Not a Sestina

The sestina is slow coming. Because I haven’t worked on it at all. I have been so busy new poetry has been on the decline. (Sorry Emily) After this week I will be able to sit down and create some new work but for now, since it has been ages since I have posted a poem, I’m posting an old one.
This poem was originally written to be a 100 line poem, but I didn’t like the form so I ended up expanding it into 118 lines. I had based it off the stylings and movement of the confessional poets. It has some obscenities, in case you are sensitive, and sexual themes. The title and Name Sylvia- come from Sylvia Plath one of the most well known confessional poets. The piece is meant more to be performed than simply read, although if I did a good job you should be able to feel the rise and fall in the poem.

Sylvia, the poet, and A Confessional

I am nothing like her.
The men, the pain, the education-
All different.

I was supposed to be honored that he wrote me in a poem.
His words painted me-an exquisite portrait.
His masterpiece-To be viewed but not touched.

(He was the poet. I am
a woman.)

He wrote late. After hiking through mountains.
He sat beside a night river.
Pen in hand, and thought
about our last night together:
Her arms wrapped about my body… my flesh pressed to…
His notion of love making
Pressed. Come to me. Come to me…
Words, scribbled in pencil.

(I’m thinking about sex.
The way it drives
The way it controls
gets complicated once you get naked.)
We can’t do this anymore because-

The muse has left?
My body-
Yes! My body that held a part of his body-
And this was to mean nothing but a moment,
material for the next perfect prose.
(I kept expecting something more
Some incredible release. An
inner body experience)
My flesh folding in, on and over his.
He wrote me in a poem and immortalized
my white bra, my bare ass
on his cotton sheets.

I left, and this was poignant

(When we are rolling around tied in a knot of skin and liquid
am I the only one in the room?)
(Why is it I feel like I am in this game alone?)

Listen! It’s not as romantic as all that-

I told you once:

I was drawn to Tomas, Kundera’s character,
his desire to be with every woman he met.
Not for the conquest, but because he loved them,
so much
he wanted to know their secret,
their secret smell.
(I felt so heavy.
I wanted to know what it was like to be light
even if it was unbearable.)

I told you this once- remember?

We sat across the table with coffee and later beer.
You had locked the doors
seducing me
but it was over-
You said you were like Tomas,
It was how you identified yourself. Shh…


When we were new
I wanted to peel your skin and slit you open,
step inside and wear you-
Tsk. Tsk.
Wrong thing to say; too intense, too serious.
Too afraid I wanted to steal your soul
like a succubus
or would I be an incubus? Shh… I wanted to know you…


Where were you?-
When I lost three hours,
hallucinating, hearing voices?
Calling me a train wreck I suppose.

Leaving me bruised and screaming

And, Where were you, poet, when I crashed?

Writing about me in your bed, loving my memory?
Running an imaginary finger down my translucent spine?
Holding your pen tight- ready for the muse?

Here I am!

I am the one who punched the glass and walked over
wet train tracks gripping a piece of two-by-four wanting to smash
your face
my rage like an engine:
“I think I can, I think I can-
make it to the other side of this mountain.

Listen- a secret:

I fell in love with a bi-polar boy, once- long ago
He suffered from psychotic episodes and I wanted to
ride his nightmare.
(Such a pretty horse to those of us
watching outside the fence.) I didn’t want to fix him
I liked him broken- like all the sick romantics.
But, I knew the danger.
I let him go.
But, here is the clincher in this jugular confession:
I was hoping to take a bit of his madness
and make an excuse for mine.
Time is thick.
Inside are all the parts I wanted to steal.
Skin and blood and madness swirling like oil-
madness- loneliness-

I am something like her.
I look into mirrors, carry stones.
Where is the rope! the tape? The children? The gas?
No not this way-

I am taking myself back,
stripping the canvas
smearing your words your paint
and leaving

My hand prints.
My words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s