Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ariel: A Biography

Ariel: A Biography

Ariel—A Bio

“a Hammer film poet”
—Philip Larkin, Selected Letters
Faber & Faber, 1992

Some say—I was born
The day the Queen Bee died.
Others say—I was born
The night she was murdered.

“I have a self
To recover—a queen”
—Sylvia Plath, Ariel

Now is the easy time—
There’s nothing really to do.
I whirl around in my MixMaster
I’m addicted to Coffeematic

Poems, percolators, kitchens—
I peruse Ladies Home Journal
Nothing disrupts Domesticity
Not Ted the King of Drones

Just ask Miss Eliot—
And the Boyz of Faber & Faber
I’m the future Lesbos poet
Queen of the Kitchen surreal

My fridge stores clothes—
My dishwasher can cook
My drier makes waffles
Ariel’s gadgets make love!

“Is there any queen
in all of it?”
—Sylvia Plath

You see? I’m alive—
I’m back again, my dears
I was just sleeping, waiting
For my wings of glass.

Now I’m flying again—
More terrible than before
I’m a red comet in the sky
I’ve escaped the mausoleum

I’m back in town again—
My honey-machine still works
I write without remorse now
I’m a long-distance Queen Bee.

The Drones are dead now—
The bees found him out
His waxed lips full of lies
Complexifying his features.

Arrival of the Bee Box

“I am not a Caesar”
—Sylvia Plath

I ordered this new book—
Almost too heavy to read
It’s the coffin of a manikin
Fay Wray back from the dead.

This book is buzzing, dangerous—
One has to read it overnight
There are no windows, closets
No exit once you’re in.

Put your eye to the lines—
Watch the words swarm bees
How can I let them out?
Like a Roman mob, one by one?

Let the honey flow now—
Like maple syrup in the fall
Undo the locks of the wordhoard
The queen bee has arrived.

The Bee Meeting

“Who are these people
at the Bridge?”—Sylvia Plath

I can fly again—
Even tho still rooted in words
They soothe me, armory amour
They fit me snug as a glove.

The bees think it’s over—
But it’s only really just begun
Gullible heads turn away but
My honey-hive virgins thrive.

Born-again in an oven—
I’m the magician’s daughter
Untying my disguises now
What, my dears, do you see?

An unraveling archive—
Humming in the hedgerow?
An Arielesque apparition
Green helmet, sandal-wings?

Lazarus Heights
“For a word or a touch.”
—Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus

An art deco wreck—
Across the street
Lovely Sylviaville.

Built in 1941—
It’s still there
Streamline moderne?

Tall & gaunt—
Such gothic allure
A haunted house!

Campy style—
Small town apartments
It’s aged rather well.

Love those windows—
Lined with glass blocks
Architecture out of place.

Compared with big—
Rotting old mansions
From long ago.

Close to campus—
Young frat boyz now—
Alpha Kappa Lambda.

She was quite surprised—
It’s called Lambda House!
It makes you wonder.

Tres gay the name—
But maybe they don’t know
Who knows these dayz?

Close to campus—
Young frat boyz now—
Alpha Kappa Lambda.

She was quite surprised—
It’s called Lambda House!
It makes you wonder.

Tres gay the name—
But maybe they don’t know
Who knows these dayz?

Art Deco Kitchen

“The big strip tease”
—Sylvia Plath, “Lady
Lazarus,” Ariel

She’s done it again—
She’s got no idea of how
Ariel came her way again.

Her face featureless—
A sort of pale Milky Way
Reincarnation is the way.

Yes, Miss God—
She really simply can’t deny
How nicely it works to mystify.

How can she conjure up—
Déjà vu rules so easily
Yet do it so very dizzily?

Sooner than later—
She’ll takes the elevator
See you later alligator.

She’s much too trashy—
For heaven or hell, my dear
Art deco will just have to do…

Like a cat she seems to—
Have nine lives to hang out
Is that why she doesn’t pout?

What a way to go—
Annihilating every schmoe
It seems so awfully slow.

Fraternity Boyz

“These are my hands
My knees”—Sylvia Plath,
“Lady Lazarus,” Ariel

A million filaments—
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see her.

They unwrap Sylvia—
Not knowing who she is
Or where she came from.

She may be skin & bone—
Or maybe Japanese,
Nevertheless, she’s back.

She’s the same—
Identical woman she was
The first time it happened.

Time twists backward—
Enclosing itself in a seashell
The sea is everywhere.

Lazarus Heights changes—
The Senate House Apartments
Used to be its name.

Now it’s been remodeled—
A fraternity house full of
Young cute ugly frat boyz.

Greek Necessity
“Dying is an art,
like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
—Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus

Do young Greeks—
Read classical literature
Like Oedipus Rex?

Do they know—
About her & what an
Electra complex means?

When she performs—
Ariel at night on the
BBC, was she angry, pissed?

She loved Big Daddy—
And Ted Hughes too
They were both her lovers.

His tragic death—
Commuting back home
In 1967 was so sad.

After that the fraternity—
Died as if the heart of AKL
Ceased to beat alive.

Faber & Faber Cocktail Party

“This is newness—
there’s no getting up
to it by words you know”
—Sylvia Plath,
New Year on Dartmoor

The Faber cocktail party—
Looks rather drab & dreary
There in the dank stairway of
The Faber offices in ancient
Russell Square, London.

Spender looks drunk and
Louis MacNeice can barely
Stand up—while Auden glares
At bored Hughes and prim
Miss Eliot the life of the party.

These are the Poets—
The Closet-Cases of the
Empire & Movers & Shakers
Of the English Language:
The Beowulf Boyz.

Unraveling Archive photos:

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