Write Like Hell Won’t Have You

(after Anne Sexton)

There, squatting toads
breath heavy on the furniture,
and all the suicides are eating black beans.

Here, the ghost of Bob Marley gigs down by the train yard
while the homeless boys howl in unison.

There, the sea wears a bell in its navel and gulls kill fish
calling out like three year olds.

Here, broken down race horses stamp behind rotting stalls
while their jockeys eat creole and drink Jack Black.

It’s the same here as there,
except you left something here.

It can’t be killed and hell won’t have it.
But I will.

7 responses to “Write Like Hell Won’t Have You

  1. You have captured well the style of one of my most un-favorite poets.


    • Isn’t it funny how poetry impacts people differently? I count negative reactions as much as positive ones if the reaction is visceral.


  2. This basically rocks… I love it multiplied. I needed to read this.


  3. That’s an interesting point of view, Burt. My assessment of Sexton as a poet has much to do with the politics of the poetry establishment in the Boston area, when I was a young wannabe and the poetry of Sexton, (and Plath) was THE model of what successful poetry by women ought to be. I heard Sexton read, with musical accompaniment, at symphony hall. I liked some of the poems. But I came to reject the romance of brokenness, and the madwoman persona that the graduate school handlers of official poetry were dishing out, and began to see what was seriously wanting in the work of those girls. The reaction to them is more intellectual than visceral.


  4. Sorry about the Burt…I know it’s Burl but my tablet thought it knew better…and I forget to correct the corrector sometimes!


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