Friday, September 18, 2009

Poetry Friday -- Voodoo Doll

This poem is not unlike a voodoo doll.
See how I seek the form: I croon and coo
caressingly to it, to you. I call
it by your name. I think it looks like you.

How do you like your likeness? Is it apt?
Not flattering, unfair perhaps a hint
of malice in the lines? I have you trapped
at last: in ink, perhaps someday in print.

I knead my memories of you into the page --
such memories I have of you, my friend! --
long-simmered in my helplessness and rage,
which until now I lacked the means to end.

No matter where you go, you'll feel the twinge,
the pinch, the bite, the burn of my revenge.

From sometime in the late 70s. I'd been reading Sylvia Plath again, and was trying to get some of her fury into my own work. But it wasn't completely sincere -- more trying on the anger, to see if saying these things would let me know that I felt them. I found I didn't, and the poem ends up being hollow because of it. Still, I think it turned out well technically, and maybe some other person might find that it expressed his or her feelings more than it expressed mine.