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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Daddy

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal
And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.
In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend
Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene
An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.
I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--
Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who
Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.
If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

by Sylvia Plath


Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Blue Valentine

For Aline

Monsignore,
Right Reverend Bishop Valentinus,
Sometime of Interamna, which is called Ferni,
Now of the delightful Court of Heaven,
I respectfully salute you,
I genuflect
And I kiss your episcopal ring.
It is not, Monsignore,
The fragrant memory of your holy life,
Nor that of your shining and joyous martyrdom,
Which causes me now to address you.
But since this is your august festival, Monsignore,
It seems appropriate to me to state
According to a venerable and agreeable custom,
That I love a beautiful lady.
Her eyes, Monsignore,
Are so blue that they put lovely little blue reflections
On everything that she looks at,
Such as a wall
Or the moon
Or my heart.
It is like the light coming through blue stained glass,
Yet not quite like it,
For the blueness is not transparent,
Only translucent.
Her soul's light shines through,
But her soul cannot be seen.
It is something elusive, whimsical, tender, wanton, infantile, wise
And noble.
She wears, Monsignore, a blue garment,
Made in the manner of the Japanese.
It is very blue-
I think that her eyes have made it more blue,
Sweetly staining it
As the pressure of her body has graciously given it form.
Loving her, Monsignore,
I love all her attributes;
But I believe
That even if I did not love her
I would love the blueness of her eyes,
And her blue garment, made in the manner of the Japanese.
Monsignore,
I have never before troubled you with a request.
The saints whose ears I chiefly worry with my pleas
are the most exquisite and maternal Brigid,
Gallant Saint Stephen, who puts fire in my blood,
And your brother bishop, my patron,
The generous and jovial Saint Nicholas of Bari.
But, of your courtesy, Monsignore,
Do me this favour:
When you this morning make your way
To the Ivory Throne that bursts into bloom with roses
because of her who sits upon it,
When you come to pay your devoir to Our Lady,
I beg you, say to her:
"Madame, a poor poet, one of your singing servants yet on earth,
Has asked me to say that at this moment he is especially grateful to you
For wearing a blue gown".

by Joyce Kilmer


Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Poor Ghost

"Oh whence do you come, my dear friend, to me,
With your golden hair all fallen below your knee,
And your face as white as snowdrops on the lea,
And your voice as hollow as the hollow sea?"
"From the other world I come back to you,

My locks are uncurled with dripping drenching dew.

You know the old, whilst I know the new:
But tomorrow you shall know this too."
"Oh not tomorrow into the dark, I pray;
Oh not tomorrow, too soon to go away:

Here I feel warm and well-content and gay:

Give me another year, another day."
"Am I so changed in a day and a night

That mine own only love shrinks from me with fright,

Is fain to turn away to left or right
And cover up his eyes from the sight?"
"Indeed I loved you, my chosen friend,
I loved you for life, but life has an end;
Thro' sickness I was ready to tend:

But death mars all, which we cannot mend.
"Indeed I loved you; I love you yet
If you will stay where your bed is set,
Where I have planted a violet

Which the wind waves, which the dew makes wet."
"Life is gone, then love too is gone,
It was a reed that I leant upon:
Never doubt 1 will leave you alone

And not wake you rattling bone with bone.
"I go home alone to my bed,

Dug deep at the foot and deep at the head,
Roofed in with a load of lead,

Warm enough for the forgotten dead.
"But why did your tears soak thro' the clay,
And why did your sobs wake me where I lay?
I was away, far enough away:

Let me sleep now till the Judgment Day."

by Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Unhappy Christmas

What did you get for Christmas?
Was it something nice?
I'm sitting here in Casualty,
My face is packed with ice.

I dread it every Christmas,
They never give me toys,
Daddy will get drunk again,
His nights out with the boys.

I know he doesn't mean it,
He's far to drunk to know,
He hits me hard for nothing,
And bruises always show.

A Christmas to remember,
The policemen had to call,
They took my Dad away this time,
He said I'd had a fall.

He's really done it this time,
An ambulance had to come,
That's why I'm sitting here in Casualty,
Waiting with me Mum. 

by Steve Woodman

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Inspiration

You ask me if I love you,
Then you suck the lips off my face
And chew on the delicacy of their maroon creases.
'Body shop' lipstick, no. 12;
The taste of compact slabs of cherry.
This cheap adolescent disguise has guided me through all
my realizations.

I left it on the edge of plastic vodka glasses and blood smeared mirrors,
On the foreskins of Greek men,
And finally, on all your cliched perfume soaked letters.
Now it is in your mouth, your throat, your stomach.
You have swallowed my teens and all those fermented mistakes.

The ones I danced into blind,
Fumbling for an urgent exit
In whitewashed jeans and tobacco coated pockets.
All the words that flew out and assaulted
Steve, Damien, Kieren, Gary, Ben
(and all the others my high tech brain has crashed out and deleted),
Have left open wounds in my voice box,
gauged by their barbed wire font.

But as you savor the many varied tastes of my existence,
I can feel my insides frantically stitching and nursing
my pubescent cuts and bruises. Healing in seconds.
Now I am your fetus and everything is warm.

You feed me with a mother's strength and make me reborn,
Without all these zits and misadventures.
My new born 'Halleaugh' scream, realized from sterilized lungs
will be pristine, no lipstick stains in sight.

The answer to your question is
"Yes, Yes, Yes! "
Yes, I love you.
YOUR PURPLE MECHANICAL PALMS,
THAT AT NIGHT SOFTEN LIKE CHOCOLATE IN THE SUNLIGHT
AND MELT INTO MY THIGHS.
YOUR HEAVY TORTURED EYES, YOUR LAUGHTER
AND THE WAY YOU INHALE YOUR MARLBORO.
Yes, Yes, Yes.

I swirl out of your anesthetic
With a bacon rind for a belly button
And that's my first word,
A singular syllable.

I can turn the lens until my eyes are in focus,
And you, my surgeon, become my mother.
"Your adolescence has been successfully removed.
The operation was beautiful, wonderful,
Just fine. "

My log in word is 'You'.
That is all I remember.
I am a blank canvas, a cut- price jotter pad, an overflowing biro.
Write all over me.

Scrawl your name in my razor sharp armpits,
In my louse- free hair, my eyelashes bulging with years of mascara.
Practice your joined up handwriting on
My Mound of Venus and the folds of my labia;
Magenta pink and bald.

I am your Frankenstein,
but I promise not to fail.
I will get top marks in my oral stage, my anal stage
And all the others I don't remember,
Because we hit the doodle stage in class.

With you, I will grow old and withered
And our tree roots will be dangerously entwined with time.
We will become soil once again and make love amongst the worms.
'Yes' will be always be my answer, my mantra.
You will always be my host, my vessel;
A place to store my happiness and tears.

by Mimi

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


by Maya Angelou