Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Applicant

(For Annie)

First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,

Stitches to show something's missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Stop crying.
Open your hand.
Empty? Empty. Here is a hand

To fill it and willing
To bring teacups and roll away headaches
And do whatever you tell it.
Will you marry it?
It is guaranteed

To thumb shut your eyes at the end
And dissolve of sorrow.
We make new stock from the salt.
I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit——

Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they'll bury you in it.

Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
I have the ticket for that.
Come here, sweetie, out of the closet.
Well, what do you think of that?
Naked as paper to start

But in twenty-five years she'll be silver,
In fifty, gold.
A living doll, everywhere you look.
It can sew, it can cook,
It can talk, talk, talk.

It works, there is nothing wrong with it.
You have a hole, it's a poultice.
You have an eye, it's an image.
My boy, it's your last resort.
Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.

-Sylvia Plath

Mary Don't You Weep

James Baldwin

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive...

Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death--ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.” 

I laid bare my chest, said do your best

Destroy me.
I've been to hell and back so many times, I must admit it kind of bores me

-Ray Lamontagne

Will wrench you by its ravings, discompose you

Boris Pasternak, best known for his penning of the epic Russian novel, "Doctor Zhivago", is also one of my favorite poets. He didn't write a lot (comparatively), but what he did write will dissolve you into one million particles of light.


The shiv'ring piano, foaming at the mouth,
Will wrench you by its ravings, discompose you.
"My darling," you will murmur. "No!" I'll shout.
"To music?!" Yet can two be ever closer

Than in the dusk, while tossing vibrant chords
Into the fireplace, like journals, tome by tome?
Oh, understanding wonderful, just nod,
And you will know I do not claim to own

Your soul and body. You may go where'er
You want. To others. Wether has been written
Already. Death these days is in the air.
One opens up one's veins much like a window.


"February. Get ink, shed tears.
Write of it, sob your heart out, sing,
While torrential slush that roars
Burns in the blackness of the spring.

Go hire a buggy. For six grivnas,
Race through the noice of bells and wheels
To where the ink and all you grieving
Are muffled when the rainshower falls.

To where, like pears burnt black as charcoal,
A myriad rooks, plucked from the trees,
Fall down into the puddles, hurl
Dry sadness deep into the eyes.

Below, the wet black earth shows through,
With sudden cries the wind is pitted,
The more haphazard, the more true
The poetry that sobs its heart out. " 


"Poetry is a rich, full-bodied whistle,
cracked ice crunching in pails,
the night that numbs the leaf,
the duel of two nightingales,
the sweet pea that has run wild,
Creation's tears in shoulder blades."


Immovable titans will choke in the black vaults of day. Are these poems fermented enough to stun the thunder? It must have been delirious, to consent to be earth.

X as a Function of Distance from Ignatz


(she opens the door)
(he is twelve inches
away) her fingers

still splayed across the
battened-down brass latch
of his sternum (she

closes the door) (he
is eight feet away)
her palm skids down the

banister clings to
the fluted globe of
the finial (he

is twenty-eight feet
away) (she opens
the door) the black air

is fast flowing and
cold (she closes the
door) she clutches her

thin intimacy
tight under her chin
and trips down the steps

(he is forty feet
away) the stiff wind
palpably stripping

his scent from her hair
from the numb fingers
she raises to her

mouth a cab pulls up
(she opens the door)
she bends the body

hitherto upright
(she closes the door)
the cracked brown vinyl

(he is ninety feet
away) biting the
backs of her thighs red

blotches suffusing
her cheeks I’m sorry
please stop she says (he

is four hundred feet
away) please stop the
cab (she opens the

door) the cab stops she
pushes a twenty
through the slot (he is

seven hundred feet
away) (she closes
the door) the husk of

something dry and light
falls to the sidewalk
crumbles away (she

opens the door) (he
is two feet away)
(she closes the door)