Monday, September 10, 2007

WI: My Imaginary LIfe


THE BURNING
"In Dreams you are never eighty"
--Anne Sexton

At last, Love,
the girl sighs, melting
into the embrace of the blueberry-
eyed sailor she'll never again
lie down with in this life
except in dreams of
sixty years past, where
her skin on his skin is rosy
and warm with life.

I have waited for you,
she whispers, for so long, so long,
and the sweat beads like silver
on her upper lip.
Her laughter is mild, yet
under her bare feet the stairs
burn, consuming the kitchen
with its frills of daisies and jam,
the study with its tiresome
globes and catalogs,
the bedrooms with their odor
of babies being born,
semen and blood.

All the doors are open
to the burning stairs. She would say
O my God, my Love, at last,
but there are no words because
his lips are on her lips
and the blaze licks at her sleeves,
her skirt curling like a paper doll's.

When she wakes, between her thighs
is a wrinkle rough as woolens,
deep as a pit. Her tongue's a knot.
Her face is gray as a potato
and full of eyes.

*

34 comments:

tumblewords said...

consuming the kitchen with its frills of daisies and jams ...vivid! Great work here!
Thanks for reading my stuff and for your oh-so-kind comments!

Rob Kistner said...

Superb poem! It flowed like milk, rich with honey... really excellent!

Thank you for visiting Writers Island, and sharing this fine work. I hope you can come ashore every Tuesday... ;)

Patti said...

These words of yours have such an impact! Loved this.

paris parfait said...

This is simply wonderful! So clever and ripe with emotion and suppressed longing. Well done, you!

Pauline said...

What longing, and what detail. All the doors are open...the whole poem is beautifully paced.

gautami tripathy said...

What a visual poetry! One great imagination.

paisley said...

oh the imagery... oh the reality... this is beautiful,,, and still so personally sad...

Becca said...

Powerful, fiery, and poignant all at once...stunning!

GreenishLady said...

Oh, the longing. The burning stairs. This is a powerfully haunting poem of longing. Oh.

Regina Clare Jane said...

There are just too many beautiful lines here... the longing in this poem really draws one to this woman and her 'blueberry-eyed sailor'- oh, bravo!
I loved the quote as well...

...deb said...

Wow. Beutifully crafted. I was so in-the-presence that I was caught by the last stanza...even with your hint at the beginning (fabulous use of a quote!)

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Wow, I don't think one needs to be eighty to appreciate that. The changes we go through, yet inside, that burning ever consuming.
(Standing up clapping!)
Sincerely,
Blue

pepektheassassin said...

Wow...thanks, everyone! I do appreciate you all coming by to read this morning...even though I do not know how to make an actual link.

Maybe I can catch my son and have him walk me through it (again).

(I am getting old and forgetful--but not quite eighty, yet).

pepektheassassin said...
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pepektheassassin said...
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Hedwyg said...

Wow - this is quite a powerful piece. I am in awe of the images here. WELL DONE!

Lea said...

Beautiful, rich, and oh so vividly real...

Tammy said...

"the blaze licks at her sleeves,
her skirt curling like a paper doll's." Wonderful line and the smell of blood & semen very vivid.


P.S. I don't workout dressed up that was a demo. lol

Beloved Dreamer said...
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Beloved Dreamer said...

What can I say? Superb, wonderfful!!!!!. Your imagry is powerful and beautiful. Reading your words made my hair tingle
as I felt both hope and sadness.
Just lovely work.

love-bd

(I should learn to spell :-))

Jo said...

This is an amazing poem. So vivid I feel scorched!

Pam said...

This poem left me breathless, a powerful, magnificent piece.

kimberley-s@wildmail.com said...

Wow - such power. Reading the last stanza, a gasp caught in my throat. We shed so many things as we grow older -

Look forward to more!

kimberley said...

Not sure how I ended up publishing my email with my comment - ???? Is there any way to edit it out?

wendy said...

This is a very powerful poem.

I loved the visual quality of your words, which are as smooth as silk.

Jessica said...

There is so much to love in this poem! I am floored by its suprprising imagery, it's awesome ending, and the movement from beginning to end. This is amazing work!

jillypoet said...

I have been gone too long from your poetry! Good to be back! The fire in this is amazing. I had to read it again to fully feel the heat--on so many levels heat. And the ending...wow! Powerful. Strong words, images. On another note, you so well captured that crushing feeling of waking from a dream that was more like reality than a dream. A feeling like a fire being quickly extinguished.

tinker said...

What a dream of a poem!

Ashley Lyn said...

Breathtaking! Literally. I was struggling to breath after the last line with all of its longing and disappointment ripe and heavy. You have a truly gifted way of crafting poetry. The cadence of the lines is so perfect for the subject matter. And the mixture of mundane images with the powerful and haunting captures the way everything in one's life becomes intertwined in retrospect. This piece reminded me of Margaret Atwood, especially her collection "Midnight in the Burning House." That is my rather indirect way of saying, "Publish!" Amazing, absolutely amazing!

writerwoman said...

So romantic. I loved the part where she would speak if not for him kissing her. Breathtaking work!

Rethabile said...

Scorching! What a poem! I enjoyed reading and feeling.

ren.kat said...

Not a lot more to say. I miss the face to face sometimes on these blogs. The weight behind the words. This has depth.

chiefbiscuit said...

Wow - hot stuff! Seriously though ... great poem. Strong, striking visuals, as always.

Beaman said...

Well written poem. It's rather fascinating.