Butts are a category of endlessness, I remember my poetry teacher saying.
"Butts are a category of endlessness," I remember my poetry teacher saying once. GETTY IMAGES

I just wrote about how deeply fucked the Washington state budget is, which spurred me to reach first for a glass of sour mash and then for a poem that brings me nothing but pure pleasure—the kind of fun, punchy, Friday-happy-hour pleasure that was easy to find before the war.

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Only a few poems ever written can fulfill this need, and one of those poems is "The Room of Disembodied Excitement" by Seattle poet Sarah Galvin. You can find this one in The Three Einsteins, available at local bookstores, if you're lucky.

A few notes:

• As with the Dean Young poem from yesterday, Galvin uses associative logic to drive her way down the page. She basically presents six different declarations, all of which say some version of the same thing: Nobody has time for your bullshit, get to the fucking point.

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• Though I've been happily trained not to say the word "bitch," as it perpetuates boring gender stereotypes within my own mind and therefore throughout society etc etc, I must say the opening stanza of Galvin's poem is the funniest and most satisfying of these declarations: "No one wants to know about your / publications or your missing fingers or your / Dodge Charger. They have been waiting / all night, perhaps all their lives, / to tell you why their sister is a bitch."

• But of course, Galvin has a lot of fun not getting to her own point, which ends up being about ends themselves. Her surreal conclusion imagines the outlines of a butt drawing extending "farther and farther / until you can’t see the ends anymore," which would presumably create this "room of disembodied excitement" for the speaker, a place where pleasure lies not in any one object or person or poem but in a space that is essentially an endless butt. This admission that endlessness is the only satisfying end to anything wonderfully undercuts the speaker's entire argument, which the poet acknowledges simply by ending the poem there. Pretty genius move, if you ask me.

• Full disclosure. I went to grad school with Galvin, and I remember workshopping this poem. But the only thing I remember from class was our teacher saying, "Butts are a category of endlessness." I'll end with that.