Sometimes I battened my talent down,
like a woman hiding a pregnancy.
But in that cold house where I could see
the breath in front of my face,
Ariel demanded to be born.
And in the blue mood of early morning
my children sleeping in another room,
I communed with my disquieting muse.
so cunning, so full of trickery.
A volcano of poetry erupted,
and she sucked me down
into the dizzying red of creation.
My clever Thought Fox had been cheating,
eating my excellent cooking,
calling his mistress on the phone,
While I built my false Nirvana.
New baby, end of marriage.
I was losing my milk,
feared I would lose my mind.
This world made a meal of me,
but I triumphed anyway.
Cooked the books,
gave the world a bellyache.
I was a witch by then,
living on air.
The icy glitter of my despair,
caught the light on the way down.
Poem after poem spilling on to the page,
waiting in my study like unexploded bombs,
while I lay my head on a towel in the oven,
(so clean, so industrious, so efficient),
and the gas filled my lungs.
It was a scientific decision;
science always made me panic.
It reminded me of my father.
The moon looked down.
She gave no sign and I, myself,
had never expected help from that
Later the Thought Fox tore some
pages out of my journals.
I should have burned them.
Eaten the ashes.
I killed the Good Girl,
in that freezing house;
left my children cups of milk.
Then I left my body and travelled down to
the sea floor,
where my crippled father lived.
The tall girl who swam out to sea
but could not drown,
was breathing water at last.
Under a shimmering, seaweed sky.