Monday, February 16, 2009


Today I missed Emily and Anne and Sylvia and Virginia. How rare these moments got, when I could read and live and remember, and create. There were days when I couldn't get enough reading, when I sank into them, and they sank into me, days measured in pages read, not minutes or hours. Here's a taste for those who actually read this. You also might like Sylvia or The Hours.

I taste a liquor
by Emily Dickinson

I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

When the landlord turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!

The Kiss
by Anne Sexton

My mouth blooms like a cut.
I've been wronged all year,
nights, nothing but rough
elbows in them
and delicate boxes of
Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby, you fool!

Before today my body
was useless.
Now it's tearing at its
square corners.
It's tearing old Mary's
garments off, knot by knot
and see - Now it's shot full of
these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!

Once it was a boat, quite
and with no business, no salt
water under it
and in need of some paint. It
was no more
than a group of boards. But
you hoisted her, rigged her.
She's been elected.

My nerves are turned on. I
hear them like
musical instruments. Where
there was silence
the drums, the strings are
incurably playing. You did
Pure genius at work. Darling,
the composer has stepped
into fire.

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.

" Let a man get up and say, "Behold, this is the truth," and instantly I perceive a sandy cat filching a piece of fish in the background. Look, you have forgotten the cat, I say." Virginia Woolf