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So in this Month your Heart begins to press
For Good October promises your Due
Thinking of Delight and Travel Costs less,
And finally meeting her through and through
Her arm must have healed, given Time's duty
No more must such Fortress wall you apart
Her, Blessed Pronoun who cheers you truly
On her own Springboard she performs her Part
As you guide Witness to her own Unique Craft,
That Guideline which does greatly Inspire
Now look! Her Swan whips the Air; And the Draft
Begs humbly deep its legs to retire.
Your Hug was her Reward; Then the Flannel
Covers your Cheers on the Upper Panel.
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
Weeping Zaire, her Bleeding Flannel blew
Over the Land this Serenity bequeath
What happened, then, to the Children you knew
Took out their Armites; And shot Mercy beneath
Salt from their Riches they greatly export
And infected your Brothers in the Dark
With Mums, Flesh-Spermed Tales of Horror consort
Lost all but their Shelled Samples in the Park
Our Dear Hands sprout! And cry to Heaven's Name
Asking the Saviour when this Madness ends
As the Radio's Red Tape is all just the same,
All just Light-Shows; But very few Amends.
These Congo Apes weep black at the Event
Not just the Brother; But Habitat meant.
King Panda Sep 2017
I kiss secrets to your fate

a forest tree of lights amongst

velvet curtains

I don’t think about

your consciousness

when you are kissing me

but imagine your

tattersall expression

resting on my flannel


perfect love chameleon


queen of extremely small kisses

I catch you looking with

a sideways eye

always twisted in my memory

a corkscrew willow

a head of tangled roots

pulled from the moist soil

I lean in to blend


why not.
Beauakuma Yonko Mar 2016
Whats fear?
Me feeling your hand in my hand,
Hearing footsteps comming up the stairs,
The relaxation of drifting asleep to your heartbeat and breath,
Just to give birth to my vision, looking in your eyes and seeing the glazed glare,
The songs i hear you sing in the shower,
The scent of you and how it lingers for hours,
How i suddenly miss a flannel,
How when i leave the television and come back, it's on your favorite channel,
How i see your shillloutes on my wall and hear your whispers in my ear,
Fear is all of this occuring but comming to the realization that you arent here. Losing you is what i fear.

- Beau
Brooke White Jul 2018
I remember your fingers
weaving through the chain link fence
Admiring my flannel coat
while ripping my roots from the earth

I knew you weren't my savior,
You ****** the freedom from all that you'd create
Marrow numb to the bone
you were so delicate with your hands around my throat
MJL Mar 3
It's spandex
It's flannel
It's all the same
Grunge took over metal
Get back to jazz
Viper baby
Not on display
Not a novelty
No sneaking
Sneak out...
Louis Jordan
Cab Calloway
Robert Johnson
Howlin’ Wolf
30’s speak nasty
Melody Room
Dolls and The Doors
Feel it
Something wild
Johnny Cash
Whiskey Sam
Drive on
Rainbow baby
There was a certain magic in the warmth of the air that night. In the glow of her skin, her endless gaze, her cool touch. The smell of summer and cigarettes. The feel of her cool fingers laced in mine, with her head on my shoulder. That flannel I never did get back. The taste of her lips and her neck. Those goosebumps that never whent away nor lasted long enough. There was a certain magic in the warmth that night I found out what love was.
A Zippo lighter with a smoker's cough,
propositions the ladybug
clinging to a flannel pocket,

You can always trust a tealight
to warm the neglected beetles,
that cling to your chest.

this Ritual of the staring contest.
attention behind the curtain:

When You blink at the Rorschach shadows
tell me, they are not mailboxes.

The spirits linger; we stumble into entanglement

birch trees weaving
baskets from our branches

I'm known to cave on integrity, for the taste of freckles,
flickering tealights in the hearthstone, with a smokers cough.
Lawrence Hall Sep 2018
How wonderful to live in Freeport, Maine
Where beautiful women and handsome men
In youth eternal rock their five-bar boots
And flannel shirts in happy, snowy scenes

Where laughter echoes through those forest glades
Forever free of electrical lines
Skunks burrowing under the cabin floor
And neighbors’ overflowing septic tanks

Oh, what a dreamy life for you and me
In Freeport, Zip Code 04033!

(Just having a little fun; everything I’ve bought from L.L. Bean’s catalogue is wonderful!  I’d love to live in the perfect New England scenes depicted in the catalogue. If you squint your eyes carefully you can see Bob Newhart’s inn on page…)
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
Anton Mar 8
pink tinted toes
trick the neon sky,
ice bedchamber picks up
spring floods' chuckle

ducklings chacking
after drake's silken tie,
bricky blocks try a scarf
from the ivy grounds' funk-hole

whistling sidewalk steps ply
as foodaholic clay dishes
fanned on thin carton tables,
feet preamble goes slow

drops fly off warmed school rooftops
to head whirlabout's inches,
intense knocks digged out
a world behind student's silver flannel

birds' tweet pulled out his icebergs
that fenced snow chateaus
jeanette korbel Mar 2015
I am not scared and I will be strong. I’ve been lonely for ten years and now, I can see what has been gone. I am taken to a different place, far from home. The plane took me high and soared until things got low. I walked down the hallway of doom and distress. This wouldn't be a problem if he had never left. Walk into a room thats plain yet, engaged in activity. A conveyor belt and tags that say names, scrambled in my mind going their separate ways. I tell myself to focus and find my bags from here. The voices and the noises distract me, nothing has been clear. I see my name as nauseous as I can be. My stomach has taken a turn on me.

I find my bag and look around my vision is blurred and I can not hear a sound. I see his face threw the sea of people. Wearing the same flannel sweater he had ten years ago. He dominates the atmosphere with his torn up pants and his messed up hair. He looks the same but his hair is receding. His face is drooped down like paint that just won't dry. He grew tall but skinny like a plant that has withered. His face is pale but his eyes are rich brown. He has a genuine smile with teeth that had fallen out.
I walk up to this man I haven't seen in years we looked at each other and, we burst out in tears. Even though I don’t know him, I remember his face. From ten years passing by I’d imagine he's changed. He use to be plump and his face well rounded now it looks like he had been beaten by thoughts and loneliness. I can tell when he seen me his life already got better. He couldn’t stop talking like he was gone for forever. I talked right back to him because, I know how it feels.

I look back on all the years without him and realized we feel the same. The difference is he made the choice of being alone ,I had no need to be left. I felt lost my whole life, until he came back. Lost from what I can’t quite figure out. I just needed to feel the feeling of him being around. We walked out the crowded place and, went on from there. No one really changes, he still smelled like beer. You think someone would give up the little things for something so big. I left a couple days after, and haven’t seen my dad since. He chooses to be lonely and, I still suffer from it.
BJ Donovan Sep 2018
The air is breathable again
and the webs are in my hair
from the trees as the spiders
do what they must do.
Summer's blast furnace begins
to lose its fierce grip and
evening is cool and I get my
flannel shirts out and walk my
dogs longer and smile at my
neighbors and they at me.
Of course the leaves give us
splendid fireworks as they die.
harper Dec 2018
Packed bags,
the ones we took to rivers,
tears against flannel with every hug
on a Friday,
every single Friday.
And next week:
more of the same.
Angela Liyanto Sep 2018
I would imagine my shoes full of broken wineglass
     and I would bicker, shoot, hum, wring
     carefully take them all out,
     with my godcrazed sweaty hands
I would see hallucinatory men in love, all destroyed with jarring
     scars on their arms because of the Great War,
     wrestle each other to steaks in the dead beach
     moaning with their twenty year old cigars
     still in their tortured mouths
I would see children playing at Dawn,
     They never grow older, always the age of eight
     They all played games with me, especially
     In those Westfield overblown supermarkets
I would dream of a pure Strawberry Field's kingdom,
     With John Lennon’s flannel shirts and a picture
     of some artist’s wife wanting to jump off the Brooklyn bridge
     Thinking I’m related to Napoleon
     who I forgotten about, ever since we left Chinatown that day.

So I called the twenty four hour hotline, where all the suicidal people call in the middle of the night,
      groaning in my bathtub, thinking of my visions,
      knowing one thing, I cried,
      “ I don’t want to turn into a cockroach like Gregor did!”
Instead I turned into a Shakespearean agony girl in two days,
     and wrote dramas in my room at midnight
     hissing of the mistreatment of slaves back in 1821.

After, I wept of the romances of the guiltless terraces in the tiny
     exhaustible corners of the street, in the abandoned libraries,
     and went back to school half-insane filled with gibberish stanzas
     and academics that sounded like more gibberish.

Then, I was I crowned with pinnacle ‘Madness of Thou Brain and Sick Oblivion, with auditory hallucinations’

I gave my one synapse yell to my only friend in town, and they all
     sent me to some institution where I felt more belonging than I
     did in eight years.

I met a girl who was planning to read To **** A Mockingbird in an hour,

I met a boy from Juvie who smoked too much and took too many pills

I met a boy who was just as sick as me, we played Twister in the
     dark until the nurses caught us holding hands,
     I never saw him again after that.

I met a girl who completed her suicide two days before her

Can you see it yet? In the tiny inexhaustible corners of the streets?
     In the abandoned libraries?

In little time, my generation will beat their visions to the streets,
     their innovation will rise to daring freshness.
A poem that reflects the society of modern times, a hallucinogenic mess of questions, but still somehow surviving and standing firm in its ideas.
alexis Jan 28
The little things I remembered about us was the texts of adventures and dancing under moonlight and midnight picnics and chasing around an empty park and singing the words to songs we’ve forgotten making up the words as we go; the conversations of questions like what’s your favorite color or what does your tattoo mean or is this okay or can I kisss you and cautionary touches on my part. Me feeling your heartbeat and the warmth of your skin under my fingers, as your lips meet mine and we whispered words of something akin to love and stolen kisses on rumpled sheets as we lay together in bliss, our bodies tangled like string as we touched and explored and came undone.   We held hands in public and we didn’t care. We would drift off to sleep or at least pretended to so I wouldn’t have to leave, I remembered how you had a cute voice and you were like sunshine, always happy and smiling and warm even though you wore no jacket even in the rain, dressed in one of your flannels.

I remembered how you stared at me and I stared back. The conversation was awkward on my part as you found a way to get it moving along throughout the night. We sat on a couch in a church which I still find funny that a bunch of openly ***** teens were partying in a church, while we sat in the darkness of the corner. I remember how the night ended and we played in the playground in the night as we filled the void with laughs and inappropriate jokes as we all shouted and screamed into the night without a single care or worry. I remember how your face lit up and you smiled and we both seemed tipsy off of how happy we were.

I remembered the late night phone calls and the late night texts and the soft kisses and the light touches. The softness of love or something akin to it, as we talked about everything and nothing at the same time. The soft giggles and the cuddles as we sat together while the movie you never saw but wanted to play it anyway played in the background.

I remember the sunshine and the heat of the summer. I remember the sound of tears from your end. I remembered how I called you and how I listened to you cry as I felt nothing but hurt for you, not me. Which I still feel bad for breaking your heart. I remember how we might’ve had something akin to love, you were my first in many ways but I was simply another girl in your ledger who broke you and left you to pick yourself up again.

I’m sorry that I left things the way they were and I’m sorry you’ll never see this because I’ll never send this to you. I’m sorry that I loved you, or at least something akin to love, which if it was I guess you loved me too. I’m sorry.

vi. It’s been three months and you’ve moved on, got a new girl among other things. You’ve changed your hair and you don’t wear flannel as much, but I see that you’ve been doing better. We talk, it’s not the same as before, but we’re moving. Maybe we go back to being strangers, after all, we don’t know each other anymore. Maybe all we had was something akin to love.
JR Falk Sep 2018
the gallon of arizona green tea that you only drank a fraction of.
the salt and pepper potato chips you meant to eat, but only did so in the dream i had last night.
the unmade bed that was still unmade when you flew back home, the one i still cannot bring myself to make.
the dyed green hairs i keep finding around the house.
the way you always pronounced 'mosquito' as 'mosk-it-toe' on purpose, and how you pronounced my cat's name 'sullumun' instead of 'solomon' on accident.
the partially closed closet door from the morning i drove you to the airport.
the faint smell of your sweat on my pillow left because of your hyperhidrosis.
the flannel you wore and the longsleeve shirt you doused in your aftershave, that is three sizes too big for me to realistically wear.
the empty taco bell cups in my car from your fourth day here.
the empty shopping bags from our impromptu mall trip.
the polaroids you really wanted to keep, but we couldn't find when you packed.
the pieces of you that you never meant for me to keep that i keep piecing together as though, like an alchemist, i could make you appear again though i cannot, and you are not here, you are gone.

youre giving me so much more inspiration than i think you intended
I spent the night with you last night...
There is something so nice
About spending time without thinking twice
Or speaking about feelings and rules
We forgot the harsh conversations and sang like fools
we let go just for one night
You picked your guitar and I picked a play fight
I showered in close proximity to you
Entertaining thoughts of what you would do
If I walked into the hallway dripping wet
But I put on the pajamas you gave me instead
The oversized t-shirt smelled like you
In your flannel bottoms I slid into the living room
You smiled, said comhere
I draped my legs across your lap
losing all fear
We threw popcorn at the tv
We laughed at each character’s misery
You tucked me in and held me tight
I learned the taste of your skin last night
So what if we aren't in love in the end
All I will ever need is for you to truly be my friend
And keep kissing my mouth
As if it's a wound you can mend
I don't want to be your girl
But I don't want to be just another endeavor
I want you to bury me in your mind
And stay not too close
but not too far
Sometimes it can be simple
Lauren Christine Dec 2018
She stands—
every few minutes turning abruptly to no object.
Hips pushing forward, shoulders sliding back,
red soled sneakers and plaid flannel slacks
beneath a dramatic black trench coat,
in the grey shadow of a gothic church.

She smokes the grey and blows white,
and scrolls through the neon screen
with her one ungloved hand,
a bun perched stiffly on her scalp, unheeded,
an afterthought, if there was one before.

Her backdrop—the heavy iron fence of a graveyard,
and centuries old glorious stones watch
as she spends her minutes
in the luminous green of infinity.

it would feel normal if it was a bus stop,
a grocery line,
a hospital waiting room,
even a lonely bench.

But she stands,
and periodically pivots,
meanders two steps and stands,
and jolts three steps back,
glitching through slow time,
anxious and unresolved—
yet so engrossed.

Finally now she is following the fence out of view, slowly,
and I hope she finds rest.
I feel grateful as the sidewalk carries her now
away from my puzzled gaze

The great stones and I exchange long glances,
and perhaps they are more compassionate than I,
for they seem not phased.

Oh stones, teach me patience, teach me rest.
For you are glorious in endless rest,
and I am still anxious and unresolved.
catherine rogan Dec 2018
I cant remember my dream.
I cant breathe.

Her thin painter hands open the door to the stairwell, the smell of fresh paint replaces that of a spring rain.  Skipping the clean stairs two at a time, she reaches the studio.  Walls of glass flank the empty white hallways that weave in and out, remains of torn masking tape shrivel on the walls like dying flowers.  The door looks like it belongs to a prison, too familiar.  

The sun barely moved, if at all, outside the window.
Tracing the outline of his body, she let the colors tell the story.

A ****** of shadow

Walking to the center of the room, limbic resonance.  A vaguely masculine figure melts into the painting.  It's silent as he dies.  

Her feet hit the pavement.  From the familiar soft dirt path through the woods, she crosses the courtyard to the doorway of the stairwell.  Memories flood her mind under the dull lamplight amidst the rustling dead leaves.  

Moving a stone from the crumbling wall of the school, she places her letters to you beneath the rubble.

Blinding white

I'm holding the keys but I can't find the right one
and the sun burned itself down,
the rain receded into the clouds

nothing is the same

He lies down in the stream
water rushing over him
relaxing, water replaces air

everything is different now.

Blistering Blue

I can't remember my last dream.
Out of space, out of time.  Unnatural surroundings.  
Muffled screams float in from the hallway.
Golden seam of light from the doorway saturates illuminated stitches.
He couldn't remember the last time this had happened.   When he almost lost himself in the pain---
It's like seeing her for the first time, over and over.

Suddenly his hands were covered in their blood.

But I remember them,
telling me to be quiet, not to fight it.  

Blush of Crimson

I've lost concept of time,
time to be quiet
I need to schedule my time
need to go away
Ophelia covered in glass
veins like kite string
he breathed in the water
I never said goodbye.

You know that feeling like everything's the end of the world
Next to the campfire, stars carved into her upper thighs
crossed like constellations as she moved closer to the flame,
gaze drawn up
The flight before the fall

He hasn't yet hit the ground, green flannel still in suspension.  Dew collecting on the leaves slide down to the earth and surround his body.
His eyes are already closed, a moment of vulnerability.  Still on the surface, cold blue water saturates his cuts and seams.

For the touch of a vanished thought caressed the back of her mind, like birds balanced on a live power line.  Digital ripped walls, lights leading to the intervention of the other side of the ghost city, building brick school, and infinite nowhere.  She lit her candle in the studio, watching the wick burn down and melt the wax, a ring of liquid growing from the center.  Strange to drown in heat.  It seems there's a wall of glass between her mind and this supposed reality, without any sound but her breathing and the occasional ***** from the slowly burning candle.  She mixes her paint and doesn't think about anything.  The sun sets and rises and sets and rises again.  Sitting in the same place, the candle frozen in perpetual burning.  The room was clean.  And she was painting.  And the birds on the wire gently cawed against a white sky.  The echo returned to the blank room.

I remember that night she stopped answering my calls.  She doesn't pick up anymore.  Curled up in the doorway scrawled with tick marks from when we grew extra inches overnight, phone clutched to my chest.  I looked up and saw old Chinese fortunes folded above the doorway, hot tears spilling down my cheeks.  A feeling of helplessness, guilt.  If she answered I would have driven up there, taken her home.
It was 2am when I left.  I grabbed the keys from the counter, my coat, some chocolate, and a book.  walking to the car, I could see my breath suspended in the air.  Frost coated the sides of the windshield but I didn't stop driving.  I forgot my mittens.  There was a foot more of snow as I ran towards the old door to her dorm, yanking the handle hard enough that the lock slipped and I didn't need an ID to get in.  Warm stale air enveloped me as I gazed over empty security desk under fluorescent light.

Muted Undertones

The painting took up a whole wall of the room.  There wasn' any money to frame it, so it would have to always stay here.
Sunlight leaked in from the window like a steading dripping faucet against a clogged drain.  Her hair was turning blonde again, like when they were younger.
Humming, she was
remembering his hands
as they gripped the wheel loosely
at 5am in the morning
reflective and
coated in glass
in the back of
his black pickup
the sun slowly
bled from behind the clouds
dripping like honey
illuminating blonde
the dirt on
the windshield.
warm golden
air filled the truck
as he turned the heat on
one hand on
the wheel
the other
reaching backwards to
twisting metal,
broken limbs.
Connected below
the surface
of broken glass.

In between the falling leaves, she whispered 'see you' and kissed his eyelids as he fell asleep.

Neutral Tones

I knocked on her door.  Her roommate answered.  He hadn't seen her at all that day.  I've grown indifferent about my own problems.  So I walked in her room and picked up the scissors from the corner.  Put on her coat for her.  Walked her through the snow to the car.  Cecilia sat between the driver and passenger seat, hand in mine.  I wish I could heal her arm through our layers of jackets, taken some of the sadness away.   We didn't say anything as empty pavement and trees passed in every living moment.

I was thinking about him.

Occasionally we touch, but only in passing.  Shadows, we cover from the heat.  

Ridicule gnaws at these connection, scrapes paint strokes until the threat snaps, the pillars bow
And we take shelter in the cleansing water.  The clashes of flesh.   The segregation of interactions for fear of having ours be known by anyone at all.

(But still they talk, recite the script)
'Cecilia tried to **** herself and her clothes need to be washed'
(Look now, do you see it?)
'It looks like her soul
left her eyes'

Purple Haze

I knew it was a nightmare.  It's stuck to me.  These alien emotions; like a sickness or a burn, interdepartmental rhythms of my brain I'll never fully grasp... not artistic or poetic.  or anything fake and useful.  Just nebular, inhibiting, distressed.
I'm always trapped in something.  A heaviness.  A natural declining, dissipation, entropy.
A brutal and sterile resistance, inviolate and soft to the touch; a lapsing despondency.

He was the sea that he drowned in.  And he was the riverbed in the trees, too.
Swept in whirlpools and ripples and age rings, whispers of fallen leaves in the lucid water.  
Silenced by hushing rage of stone cut rapids.

Ultraviolet Love

He's not seeing normally.  Through the rippling surface her face is reflected into a million moving pieces.
Lines of tape surround his body, they shrivel in the heat of the sun.  This is not natural death.  There are no birds circling overhead, the stream continues to trickle over the rocks.

I drove her home from college started to run a bath.  The hot water faucet turned all the way.  I put my feet in, trying to avoid eye contact with the parallel lines.  Familiar to what i had stitched before.  Pale blue - green water kissed our skin as she closed her eyes.  

We are not creatures of visible light.
Chris Lazzaro Feb 18
Upon that bench he gently sit
A cigarette in hand, Two-Liter in fist.
A local legend he is, to all around,
All know his name, in and out of town

Billy wears clothes from a Goodwill basket
Stone washed jeans, a torn flannel jacket
His face, red from the biting cold
And hair matted, grey, and old

His journeys, repetitive and often short  
From his bench to the local corner store
Where he finds crisp Marlboro cartons
And a two liter with the Coke label on it

Accomplished, he ventures back to the bench
His walk, fixated and shuffling on the cement
Hugging his soda as if a newborn
Many snicker with scorn

“his deeds are worthless and few,
Sitting, watching, waiting...nothing new”
“Lazy,” they say, “he nary lift a finger all day!”
“Why should we have to work hard and pay?”

Billy knows what everyone thinks
But continues to sit, smoke, and drink
He does what he pleases, regardless of “cost”
Knowing that he is a legend, merely in his own thoughts

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.


Blake fired his Proverbs of ****
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 ****.”

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


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.


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.
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