“The Witch’s Life” — Anne Sexton

“The Witch’s Life” by Anne Sexton

When I was a child
there was an old woman in our neighborhood whom we called The Witch.
All day she peered from her second story
window
from behind the wrinkled curtains
and sometimes she would open the window
and yell: Get out of my life!
She had hair like kelp
and a voice like a boulder.

I think of her sometimes now
and wonder if I am becoming her.
My shoes turn up like a jester’s.
Clumps of my hair, as I write this,
curl up individually like toes.
I am shoveling the children out,
scoop after scoop.
Only my books anoint me,
and a few friends,
those who reach into my veins.
Maybe I am becoming a hermit,
opening the door for only
a few special animals?
Maybe my skull is too crowded
and it has no opening through which
to feed it soup?
Maybe I have plugged up my sockets
to keep the gods in?
Maybe, although my heart
is a kitten of butter,
I am blowing it up like a zeppelin.
Yes. It is the witch’s life,
climbing the primordial climb,
a dream within a dream,
then sitting here
holding a basket of fire.

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“Written on the Blank Space of a Leaf at the End of Chaucer’s Tale of ‘The Floure and the Lefe'” — John Keats

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“Under the Young” — Tom Clark

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The dark patches fall (Walt Whitman)

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“The Motive for Metaphor” — Wallace Stevens

“The Motive for Metaphor”

by

Wallace Stevens

You like it under the trees in autumn,
Because everything is half dead.
The wind moves like a cripple among the leaves
And repeats words without meaning.

In the same way, you were happy in spring,
With the half colors of quarter-things,
The slightly brighter sky, the melting clouds,
The single bird, the obscure moon–

The obscure moon lighting an obscure world
Of things that would never be quite expressed,
Where you yourself were not quite yourself,
And did not want nor have to be,

Desiring the exhilarations of changes:
The motive for metaphor, shrinking from
The weight of primary noon,
The A B C of being,

The ruddy temper, the hammer
Of red and blue, the hard sound–
Steel against intimation–the sharp flash,
The vital, arrogant, fatal, dominant X.

 

“Biological Supremacy” — Tom Clark

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“(pentagram)” — Gilbert Sorrentino

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“John Dillinger and Le Chasseur Maudit” — Charles Bukoswki

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“To Whoever Is Reading Me” — Jorge Luis Borges

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“The Mockingbird” — Charles Bukowski

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“Good God, What a Night That Was” — Petronius

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“The Birds” — William Carlos Williams

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“A Poem to Read in August” — Gilbert Sorrentino

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“A Postcard from the Volcano” — Wallace Stevens

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