the poet wife

poet wife

…for you have been
a poet wife
and slept beside a shadow. For you have clutched
the poet’s claw stained by ink
and cheap tobacco
for you have kept the poet’s hearth in a mansion
in the ghetto, for you have heard
the poet’s wail
its piecing, keening echo.

for you have been
a poet wife
and kissed lips where form lies’ cancers. You have sat
in the poet’s rooms where lust
stalks you like a panther
Why, you have played the poet’s whore in the
service of a gangster and you have played
the poet’s whip to his
cadaverous midnight ramble.

for you have been
a poet wife
and fed yourself with forage. While you have bared
the poet’s mark, a tattoo
scratched in prison shoe polish
for you have been the poet’s faith betrayed and
too little acknowledged, you have dealt and borne
the poet’s pain
that vital, silent bondage.

for you have been
a poet wife and tried
to steer the purblind. Yes, you have been the poet’s path,
his light on the
Georgia shoreline
for you have been the poet’s truth, the pure breath
in the bloodline. And you have been
the poet’s letter
from home, sent during wartime.

This entry was published on 04/06/2013 at 2:32 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

47 thoughts on “the poet wife

  1. Pingback: Straightforward Poems for Straightforward People | tarnation and eudemonia

  2. Wow. Wow. This really took me… Thank you.

  3. whiteladyinthehood on said:

    Awesome, Seb! Really liked this line: the poet’s mark, a tattoo
    scratched in prison shoe polish

  4. Deliberately Delicious on said:

    I love that last stanza, Seb….

  5. isiscambassassassassian on said:

    Goddam it, Sebbie. You leave us wait and wait and then you make it all worthwhile.

  6. as considerations, reads like an epitaph – though if as a proposal (“dealt and born”) reads like the reluctant encore to quiet the cheers of a 2nd or 3rd curtain call. Visions of an iron lung and awards to come…, – sparkling and flavorful

  7. A lovely love poem.

  8. A relationship viewed from all angles… Love it. The last line took me by surprise a little (in a good way) given all that had gone before it.

  9. I wish I could write love poems. Or someone would write me love poems.

  10. apacketofchipsontheceiling on said:

    What a wonderful tribute.

  11. tim113 on said:

    So good to have you back. And what a gorgeous poem – so soulful.

  12. 😉

    for you have been the poet’s wife
    paid with bread and butter
    fed on rhyming wishes –
    and rocked yourself to bed

  13. I agree with the comment above – the rhyme here is well hidden and knotty but works more than satisfactorily.

  14. NotResponsibleAmy on said:

    A few things –

    This seems to have a remarkably open ending to it….
    In your little picture collage up top (which I usually pay no attention to whatsoever, btw) the second pictograph is a redhead, which makes me wonder did Dan finally get her love poem, which makes me wonder about the remarkably open ending….

  15. Anonymous on said:

    If I could conjure one word to describe this poet’s wife, it would be… essential.

    signed: Myke

  16. Just when I thought my inspiration had vanished forever, you put up and light a new fire under it.

  17. What a lovely poem Seb. Really enjoyed reading it.

  18. thatbiatch1982 on said:

    You’ve been a way but your voice is still strong.

  19. I can see it two fold here. but the poet’s wife can certainly be the word and it makes for great bondage.

  20. JackieP on said:

    I am not a poet, most times I don’t understand poetry. You make sense to me. Nice to see you are still alive and writing Seb

  21. Yaz on said:

    Excellent, Seb. Your stuff really is worth waiting for!

  22. Are you praising her or blaming her? Either way, her pain is fascinating and her persecutor a monster.

  23. I wish there were something left for me to say after all this 🙂
    I read it a couple of times before coming down here.
    Your poems give me another view of another world and that I find invaluable. … and as all your friends have said upstairs, good to have you back!

  24. maiseylou on said:

    This is moving to into some dark, unmapped emotional territory, the cloudy realm of debt.

  25. nataliekosta on said:

    How can it just end like that?

  26. lenewithstyle on said:

    She is knowledgeable yet eternal. Nice.

  27. I’d marry ya, Seb. You’re cute as hell.

  28. The complexities of debt and worship are really laid open here – they aren’t resolved because, face it, how can you – but the acknowledgement of their existence is the key step.

  29. I always enjoy coming to your poems because I always find it’s more than just artfully crafted words at work – there’s always some kind of hook are little trick to make it more than words – in this case, the rather chilling and hopeless ending. Will she ever have her poet husband home?

  30. parliamentaryowl on said:

    Breathtaking stuff, Seb.

  31. lovely poem, Seb. Needs a little editing for grammar and typos – but really beautiful. You have a surprising way of splicing lines which adds to the impact.

  32. Been there, done that 😉

  33. I think it is interesting to compare this “wife” with your other wives – God’s wife, The protagonist from “My Wife” and even the woman in “the Baltimore Husband”. This one seems to have the happiest lot in life. It’s not a lot, being Lot’s wife.

  34. highshelfbooze on said:

    Cosmic, man.

  35. liverloverlass on said:

    That’s taking it to your highest level, Seb. Wonderful!

  36. Excellent!

  37. You serve the poem sweetly.

  38. Now we’re getting somewhere…

  39. Baron Von Nachos on said:

    You have been really needy in the poems lately – noticed that? Not like you at all.

  40. So open, so honest – such yearning.

  41. Your closing lines are perfection!

  42. serpentine in rhythm
    cataclysm, naked tango
    with your drop and crash of words
    of worlds
    (the bodies with their roles)
    are only souls with minds entangled
    upon the poet’s lot
    proportioned and precisioned
    strikes and leaves us
    where and how
    you’ve cleaved us

    …Perfection, in your work.

  43. It’s really beautiful, it touch me 🙂

  44. Bravo. Seldom do I come across poetry so complete in all aspects, nowadays. The need for the poet’s wife to show up in so many countless manifestations is but a microcosm of how each one of us negotiates life.

    As the poet’s wife shows up in different ways in keeping with the circumstances, she reminds me of the numerous masks which we wear in life. You may wish to read my post,
    “The Mask.”


  45. Lots of rhythm, soft and harsh words. I can imagine Leonard Cohen vocalizing this piece.

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