Reading Tragedy

Reading Tragedy

Summer prose crated in hope?
      Champagne-aired sinner.

Seething, forced poems?
      Factory-stacked dreams.

Death coming from good health?
      Puritan luxuries, like meals.

May, 2016

This is an erasure poem based on pages 308 and 309 of the 1975, First Edition of Letters Home, by Sylvia Plath (ed. Aurelia Schober Plath). I cobbled together phrases from portions of three separate letters written by Sylvia Plath, took the liberty of rearranging my sections, and added punctuation. Despite this, I think the Sylvia’s spirit remains strong.

I’ll admit to having no idea what this means, but it feels true.

-Josephine
The Poet Obscura

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Under the Light, the Greatest Darkness

Under the Light, the Greatest Darkness

Stop stranger. Where is my friend?
Someone is using his voice
to spit shine wounding syllables.
The grey-white sky brightens –
           even the water sweats in this assault.
Look, look, look! How the light pierces!
I can see all the way,
           selfish grubber,
                all the way into you.

No fun, is it? Even the cheese here is serious;
illumination bitters the gruyere.
I can’t swallow around this rent, this gash,
this sudden attack.
Light penetrates the faults your syllables open,
           blasts us equally.
I mean: Surprise, shrapnel!
A single shard
           exposes shadows
                thickening in your mouth.

This is the weeping season of April,
when even the drought-locked land glisters with tears.
           I, too, glitter in your relentless supernova.
Look, while you can
           diametric expansion, circular spread
           the way raindrops join on a sidewalk.
Overexposed light flays me with truth.
You hold the tangled, lit string
           my intestines in your hands.
Stranger?

May, 2016

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This giddiness, my freedom.

This is not my first blog. These are not my first publications. There is a community of writers and readers who know me by another name.

I stopped writing for some long desert of a time.

When I picked up a pencil again, I was surprised by a compulsion to write poems. I never identified as a poet. In fact, poetry scared me. It felt too raw, too close to exposing intimate experiences. Done right, that is exactly what a poem achieves: exposure of a truth through the manipulation of the metaphysical properties of language. I want and need to participate in the long tradition of portfolio poems. I write just for me. I don’t know if any of of my poems are good in the sense of, “Do they express a truth in such a way as to be recognizable to someone beyond myself?” I do know that each of them is as close to my truth as I am able to get, and using a different name to share those truths frees me from the censorship of wondering how people who know me in the concrete tug and grind of the world will react to those truths. I do not always have pretty things to say. I divine in my wounds the mechanism of my survival. As Josephine St. Vincent, I embody the poet obscura. I thrive in the sanctity of this giddiness, my freedom.

-Josephine St. Vincent,

The Poet Obscura