Borrowing Anne Sexton’s Attire

Borrowing Anne Sexton?s Attire

I?m thinking of a black dress.

I?m thinking of nakedness.

I?m thinking of becoming an Anne Sexton wannabe who, like a white-trash Marilyn clone, reminds the world of how dead skin is shed as ruthlessly as a poet discarding words for the sake of the rhyme.

I?m thinking of a song, of The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator. Serenading myself till twilight, I drink my whisky neat.

I?m thinking of feet and metre, of dactyls and trochaics, of a villanelle my friend Sylvia stole, the lament we shared.

I?m thinking of a woman?s voice, of bitterness callused by bad choices, bad marriages and bad men.

I?m thinking of a tour, of readings where I wear a red gown and nothing underneath. My cigarette half-cocked, I listen to an inner voice, tender as a girl?s, persuading me to soften my delivery.

I?m thinking of the children I never bore.

I?m thinking of letting go. Not an oven, but a closed garage and a car.

I?m thinking of the other side, of the paradise of having years trickle from my bones until old age has drained me, a borehole drawing off the sap.

I?m thinking of a Massachusetts Pine. Return me to it; bury me amongst its roots.

I?m thinking of a suit, skin-tight as a coffin or a collected works. The Complete Poems: an epitaph. Arriving home. No escape; the end.

'Borrowing Annie Sexton's Attire', from Lost Relatives (Steele Roberts, New Zealand, 2011), ? Siobhan Harvey 2011, used by permission of the author.Poet?s private recording 2011.

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.