Hello, Insomnia (3)

by sophie

(A theme begins to emerge)

Unfortunately, there is no prize for staying up this late this many days in a row. Because I’d win it. Definitely. Maybe the prize is being close to delirious. That and a quarter will buy me a gumball.

I am thinking about my up-coming trip to Boston on the 19th, and thus, thinking about the legacy of Boston writers, one of which is Anne Sexton. There’s a lot to say about Boston and about Boston artists & writers, but I’ll have to file that topic under Things to Write About When Awake. Here’s the first Sexton poem that comes to mind, the only one I can quote…

For John, Who Begs Me Not to Enquire Further

Not that it was beautiful,
but that, in the end, there was
a certain sense of order there;
something worth learning
in that narrow diary of my mind,
in the commonplaces of the asylum
where the cracked mirror
or my own selfish death
outstared me.
And if I tried
to give you something else,
something outside of myself,
you would not know
that the worst of anyone
can be, finally,
an accident of hope.
I tapped by own head;
it was glass, an inverted bowl.
It is a small thing
to rage in your own bowl.
At first it was private.
Then it was more than myself;
it was you, or your house,
or your kitchen.
And if you turn away
because there is no lesson here
I will hold my awkward bowl,
with all its cracked stars shining
like a complicated lie,
and fasten a new skin around it
as if I were dressing an orange
or a strange sun.
Not that it was beautiful,
but that I found some order there.
There ought to be something special
for someone
in this kind of hope.
This is something I would never find
in a lovelier place, my dear,
though your fear is anyone’s fear,
like an invisible veil between us all…
and sometimes in private,
my kitchen, your kitchen,
my face, your face.

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