last night, last life

Last night, as I sifted through some of my earlier poetry, I remembered just how therapeutic writing it was at the time. I was so young, unprepared for the realities of husband and child/children. And I married someone as unprepared as I. He dealt with it all through multi-media productions of his original scripts. I would sit in the audience and watch the characters he created speak to our relationship more poignantly than his face-to-face words ever did.

I’m not sure I ever showed him the poems I wrote as I slowly felt my own self lost in the wake of his magnificent obsession. I’m sure there were many young women like me. Some went mad. Some got mad.

I am no Sylvia Plath. These are not great poems. But they were, and are, an essential part of my story.

Patterns (1967)

I await the unexpected,
the unsought.
My life is a contradiction.

When the goal is set,
when conscious action
strips away the dream,
I turn off.

Because I am
a patterned person,
I am surrounded, bound, bonded.

I don’t need any more directions to go
or any more goals to touch.

I wish I were the wind.


Nonessence (1973)

Change is what I
wear at the edge
(where I have the best perspective)
waiting for familiar whims
to coax me into shape
and coast me down
the deepening dayslide.

Essentially, I am

Medusa, I
am stoned on my own reflection.
Words curl straight
from the hurt in my head
forming questions,
marked and mumbled
under a heavy heartless hum.

Pan (Peter), I
cling to the rings
of endless adolescence,
hanging tight
as the merry goes round

Zelda, I
run screaming
toward the dark and gathered things
that claw at the threshold
of darkest dreams
and dive naked and dancing
into the fountained pool
behind my eyes.

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