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Mateuš Conrad Sep 2018
i can't help what i am...
but what i am not is a spoken word
poet: with that generic exasperation
technique of speaking -
as if, on the verge of crying...

but what i can tell you...
i am a rigid person,
there are 3/4 of me that should
have enlisted in the army,
and only a 1/4 that went to
university...

so... given that i'm such a rigid ******...
i thought i'd tell you about
linear and vertical rhyming...
linear?
oh, that's neat & easy:

.................................... end
.................................... bend
..................................... send
..................................... wend....

basically suffix rhyming...
but! but... what Sylvia Plath
introduced?
   oh, my, god...
      transcendent of
the conceptualization of
"the" box...

her rhyme? alphabetical...
sort of...

        it's more than that...
she didn't pay due diligence on
suffix rhyming -end,
   -ing
    you name it...

you want to know what her rhyme
concept implies?

   **** me, it's sassy...

she was a rhyming weaver...
an interloper...
    words didn't have to necessarily
end in the same boundary
of an echo... echo rhyming
by the standard bearers is one thing...
she made tartan rhymes...

tartan rhyming...
kilt rhyming...

                  and it looked something
equivalent to, this:

  ceremony or Potent -
Still sky, obtuSe -
   one might Say love -
  Suddenly,
        black featherS,
black reSpit -
Season of fatigue,
SpaSmodic,
  deScend...
   Stolidly...
       no effigy... Seem...
pompouS...
                         coarSe copy...
      Bell tongue BirdS...
    Shrined on her SHelf...
too Tough to Finish...
  Seize my Senses...
ToTal neuTrality...
   deScent...
                Sanguine...
  bRick dusk...
Prose...
              plaCe...
            pompouS...
Ne­at kNits...
    weedS obScured...
SHe blenched,
miMic...
   deSpite...
baniSH...
    ******...
too tough for knife to finiSH...

      Head...
so profoundly muCH...
       piN legs...
               thoughtS...
So departS...
       S(h)eets...
Sanity...
      Tongue...
Printed Page...
  Twelve...
Sick man's Eye...
nEVER nEVER found
anyWHERE...

goodbye goodbye...
      eXclamation...
the First point...
            GHost...
   Signify...
cuckoo-land of color fields,
CRisp CUsp...
    
        the girl's dancing!
she's dancing barefoot...
no, i can't fall in love with her...
she's, dead!

    but can you see
rhyming vertically?
   all the lettering,
in capital letters?
  deviancy...
   it doesn't agree to your
box standard form of
rhyme, linearly...
  it's vertical rhyming,
it's juxtapositions on a scale
that might elongate
the winding tongue of a snake
in, anything but maracas
rattling...
sssssssssssssssssssssss.....
a wet snare...
   she's teasing...
she has escaped
the tradition of
the traditional guise of rhyme...
she has invoked
rhyme, but as an intermediating
attachment...
          forget the rigid
end-
                   -ing
with a "worthy"
   sympathiz-
                                        -ing...

what a gall...
she makes the housewives of America's
1950s twice as vampire-like,
and thrice as Stepford material...
   lucky blond to leave so much
"crap" behind...
   i could pick the maggots
from her head and make it
a day's worth of fishing
on the banks of Vistula...

she's dancing in the rain,
and all i have is my Cameo cinema
moment
with my cousin, Justine,
running barefoot where
i grew up on the cement...
and then cuddling together,
getting warmer
over one worth of an afternoon...

last time i heard...
her son Leo was born on
the 15th of May,
my birthday...
  but we've fallen out...
when her husband
put a **** under my father's
self-employment
enterprise...
   and undertook
a practice of stealing workers
from him...
great move... when you join
a family...

        nice memory though...
wish my cousin Justin all the luck
she can muster...
but when it comes to family
friendliness?
none....
                 went to her brother's
wedding... was interrogated by
her brother's best man...

   Polish drunk talk...
let's just say...
his date?
   was flashing her underwear
at me from under her magic carpet
ride of a skirt while we
smoke cigarettes and finished
off drinks, being accused of...
trying... to seriously...
hide her... exhibitionism...

   so i started punching myself
in the face to find target practice
should i ever come across
any more Polacks, drunk,
at a family wedding...
   you never know...

           hell... if ******* wanna tango...
we'll... ******* tango! ha ha.
now all i need is the raw
material... my knuckles
are either furry...
or they're itchy...
  can't exactly knock-out
my neighbors dog...
   i need a ******* mug of
a mouthwash advert...
with a grin that's, seriously
asking for a few missing teeth
to rekindle a smile!
1.

Minds break apart at midnight,
piece together in dreamless sleep.

Robert Lowell poaches pen-and-ink
drawings for Life Studies.
Sylvia Plath dons Ariel’s red dress,
but loses Ariadne’s thread.  

Lowell raises For the Union Dead,
mythic monument to his family’s best.
Pigeons decorate it with their ***** mess.
Plath pins a ******* to her chest —  
shockingly pink —
and stands beside the kitchen sink,

Stirring a *** of poet’s gruel.
Madness and death the golden rule
no artistry can break. Not even the careless
reader can take leave of these senses

Once they’re rendered on the page.
Confession doesn’t age well,
as Lowell knows oh so well,

unless it suggests more substantial fare,
say, a flannel bathrobe for him to wear
in a Boston psychiatric ward — if he dares.

There’s something wrong with his head.
Crown him Caligula; his lineage has fled.

“What does that have to do with me, Daddy?” Plath artfully whines.
“Fill the tulip jars with red water, not wine,” he replies.
“The bridegroom cometh. Turn off the oven.”
But it is too late. She has met her fate before it predeceases her.

Like a teacher’s pet, she bets her life on a recitation
of Daddy, a term of endearment,
a term of interment in a stark, loveless miscarriage,
a dark, masculine disparagement of her freedom. O Daddy dearest.

Lowell shoots up to salute the younger poet, guessing
she has given the year’s best reading by a girl in red dresses.

At this stage, what does it matter that his “mind’s not right”?
What can he do but give up his right to pray, as every insight
       slips away?

But no Our Father for Plath. For her, the Kingdom comes too late.
Colossal poetry cannot save; the poet raves and raves and raves
       into that dark night.
Turn off the oven, turn out the lights. Daddy, too, is not right.

2.

Blake fired his Proverbs of Hell
in the dull, damning kilns
of England’s Industrial Age.

A poet’s no sage, but Lowell earned
his wings when he doctored Blake’s phrase:
“I myself am hell.”

A stone angel directs his descent:

Fortune favors the bold.

Never discount the power of chance.

Affliction of the senses is a gift.

Invisible seeks invisible.

Darkness obscures our limits.

We carry darkness within us.

Anarchy breeds spirit.

Artistry breeds no merit.

Appropriate beauty, at all costs,
whether, man, beast or angel
.

3.

Poetry births an artifact of words; we unearth them, and they adhere.
We bury them, and they fall flat — hollow sounds, futile splats,
       prehistoric grunts ground into the ground.

Bathed in lithium and alcohol, here bobs your calling, Robert:
Everything matters; nothing coheres.
Build a shell of a soul on this maxim, a notebook of negation.  
       Grind your axes.

Sanctuaries may crumble, gates may close. Press on. Press on.
Corkscrew your identity into the iambic line; rouse the reader to find
the misleading promise of Eternity in the sonnet, the sonnet,
       the endless sonnet.

For minds lost in madness, tree limbs dangle like kite tails in the wind. No one flies here anymore. Gather reddened kindling while ye may.

What exiles you from the ancients — Homer, Virgil and Horace —
springs from vision, not technique: You lack the requisite blindness.

Absence absents the soul. Here, now, forever, shimmers only presence,
only the present, only Presence: divine, human, animal, marmoreal.
       Skunks, sails, cars and pails. Sing on, O son of New England!

Day by day, failing all, fill your void with fiery
hieroglyphs of verse. Then call your duty done.

4.

Behold: You are not the favorite, after all, but Camus’ stranger,
trapped in the blinding sun, stumbling on the burning sand.

Only what dies in you endures.

“Is getting well ever an art,
or art a way to get well?”

The skunks scurry, scavenge and survive far too long for you to answer.

You lie down beside orange fishnets, facing the shore.
At midnight, you will dream of dreamless sleep.
To follow the development of this poem, it's important to know the works and lives of the confessional poets Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath. If you are unfamiliar with them, I suggest you first read "Skunk Hour" by Lowell and then "Daddy" by Plath. Short biographies would help, too.
s y kalindara Sep 2018
Half a decade in
that was all I needed,
all the time it took to see
the world was an insult to me.

Was I cursed at birth
to live on the brink of death?
Trapped in this trance until
Poseidon's realm pulls me to its depths?

My pursuits to meet him have gone astray.
Countless trials that end one way:
under bright lights,
in a hospital gown,
tubes, tests, nurses pinning me down,
and a hundred voices asking me why
Why oh why did I want to die?
Well I was muting the agony,
executing my destiny,
see daylight please, it's meant to be.
You can't stop me.

And Plath said it best
I do it well,
my scars could attest.

Perhaps I'm not as strong
as my mother once thought,
by her god's design I was built-in wrong.
My own echo whispers
“You never did belong”
Neither here nor there, or anywhere.

I fear I am nature's mistake.
For the hands of fate, I must partake
in this sacrifice
to begin my demise.
This shouldn't come as a surprise.

I was only five.
I thought I could survive.

Copyright © 2018 by S. Y. Kalindara. All rights reserved.
It's been a while. Some of my thoughts haven't changed.
1969 Hartford art school is magnet for exceedingly intelligent over-sensitive under-achievers alluring freaks congenital creeps and anyone who cannot cut it in straight world it is about loners dreamers stoners clowns cliques of posers competing to dress draw act most outrageous weird wonderful classrooms clash in diversity of needs some students get it right off while others require so much individual attention one girl constantly raises her hand calls for everything to be repeated explained creativity is treated as trouble and compliance to instruction rewarded most of faculty are of opinion kids are not capable of making original artwork teachers discourage students from dream of becoming well-known until they are older more experienced only practiced skilled artists are competent to create ‘real art’ defined by how much struggle or multiple meanings weave through the work Odysseus wants to make magic boxes without knowing or being informed of Joseph Cornell one teacher tells him you think you’re going to invent some new color the world has never seen? you’re just some rowdy brat from the midwest with a lot of crazy ideas and no evidence of authenticity another teacher warns you’re nothing more than a bricoleur! Odysseus questions what’s a bricoleur teacher informs a rogue handyman who haphazardly constructs from whatever is immediately available Odysseus questions what’s wrong with that? teacher answers it’s low-class folk junk  possessing no real intellectual value independently he reads Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium Is The Message” and “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci” he memorizes introductory remark of Leonardo’s “i must do like one who comes last to the fair and can find no other way of providing for himself than by taking all the things already seen by others and not taken by reason of their lesser value” Odysseus dreams of becoming accomplished important artist like Robert Rauschenberg Jasper Johns Andy Warhol he dreams of being in eye of hurricane New York art scene he works for university newspaper and is nicknamed crashkiss the newspaper editor is leader in student movement and folk singer who croons “45 caliber man, you’re so much more than our 22, but there’s so many more of us than you” Odysseus grows mustache wears flower printed pants vintage 1940’s leather jacket g.i. surplus clothes he makes many friends his gift for hooking up with girls is uncanny he is long haired drug-crazed hippie enjoying popularity previously unknown to him rock bands play at art openings everyone flirts dances gets ****** lots of activism on campus New York Times dubs university of Hartford “Berkeley of the east coast” holding up ******* in peace sign is subversive in 1969 symbol of rebellion youth solidarity gesture against war hawks rednecks corporate America acknowledgment of potential beyond materialistic self-righteous values of status quo sign of what could be in universe filled with incredible possibilities he moves in with  painting student one year advanced named Todd Whitman Todd has curly blond hair sturdy build wire rimmed glasses impish smile gemini superb draftsman amazing artist Todd emulates Francisco de Goya and Albrecht Durer Todd’s talent overshadows Odysseus’s Todd’s dad is accomplished professor at distinguished college in Massachusetts to celebrate Odysseus’s arrival Todd cooks all day preparing spaghetti dinner when Odysseus arrives home tripping on acid without appetite Todd is disappointed Odysseus runs down to corner store buys large bottle of wine returns to house Todd is eating spaghetti alone they get drunk together then pierce each other’s ears with needles ice wine cork pierced ears are outlaw style of bad *** bikers like Hell’s Angels Todd says you are a real original Odys and funny too Odysseus asks funny, how? Todd answers you are one crazy ******* drop acid whenever you want smoke **** then go to class this is fun tonight Odys getting drunk and piercing our ears Odysseus says yup i’m having a good time too Todd and Odysseus become best friends Odysseus turns Todd on to Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” and “Ariel” then they both read Ted Hughes “Crow” illustrated with Leonard Baskin prints Todd turns Odysseus on to German Expressionist painting art movement of garish colors emotionally violent imagery from 1905-1925 later infuriating Third ***** who deemed the work “degenerate” Odysseus dives into works of Max Beckmann Otto Dix Conrad Felixmulller Barthel Gilles George Grosz Erich Heckel Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Felix Nussbaum Karl *******Rottluff Carl Hofer August Macke Max Peckstein Elfriede Lohse-Wachtler Egon Shiele list goes on in 1969 most parents don’t have money to buy their children cars most kids living off campus either ride bikes or hitchhike to school then back home on weekends often without a penny in their pockets Odysseus and Todd randomly select a highway and hitch rides to Putney Vermont Brattleboro Boston Cape Cod New York City or D.C. in search of adventure there is always trouble to be found curious girls to assist in Georgetown Odysseus sleeps with skinny girl with webbed toes who believes he is Jesus he tries to dissuade her but she is convinced

Toby Mantis is visiting New York City artist at Hartford art school he looks like huskier handsomer version of Ringo Starr and women dig him he builds stretchers and stretches canvases for Warhol lives in huge loft in Soho on Broadway and Bleeker invites Odysseus to come down on weekends hang out Toby takes him to Max’s Kansas City Warhol’s Electric Circus they wander all night into morning there are printing companies longshoremen gays in Chelsea Italians in West Village hippies playing guitars protesting the war in Washington Square all kinds of hollering crazies passing out fliers pins in Union Square Toby is hard drinker Odysseus has trouble keeping up  he pukes his guts out number of times Odysseus is *** head not drinker he explores 42nd Street stumbles across strange exotic place named Peep Show World upstairs is large with many **** cubicles creepy dudes hanging around downstairs is astonishing there are many clusters of booths with live **** girls inside girls shout out hey boys come on now pick me come on boys there are hundreds of girls from all over the world in every conceivable size shape race he enters dark stall  puts fifty cents in coin box window screen lifts inside each cluster are 6 to 10 girls either parading or glued to a window for $1 he is allowed to caress kiss their ******* for $2 he is permitted to probe their ****** or *** for $10 girl reaches hand into darkened stall jerks him off tall slender British girl thrills him the most she says let me have another go at your dickey Odysseus spends all his money ******* 5 times departing he notices men from every walk of life passing through wall street stockbrokers executives rednecks mobsters frat boys tourists fat old bald guys smoking thick smelly cigars Toby Mantis has good-looking girlfriend named Lorraine with long brown hair Toby Lorraine and Odysseus sit around kitchen table Odysseus doodles with pencil on paper Toby spreads open Lorraine’s thighs exposing her ****** to Odysseus Lorraine blushes yet permits Toby to finger her Odysseus thinks she has the most beautiful ****** he has ever seen bulging pelvic bone brown distinctive bush symmetric lips Toby and Lorraine watch in amusement as Odysseus gazes intently Tony mischievously remarks you like looking at that ***** don’t you? Odysseus stares silently begins pencil drawing Lorraine’s ****** his eyes darting back and forth following day Lorraine seduces Odysseus while Toby is away walks out **** from shower she is few years older her body lean with high ******* she directs his hands mouth while she talks with someone on telephone it is strange yet quite exciting Odysseus is in awe of New York City every culture in the world intermingling democracy functioning in an uncontrollable managed breath millions of people in motion stories unraveling on every street 24 hour spectacle with no limits every conceivable variety of humanity ******* in same air Odysseus is bedazzled yet intimidated

Odysseus spends summer of 1970 at art colony in Cummington Massachusetts it is magical time extraordinary place many talented eccentric characters all kinds of happenings stage plays poetry readings community meals volleyball after dinner volleyball games are hilarious fun he lives alone in isolated studio amidst wild raspberries in woods shares toilet with field mouse no shower he reads Jerzy Kosinski’s “Painted Bird” then “Being There” then “Steps” attractive long haired girl named Pam visits community for weekend meets Odysseus they talk realize they were in first grade together at Harper amazing coincidence automatic ground for “we need to have *** because neither of us has seen each other since first grade” she inquires where do you sleep? Todd hitches up from Hartford to satisfy curiosity everyone sleeps around good-looking blue-eyed poet named Shannon Banks from South Boston tells Odysseus his ******* is not big enough for kind of ******* she wants but she will **** him off that’s fine with him 32 year old poet named Ellen Morrissey from Massachusetts reassures him ******* is fine Ellen is beginning to find her way out from suffocating marriage she has little daughter named Nina Ellen admires Odysseus’s free spirit sees both his possibilities and naïveté she realizes he has crippling family baggage he has no idea he is carrying thing about trauma is as it is occurring victim shrugs laughs to repel shock yet years later pain horror sink in turned-on with new ideas he returns to Hartford art school classes are fun yet confusing he strives to be best drawer most innovative competition sidetracks him Odysseus uses power drill to carve pumpkin on Halloween teachers warn him to stick to fundamentals too much creativity is suspect Todd and he are invited to holiday party Odysseus shows up with Ellen Morrissey driving in her father’s station wagon 2 exceptionally pretty girls flirt with him he is live wire they sneak upstairs he fingers both at same time while they laugh to each other one of the girls Laura invites him outside to do more he follows they walk through falling snow until they find hidden area near some trees Laura lies down lifts her skirt she spreads her legs dense ***** mound he is about to explore her there when Laura looks up sees figure with flashlight following their tracks in snow she warns it’s Bill my husband run for your life! Odysseus runs around long way back inside party grabs a beer pretending he has been there next to Ellen all night few minutes later he sees Laura and Bill return through front door Bill has dark mustache angry eyes Odysseus tells Ellen it is late maybe they should leave soon suddenly Bill walks up to him with beer in hand cracks bottle over his head glass and beer splatter Odysseus jumps up runs out to station wagon Ellen hurriedly follows snow coming down hard car is wedged among many guest vehicles he starts engine locks doors maneuvers vehicle back and forth trying to inch way out of spot Bill appears from party walks to his van disappears from out of darkness swirling snow Bill comes at them wielding large crowbar smashes car’s headlights taillights side mirrors windshield covered in broken glass Ellen ducks on floor beneath glove compartment sobs cries he’s going to **** us! we’re going to die! Odysseus steers station wagon free floors gas pedal drives on back country roads through furious snowstorm in dark of night no lights Odysseus contorts crouches forward in order to see through hole in shattered windshield Ellen sees headlights behind them coming up fast it is Bill in van Bill banging their bumper follows them all the way back to Hartford to Odysseus’s place they run inside call police Bill sits parked van outside across street as police arrive half hour later Bill pulls away next day Odysseus and Ellen drive to Boston to explain to Ellen’s dad what has happened to his station wagon Odysseus stays with Ellen in Brookline for several nights another holiday party she wants to take him along to meet her friends her social circles are older he thinks to challenge their values be outrageous paints face Ellen is horrified cries you can’t possibly do this to me these are my close friends what will they think? he defiantly answers my face is a mask who cares what i look like? man woman creature what does it matter? if your friends really want to know me they’ll need to look beyond the make-up tonight i am your sluttish girlfriend! sometimes Odysseus can be a thoughtless fool

Laura Rousseau Shane files for divorce from Bill she is exceptionally lovely models at art school she is of French descent her figure possessing exotic traits she stands like ballerina with thick pointed ******* copious ***** hair Odysseus is infatuated she frequently dances pursues him Laura says i had the opportunity to meet Bob Dylan once amazed Odysseus questions what did you do? she replies what could i possibly have in common with Bob Dylan? Laura teases Odysseus about being a preppy then lustfully gropes him grabs holds his ***** they devote many hours to ****** intimacy during ******* she routinely reaches her hand from under her buns grasps his testicles squeezing as he pumps he likes that Laura is quite eccentric fetishes over Odysseus she even thrills to pick zits on his back he is not sure if it is truly a desire of hers proof of earthiness or simply expression of mothering Laura has two daughters by Bill Odysseus is in over his head Laura tells Odysseus myth of Medea smitten with love for Jason Jason needs Medea’s help to find Golden Fleece Medea agrees with promise of marriage murders her brother arranges ****** of king who has deprived Jason his inheritance couple is forced into exile Medea bears Jason 2 sons then Jason falls in love with King Creon’s daughter deserts Medea is furious she makes shawl for King Creon’s daughter to wear at her wedding to Jason  shawl turns to flames killing bride Medea murders her own sons by Jason Odysseus goes along with story for a while but Laura wants husband Odysseus is merely scruffy boy with roving eyes Laura becomes galled by Odysseus leaves him for one of his roommates whom she marries then several years later divorces there is scene when Laura tells Odysseus she is dropping him for his roommate he is standing in living room of her house space is painted deep renaissance burgundy there are framed photographs on walls in one photo he is hugging Laura and her daughters under big oak tree in room Laura’s friend Bettina other girl he fingered first night he met Laura at party is watching with arms crossed he drops to floor curls body sobs i miss you so much Laura turns to Bettina remarks look at him men are such big babies he’s pitiful Bettina nods

following summer he works installing displays at G. Fox Department Store besides one woman gay men staff display department for as long as he can remember homosexuals have always been attracted to him this misconception is probably how he got job his tenor voice suggesting not entirely mature man instead more like tentative young boy this ambiguous manifestation sometimes also evidences gestures thoroughly misleading after sidestepping several ****** advances one of his co-workers bewilderingly remarks you really are straight manager staff are fussy chirpy catty group consequently certain he is not gay they discriminate against him stick him with break down clean up slop jobs at outdoor weekend rock concert in Constitution Plaza he meets 2 younger blond girls who consent to go back to his place mess around both girls are quite dazzling yet one is somewhat physically undeveloped they undress and model for Odysseus radio plays Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” both girls move to rhythm sing along he thinks to orchestrate direct decides instead to let them lead lies on bed while curvaceous girl rides his ******* slender girl sits on his face they switch all 3 alternate giggle laughter each girl reaches ****** on his stiffness later both assist with hands mouths his ****** is so intense it leaves him paralyzed for a moment

in fall he is cast as Claudius in production of Hamlet Odysseus rehearses diligently on nights o
L A Lamb Sep 2014
The inverse of error
A metaphorical math
Because I rhyme so sick in season
You can call men Sylvia Plath
You can call me Sylvia Plath
Spilling verses accidental
Spilling blood like pen and paper
Give me rock paper, scissors—construction
Philosophy of metaphors—the reciprocal of destruction
Creation in deviation
Multiplication in meditation and mesmerizing memorization
Mad in the head, but I’m a mat-hatter for love
'A zombie by neuroses
A zombie by drugs
But on those pharmaceutical
Cause cut **** is for thugs
(3% probability
Is in the margin of error
How many times have we ******
And would you even care?
Oh, despair. The plague of a woman-
Slick wit like slick ****
And you can call these rhymes grimy
Because I’m cleaning your eyes with it.)
Julie Grenness Mar 2016
My mother, Sylvia Plath,
These days, I might laugh,
Electric oven, you know,
I was too young to know,
One way to go--
It was an electric stove!
I was too young to know,
I used to live in dread,
I learnt what blackmail meant,
She got cremated, you know,
I was too young to know,
These days, I might laugh,
My mother, Sylvia Plath.
A tribute to emotional blackmail. Feedback welcome.
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2016
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Infinity's Mirror by Nat Lipstadt

Two mirrors, set in opposition observe created notional blending,
a reflecting pool of bonding's of unglued, contrary compositions.
Mirror to mirror, his imagery, fuses to Sylvia's images, hers,
faintly recollected, now living face, face to face, with his past insurrections, alters his future visions.

From cold water lake she's drawn, impaled by refracting regrets,
retrieved, drawing her words upon him, an awakening slap to drink,
beloved, tragic magic, infinitely captive.  But this old man's tiddlywinks, land-locked words, blunted instruments, needy for release & salvation, are neither silvered or exacting, just stains on a dulled, tarnished brass spittoon, except for the brunt'd bunting of lines across his roughened terrain'd face, black and white, pen and ink etched illustration of howling agitation.

His words worn down, hardened, red faced, purloined speckled pellets, damp to roll on down her rutted, almost ancient, tear streak paths, disbelieved superstitions, sacrificed for one of her living morsels of words.

Man, here to her, pledges allegiance, audaciously defiling her poetic sanctity, a visage endless repeated, delivers her shiny poem-poised countenance, even though no forgiveness from time can a mirror afford for either, from her words,  confession born, terrible truths beyond, beyond the finite.

                                                
~~~~~~~­~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mirror by Sylvia Plath

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
What ever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful---
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.
with gratitude for the inspiration from, to:

"Words are his instrument, poised to deliver, sometimes
infinity's mirror,
sometimes a word or two for you,
reality is on its way...going to come through and fit for you."
SJR1000

for Patty M, who swore me to never, and only, give up to you, my best.

for Sia, who loves her Sylvia so.

Born on April 24~25, 2016

and of course, for Sylvia
In the aftermath
Of a very hot bath
Sylvia Plath
Used to re-read
Katherine Mansfield stories
Until she felt
A little bit snory.

Whilst Ted Hughes -
After he'd imbued
The cool waters of
A shower for an hour -
Would watch Jackanory
Till he felt Hunky Dory
Then listen to Aladdin Sane
To bring him back to
The real world again.

Watch That Man!
Martin Narrod Apr 2014
Black Rook In Rainy Weather

On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain.
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident

To set the sight on fire
In my eye, nor seek
Any more in the desultory weather some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall,
Without ceremony, or portent.

Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain:
A certain minor light may still
Lean incandescent

Out of kitchen table or chair
As if a celestial burning took
Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then --
Thus hallowing an interval
Otherwise inconsequent

By bestowing largesse, honor,
One might say love. At any rate, I now walk
Wary (for it could happen
Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); skeptical,
Yet politic; ignorant

Of whatever angel may choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant

A brief respite from fear
Of total neutrality. With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content

Of sorts. Miracles occur,
If you care to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's begun again,
The long wait for the angel,
For that rare, random descent.

The Response*

Even while flashbulbs go out, every now and then, we all must gather our arms and legs in a heap of human kindling, to rap tap tap on the downstairs neighbors door- for a set of candles, perhaps a chance to go completely insane for one terse moment when the hyperbole of vowels *just don't matter
anymore.

And speaking of the sordid state of griseous gull-like creatures. Ravenous ravens gnawing outside the window of the kitchen table. How boring life can become, for at the moment, when we are not biting our nails, playing dress up, or playing doctor- all *******. Or maybe even burying our heads in the looks of rooks or with our noses brimming over with the tops of books.

The tea we have set in the study awaits us, as we all have to drink our tea some time.

Just don't leave the lights on baby. Who needs lamps at full lux at high noon any who? You, Mrs. Sylvia Plath Hughes? Maybe you ought to buy a book of stamps- at the nearest Hobby Lobby, pack a paper bag with an apple and a 'sammich', and list formally your complaints.

We can't all waste our time narrating other people's lives in the third person.
Den Dec 2013
You were my favorite Sylvia Plath poem
Your words were contemporary,
oh, you were classic in your own way, dear
How I loved the way you tasted
as your poetic melody rolled off of my lips,
as your sighs and laughter filled my head like smoke
gathering together in a room where those stoner kids
from the other street would inhale the wafts of their
sweet, sweet chocolate
You were a poem sweeter than chocolate
and I don't think anyone ever really told you
Well, I'm telling you now
even though I can't quite recall how well
you mixed with me
I don't think I ever really paid attention to that--
I suppose I was too busy reading between your
short, firm words--lyrics, perhaps
though I don't quite remember any music
I don't quite remember much aside from all
these things that I have written
I don't want to ever forget you and that's why
I'm having all of these written
You may not be as clear to me as you were before
(back when I read you far too often for my sanity)
You were my habit, my addiction--but never my vice,
for you were my favorite Sylvia Plath poem
and though my vision and my mind are both failing me,
my memory still holds you dear and your words,
oh, they still ring true to my ears.
Janelle Tanguin Jul 2018
i.

I intentionally failed to wish you
a happy birthday this year,
though I know significant dates,
hours, moments, people,
by heart.
I still search for you in boys
I mistake for bandages,
the ones with eyes almost
the same shade of your hazels,
lips resounding your laughter,
resembling a wisp of your smile,
But they aren't you.

ii.

Sometimes I pretend you're dead,
because it's less painful
to stop reaching out into voids.

iii.

My mom still blames you
for everything that preceded that year.
Though you probably had no idea what happened
when we stopped talking altogether.
Can you believe it's almost been three years?

iv.

My dad wonders who was my 'one that got away'
Though, I'm pretty sure he knows
it's you.

v.

Remember how I mentioned Sylvia Plath?
How most everything she wrote
brimmed with melancholy?
How I loved every single word?
Especially that piece
where she talked about expectations
and disappointments.
You'll never know that
up to this day I still think
people are selfish enough to
always, eventually turn into the latter.
Even you.

vi.

It's sad I never got the chance
to tell you about Ted.
How she loved him so much,
she just had to dive headfirst
into the flames-- burning herself,
what was left of her--
after she found out
he never really loved her
the same way
she loved him
in the first place.

vii.

truth is,
some of us
never learn to accept
the love we think we deserve.


viii.

I don't know if you still read my poems
or if you still think about me,
about us, sometimes.
Every time you fall asleep past eleven,
a part of me hopes you do.
because I always remember you--
in birthday candles, red ribbons,
off-tune voice records, golden arches,
concrete sidewalks, pedestrian lanes,
the last flickers of city lights
softly fading out of the blue.
I remember you
in everything, in everywhere,
in everyone.
It's useless, no matter how much I try to forget.
No matter how much I just want to forget.
I want to forget.

But, how could I?

When forgetting means forsaking
the very memory of you.

— The End —