The Bell Jar

You’ll Never Get Anywhere
—for Laurie and Desdemona

“You’ll never get
anywhere doing that”
—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

One summer night—I spent some
Time kissing—a hairy Ape from Yale
During a weekend—drive-in movie
He was so ugly—I felt sorry for him
After we finished—he said to me
“You’ll never get anywhere—doing that.”

I felt around—in my pocket
Full of loose change—dimes nickels
Peanut shells—old movie tickets
Until I found it—a Trojan rubber
It looked at me—and said
“You’ll never get anywhere—doing that.”

I climbed into—Marco’s lap
It was soft and comfy—at first
Like Big Daddy’s lap—back home
I loved the way—his eyeballs bulged
Popping-out—like screwed-up nozzles
Uncoiling down his chest—like Mr. Slinky
“You’ll never get anywhere—doing that.”

“What’s your name?”—the sailor asked
It was Sunday—in the San Diego Zoo
Sylvia Higginbottom—I said to him
We kissed—made passionate love in
The Monkey House—mandrills blushed
“You’ll never get anywhere—doing that.”

I thought I’d read—Finnegans Wake
Riverrun—past Eve and Adam’s
Swerving from shore—to bending bay
Strapping on a—commodius vicus
But James Joyce—said to me
“You’ll never get anywhere—doing that.”

I thought of—writing a famous novel
On coffee—and Benzedrine like all
The famous writers—Kerouac & Burroughs
Words oozing like honey—from a comb
A Pulitzer here—maybe a Nobel there
“You’ll never get anywhere—doing that.”

The face in the mirror—looked like shit
I dropped the compact—in my purse
Staring out the train window—junkyards
Colossal dumps—American back alleys
One broken-down dream—after another
“You’ll never get anywhere—doing that.”

A fat ugly—Mr. Sweeney Prufuck
Glanced up from—his Penthouse porno
Dried saliva—smearing his smirky
Rubbery lips—with a snarky smirk
Why do they all—have to look like rabbits?
“You’ll never get anywhere—doing that.”

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