Monday, November 16, 2009

anne sexton


why does everyone say she's better than sylvia plath? just talking shit? hard to say. i like her crazy and sometimes she's pretty great, but she is creepy, no? it's part of what makes her interesting, especially looking like that, but i have always found it hard to get into it. still i think she's fascinating and would liked to have met her.

She is stuck in the time machine, suddenly two years old sucking her thumb, as inward as a snail, learning to talk again. She's on a voyage. She is swimming further and further back, up like a salmon, struggling into her mother's pocketbook. Little doll child, come here to Papa. Sit on my knee. I have kisses for the back of your neck. A penny for your thoughts, Princess. I will hunt them like an emerald.

If if is to come, she said, sleep must take me unawares while I am laughing or dancing so that I do not know that brutal place where I lie down with cattle prods, the hole in my cheek open. Further, I must not dream for when I do I see the table set and a faltering crone at my place, her eyes burnt by cigarettes as she eats betrayal like a slice of meat.

I must not sleep for while I'm asleep I'm ninety and think I'm dying. Death rattles in my throat like a marble. I wear tubes like earrings. I lie as still as a bar of iron. You can stick a needle through my kneecap and I won't flinch. I'm all shot up with Novocain. This trance girl is yours to do with. You could lay her in a grave, an awful package, and shovel dirt on her face and she'd never call back: Hello there! But if you kissed her on the mouth her eyes would spring open and she'd call out: Daddy! Daddy! Presto! She's out of prison.

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