Night-life. Letters, journals, bourbon
sloshed in the glass. Poems crucified on the wall,
dissected, their bird-wings severed
like trophies. No one lives in this room
without living through some kind of crisis.
No one lives in this room
without confronting the whiteness of the wall
behind the poems, planks of books,
photographs of dead heroines.
Without contemplating last and late
the true nature of poetry. The drive
to connect. The dream of a common language.
from "Origins and History of Consciousness", Adrienne Rich
Today I was reading about Marie Curie: she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness her body bombarded for years by the element she had purified It seems she denied to the end the source of the cataracts on her eyes the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil She died a famous woman denying her wounds denying her wounds came from the same source as her power
-- from "Power" by Adrienne Rich
I approach this love
like a biologist
pulling on my rubber
gloves & white labcoat
You flee from it
like an escaped political
prisoner, and no wonder.
You held out your hand
I took your fingerprints
You asked for love
I gave you only descriptions
Please die I said
so I can write about it
-- from "Their Attitudes Differ" by Margaret Atwood.