08/03/2012 10:30 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Reading Series: Dorothea Lasky Likes Weird Ass Hippies

The Reading Series is a new feature spotlighting videos from contemporary poets.

There is hope for the person who wants to be a hippie. There is hope for the hippie who remembers not being a hippie. It's haunting to observe hippies and not be one yourself. We can recognize the voice in the poem as the voice of hippies past, hippies future, and the state of equilibrium hippie, which emerges when time stands still. When will we stop being anxious about becoming weird ass hippies? When will weird ass hippies start declaring themselves "not as cool" as people think they are? It is written in the poem that the speaker could, without knowing any better, "carve pictographs into your dress." I want to carve this poem into the desk of the person who wrote it, and say: "You are a weird ass hippie, Dorothea Lasky, and you will always remain a weird ass hippie to me."

Dorothea Lasky is the author of three books of poems, AWE, Black Life, and Thunderbird, all out from Wave Books. She is also the author of several chapbooks, including Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), The Blue Teraton (YesYes Books, 2012), and Matter: A Picturebook (Argos Books, 2012). She is a co-editor of Open The Door (McSweeney's 2013), a book about the importance of teaching poetry to children and holds a doctorate in creativity and education from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Boston Review, among other places. Lasky lives in New York City and can be found online at

I Like Weird Ass Hippies from Dorothea Lasky on Vimeo.