŸŒžπŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For sure she is!!!! It’s a pleasure always and you are so right. Hope you are staying bright today.. I’m in hot pink and red lipstick, today after your poem last night .. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ˜˜ Thanks and to you! πŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A great share, Michele, and an empowering poem! πŸ’ƒ

    β€˜My writing brain is trying to stay sane during the necessary’ – you don’t know how much I can relate to this right now πŸ˜… we can do this πŸ’ͺπŸ’–πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ingrid! I am glad you like the poem. It is empowering, yes! πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸΎ

      haha I completely understand. πŸ€ͺπŸ˜’πŸ˜‚Yes! Yes, we can!! πŸš‚ Edits be done, so we can get back to writing! ✍🏻 πŸ’– Thanks. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a woman wants? πŸ€” Girlfriend, it changes all the time with me! LOL 🀣 Great post, Michele and what a wonderful spotlight on this talented award-winning poet. I love that photo with the model in a HOT pop of blazing red! πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ‘—πŸ’ƒπŸ½ I especially love your summation we all need to pay attention to, “Brain breaks are a must!” Girlfriend, I truly understand. I may not always listen to my brain saying “Ok, enough already” but I understand. πŸ˜…πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha Funny response! πŸ˜‚ It is your prerogative to change your mind. Again, and again! πŸ’­ πŸ’‘I am glad you enjoyed my post. Thank you, Kymbelina! I love her fierce narrator! Something special about those K(y)ims. πŸ˜‰ Hot pop of red… eye-catching, yes!! 😍 haha We may not always listen to our brains, but if we don’t take breaks our brains might break! πŸ€―πŸ˜­πŸ˜†

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OK, you got me choking here!!! πŸ€£πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚ I love how you work the K(y)isms! πŸ‘πŸΌ But girlfriend you’re right, if we don’t take our breaks our brains might break! Hmmmm….I think I may have experience that πŸ§ πŸ€―πŸ‘… already! πŸ˜‚πŸ€”πŸ˜²πŸ€”πŸ€£ Hugs and smooches! πŸ₯°πŸ’‹πŸ˜˜

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I truly loved this gorgeous poetry!! If truth be told, then let it be this truthful and beautiful! I admire you for taking the time to share it with us while in this phase of your writing work. Wishing you loads of ease and joy and Much Love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gorgeous, yes! Truthful and beautiful – how delightful! ✨ Thank you, Pragalbha, I greatly appreciate your kind and encouraging words. πŸ™πŸ»May all that you share return to you tenfold. πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing such a talented poet – the red dress really makes a statement! Well done on getting your book polishing underway – I’m sure it’ll turn out wonderful ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was my pleasure to share Addonizio’s poem and a bit about her. Thank you, Tom, for reading and appreciating. 😊 Like her poem, red gets our attention! πŸ’ƒπŸ» I am grateful for your thoughtful support. πŸ™πŸ»

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! They are great rules – straightforward and true. They are not mine though. They are those of the poet I highlighted. It’s a great quote, especially the phrase you wrote! ✨ You are welcome. Photography is a fun hobby for me. I enjoy seeing the world through photography blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Woman have everything but no one can understand what she still wants including herself haha she always wanted more powers to excel herself to be better every time n create best moments. She love to enhance and grab every opportunity to inspire like you dear Doll. Awesome pic πŸ‘Œ 😍 Happy to write here after a long gap πŸ’–πŸ˜‡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suma! So nice to read you here after your blog hiatus. Women are complicated. πŸ€” And wonderful! Thank you. 😊 Welcome back and happy writing! 😁 πŸ’–

      Like

  9. What a great poem, I feel we can all relate, at least a little, to the way Kim writes. Yes you need to take breaks Michele and then continue on doing what you do so well. Thanks for sharing Kim’s work with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed Kim’s poem and that you found it relatable. I love her bold spirit! ❀️ Thank you for your encouragement. I am grateful. I am making my way through the second draft. 😁 Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful share! The poem is phenomenal and sentimental workπŸŒ·πŸ˜ƒ. Although it doesn’t confirm to what I want, but I am thrilled to learn what another woman wants! πŸ˜€ loved your stunning black and white photoπŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annabel! So happy to read you. 😊 Beautifully said. Knowing what you want and what you don’t want is an empowered state of mind. πŸ’– Thank you about the photo. You are so sweet to me. πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

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