Love Song to Emily and Sylvia

All my loves as a child that would whisper my ears
        with a fountain pen
                Instead of their lips -
                Instead of their tongues
        Their manuscripts.
        Such pretty ghosts!
                I made my oaths
                That when I grew
                I'd spin and spin
                        A reliquary sack to hold
                        Their paper-bones,
                All dry, all dear
                It makes me shiver even now!
                        I would appoint
                        Myself to be a pot of earth
                        Myself anoint
                        To be their parish plot
                I'd take the bones,
                And plant them deep
                like tulip bulbs
                Perhaps to sprout -
        Perhaps to bud - and then
Like necromancy - bloom and seed
        "A Lazarus show" in
        An "unlocked rose"
        For a
"Pretty Red Heart"
        For a
"Wand'ring Repose"

All my childhood loves spoke in gospels
        In very dark rooms,
        Staring into the gloom
                To adjust to the scarcity,
                Dilate the eyes,
                        And bend over the loom,
                Let the Word feed the twine
                Let the Flesh weave doom
                Let the Spirit cut ends
                So my prophets can stand
        And turn back from the tomb,
                In a dazzle of sun,
                They are 'bronzed' like the gods
                        Grown 'quick with the seed'
                        Of forbidden-fruit trees -
                Milk and honey could flow
                From the soles of those feet!
        I was Israel's child, and I begged them
        "Come down from your Nebo!"
        They told me 'Be Joshua!
        Jordan will part!'
        And the sun clave their tongues
        And a flame filled their hearts!
But there's futures
        That cowards can see
        To which sibyls are blind.
So I hid in my house,
        From the flooding divine,
So my "heart" grew "root-pale"
        From a surplus of damp
And an absence of rhyme

All my loves stood on pyres
        Bound to stakes
                With their girdles and corsetting cord
        With their skirts
                That would wave like a standard of war
        With their skirts
                That can't stretch o'er a cavalry horse,
        I longed to stand so -
        Just as still -
        Just as bold -
                I wanted to ossify -
                        Turn to a tree
                        Or a great old stone
                        Something round,
                        Something still and alone -
                How I longed
                        To be someone with fate in her tongue
                So I made up a sorrow
                        And said it was true
                So I put on a silk shirt
                        And new saddle shoes
                        It's the best I could do
                 Just an ill-made farce.
        And a cynical heart
        Made for riding "the rack and the screw."
So I stitched up a bride
        Picked the sticky worm-pearls
        From her Gypsy-Jew eyes
And I said
"I do,
I do"

(originally from 2007, revised several times. Still not happy with it. Numerous esoteric references to Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath poems. Picture by eraphernalia_vintage)


Chris said...

This poem is AMAZING Jason!! I seriously hope that you know how wonderful of a poet you are...I love reading your stuff.

Jason Gignac said...

Mr. Chris - Thank you, that's very kind of you - I usually put up my poems kind of assuming noone will read them, but I'm glad someone could enjoy it :)

Julie said...

Your poetry is highly enjoyable. I appreciate how hauntingly beautiful this poem is. I'll be thinking this one over for a long time. Powerfully written stuff!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!