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131 notes


Sylvia Plath reads The Ghost’s Leavetaking, written 1958

 Enter the chilly no-man’s land of about
 Five o’clock in the morning, the no-color void
 Where the waking head rubbishes out the draggled lot
 Of sulfurous dreamscapes and obscure lunar conundrums
 Which seemed, when dreamed, to mean so profoundly much,

 Gets ready to face the ready-made creation
 Of chairs and bureaus and sleep-twisted sheets.
 This is the kingdom of the fading apparition,
 The oracular ghost who dwindles on pin-legs
 To a knot of laundry, with a classic bunch of sheets

 Upraised, as a hand, emblematic of farewell.
 At this joint between two worlds and two entirely
 Incompatible modes of time, the raw material
 Of our meat-and-potato thoughts assumes the nimbus
 Of ambrosial revelation. And so departs.

 Chair and bureau are the hieroglyphs
 Of some godly utterance wakened heads ignore:
 So these posed sheets, before they thin to nothing,
 Speak in sign language of a lost otherworld,
 A world we lose by merely waking up.

 Trailing its telltale tatters only at the outermost
 Fringe of mundane vision, this ghost goes
 Hand aloft, goodbye, goodbye, not down
 Into the rocky gizzard of the earth,
 But toward a region where our thick atmosphere

 Diminishes, and God knows what is there.
 A point of exclamation marks that sky
 In ringing orange like a stellar carrot.
 Its round period, displaced and green,
 Suspends beside it the first point, the starting

 Point of Eden, next the new moon’s curve.
 Go, ghost of our mother and father, ghost of us,
 And ghost of our dreams’ children, in those sheets
 Which signify our origin and end,
 To the cloud-cuckoo land of color wheels

 And pristine alphabets and cows that moo
 And moo as they jump over moons as new
 As that crisp cusp towards which you voyage now.
 Hail and farewell. Hello, goodbye. O keeper
 Of the profane grail, the dreaming skull.

(via mossgrrl)

92 notes

Stupid America

stupid america, see that chicano 
with a big knife 
in his steady hand 
he doesn’t want to knife you 
he wants to sit on a bench 
and carve christ figures 
but you won’t let him.

stupid america, hear that chicano 
shouting curses on the street 
he is a poet 
without paper and pencil 
and since he cannot write 
he will explode.

stupid america, remember that chicanito 
flunking math and english 
he is the picasso 
of your western states 
but he will die 
with one thousand masterpieces 
hanging only from his mind

-Abelardo Delgado

Filed under Abelardo Delgado Poetry Chicano Stupid America

30 notes

Black Stone Lying On A White Stone

  I will die in Paris, on a rainy day,
on some day I can already remember.
I will die in Paris--and I don’t step aside--
perhaps on a Thursday, as today is Thursday, in autumn.

   It will be a Thursday, because today, Thursday, setting down
these lines, I have put my upper arm bones on 
wrong, and never so much as today have I found myself
with all the road ahead of me, alone.

   César Vallejo is dead.  Everyone beat him
although he never does anything to them;
they beat him hard with a stick and hard also

   with a rope.  These are the witnesses:
the Thursdays, and the bones of my arms,
the solitude, and the rain, and the roads. . .

-Cesar Vallejo

Filed under Poetry Poem Cesar Vallejo

50 notes

Diving the Wreck

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

—Adrienne Rich

Filed under adrienne rich

371 notes

My heart’s aflutter!
I am standing in the bath tub
crying. Mother, mother
who am I? If he
will just come back once
and kiss me on the face
his coarse hair brush
my temple, it’s throbbing!

then I can put on my clothes
I guess, and walk the streets.

I love you. I love you,
but I’m turning to my verses
and my heart is closing
like a fist.

Words! be
sick as I am sick, swoon,
roll back your eyes, a pool,

and I’ll stare down
at my wounded beauty
which at best is only a talent
for poetry.

Cannot please, cannot charm or win
what a poet!
and the clear water is thick

with bloody blows on its head.
I embrace a cloud,
but when I soared
it rained.

That’s funny! there’s blood on my chest
oh yes, I’ve been carrying bricks
what a funny place to rupture!
and now it is raining on the ailanthus
as I step out onto the window ledge
the tracks below me are smoky and
glistening with a passion for running
I leap into the leaves, green like the sea

Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.

The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.

It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.

"Mayakovsky" by Frank O’Hara (via greenfinch)

(via glowgirl)

80 notes

I am the mirror breathing above the sink.
There is a censored garden inside of me.
Over my worms someone has thrown

a delicately embroidered sheet.

And also the child at the rummage sale–

more souvenirs than memories.

I am the cat buried beneath
the tangled ivy. Also the white
weightless egg
floating over its grave. Snow

where there were leaves. Empty
plastic cups after the party on the beach.

I am ash rising above a fire, like a flame.
The Sphinx with so much sand
blowing vaguely in her face. The last

shadow that passed
over the blank canvas
in the empty art museum. I am

the impossibility of desiring
the person you pity.
And the petal of the Easter lily–

That ghost of a tongue.
That tongue of a ghost.

What would I say if I spoke?
"Riddle" by Laura Kasischke (via riseofthecommonwoodpile)

Filed under laura kasischke

92 notes

Every Day You Play

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water,
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a bunch of flowers, every day, between my hands.

You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.

The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind.  The wind.
I alone can contend against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.

You are here.  Oh, you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Curl round me as though you were frightened.
Even so, a strange shadow once ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your breasts smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the grey light unwinds in turning fans.

My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
Until I even believe that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.

—Pablo Neruda

Filed under pablo neruda

62 notes


THE last, late guest 
To the gate we followed; 
Goodbye — and the rest 
The night-wind swallowed. 

House, garden, street, 
Lay tenfold gloomy, 
Where accents sweet 
Had made music to me. 

It was but a feast 
With the dark coming on; 
She was but a guest —
And now, she is gone. 

-Henrik Ibsen

Filed under submission henrik ibsen

1,033 notes

Dulzura - Sandra Cisneros


Make love to me in Spanish.
Not with that other tongue.
I want you juntito a mi,
tender like the language
crooned to babies.
I want to be that
lullabied, mi bien
, that loved.

I want you inside
the mouth of my heart,
inside the harp of my wrists,
the sweet meat of the mango,
in the gold that dangles
from my ears and neck.

Say my name. Say it.
The way it’s supposed to be said.
I want to know that I knew you
even before I knew you.

(Source: izotecipotx, via luxxury-fruit)

4 notes

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Filed under submission