Pure? What does it mean?
The tongues of hell
Are dull, dull as the triple
Tongues of dull, fat Cerberus
Who wheezes at the gate. Incapable
Of licking clean
The aguey tendon, the sin, the sin.
The tinder cries.
The indelible smell
Of a snuffed candle!
Love, love, the low smokes roll
From me like Isadora’s scarves, I’m in a fright
One scarf will catch and anchor in the wheel,
Such yellow sullen smokes
Make their own element. They will not rise,
But trundle round the globe
Choking the aged and the meek,
Hothouse baby in its crib,
The ghastly orchid
Hanging its hanging garden in the air,
Radiation turned it white
And killed it in an hour.
Greasing the bodies of adulterers
Like Hiroshima ash and eating in.
The sin. The sin.
Darling, all night
I have been flickering, off, on, off, on.
The sheets grow heavy as a lecher’s kiss.
Three days. Three nights.
Lemon water, chicken
Water, water make me retch.
I am too pure for you or anyone.
Hurts me as the world hurts God. I am a lantern——
My head a moon
Of Japanese paper, my gold beaten skin
Infinitely delicate and infinitely expensive.
Does not my heat astound you! And my light!
All by myself I am a huge camellia
Glowing and coming and going, flush on flush.
I think I am going up,
I think I may rise——
The beads of hot metal fly, and I love, I
Am a pure acetylene
Attended by roses,
By kisses, by cherubim,
By whatever these pink things mean!
Not you, nor him
Nor him, nor him
(My selves dissolving, old whore petticoats)——
BY SYLVIA PLATH
“As an investigator, I have no fixed point of view, no commitment to any theory–my own or anyone else’s. As a matter of fact, I’m completely ready to junk any statement I’ve ever made about any subject if events don’t bear me out, or if I discover it isn’t contributing to an understanding of the problem. The better part of my work on media is actually somewhat like a safe-cracker’s. I don’t know what’s inside; maybe it’s nothing. I just sit down and start to work. I grope, I listen, I test, I accept and discard; I try out different sequences–until the tumblers fall and the doors spring open.”
McLuhan, 1969, Playboy article
I was on a cool podcast called Story Untold, if you want to have a listen.
Image of Louise Bourgeois
Great review from Publisher’s Weekly; check out the full page here.
I’m psyched to have my fiction piece, Skinbound, published in the new CVC: Short Fiction Anthology Series, selected and with a preface by Gloria Vanderbilt. I started this story at McGill in 2008, as part of an alternative assignment for my “Anthropology Beyond the Human” course with Professor Eduardo Kohn, and I am so glad it has finally found a home
It’s been an active two months, with readings and collaborations in Edmonton, Brooklyn, Toronto and Montreal. Many thanks to Le Cagibi, LitFest Edmonton (LitFest Alberta was amazing) and Jacq the Stipper/BIZARRE Bushwick for making it rain (literally!!!!)
If you’re in the Toronto area, east end, I will be doing a reading and interview with Danila Botha Vernon at Dora Keogh Irish Pub from 6-730PM on November 14th. Big shoutout to CHENT for the help @ door/book-sales and intros!