Garden Scene
Dead Lover
The Rabbit Catcher
The Daffodil’s Daughter
The Daffodil Dead
The Times Are Dirty
The Painter: Francis Bacon
Flute Notes

Garden Scene

“the furious ghosts nowhere
but in the heads of visitors”
—Sylvia Plath
Unabridged Journal
August 9, 1956

Grub-white worms—
Reddening among daffodils

I’ll go out and sit awhile—
Letting them do their thing

The flowerbed flushed—
With dirty idiot pearls

White bones cannibalized—
Shadows in the flowerbed

A pigeon’s white fantail—
Spreads briefly so pretty

White runny little turds—
Plop down in the dirt

Dead Lover

“Rats, and
smells of rot”
—Sylvia Plath
The Colossus

Their bodies rot—
I can smell it sometimes

Daffodil heads bloom—
Stained linen below

Small ants and grubs—
Lay their eggs, fatten

White is the complexion—
Of the dead lovers

I tire imagining—
Rocks and roots are one

Assia’s pretty face—
Blank socket-eye holes

Dragging Ted down—
He may ripen yet


“her latest suitor”
—Sylvia Plath
The Colossus

I’m a spinster now—
Thank gawd it’s over

The last suitor—
Almost the end of it

Fucking himself dead—
Suddenly a gunshot

Muffled in the bedroom—
The usual lover baby-talk

A pair of lovers—
Rank tumult of loins

The whole affair—
Early on so slovenly

Ted’s gait no more—
Assia’s gone Sluthood


“beast’s furtive
—Sylvia Plath
The Colossus

Ice, snow, rocks—
Scrupulously austere

Each sentiment—
Within its cold realm

Burgeoning, unruly—
Such a vulgar man

My child-idiot husband—
Reeling giddy in bed

Afterwards always—
Withdrawing neatly

Around my house now—
No more insurgent husband

Curse, fist, threat—
His mutinous dead meat

The Rabbit Catcher

“more stink”
—Sylvia Plath
“Mussel Hunter
at Rock Harbor”

The worms, insects—
Fat, fed and plump

While down below—
They croak and wither

Ted and Assia both—
Dissipating tardily

Not a pretty sight—
Their sexy somnolence

But the worms rejoice—
The genius of plenitude

It doesn’t sicken me—
Nor do I lament 


I came to Court Green—
To be a colorful poet

My white bookcases—
My coffin elm desk

Beached by the Taw—
The River of the Dead

A rabbit-huntress—
I snare them both

Fish-bait clumped—
Like bulbs in the spring

I smell them stink—
In the daffodils so sweet


So very silent at—
The edge of the grave

Catered to by worms—
Caressed by teardrops

Sly coffin hinges swing—
Open and shut for them

The wary underworld—
Eyeing me, smiles

Small dirty knobs—
Nudge each other jokingly

Pygmy burrowers—
Inch thru the trenches

All camouflaged—
From prying eyes


Down below grubby—
Sibilant hordes sidle

Guess what they’ve found—
Down there in the mulch?

A grown man in bondage—
With a gargantuan dick

A knight in corduroy—
A moody Yorkshire prick

The Taw retracing its—
Twisty snake-path once again

Obliquely ominously—
Obsequiously back to the sea

But how he itches so—
Badly between his bare toes


Comets pass coolly—
Orbiting overhead

Halley’s Tail puzzles—
Over me down here

Who the crater saw—
What the rubbish said

The fiddler crabs—
Don’t say a thing

A headstrong Yank—
Reclusive witch

An Oriental poet—
Samurai slice & dice

Art for art’s sake—
My Wuthering slight

The Daffodil’s Daughter

“My heart under your foot”
—Sylvia Plath
“The Beekeeper’s Daughter,”

The Colossus

A garden of mutterings—
Black and blue and obscene

The great corollas bruised—
Pealing back their foreskins

A scent of stench almost—
Too strong to stand

Big Daddy maestro of bees—
Under my feet, beneath my nose

The daffodils nod their heads—
The dirt is rich with daddies

Father, Bridegroom

“Father, bridegroom”
—Sylvia Plath
“Beekeeper’s Daughter,”

The Colossus

Strumpet-blooms open wide—
Little yellow boudoirs

Seminal, potent dynasties—
Rise from the fetid flowerbed

Death smells like perfume—
Dark rotting flesh way down there

Busy bees finge the petals above—
While down below it’s just business

Worms wiggle their way—
In and out of Assia’s mouth-hole

And her infernal bridegroom—
Moans the day he met her

The Times Are Dirty

“Unlucky the hero born”
—Sylvia Plath
“The Times are Tidy,”

The Colossus

Unlucky the gigolo stud—
The watchful moors preside

Nature’s rotisserie turns—
Down there of its own accord

There’s no caresses anymore—
For the louche lounge lizard

It’s hazardous business—
To be a poet these days

Ask burnt-out Auden—
Dumped by Chester for Greeks

There’s no honor anymore—
For the living or the dead

Francis Bacon the Painter

“To his house the bodiless
come to barter endlessly”
—Sylvia Plath
“Sculptor,” The Colossus

In his filthy studio—
Crucifixion can be stylish

They’re a dime a dozen—
Just ask Miss Picasso

His gilded gutter—
Overflows with Velazquez

Glutted with blood & sperm—
Just ask George Dyer

Pope Innocent X—
Isn’t so very innocent

Sylvia ogled at them—
At the Tate sideshow

Flesh Flute Notes

“the lily root”
—Sylvia Plath
“Flute Notes from
a Reedy Pond,”

The Colossus

A chill sifts downward—
Layer after layer of dirt

Down in the bowels—
Of Ted’s lily roots

His writhing goodlooks—
Much for the worse

The eye of the sky—
Is now a dark asshole

His movie star goodlooks—
Fugitives of indolence

Worms and nymphs—
Feasting on him long ago

All things eventually—
Sink and stink real bad

Ted’s hawk and his wolf—
His pike and his fox gone

Tongued sweet lyrics—
Now Golgotha glutted

Poet laureate badboy—
The Order of Merit man

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