The Lotus Flower

I am gathering breadcrumbs on my way to the witch’s house,

she feeds me on Yeats, Auden, Hughes, Sexton, & Plato,

with scraps of Bishop, Thomas, Joyce, Lowell, & Poe,

Hansel & Gretel are living w/ their father & his mistress in Soho

She invites me in for tea as she immediately

tucks a towel under the door, sealing us in with Death & Co.

 

Her cottage is a white palace

Its crystals a little poultice,

hidden away from the flammable sun

preserved by the carbon monoxide

ether of her undoing

why is it so quiet, what is she hiding?

in the room off the kitchen,

that black, bellowing chamber,

her jars filled with amber,

her “breasts and hips a confectioner’s sugar

of little crystals, titillating the light,

while a green pool opens its eye,

sick with what it has swallowed”

 

 

Suddenly a starving swarm covers

the panes of glass from outside,

while through this our faces reflect

from the mirror in honey-combed brilliance,

“a bonewhite light, like death, behind all things…”

 

Her drones returning home from their long wintering,

their “lightless hibernaculum,” their Auschwitz,

buzzing in tandem;

“I am, I am, I am.”

seems to offer some “backtalk from the mute sky”

 

The black boot of her brute daddy,

stomping on his daughter’s

restless grave, that autoclave,

in the cave of her burned out chamber

where the slaves get disinfected

 

She prepares the oven

the pipes seem to hiss

in their seedy blackness

I am more than this!

more than you, more than this Jew-linen,

this lead paper-weight,

“this dark thing that sleeps in me; ”

its “malignity” screaming for a way out

 

This dark flesh of fruits,

this rotting orchard fermenting in the backyard,

where the gravestones bob like bald heads

in the dark red of their mossy earth-womb,

even amidst this hell-fire the lotus flower blooms.

 

–For Sylvia Plath

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8 Comments

Filed under Plath, Poem, poetry, Suicide, travel, Uncategorized, writing

8 responses to “The Lotus Flower

  1. I just about DIED reading this. Just when it doesn’t seem possible that you could write something even better you DO. How the hell do you do it??? I’d ditch ALL my work to write ONE poem like this. I love love love love this!!! No I freaking adore this!! Where to even start??? No I can’t. I can only do one thing. Read it again! I often read your poems ten times. You shame 99.9 percent of writing!!! And I know you! YES! Score! I am basically reduced to dust C. Dust. You’re incredible. No words. Mute. Astonishment. Respect. Envy. Read again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I burn everything written and only want this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You make me smile a big beaming smile..wow massive compliments again. thank you! 🙂 This was one of those poems that wrote itself. I love when that happens. x

    Like

  4. I like how it ties in w/ Holocaust, history, fairy-tale and myth all juxtaposed. I hope you’ll read that biography of Plath it is amazing. I was wondering …was it you or someone else who gave me a copy of “Transformations” by Sexton? I think this is what spurred on the idea for this poem.

    Like

    • I gave you the Sexton book. After you introduced her to me. I will read the Plath one it sounds awesome. I liked as you did, how it ties it such seemingly opposite experiences and they somehow all make one message. This is such a brilliant piece of work. I need to come up with more superlactives to describe how I feel reading YOU

      Liked by 1 person

  5. that and Plath’s epitaph of course “even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted.”

    Like

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