"Since flesh can't stay, we keep the breath aloft. Since flesh can't stay, we pass the words along." --Erica Jong

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

By Gis and By Saint Charity

In this book
there was a picture
of fair mad Ophelia,
floating face up, trailing daisies:
on another page
The Rape of Lucretia,
startled hand to throat,
round breasts fallen over her bodice
like white May pears.
Somewhere, dark Othello
and that poor Jew Shylock
protested in blacker pentametered despair.

The pictures drew me.
The words were only partly
understood, underscored by my
splayed young fingers across the page.

Now I trail ink-stained daisies
of my own, sing mad songs,
demand my pound of flesh,
stare blindly across the spaces
between years, and wait
for whirling obsidian waters
to have me,
to carry this ash-black body
coughing blood
and cut it into stars.

Painting: Echo of Ophelia by Im Elbenwald

No comments:

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.