Fight With Your Words

Don't try. You don’t try. That’s very important: not to try. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. Writing should burst out, without coercion.


I wish that every razor
That ever tried to slip your skin
Would revert back from its cast steel home,
Its cast steel form,
And evaporate in the cold water
That was intended to seal its shape.
There is no such thing as safe,
But fake
E x i s t s
And we are living proof of this.
We’ll never have a…

Mitigating loneliness in an attempt to feel real
I sink down, dead body

Entire cities lay waste for this.

Our tongues have a taste for this.

I can’t say a word that could possibly

ease some of this.

Put your hand, fingers, soul


In between these heavy legs.

Give some sort of recognition to

The skin God spread tightly across

Calcified and broken bones.

My eyes adjust to you calculated nastic movements;

The opening and closing of who you are,

Or who you ought to be.

Cellular mechanisms spit forth an unarbitrated truth:

I cannot stand slumber unless slumber comes next to you.

coming up out of the tar and the gloom

and untold obstacles.

rising up again like some freaky


you are amazed at the strength of your


somewhere, somehow you got an extra

dose of duratbility.

hell, accept it.

you do. you do.

you look in the bathroom


at an idiot’s smile.

you know the luck.

some go down and never come up.

something is being kind to you.

you turn from the mirror and walk back into the


you find a chair, sit down, light a cigar.

back from a thousand wars

you look out from an open door into the


Sibelius plays on your radio.

nothing has been destroyed.

you blow smoke into the black night,

rub a finger behind your left


baby, right now, you’ve got it


too much too little

too fat
too thin
or nobody.

laughter or


strangers with faces like
the backs of
thumb tacks

armies running through
streets of blood
waving winebottles
bayoneting and fucking

an old guy in a cheap room
with a photograph of M. Monroe.

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock

people so tired
either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other
one on one.

the rich are not good to the rich
the poor are not good to the poor.

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big-ass winners

it hasn’t told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place

unspoken to

watering a plant.

people are not good to each other.
people are not good to each other.
people are not good to each other.

I suppose they never will be.
I don’t ask them to be.

but sometimes I think about

the beads will swing
the clouds will cloud
and the killer will behead the child
like taking a bite out of an ice cream cone.

too much
too little

too fat
too thin
or nobody

more haters than lovers.

people are not good to each other.
perhaps if they were
our deaths would not be so sad.

meanwhile I look at young girls
flowers of chance.

there must be a way.

surely there must be a way that we have not yet
thought of.

who put this brain inside of me?

it cries
it demands
it says that there is a chance.

it will not say

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

Ok here’s the point I want to lave here. I don’t need many things. I can live on a very modest budget and I don’t require many material things to make myself feel accomplished. What I want to have is people and conversations. I want to know a lot of people, but mostly I want to have people, if even just one or two, who I can actually talk to whenever I want. I want people that I can burden just slightly with my wild emotions and stupid ideas. I’ve just spent way too long getting a verb into that last sentence too, Microsoft Word pisses me off in that way.

Tonight I fall asleep to dashboard confessional

And I want you to sing it softly with me

And we can both relax and to sleep in ease

In this way we absolve ourselves

We know tomorrow we must dirty ourselves again

It seems like it’s our very souls that gather the dirt

From all of the filth in our worlds

But tonight we lay together clean

There are no concerns

The only things audible to us are our songs

The thoughts on our minds

Now while we fall slowly to sleep

The birds outside are already waking up.

After I wrote this, a friend scrawled on this page, “Yes.” 

And I said, merely to myself, “I wish it could be for a 
different seizure—as with Molly Bloom and her ‘and 
yes I said yes I will Yes.’

It is not a turtle 
hiding in its little green shell. 
It is not a stone 
to pick up and put under your black wing. 
It is not a subway car that is obsolete. 
It is not a lump of coal that you could light. 
It is a dead heart. 
It is inside of me. 
It is a stranger 
yet once it was agreeable, 
opening and closing like a clam. 

What it has cost me you can’t imagine, 
shrinks, priests, lovers, children, husbands, 
friends and all the lot. 
An expensive thing it was to keep going. 
It gave back too. 
Don’t deny it! 
I half wonder if April would bring it back to life? 
A tulip? The first bud? 
But those are just musings on my part, 
the pity one has when one looks at a cadaver. 

How did it die? 
I called it EVIL. 
I said to it, your poems stink like vomit. 
I didn’t stay to hear the last sentence. 
It died on the word EVIL. 
It did it with my tongue. 
The tongue, the Chinese say, 
is like a sharp knife: 
it kills 
without drawing blood.

- Anne Sexton

For Sylvia Plath

O Sylvia, Sylvia, 
with a dead box of stones and spoons, 
with two children, two meteors 
wandering loose in a tiny playroom, 
with your mouth into the sheet, 
into the roofbeam, into the dumb prayer, 
(Sylvia, Sylvia 
where did you go 
after you wrote me 
from Devonshire 
about raising potatoes 
and keeping bees?) 
what did you stand by, 
just how did you lie down into? 
Thief - 
how did you crawl into, 
crawl down alone 
into the death I wanted so badly and for so long, 
the death we said we both outgrew, 
the one we wore on our skinny breasts, 
the one we talked of so often each time 
we downed three extra dry martinis in Boston, 
the death that talked of analysts and cures, 
the death that talked like brides with plots, 
the death we drank to, 
the motives and the quiet deed? 
(In Boston 
the dying 
ride in cabs, 
yes death again, 
that ride home 
with our boy.) 
O Sylvia, I remember the sleepy drummer 
who beat on our eyes with an old story, 
how we wanted to let him come 
like a sadist or a New York fairy 
to do his job, 
a necessity, a window in a wall or a crib, 
and since that time he waited 
under our heart, our cupboard, 
and I see now that we store him up 
year after year, old suicides 
and I know at the news of your death 
a terrible taste for it, like salt, 
(And me, 
me too. 
And now, Sylvia, 
you again 
with death again, 
that ride home 
with our boy.) 
And I say only 
with my arms stretched out into that stone place, 
what is your death 
but an old belonging, 
a mole that fell out 
of one of your poems? 
(O friend, 
while the moon’s bad, 
and the king’s gone, 
and the queen’s at her wit’s end 
the bar fly ought to sing!) 
O tiny mother, 
you too! 
O funny duchess! 
O blonde thing!

-Anne Sexton