What was she doing when it blew in
Over the seven hills, the red furrow, the blue mountain?
Was she arranging cups? It is important.
Was she at the window, listening?
In that valley the train shrieks echo like souls on hooks.
That is the valley of death, though the cows thrive.
In her garden the lies were shaking out their moist silks
And the eyes of the killer moving sluglike and sidelong,
Unable to face the fingers, those egotists.
The fingers were tamping a woman into a wall,
A body into a pipe, and the smoke rising.
This is the smell of years burning, here in the kitchen,
These are the deceits, tacked up like family photographs,
And this is a man, look at his smile,
The death weapon? No-one is dead.
There is no body in the house at all.
There is the smell of polish, there are plush carpets.
There is the sunlight, playing its blades,
Bored hoodlum in a red room
Where the wireless talks to itself like an elderly relative.
Did it come like an arrow, did it come like a knife?
Which of the poisons is it?
Which of the nerve-curlers, the convulsors? Did it electrify?
This is a case without a body.
The body does not come into it at all.
It is a case of vaporization.
The mouth first, its absence reported
In the second year. It had been insatiable
And in punishment was hung out like brown fruit
To wrinkle and dry.
The breasts next.
These were harder, two white stones.
The milk came yellow, then blue and sweet as water.
There was no absence of lips, there were two children,
But their bones showed, and the moon smiles.
Then the dry wood, the gates,
The brown motherly furrows, the whole estate.
We walk on air, Watson.
There is only the moon, embalmed in phosphorus.
There is only a crow in a tree. Make notes.
You must be Ned Stark’s bastard.
stop this madness, morgan
YOU ARE OUT OF CONTROL
Dude, my ability to NOT post stuff about Sylvia Plath on the internet on the anniversary of her death is basically zero, LET ALONE on the FIFTIETH anniversary; consider yourself lucky that I stuck to one from each of them.
(Tomorrow might bring more! I reread two poems that are probably the most chillingly accurate thing I’ve ever read about narcissistic parenting, hot fucking damn, and I have THOUGHTS and FEELINGS. Sylvia Plath: the gift that keeps on giving.)
What can I tell you that you do not know
Of the life after death?
Your son’s eyes, which had unsettled us
With your Slavic Asiatic
Epicanthic fold, but would become
So perfectly your eyes,
Became wet jewels,
The hardest substance of the purest pain
As I fed him in his high white chair.
Great hands of grief were wringing and wringing
His wet cloth of face. They wrung out his tears.
But his mouth betrayed you - it accepted
The spoon in my disembodied hand
That reached through from the life that had survived you.
Day by day his sister grew
Paler with the wound
She could not see or touch or feel, as I dressed it
Each day with her blue Breton jacket.
By night I lay awake in my body
The Hanged Man
My neck-nerve uprooted and the tendon
Which fastened the base of my skull
To my left shoulder
Torn from its shoulder-root and cramped into knots -
I fancied the pain could be explained
If I were hanging in the spirit
From a hook under my neck-muscle.
Dropped from life
We three made a deep silence
In our separate cots.
We were comforted by wolves.
Under that February moon and the moon of March
The Zoo had come close.
And in spite of the city
Wolves consoled us. Two or three times each night
For minutes on end
They sang. They had found where we lay.
And the dingos, and the Brazilian-maned wolves -
All lifted their voices together
With the grey Northern pack.
The wolves lifted us in their long voices.
They wound us and enmeshed us
In their wailing for you, their mourning for us,
They wove us into their voices. We lay in your death.
In the fallen snow, under falling snow.
As my body sank into the folk-take
Where the wolves are singing in the forest
For two babes, who have turned, in their sleep,
Beside the corpse of their mother.