Professing * Reflecting

Friday, October 19, 2012

Poetry Friday, Sylvia Plath

Spinster

Now this particular girl
During a ceremonious April walk
With her latest suitor
Found herself, of a sudden, intolerably struck
By a birds' irregular babel
And the leaves' litter.

By this tumult, afflicted, she
Observed her lover's gestures unbalance the air,
His gait stray uneven
Through a rank wilderness of fern and flower.
She judged petals in disarray,
The whole season, sloven.

How she longed for winter then!--
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock, each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline.
Exact as a snowflake.

But here--a burgeoning
Unruly enough to pitch her five queenly wits
Into vulger motley--
A treason not to be borne. Let idiots
Reel giddy in bedlam spring:
She withdrew neatly.

And round her house she set
Such a barricade of barb and check
Against mutinous weather
As no mere insurgent man could hope to break
With curse, fist, threat
Or love, either. 

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Status updates I would post on Facebook if I were not self-conscious about being a maudlin bore

Medusa hides in surfaces.

Medusa pays her karmic debts.

Medusa keeps setting her dead father's watch to Eastern Standard Time and it always always goes back one hour within a day. It keeps perfect Central Standard Time. Only.

Medusa will always have not Paris.

Medusa at the very least showed up for this one.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Farms in Arizona

Farms in Arizona? Did I ask that question before, during, or after the dream? I found her, that was certain. My mother waiting in a 1960s car, in 1960s clothes. (How Freudian. How Atwood.) Her, there, waiting--hat, patent leather bag, white gloves--waiting in antiquated, animated impatience. But I was there and I could drive her through the gate. But I had to open that gate, that gate that kept closing. And it was hot, the end of a summer day, sun low over the fields. Farms in Arizona?

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

On bailing

In perverse honor of Valentine's Day, I am thinking about people who bail, who run, who seemingly abandon the people they love right at the very moments those people need them most. You know the idea that in times of crisis you learn who your real friends are? It is completely flawed. People run. People shut their eyes and their hearts and run as fast as they can from your pain. And this is precisely because that person who runs as fast as she possibly can run loves you and cannot bear your pain any more than you can. Our ideas about loyalty and responsibility and sticking by those we love are largely bullshit.

It takes a certain kind of relationship or a certain kind of person to stay. I stay by my father's side during his illness because he is my father and because my very being--whatever that being is, emotions or bones--breaks at the idea of him being in pain and alone. The person who sticks by my side through this, though, can only be a person (I truly believe) who has been through this and who furthermore knows what to do. The person who loves me and who witnesses this kind of pain in me and has no experience with seeing a very close loved one suffering and dying, maybe that person runs for her life. To survive. To breathe. To laugh. To live. To stave off this kind of knowledge. Who can understand human suffering? Who can try to understand it and not go insane?

I am no longer trying to understand my father's suffering. I am just trying to be there to witness it. To be with him so that he is not alone in it. And I am also beginning to understand why someone would bail out on being a witness to my witnessing. The idea that she would stay if she loved me? It's bullshit. I am angry and hurt and I feel alone, but I believe in the beauty of bailing and the love that may or may not be behind it. I do. Run and breathe and laugh and love and live. Bail.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wow

This is . . . wow.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

This week's wardrobe inspired by rage

I am enraged about most things most of the time these days. Enraged. I am not at all comfortable with rage. Sure, I am happy to rage against the hegemonic machine on a daily basis and to recruit others to do the same. But rage against circumstances in my life that I cannot control--illness, loss, separation, watching people I love suffer and others disappear entirely--this rage is unbearable and I do not know what to do with it.

So what do I do? Mostly I withdraw.  Also, though, I comfort those I can when I can. I teach. I do my work. I listen to a lot of music.  I think about falling in love, being in love. I think about being in Paris.  I look at pretty pictures and I play dress-up.

For you, a song I listen to every day these days and some lovely pictures of people I am trying to look like these days.









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Monday, October 05, 2009

Well hello there

The tenure year turned out to be the year that I abandoned the blog completely. But I miss it! I am thinking of revamping the blog or perhaps starting a new one.

I am still most definitely Dr. Medusa, but this description--A single assistant professor with a tenure-track job in the humanities, a Southern family, a 900-square-foot garret perched atop a crowded American city, and a renegade gaze aimed at books, booze, bassists, movies, making out, style sweet style, teaching, tenure, writing, and all things narcissistic--needs some tweaking. While I am still happily perched in my Northern garret most of the time, The Someone and I are living a split Mason-Dixon existence between two crowded American cities. And I am no longer an assistant professor!!!! OMG. Tenure. Whoa. It still has not sunk in completely, but some things were just immediately different. In some ways, I didn't have to process the difference for a moment and I hit the tenure ground running.

My most important news to share: my father, who has been desperately ill, is doing much better and the prognosis is hopeful. I was able to spend an entire summer with him. It was a terribly difficult time but an amazing time and at moments just lovely and simple and joyful.

So I'm back and planning to be back, in some form, for a good long while.

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