Tommy Swerdlow: Two Poems

Tommy Swerdlow is a screenwriter-director whose credits include Cool Runnings and Little Giants to name a couple. He was also the first writer on Shrek. His first feature, The House Itself, will be released this coming fall.


Women Like to be Told What to Do

Women like to be told what to do
not all women
but women

they don’t like you to assume it
they don’t like you to start there
(unless they do)
but if you give a woman the room
the impression
the freedom
the illusion
that she can
just do whatever the fuck she wants
she will eventually get exhausted
by the sheer variety of choice
available to her

and once she is out of breath
from all that unfettered
and ultimately disappointing choosing
she will turn to you and say
“enough already
just tell me what to do”
she doesn’t really want you to tell her what to do
she just wants you to tell her what to do
and you have to know the difference between the two
and if you don’t know the difference between the two
this poem is of absolutely no use to you


The Fourth Wave

(It is so cold in LA
That people actually need each other
Even ambition is wearing a heavy coat)

Ladies and gentleman potentates and rapscallions
And ladies and ladies
This is the fourth wave
please be advised
To stow your swag correctly
The fourth wave
Is not a land based enterprise
To get to the there that gets here
You must swim
You must use a lariat
You must lie to yourself
You must make pie crust flaky
You must swallow hope
Until it burns your insides black
And no good can come of anything
Sabatianni ooli ooli
No good can come of anything

You have brought it on yourself
your third wave appetite
Is pleading for reappraisal

All gods children must reappraise
Must begin at atrocious
Must untie their apron strings
and live an analog life
must put the third wave in their pocket
and squat down in the warm red mud

what do we do?
Why do we care?
Because this is the fourth wave
Naomi wolf stands by the bed with an abacus
Counting your orgasms
It is not a weakness to love the king
Life is better
When we love the king
And the king loves the goddess
And the master loves margarita
And the dog loves its bone
And the cat in her wiseness
tolerates the dog loving its bone
and anyone who gives advice
is rendered obsolete before the words
fall out of their mouth
Really smart white chicks
Are advised to call their lovers pablo

This is the fourth wave
My people died for your freedoms
And hated themselves every step of the way
Ideology s just an excuse to express rage
My people died for your freedoms
And now I am here
a registered know nothing
To put their ghosts
And your ghosts
And my ghosts
And your ghosts
To bed

What are you looking for?