“I deeply wish the killer comes to know what he took away from me. The love I shared with her. I want him to know the wonderful person she was and the light she brought into other people’s lives. I want him to know that; to finally understand what he took away from us all as he rots away in the darkness of a cell. That’s what I want.”
“I understand. Consider it done, though you have paid a great price.” the voice said. I stared at the pale reflection in the mirror.
She said I don't care about most people
but I like you
she said I want to be with you
she said I love you
she said I don't want to come around
she said I thought I loved you once
but now I'm not so sure
she said I'm sick of you
and I was pushed under
the dark waves
This was previously published on my blog in June 2018.
"Daddy" bySylvia Plath
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal
And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend
Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene
An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.
I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--
Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who
Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.
If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.
12 October, 1962
Sylvia Plath died this day in 1963. This is one of her more well-known poems.
I had plans to do my 2020 review, but I’m not in any state to do that right now. Maybe tomorrow…
As WordPress chooses to publish my poetry with no stanza breaks, no matter what I try, here are were the breaks are: the second stanza begins with “friend, most”, the third stanza begins with “they love, yet”, the fourth stanza begins with “me demons”, and the last stanza begins “to myself”. Every three lines basically…
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you
One early summers morning
I was walking down the road
and there I chanced upon a shadow
bereft of anybody attached to
“How strange!” I remarked
as I continued walking on,
but when I turned I noticed
it had begun to follow me
I thought maybe it would
eventually tire and give up,
but still it continued following
when I got to the door of my home
it stopped and waited outside
“How strange!” I thought
That night I awoke to find
the shadow was in my room
and it pounced on me as I lay
there paralysed in my bed
unable to scream, I could feel it
melting through my skin
attaching to me, then I realised
it had been my own shadow all along.
I’ve been quite sick from an aggressive cold and been bedbound for the last two days. This was meant to be quite brief, but the poem turned out being far longer than I was intending. At the beginning I was deliberately using folk song phrasing to give it more older feel, though I ditched the rhyming scheme, then I incorporated a nightmare I had in my early twenties of a shadow being in my room and then melting into my body without me being able to move or scream. That nightmare still feels scaringly real…
To be honest I’ve been in a dark mood lately. I was thinking about starting with a quote and what is above is the first thing that came into my mind, and since I’m being honest here these are the sort of posts I really hate to read, so I’ll understand if you choose to avoid this post too. Just go and make a cup of tea or something…
For the record I really love the creative posts on WordPress, whether it is poetry, fiction, art, photography, satire, etc. I’m not as interested in reading people’s thoughts, opinions, or reflections. I mean it’s okay if I agree with it, but what if I don’t? What if I find it too simplistic, or flawed, objectionable, or full of conjecture? I tend not to argue with people I disagree with online, instead I just try to ignore it and not let it get to me. Arguing online is a huge waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. Both sides will still believe what they want to believe, but they will now be angry with each other. Facts will always be ignored if they contradict people’s belief systems or tribal affiliations, that’s how people work. Also we live in very polarising times, which makes it harder to have any sort of reasoned political debate.
Anyway to get back on topic… My birthday was a couple of days ago now. On the eve of my birthday I managed to put my lower back out, which is not unusual for me, though the timing really sucked. The next day I had a booking at a restaurant in the evening where I was going to meet a few friends. When I woke up on my birthday, I found my back felt a lot better and I was able to move freely. Hooray! I thought. Then one of my friends messaged me. He had noticed the restaurant was now closed for a private function in the evening. I messaged the restaurant and eventually they got back to tell me that they hadn’t realised the restaurant had already been booked out for a private function that evening when I had made my booking. Okay, I can forgive that mistake, but they made no attempt to tell me. If my friend hadn’t noticed it, we would have turned up to find the place unavailable, despite the booking. Later that afternoon my back then seized up again and I spent the rest of the day in a lot of pain. Maybe having to cancel the dinner was a good thing, because there was no way I would have been able to attend it anyway, as it turned out. Later in the evening a friend came round with goodies and we watched episodes of The Mandalorian while eating Thai food. I also ended up drinking some of my flatmate’s Jack Daniels as I was out of painkillers. At least that part of the day was enjoyable. I couldn’t say I was surprised by the turn of events as this sort of crap seems to happen quite regularly in my life, in fact these days I almost expect things to go wrong…
Since my birthday I’ve spent the last couple of days in a lot of pain, though my back does appear to be getting better slowly. All that said, I have been in a dark mood due to this (though I was in this dark mood in the week prior to my birthday as well). I have had lower back problems since I was 18. Constant back pain just wears you down in the end, at least that’s what I’ve found. At times, I have thought about ending my life just so the pain will definitively come to an end. The one thing that has kept me alive on this planet is hope. Hope that tomorrow will be a good day. Hope that things will be better in the future. If I ever lose this hope, I’m not sure what will happen.