the stars go waltzing out

[and the youngest daughter said, I love you like water and salt.]
eighteen. desi. canadian. perpetually tired. infj
The unsaid, for me, exerts great power: often I wish an entire poem could be made in this vocabulary. It is analogous to the unseen; for example, to the power of ruins, to works of art either damaged or incomplete. Such works inevitably allude to larger contexts; they haunt because they are not whole, though wholeness is implied: another time, a world in which they were whole, or were to have been whole, is implied. There is no moment in which their first home is felt to be the museum. A few years ago, I saw a show of Holbein drawings; most astonishing were those still in progress. Parts were entirely finished. And parts were sketched, a fluent line indicating arm or hand or hair, but the forms were not filled in. Holbein had made notes to himself: this sleeve blue, hair, auburn. The terms were other-not the color in the world, but the color in paint or chalk. What these unfinished drawings generated was a vivid sense of Holbein at work, at the sitting; to see them was to have a sense of being back in time, back in the middle of something. Certain works of art become artifacts. By works of art, I mean works in any medium. And certain works of art do not. It seems to me that what is wanted, in art, is to harness the power of the unfinished.
- Louise Glück, “Disruption, Hesitation, Silence”
Queen of the Underworld: A Myth of Devotion, by Louise Glück.


When Hades decided he loved this girl
he built for her a duplicate of earth,
everything the same, down to the meadow,
but with a bed added.

Everything the same, including sunlight,
because it would be hard on a young girl
to go so quickly from bright light to utter darkness

Gradually, he thought, he’d introduce the night,
first as the shadows of fluttering leaves.
Then moon, then stars. Then no moon, no stars.
Let Persephone get used to it slowly.
In the end, he thought, she’d find it comforting.

A replica of earth
except there was love here.
Doesn’t everyone want love ?

He waited many years,
building a world, watching
Persephone in the meadow.
Persephone, a smeller, a taster.
If you have one appetite, he thought,
you have them all.

Doesn’t everyone want to feel in the night
the beloved body, compass, polestar,
to hear the quiet breathing that says
I am alive, that means also
you are alive, because you hear me,
you are here with me. And when one turns,
the other turns—

That’s what he felt, the lord of darkness,
looking at the world he had
constructed for Persephone. It never crossed his mind
that there’d be no more smelling here,
certainly no more eating.

Guilt ? Terror ? The fear of love ?
These things he couldn’t imagine ;
no lover ever imagines them.

He dreams, he wonders what to call this place.
First he thinks: The New Hell. Then: The Garden.
In the end, he decides to name it
Persephone’s Girlhood.

A soft light rising above the level meadow,
behind the bed. He takes her in his arms.
He wants to say I love you, nothing can hurt you

but he thinks
this is a lie, so he says in the end
you’re dead, nothing can hurt you
which seems to him
a more promising beginning, more true.

(via juno-inferna-deactivated2013090)

Don’t listen to me; my heart’s been broken.
I don’t see anything objectively.

I know myself; I’ve learned to hear like a psychiatrist.
When I speak passionately,
that’s when I’m least to be trusted.

It’s very sad, really: all my life, I’ve been praised
for my intelligence, my powers of language, of insight.
In the end, they’re wasted—

I never see myself,
standing on the front steps, holding my sister’s hand.
That’s why I can’t account
for the bruises on her arm, where the sleeve ends.

In my own mind, I’m invisible: that’s why I’m dangerous.
People like me, who seem selfless,
we’re the cripples, the liars;
we’re the ones who should be factored out
in the interest of truth.

When I’m quiet, that’s when the truth emerges.
A clear sky, the clouds like white fibers.
Underneath, a little gray house, the azaleas
red and bright pink.

If you want the truth, you have to close yourself
to the older daughter, block her out:
when a living thing is hurt like that,
in its deepest workings,
all function is altered.

That’s why I’m not to be trusted.
Because a wound to the heart
is also a wound to the mind.

- Louise Gluck, “The Untrustworthy Speaker


It was winter, lunar, wet. At dusk
Pewter seedlings became moonlight orphans.
Pleased to meet you meat to please you
said the butcher’s sign in the window in the village.

Everything changed the year that we got married.
And after that we moved out to the suburbs.
How young we were, how ignorant, how ready
to think the only history was our own.

And there was a couple who quarreled into the night,
Their voices high, sharp:
nothing is ever entirely
right in the lives of those who love each other.


In that season suddenly our island
Broke out its old sores for all to see.
We saw them too.
We stood there wondering how

the salt horizons and the Dublin hills,
the rivers, table mountains, Viking marshes
we thought we knew
had been made to shiver

into our ancient twelve by fifteen television
which gave them back as gray and grayer tears
and killings, killings, killings,
then moonlight-colored funerals:

nothing we said
not then, not later,
fathomed what it is
is wrong in the lives of those who hate each other.


And if the provenance of memory is
only that—remember, not atone—
and if I can be safe in
the weak spring light in that kitchen, then

why is there another kitchen, spring light
always darkening in it and
a woman whispering to a man
over and over what else could we have done?


We failed our moment or our moment failed us.
The times were grand in size and we were small.
Why do I write that
when I don’t believe it?

We lived our lives, were happy, stayed as one.
Children were born and raised here
and are gone,
including ours.

As for that couple did we ever
find out who they were
and did we want to?
I think we know. I think we always knew.

- Eavan Boland, "Domestic Violence"
to the women who came before me/ to the mamas that safeguarded us in their wombs for months/ to the mamas that walked miles and miles in search of water during drought/ to the women that got married too young/ too afraid/ to the women that got married in old age after a lifetime spent in solitude/ to women too afraid to say no/ to women who said no anyways/ to quiet, unspoken resistance/ to revolution when it is loud and in your face and unapologetic/ to mucooyo who knocked out four of caamir’s teeth when he raised his hand to hit her/ left his mouth bloody and empty so he would think of her everytime he ran his tongue along the inside of his mouth/ to the women who warmed beds they didn’t want to sleep in/ to the women who loved before me/ to the women who loved me/ to the women who’ve known loss and heartache/ to women that watched their men kill and be killed/ to the women who sweat in the sun looking for work/ to all the women who work/ whose work is unseen and unpaid/ to the women who washed clothes under the fiery sun/ who hung clothes on clotheslines to dry/ watched over it so it wouldn’t be stolen/ to the women who held their breasts to young mouths/ who pray for milk and honey/ who have known peace/ who have not known peace/ who dream of peace/ nabad iyo caano/ to the countless women who have raised me/ sheltered me/ prayed for me/ fed me/ clothed me/ taught me/ who have crossed oceans to carry me out of war/ who have cleaned up the blood of our country/ who write poems/ who live poems/ who build and rebuild/ and breathe/ and live/ and resist/ and resist/ and resist/ who taught me to resist/ whose bodies are bridges/ whose backs are bridges/ who have carried the weight of worlds/ and words/ spoken/ and unspoken/ so that i may speak/ so that i may live/ so that i may dream/ and fight/ i love you/ i honor you/ i carry your struggles in my heart/ i carry you all in my heart



isolation makes you profoundly ungrammatical.
the impetus for making yourself intelligible is not there
so everything becomes a delirious monologue.
(look at what happened to ulrike meinhof’s language while she was in solitary confinement)

This is true to my life.

(via )