I keep feeling that there isn't one poem being written by any one of us - or a book or anything like that. The whole life of us writers, the whole product I guess I mean, is the one long poem - a community effort if you will. It's all the same poem. It doesn't belong to any one writer - it's God's poem perhaps. Or God's people's poem.
Each night I am nailed into place and forget who I am. Daddy? That's another kind of prison. It's not the prince at all, but my father drunkeningly bends over my bed, circling the abyss like a shark, my father thick upon me like some sleeping jellyfish. What voyage is this, little girl? This coming out of prison? God help - this life after death?
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Her Kind I have gone out, a possessed witch, haunting the black air, braver at night; dreaming evil, I have done my hitch over the plain houses, light by light: lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind. A woman like that is not a woman, quite. I have been her kind. I have found the warm caves in the woods, filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves, closets, silks, innumerable goods; fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves: whining, rearranging the disaligned. A woman like that is misunderstood. I have been her kind. I have ridden in your cart, driver, waved my nude arms at villages going by, learning the last bright routes, survivor where your flames still bite my thigh and my ribs crack where your wheels wind. A woman like that is not ashamed to die. I have been her kind.
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Live or die, but don't poison everything... Well, death's been here for a long time - it has a hell of a lot to do with hell and suspicion of the eye and the religious objects and how I mourned them when they were made obscene by my dwarf-heart's doodle. The chief ingredient is mutilation. And mud, day after day, mud like a ritual, and the baby on the platter, cooked but still human, cooked also with little maggots, sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother, the damn bitch! Even so, I kept right on going on, a sort of human statement, lugging myself as if I were a sawed-off body in the trunk, the steamer trunk. This became perjury of the soul. It became an outright lie and even though I dressed the body it was still naked, still killed. It was caught in the first place at birth, like a fish. But I play it, dressed it up, dressed it up like somebody's doll. Is life something you play? And all the time wanting to get rid of it? And further, everyone yelling at you to shut up. And no wonder! People don't like to be told that you're sick and then be forced to watch you come down with the hammer. Today life opened inside me like an egg and there inside after considerable digging I found the answer. What a bargain! There was the sun, her yolk moving feverishly, tumbling her prize - and you realize she does this daily! I'd known she was a purifier but I hadn't thought she was solid, hadn't known she was an answer. God! It's a dream, lovers sprouting in the yard like celery stalks and better, a husband straight as a redwood, two daughters, two sea urchings, picking roses off my hackles. If I'm on fire they dance around it and cook marshmallows. And if I'm ice they simply skate on me in little ballet costumes. Here, all along, thinking I was a killer, anointing myself daily with my little poisons. But no. I'm an empress. I wear an apron. My typewriter writes. It didn't break the way it warned. Even crazy, I'm as nice as a chocolate bar. Even with the witches' gymnastics they trust my incalculable city, my corruptible bed. O dearest three, I make a soft reply. The witch comes on and you paint her pink. I come with kisses in my hood and the sun, the smart one, rolling in my arms. So I say Live and turn my shadow three times round to feed our puppies as they come, the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown, despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy! Despite the pails of water that waited, to drown them, to pull them down like stones, they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue and fumbling for the tiny tits. Just last week, eight Dalmatians, 3/4 of a lb., lined up like cord wood each like a birch tree. I promise to love more if they come, because in spite of cruelty and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens, I am not what I expected. Not an Eichmann. The poison just didn't take. So I won't hang around in my hospital shift, repeating The Black Mass and all of it. I say Live, Live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift.
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Many women are singing together of this: one is in a shoe factory cursing the machine, one is at the aquarium tending a seal, one is dull at the wheel of her Ford, one is at the toll gate collecting, one is tying the cord of a calf in Arizona, one is straddling a cello in Russia, one is shifting pots on the stove in Egypt, one is painting her bedroom walls moon color, one is dying but remembering a breakfast, one is stretching on her mat in Thailand, one is wiping the ass of her child, one is staring out the window of a train in the middle of Wyoming and one is anywhere and some are everywhere and all seem to be singing, although some can not sing a note.
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Do you like me?' No answer. Silence bounced, fell off his tongue and sat between us and clogged my throat. It slaughtered my trust. It tore cigarettes out of my mouth. We exchanged blind words, and I did not cry, I did not beg, but blackness filled my ears, blackness lunged in my heart, and something that had been good, a sort of kindly oxygen, turned into a gas oven.
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Words Be careful of words, even the miraculous ones. For the miraculous we do our best, sometimes they swarm like insects and leave not a sting but a kiss. They can be as good as fingers. They can be as trusty as the rock you stick your bottom on. But they can be both daisies and bruises. Yet I am in love with words. They are doves falling out of the ceiling. They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap. They are the trees, the legs of summer, and the sun, its passionate face. Yet often they fail me. I have so much I want to say, so many stories, images, proverbs, etc. But the words aren't good enough, the wrong ones kiss me. Sometimes I fly like an eagle but with the wings of a wren. But I try to take care and be gentle to them. Words and eggs must be handled with care. Once broken they are impossible things to repair.
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I feel unspeakably lonely. And I feel - drained. It is a blank state of mind and soul I cannot describe to you as I think it would not make any difference. Also it is a very private feeling I have - that of melting into a perpetual nervous breakdown. I am often questioning myself what I further want to do, who I further wish to be; which parts of me, exactly, are still functioning properly. No answers, darling. At all.
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exI feel unspeakably lonely. And I feel - drained. It is a blank state of mind and soul I cannot describe to you as I think it would not make any difference. Also it is a very private feeling I have - that of melting into a perpetual nervous breakdown. I am often questioning myself what I further want to do, who I further wish to be; which parts of me, exactly, are still functioning properly. No answers, darling. At all.
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Anne, I don't want to live... Now listen, life is lovely, but I Can't Live It. I can't even explain. I know how silly it sounds... but if you knew how it Felt. To be alive, yes, alive, but not be able to live it. Ay that's the rub. I am like a stone that lives... locked outside of all that's real... Anne, do you know of such things, can you hear???? I wish, or think I wish, that I were dying of something for then I could be brave, but to be not dying, and yet... and yet to [be] behind a wall, watching everyone fit in where I can't, to talk behind a gray foggy wall, to live but to not reach or to reach wrong... to do it all wrong... believe me, (can you?)... what's wrong. I want to belong. I'm like a jew who ends up in the wrong country. I'm not a part. I'm not a member. I'm frozen.
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Wanting to Die Since you ask, most days I cannot remember. I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage. Then the almost unnameable lust returns. Even then I have nothing against life. I know well the grass blades you mention, the furniture you have placed under the sun. But suicides have a special language. Like carpenters they want to know which tools. They never ask why build. Twice I have so simply declared myself, have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy, have taken on his craft, his magic. In this way, heavy and thoughtful, warmer than oil or water, I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole. I did not think of my body at needle point. Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone. Suicides have already betrayed the body. Still-born, they don't always die, but dazzled, they can't forget a drug so sweet that even children would look on and smile. To thrust all that life under your tongue!- that, all by itself, becomes a passion. Death's a sad Bone; bruised, you'd say, and yet she waits for me, year after year, to so delicately undo an old wound, to empty my breath from its bad prison. Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet, raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon, leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss, leaving the page of the book carelessly open, something unsaid, the phone off the hook and the love, whatever it was, an infection.
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