Write Like Hell Won’t Have You

(for Anne Sexton)

Where you are, squatting toads
breath heavy on the furniture
and all the suicides are eating black beans

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

It’s the same here, except you left something
Apparently 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!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s