Alexandra Naughton’s poem “i am like a queen:”
“i am like a queen on a throne cold as blossoms on a cliff side clinging to some
thing any thing waiting and all ways cold and all ways waiting because that is
how you are perfect.
“i don’t want to settle any more, for dirty cushions or not enough time or the cut of
your stare, like why am i always waiting for you. i don’t want to sleep in a fugue
state alone i want your thick limbs around me sometimes. i want to feel like i’m
in a world on my own and i just need a visitor so i can know.”
The persona in Alexandra Naughton’s poem “i am like a queen,” is like a queen on a throne. She is also “Cold as blossoms on a cliff that are clinging to…anything.” In every way she is cold. She is always waiting and in this waiting it makes her man perfect.
Still, she does not want to stay this course. She is tired of the mess in which she is forced to live. She doesn’t seem to have enough time. She is tired of her man’s severe stare. She hates always waiting. She’s tired of sleeping in a manner that causes her to forget who she is.
The persona in the poem wants her man’s thick legs wrapped around her.
She wants to feel like she is on her own, and she just needs someone to visit her.
The persona of the poem seems to be a product of a man, who houses her in isolation. She is a queen, held up on a pedestal by him, but perhaps using emotional manipulation to do so.
These are the nouns and verbs of the sentences in the poem.
She uses breaks between the following words: “any thing,” “all ways,” “any more,” and “some times,” but she has used “always” too, so we know she is aware of the seeming pause, where “any thing” makes you question how “things” could be different. A thing could be a vine or an event, the presence of her man. She is not on a cliff literally. She needs to be given a sign. In every way too she is cold, not just physically in terms of her feeling cold inside, but she affects chilly, and you might garner a cold personality. In every way she is waiting. She waits on her man, she waits on things to change. I don’t know of any more ways someone can wait. Can you think of some?
Her not wanting to settle “any more” speaks of not wanting to settle on anything, not just from here on out.
“Some times” alludes to a break between times, it holds us just as her man’s intermittent leg holdings.
In these choices, we are made to feel the same waiting she must feel waiting for her man.
Knowing her poems in My Posey Taste Like are based on the Lana Del Rey’s “We Were Born to Die,” I can feel the singer’s long and her low maudlin voice.
This and Naughton’s poem “my posey taste like,’ from the book My Posey Taste Like manifests the seeming abused Lana Del Rey character in that Del Rey in her videos hangs out with extreme men, who are often older, tough, and seeming brutal. Why would such a beautiful woman choose such extreme men? Who do they represent? What makes them attractive to her?
When I read Naughton I sense a self-disconnected woman. She is powerful in her ability to wait. She is powerful in her coldness as we, or perhaps it is just me looking on. While she waits on the cliff, I am behind her in a meadow. I understand her. I am like her. All the women I have wanted were indifferent and for that reason they too were perfect. There was an absence, which must have/or still does complement me. My father died when I was ten. That event seemed to undermine all my security. He was a doctor. He represented the highest level of achievement: Social, psychological and economic status. I strutted around like an arrogant little boy whose father was a doctor. I was proud of him. I felt like I could become anyone and then he died and I lost all my confidence. I have withdrawn. Could that be the reason I am attracted to strong women, to women who appear as a mystery to me? My mother, a runway model and commercial artist, did not seem to be a mystery to me. Her energies and interests were my own. She represented beauty and she created beauty. The women I have truly yearned for were confident and beautiful, but they did not create beauty necessarily. I did not agree with their politics or ideas, we would often fight. I was jealous of them because of their practicality. My very existence is contingent upon an aesthetic consciousness and appreciation. The women I have appreciated most did well in business, kept moving from job to job until they were happy. I remain at jobs for many years until points of the inability to work there or because of some major change appears and makes it plain that I must move on.
Naughton’s character doesn’t want dirty cushions any more. She no longer desires not having enough time for herself and she is tired of her man’s cutting stare. She asks why she is always waiting for him? She doesn’t want to sleep separated from herself, where one would advice reconnecting, and maintaining her whole self. And perhaps the time has come when she is no longer interested or cannot compromise.
She wants his thick limbs around her. She wants to feel like she is in a world of her own.
I think we all come to this point, where the one we are with, who is not meeting us half-way starts to earn our disinterest, our distaste, and eventually we get it. They are either incapable of loving us or they don’t want to. It has nothing to do with anything we can change. We can’t change the things about us that they want. Maybe that’s why we are drawn to them. They see our weaknesses. They remind us of things about us that we regret, and perhaps we should be moving to correct them. We sense the impossibility and yet we don’t want it to be that way. I remember an ex’s mother coming to me and telling me that her daughter just didn’t have fireworks when she met me and so it would never work. I understood that. There were fireworks for me. In fact, by that point, it became desperation. The die had been cast and there was no hope that she and I would ever get back together. I had to live with that: The stark reality of there not being fireworks.
Naughton does this for me as a reader. She does so much more as well about a woman and her control. And of course you can take away the gender assignments, this is a human problem as so indicated in Naughton’s character’s predicament. I wish her character well. She deserves to be happy. I hope her man wakes up and wraps his legs around her. But, as with me, I think the die is cast. These kinds of things inflict wounds and in time if they were together, the woman would exacter her revenge: Nature is always seeking an equilibrium.