I am thinking about ovens today. Heads shaped as timepieces or giant screams smeared into the thickness of a preheated listening circle resembling self-cleaning cooker.
I think back to when I lived in Massachusetts during a summer writing program that allowed me entrance into Smith College for a brief, but rewarding stay. I claimed a bench early on that sat below me each day, sometimes more than once. I thought about carving my name in it–as I tend to do with benches and things I really want to understand better–but I realized my name was not important. I didn’t need to scar another bench to illustrate my attraction to it. So, I sat and thought of her.
Smith College. Northampton, Massachusetts. Land of Sylvia Plath. Or, University in which she placed her tiny poems into the bricks and ivy and school desks.
I thought about her as I walked each day. To and from class. Through bookshops. As I drank my coffee in the mornings (and sometimes afternoons too). I thought about her as I fell in love with a new shape. I thought about her as I reconfigured my voice and purpose.
On March 16th, Sylvia’s son (with poet Ted Hughes) Nicholas Hughes, killed himself. Just like his mom did forty-six years ago and just like his step-mom did almost forty years to the day. I know nothing about this man who lived inside Sylvia for nine months. Who stirred inside her internal fluids while she wrote poetry and felt sorrow. I do know that there is a sadness felt when rope is used to end lives, rather than hold something in place.
I used to want to be just like Sylvia. And Anne (Sexton) and all the beautiful poets that expressed themselves so vividly, yet could not keep themselves from leaving.
I used to think that was how poets were supposed to feel. Sometimes, I still do. But, like the best poetry that creates itself through ink and fingertips, there is so much more to read between the lines.
So, keep creating lines. Singing them. Slinging them. Stretching them through bent fingernails and screamed collarbones. And celebrate creativity when you can. Are there some words inside you right now? As you read this? Write them:______________