Saturday, January 28, 2006


Here's a poem I wrote a long time ago. It isn't very good. And I say it isn't very good even though I hate when people post their creative shit and then immediately begin ducking away from it. So I'll elaborate and say that I like this poem a lot because writing it was fun and there are parts I get a kick out of every time I read it. But I am not a poet. I have never been good at poetry, and I seldom if ever try to write poems. Sometimes I wish I was a poet. There's something about a good poem that makes it, I think, a superior form of art compared to almost everything else. Which is probably why I never read poetry either. Half the time I don't get it. Or, when I do get it, it seems so simple, so obvious. Most poems are a disappointment. Most poems suck. But when they're good, they're really fucking good. So here is my poem, which, even though it sucks, for me it is really fucking good.

The 5-Day Forecast for Bullshit Land

The snow missed Manhattan,
hit Bullshit Land instead. No soft powder,
only ice, sharp in my face.

I paused, inhaled frost, tightened
my chest, nipples erect, cursed
Sam Champion for raising hopes,

And made my gentle steps down
the sidewalk. After 13 blocks I was
snotty and winded at your door.

You insisted I keep my jacket,
didn’t offer tea, only six reasons
not to untie my shoes, to tighten my scarf,

step back into the ice. The storm inside
was worse, you said, with lies and anger
followed by make-up sex as we move into

the weekend. Better if we spare ourselves
the bullshit. I paused, inhaled frost, and
made my gentle steps down the sidewalk.


Anonymous said...

Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath. So many different depths.

Mustapha Mond said...

Indeed. And here it is for those who would like to read it:

Lady Lazarus
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it-----

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?-------

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The Peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot ------
The big strip tease.
Gentleman, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart---
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair on my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash---
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.