13 Ways of Living Without You

Britt Gambino

by Britt Gambino



I traveled and fucked around
the world, with every ethnicity,
every cup size.


I eat every kind of food, dress
how ever I want. I live in
your state which is now mine


and you are in Jersey
which I have escaped
along with the fear of getting lost


in strip mall parking lots, looking
for your car where I’d spend days
in the back and nights in the front.


I stopped expecting you
to sidle out of a red Honda
like you did when you’d pick me up


for an adventure. Each slab
of cracked pavement
is another day out – Delivered


from the closet and the clubs now,
I have a girl whose skin is white like yours
but tastes like sweet sweat.


She brings me into the sunlight
of Christmas Day, the Theater District, trips
to Bermuda or nights in on our couch.


She doesn’t shove her hands
down me and call it something
like love –


Our life isn’t a cop
we’re trying to outrun
in the back woods of our hometown.


I can circumscribe the holes
you left. I’m absolved
in this booth you cannot enter.


The heat in my one-bedroom apartment
is self-contained
and so is the beer.


I don’t clean up after you –
your vomit, your chaos. I sleep
all night and the phone doesn’t ring.



Britt Gambino lives in New York, NY, at the end of the universe (a.k.a. Washington Heights). Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in anderbo.com, DecomP, Xenith, and The Arava Review. This fall, she will begin pursuing her MFA degree at the New School. She enjoys brunch on a Sunday afternoon, making musical compilations, and rearranging furniture with her partner, Trisha, who has always believed. To read some of Britt’s ramblings, visit her blog at http://gritsforyou.wordpress.com.

Issue No. 5 | June 2010

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Artist Spot | [p2p type=”slug” value=”meet-the-conchords-bret-mckenzie-jemaine-clement” text=”Meet the Conchords”] by The Editors


| Acrylics by Neila Mezynski

| Music by Flight of the Conchords


| [p2p type=”slug” value=”Stickman-Tom-Larsen” text=”Stickman”] by Tom Larsen

| Going Once, Going Twice: The Year 1969 in Eleven Paragraphs and One List by Penelope L. Mace

| [p2p type=”slug” value=”Walking-in-Rectangles-Rob-Pierce” text=”Walking in Rectangles”] by Rob Pierce 


| [p2p type=”slug” value=”POETRY-13-Ways-of-Living-Without-You-by-Britt-Gambino” text=”13 Ways of Living Without You”] by Britt Gambino

| [p2p type=”slug” value=”poetry-camping-by-russell-jaffe” text=”Camping”] by Russell Jaffe

| [p2p type=”slug” value=”POETRY-the-doll-show-by-megan-norman” text=”The Doll Show”] by Megan Norman

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Molly Gaudry

Molly Gaudry is the author of the verse novel, We Take Me Apart (Mud Luscious Press, 2009), and the editor of Tell: An Anthology of Expository Narrative (Flatmancrooked, 2010). She curates Walking Man Gallery, edits Willows Wept Press and Willows Wept Review, is a co-founding editor of Twelve Stories, and is an associate editor for Keyhole Magazine. She writes occasional book reviews for East&West Magazine, and she’s currently tweeting a chapter of her new verse novel, FLORA THE WHORE, every few days on Twitter. An excerpt from We Take Me Apart is featured now at MMR and is now available from Mud Luscious Press.   

“…it is not so much fairy tale and mythology that interest me but the opportunity to use them as springboards for writing that can explore and interrogate what it means to be a woman today.”

MMR: We Take Me Apart avoids convention, both in structure and content, creating a mesmeric experience for readers, one where they must focus purely on words and the protagonist’s journey—girlhood to seamstress heroine. Though your techniques are perhaps not new in isolation, together they present a new approach, a fresh look. Would you talk a little on how you came to settle on such a structure—i.e. no punctuation, poetic line breaks, unnamed narrator, long page breaks, etc.?

MG: Every line breaks where there would otherwise be a comma, period, or question mark. The length of the sections were sort of predetermined, as each emerged from a short list of words taken from Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. Whatever words were on any given list, I had to work into a self-contained section/chapter. I’m afraid that’s not terribly interesting; it sounds rather systematic, but I assure you it was fun and fresh and never frustrating during that whole first-draft stage.  

MMR: Fairy tale structures and cameos pop up from time to time. One in particular reverses the princess role, thereby testing the suitor (above excerpt). Is this ironic play on fairy tales a frequent focus for you in your writing?

MG: My current project, another verse novel (but metered this time), is called FLORA THE WHORE. It takes its inspiration from Ovid’s Fasti, which tells the story of Flora, who is raped by Zephyrus, the west wind, married to him (which she says is pleasing and satisfying), and given reign over the spring. In my version, Flora’s a drag queen and Z is the female pimp who runs Club Z’s. Looking at my answer now, I have to say that it is not so much fairy tale and mythology that interest me but the opportunity to use them as springboards for writing that can explore and interrogate what it means to be a woman today. 

MMR: What can we expect from Molly Gaudry in 2010?

MG: This fall, Flatmancrooked will release TELL: AN ANTHOLOGY OF EXPOSITORY NARRATIVE. As the book’s editor, I’m proud to leak here a partial list of the fifty contributors whose stories favor telling over showing: George Saunders, Aimee Bender, Stuart Dybek, Rick Moody, Anthony Doerr, Peter Markus, Dawn Raffel, Michael Martone, Gary Lutz, Terese Svoboda, Brian Evenson, Blake Butler, Shelley Jackson, Diane Williams, Clancy Martin, Ben Marcus, Peter Orner, Benjamin Percy, Kate Bernheimer, Lydia Millet, and I wish I could share the rest but I can’t. 

I’m also working on several collaborative projects. One is a children’s book with Ben Segal about Captain Optimism and his nemesis, Pessimist Pearl (his pony (that won’t (poop))). Another, Walking Man Gallery, involves an army of writers and visual artists; basically, I’m the curator who pairs writers with artists; hopefully, with all our efforts combined, we will profit from the results. 

Beyond these things, I’m not sure. Very likely a mohawk. And with any luck, acceptance onto a roller derby team.

MMR: You are a busy woman—author, editor with three different magazines—how do you find time to do it all?

MG: Honestly, I ask myself the same thing every day. Often, the answer is a sigh that accompanies the thought, Well, at least there’s tomorrow.

MMR: We Take Me Apart, a novella, is on its second printing with Mud Luscious Press and comes in an elegant chapbook-like form (perfect bound). It embodies both, in style and content, the spirit of socio-political “anarchies” and/or satires from such canonists as Chaucer, Swift, Marlowe. Would you consider yourself something of a postfeminist anarchist?

MG: Absolutely. Definitely. I like this question. Thank you for asking it and all the others here.

MMR: Thank you, Molly. A pleasure.