Medusa Witches

“Your moon was
full of women”
—Ted Hughes
Birthday Letters

My night-ride moon—
Full of Medusa witches

Dark fairy godmothers—
Making and remaking me

Prouty turned me into—
Another Stella Dallas

Took me under her wing—
Taught me how to ride

Ride the daring broomstick—
High up in the dark sky

Beutscher dismembered—
And resurrected me

Glued me back together—
And got me through Smith

Mary Ellen Chase got me—
Back to New England again

Pulling me away from—
That moody Mytholmroyd man

All my Medusa mothers—
If I’d only listened to them

Negritude nightshade angels—
Knowing what men were like

Daddy was dead but then—
A new Daddy got resurrected

I was a sucker for Nazi thugs—
I had the hots for Panzer pricks

My marriage was a nightmare—
My Fulbright a total failure

Midnight Ariel night journey—
Turning into a Caliban nightmare

Poetry’s blood-jet turning into—
A jizz-jet male Hammer film

The women knew I was doomed—
I’d end up in Sapphic tragedy

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