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Mad Girl’s Love Song

Edgar Allen Poe once described sleep as “those little slices of death,” and in some ways I feel Sylvia Plath’s Mad Girl would feel similar. Humans’ eyesight is our primary sense, and cutting that off limits us to sensory input ranging the length of our arms (a bit farther, if your hearing is good). The narrator of “Mad Girl’s Love Song” loses the entire world every time she closes her eyes, though perhaps her world is encompassed by the man she loves, or who made her to love him. So it is that by closing her eyes, she loses sight of her love, but he may have been made up in the first place and thus only a part of her imagination from the start.

It could be that she fell in love with a different version of the man who loved her: one who was shaped and changed by her imagination and made impossibly better than the reality. Romeo, at the beginning of his iconic role, was shown to be in love with the idea of being in love. Perhaps this Mad Girl was not so mad after all, but lovestruck. Though, I suppose that is a madness after a fashion.


The Smile Sessions

It just goes to show how blind I can be, because I never thought that mingling something so wonderfully carefree with something so unutterably tragic could be beautiful. Elise Burke’s essay on The Smile Sessions, and her recollections of her sister paint an interweaving picture of two worlds: one personal and physical, the other fleeting as music tends to be. The essay weaves easily between memory and descriptions and lore behind The Smile Sessions, giving us a solid grasp of why this album, this band, was so important to them.

Interspersed throughout the pieces of background that tell the story behind The Smile Sessions are images and memories of her sister that strike vividly, such as her carrying around a trash bag full of rattling cassettes, or playing on the beach. Yet in spite of all these detailed, personal moments, we never learn her sister’s name. In the end, I guess we’re all wondering for answers.


All I Want

All I want for Christmas is the perfect man.

I don’t want late night conversations or parental introductions
I don’t want to talk to his mother or to meet his father
I don’t want Love Actually or Serendipity
I don’t want to watch baseball or play scrabble
I want loafers and button downs
I want movie nights and minty breath
I want open car doors and ringing door bells
I want phone calls and photo booths
I want the perfect man. But if he’s not available,
Harry Winston will have to do


He sleeps in the grass as I pull up the driveway.

The noise of the engine wakes him and he lurches upright,

Tail swishing away the summer flies,

Uneven ears pricked to catch the sound.

Sunny canters along the fence, keeping pace with the car, and Blue joins in.

Romeo trots lazily after them.

I wonder what he dreams about.


I know

It is not visible without a telescope

And yet I lie in the grass on a Monday night

Searching the blue-black sky

For its speck of light.



Little girl, master of reason, stoops to inspect a pine cone and a truck swerves into the other lane.
She put on her running shoes in preparation and sought out her most perfect purse lined in hot pink satin.
Skipping along the path chosen, laughter and curiosity made/rise into companions.
Somersaults and afternoon thrills pave way for feeding faeries- to mend their broken wings.
Velvet lined acorn caps, pleasing to the touch, make the most perfect bowls to balance between branches.

The work is done, the fun is had, the little girl is ready to walk home. But first, she makes time to swing
from every branch she can reach. She has forgotten she was tired.
And her new friend carries her purse of pine cones all the way home without being asked.
She rewards him with a tea party and offers him a deal on a song.
The trade is made; she slips a dollar in her pocket and inspects his cup.

Patch of grass played in as a park, imagine without abandon
to the soul you have always been.

Two Little Minutes

I don’t remember it

But at the same time, I do


Or, rather, the moment before.

That jolt of shock you get

When you slip on the patch of ice you never saw

Or when you miss a step in the dark

I know I was airborne

I know I hit my head,

But there are so many things I cannot tell you

Like if the leaves on the cherry trees had started to change

Or if the grass was coarse from the lack of rain.

It’s only two minutes of my life

But it’s somehow more important than

All of the other two minutes

That have slipped my mind

Two little minutes

That I’ll never get back


Refuge Lost

Refuge was once that old barn on the hill

Where we went every day

But now the old boards creak a warning, sharp and shrill


Sometimes we’d sleep there, waking as the swallows began to trill

We were always safe and warm, nestled in the hay

Refuge was once that old barn on the hill


We had adventures, full of glory and thrill

Before such imaginings began to fray

But now the old boards creak a warning, sharp and shrill


Then animosity crept in with winter’s chill

And the sunshine there turned to clouds of gray

Refuge was once that old barn on the hill


Now there are spaces we cannot fill

We longed to stay

But now the old boards creak a warning, sharp and shrill


Some days I wish I could go back again to play

There are unfinished fantasies I want to fulfill

Refuge was once that old barn on the hill

But now the old boards creak a warning, sharp and shrill.


Finished edits on “Try-Again” in the Story 1 folder; I don’t want to clutter up the blog, so I’m just going to link the .doc here (click “here,” the hyperlink should open in a new tab).

The Marionette

Spinning like a silhouette,

She is held together by a couple of strings

Dancing like a marionette


The lights go dim and the stage is set

She moves under the watchful eyes of queens and kings

Spinning like a silhouette


To the haunting melodies of a string quartet

She bends, her heart aching,

Dancing like a marionette


The curtain falls and soon begins a duet;

She returns home, restraints binding,

Spinning like a silhouette


Never a Romeo’s Juliet,

She is but her master’s plaything,

Dancing like a marionette


Her strings not broken yet,

She closes her eyes and wishes for wings,

Always spinning like a silhouette,

Forever dancing like a marionette



bright and invigorating.

Yellow leaves dance

on their branches,

waving at me

on long walks

on Wednesday mornings



harsh and forlorn.

Brown leaves crumble

and sigh,

crunching beneath my feet,


on short walks

on Thursday evenings



frigid and dark.

The leaves are all gone

as I watch from my window,

wishing it were May.


It wasn’t like any other Sunday.

We’re up too early,

driving home in the sunrise.

Fingers wrapped tightly around

the steering wheel.

It’s worth it though.


There’s an entire ocean

in the space between the seats.

A space not breached by contact

or conversation.

March air

ruffles my hair across my face.


Words claw up my throat,

but I fight them down.

There’s so much I want

to say but can’t.

I can’t risk talking,

risk her not responding.


Her bag sits garish,

clasped on her lap.

White fingers on the handles,

matching mine.

Every minute

is agony and ecstasy.

Eternal Light

-In remembrance of Randy-



Why is all I see, nothing but a bright light?

I used to see it all, oranges, browns, blues and red.

But those have faded compared to the crisp white.


I feel as high as a flimsy kite.

The trolley on Saint Charles Ave. passes my bachelor pad

Why is all I see, nothing but a bright light?


I thought after everything it would be alright.

My seductress was an amber-yellow liquid,

But she has faded compared to the crisp white.


My body lies here, under the moon’s spotlight

The hardwood floor as my unyielding deathbed,,

Why is all I see, nothing but a bright light?


With the coming of day I am cleansed with new might,

The beignets and coffee wait for me at Café du Monde.

But they have faded compared to the crisp white.


If only I had the foresight,

At least there was no bloodshed from death’s head.

Now I know why I see nothing but a bright light

And all has faded compared to the crisp white.


I stare out to the vast unknown.

The sand in between my toes

as the sea draws near.

Rocking back and forth,


it is a never-ending cycle.

Colors now paint the horizon

orange, pink, purple, and some blue.

Only the ripples


distinguish from above.

Life and death,

the earth’s revolution around the sun,

all part of the never-ending cycle.

India Arie

“You will never be white,” she said.  “Just because you talk proper and straighten your hair, and you have a good education doesn’t mean that you will ever be more than an ugly black girl.” she continued.  I stopped smiling and stood completely still.  It was as if her words had cast a spell on me and forced to me to stand there.  I didn’t need to turn to see who was talking to me, I already knew who it was.  She was tall and pale. She had dirty blonde, shoulder-length hair, that moved when she talked. And now, as she stood in front of me, I could clearly see her face, scrunched up as if she smelled something sour.  I watched as she dropped the finger she was waving in my face to her hip. I think she was waiting for something.  

Maybe she was waiting to see if I would respond.  I wanted to react. I wanted more than anything to tell her how wrong she was for thinking that I wanted to be anything more than who I was.   I was confused, angry, and offended. I was confused as to why this grown woman was yelling at me in the middle of the hall.  The confusion only intensified when I tried focusing on what triggered her to say this right now. I stood there for what felt like forever. I could feel a lump forming in my throat, the kind that comes right when you’re about to start sobbing. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes but I refused to let this teacher see that her words had hurt me.  I opened my mouth to say something and then turned to walk away.  

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While reading Sylvia Plath’s poem I got the sense that the woman of the story was going through a recent breakup with a guy she was really in love with. I think the repetition of the statement “I think I made you up in my head” showed how hard it is for her to understand why this guy that she was so in love with was able to give up on her so quickly. She was saying that the ideas and thoughts she had about him couldn’t be true or else she wouldn’t be going through something so painful. I think the poem is easily relatable to the types of feelings that a person goes through during a hard breakup. I really enjoyed this poem because she talked about all her feelings during, before, and after the relationship and how the breakup affected her.

Elizabeth Bishop hit the nail on the head with her poem “One Art.” She was able to articulate common occurrences in a way that brings about a sense of sorrow with the loss of each item. She designed the poem in a way to make the reader slow down and take the time to feel what she is trying to portray. Along with loss there is a sense of longing and foreboding, both of which bring in new complexities and levels to which the reader must try to understand.

That being said, the poem seems to be saying more than what is written. If one thinks about it, with the art of losing not being hard to master, then the loss of someone close should not be hard to accept. When one is used to losing things of more gradual importance over time, then when would one know they have lost something or someone of real importance? It turns out, however, that the art of losing is not as simple as it seems. There is a line that can be crossed where it becomes a disaster.

Mad Girl’s Blog Post

“I shut my tab and all the post drops dead;
I lift my mouse and all is born again.
(I think I lost my post inside my head.)

The keys go waltzing out in black and white,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the post drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into keys
And sung me moon-struck, typed me quite insane.
(I think I lost my post inside my head.)

Brown topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my tab and all the post drops dead.

I fancied you’d retype the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget to post.
(I think I lost my post inside my head.)

I should have typed a better post instead;
At least when spring comes they write back again.
I shut my tab and all the post drops dead.
(I think I lost my post inside my head.)”

Today my mother turns sixty-two.  Over twenty years ago she introduced me to the works of Dylan Thomas.  He remains in the favorite category for us both.  Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight.  Power and mystery are ever present as I remain captivated by the energy derived from a handful of tercets.  The call to rage is so pure and somehow delicate when preceding the dying of the light.  

Dylan Thomas’s poem affected me the most out of all of the poems this week.  The speaker is encouraging the old and dying to fight against death, or “that good night.”  At the end of the poem, we learn why: the speaker’s father is dying, and he is imploring his father to fight back against death with everything he has.  The idea of fighting against death goes against what culture has taught us; if you have lived a long, full life, then death should not seem like such a horrible thing.  In a way, it makes the speaker seem selfish for wanting to keep his father alive even though it is his time to die.

For anyone who has experienced the death of someone close to them, though, this idea is not so foreign.  You want that person to stay alive so badly because you cannot imagine life without them.  You know that you have no control over if they live or die, though, so all you can do is tell them: “do not go gentle into that good night/ rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

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