Tag Archives: Sylvia Plath

Bad Habits (Pandemic Poem #5)

“Do you realize the illicit sensuous delight I get from picking my nose? … Or sometimes there will be blood mingled with the mucous: in dry brown scabs, or bright sudden wet red on the finger that scraped too rudely the nasal membranes. God, what sexual satisfaction!”  Sylvia Plath

 

Eternity’s stopping and starting all the time—
my fingers shake. I count to three.  Apparently
I can’t stop touching my face to save my life.

I cover my mouth, two-handed. I don’t know why.
Afraid of my breath? Of what I’ll say? Beats me.
Eternity’s stopping and starting all the time—

if our fair-haired Sylvia hadn’t died from suicide,
her sexy rhinotillexomania would currently be
why she can’t sit on her hands to save her life—

I picture nails with a Betty Draper shine,
a shade of pink called Cool Eternity.
Depression stops and starts all the time

for some of us, a tide that likes to rise
and fall, constant. Irregular. Seriously,
I can’t stop touching my face to save my life.

Knowing myself the way I do, it won’t be a surprise
if I die from fidgeting. I hope it’s not immediately.
I can’t stop touching my face to save my life.
Eternity’s stopping and starting all the time—

______

The Word Made Flesh is Sylvia

And tremblingly, we’ve all partook.
The only question’s whether
we’re cannibals or communicants.
Either way, we eat her

grave cave crisp papery skin,
we suck her red homunculus
right off our own chapped lips.
We do it again and again.

The only way to know
if, instead of gruesome, all is holy,
(but all is both), is when we’re done,
we can’t be, she can’t be,
not one single living word can be
diminished. None.

_____
So, once again, I agree with Chuck Rybak. We do suck Sylvia. 🙂