“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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“Under the Young” — Tom Clark

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“On Acquiring an Encyclopedia” — Jorge Luis Borges

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“Biological Supremacy” — Tom Clark

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“My Literary Career” — Roberto Bolaño

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From The Unknown University, the complete poems of Roberto Bolaño. From New Directions and translated by Laura Healy.

“In the Reading Room of Hell” — Roberto Bolaño

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“The World Is Too Much with Us” — William Wordsworth

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“I Would Like My Love To Die” — Samuel Beckett

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“Gubbinal” — Wallace Stevens

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“Résumé” — Dorothy Parker

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“On a Primitive Canoe” — Claude McKay

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“White Horse” — Charles Olson

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“How to Be Old” — May Swenson

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“Masks” — Ezra Pound

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