Arial post Ariel
the updraft swings bright red, backwards to 13
the costumed climb, the red velvet interior
the girl you knew how to write, all blue
that kitchen you were supposed to inhabit, happy
to stir the soup, to wait on the infidelities
happy to be all smiles if he chanced to look over
the great looking is what you had to suffer, didn’t you?
you decide that Sylvia isn’t where you’re going, no matter what
no matter what you will live your own life you will cut the ties
they try to bind you in, airborne
flying like a gipsy in a circus of wild fabric
not for you the gas
not for you the poems into desperation, the bell jars of dissillusion
there is a pack of cards in your hand
a beckoning, the planet’s postures above Neptunian
the Jupiter, expansive
the red, reddening
the veins and the throb of want
the courtly, courtesan
a courtship of helium
fills the blimps, balloons in baskets
* author note working on themes in this poem — so a start. I first read Plath in tandem with Erica Jong in the 70’s — there is a book of her poems that shows the original manuscript she left. It’s here:
here is the book cover:
For a feminist writer like myself, revisiting this so many years later is going to be important. I got the book yesterday, and really I wish books were being hard bound again. I’ll take it to the beach, it will get sandy and torn and I don’t want it to. I want to remember how much Plath spoke into my soul as a little girl. The poets were teaching me everything at that time. I was also reading “For colored girls…”
So, the memoir is very tough territory to write. It really is. Today it is about my father so the “daddy” on her cover speaks hugely to me.
I knew going in to womanhood from my mother and poets like Plath what to look out for.
It is only in memoir that you can face down the navigation of things you had to go through. The hardest genre, ever.
The themes I want to address int this poem is the literal circus we have had to go through as tail end baby boom women with the men who crossed our paths.