i do see things, god's kind gestures
but i cannot feel them. steaming hand in the dark
beside the candle. lick the flame i'd rather. without arms
i'd like to go swimming. i'd like to be red wet
in the wilderness. build a ship to sink and step on.
bath in the sink. doctor on the phone.
bad news. press my eyes til theyre blind.
man i was something ugly that night.
reverted back to thirteen, 'guys i feel like a little kid'
'aw alex thats a strikeout' said joey
feeling sad that i have killed his night.
i wish i didnt but i was scared of myself
felt like a boy. i dont like it. you know what i did
i went into the bathroom and said, if i am ugly
thats it. and i held one mirror to another
and i didnt see nothin.
26 Jan 09
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I see a lot of Sylvia Plath's "Mirror" in this. The odd syntax and all the full stops make the poem read. really. slow. and. halting.
works as a read for me. it's merged into claustrophobia and i read that as the tone of the poem, the feeling of embarrassment or at least discomfort and confusion. confusion, i suppose, but that's too easy a word and this thing defines a complex emotion.
is 'bath' in 6, like 'bathe in sink' or 'have a bath in the sink'? just asking. it's pretty obvious that part of a poem is to not know what to make of it immediately and in all its parts. that's a good thing, like going into a cave.
nice, ok. i didn't see you. nice concise write.
wow. the plath is very much not as good as this, cause she's just rinsing out some words in a sink and this guy's actually pissing in the sink while he takes a bath. his is way more beat, and like peter orlovsky, the beat saint, and i wonder where you're finding the connection, paulus, unless it's just the word 'mirror'? cause the lines in this, 14 through 16, make a mirror and don't just gossip about one.
nice, ok. i knew it was you.
Plath's poem focuses on the fear of old age, this poem is stuck on the fear of death, (bad news form the doctor and such.) And similar to Plath's mirror which, "whatever [it] sees, [it] swallows immediately," the two mirrors opposite another in the poem create a fine image of nothingness, two beasts devouring each other for eternity. I might go as far to say the speaker in the poem is afraid of his own death and ugliness, and such aligns the mirrors to face themselves, not his self. But, in defense of your argument, the word mirror cued the comparison.
I'm wondering where you're getting Orlovsky out of this, or anything beat. If this were beat, there wouldn't be a subdued dread in the poem. the poet would be out gettin' his kicks, or sleeping in the bathroom for lack of shelter, not moping in the bathroom cause he feel's like a little kid.
The poem's thick focused dark brooding slow, nothin' beat about it.
doing moral and philosophy, 'novels' do this well, because our knowledge of life and death is a 'time' construction, renewed each day. syvia plath writes about sylvia plath - it's what verse writers do. this one, this 'bath', creates time and life for us -- it's not post-it note about whatever didn't get written as a poem. it's not some kind of law that you have to understand sylvia plath as a writer of 'poetry'. orlovsky, because he made origami poems out of split words, and shaped them into furniture for a replica home inside the beatnik pad. he was really a beautiful spirit.
in this bath is the cleaning clearing 'til you blink with realEYEsations mirroring -- they'res a contrast of life 'n death that bends infinitly fractured in those mirrors reflecting off into nothin' ever after -- the images in this pome mirror our own childish fears 'n the devils we've seen there too -- very broodin' blue