Annie Easily Unraveled

Pages rubbed away from my past,

a deft yearning to pick the correct thrust . . .

it matters greatly that I assume

a proper elegance, because any lie

can be acceptable if delivered

with a respectable decorum.


And pages always swirled down

the pathways of my life; I now understand

the only control I possess means sorting and re-sorting the past, those multicolored leaves meant

to decorate the various trails through history.


How does one construct an argument

uttered so precisely it will propound

the annals of correct acts by human beings?

This remains my obsession, perhaps my undoing,

as women like me can be easily unraveled

by the pheromone desire to survive into other centuries.


So if words can be slingshotted like tiny satellites

far into the future, carrying some cryptic pictogram

of the true intentions of the human race—

all our millions of desires simplified into a few

respectable drawings on newly discovered metal

alloys – if words can truly do this for me,


than it’s worth any effort

to elegantly pick through all these pages

and try to place some distinct order

on how I want to be remembered

in the teeming with all the other aspirants.

I suspect my ledger still balances favorably,

regardless of my current understanding.

Anne Sexton (1928-1974) was an American poet known for her unadulterated chronicling of intimate and socially taboo subjects.  She won the Pulitzer in 1967 for “Love or Die,” and gave her answer to that title in 1974 with her death by her own hand. She once wrote of frequent drinking dates at the Ritz with Sylvia Plath: “Often, very often, Sylvia and I would talk at length about our first suicides; at length, in detail, and in depth between the free potato chips. Suicide is, after all, the opposite of a poem.”

Anne Sexton Quotes:

Live or die, But don’t poison everything.

Well, one gets out of bed and the planets dont always hiss or muck up the day, each day.

The beautiful feeling after writing a poem is on the whole better even than after sex, and that’s saying a lot.

It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.

I cannot promise very much. I give you the images I know. Lie still with me and watch. We laugh and we touch. I promise you love. Time will not take that away.



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