from HONEY MACHINE (Plath Centos)

Kristy Bowen

These pieces are recompositions derived from Plath's Ariel: The Restored Edition


more terrible than she ever was, red

All night I carpenter a space for the thing I am given.   Spidery, 
unsafe. Wind gagging my mouth with my own blown hair.   I have
fallen a long way, cow heavy and floral.  Made a hole in the hot day,
a vacancy. Here is my honey-machine, it will work without thinking. 
Will you marry it?   Stop crying.   Open your hand.  



Pure acetylene, hard and apart

And I said, I do. All by myself. All the saints blue and your
head on my wall. There was nothing to do with such
beautiful blank, but marry it. Right, like a well done sum. All
gods know is destination. I am 30. All night, I carpenter a
space for the thing I am given. Utterly unasked for. 



There is nothing to do with such beautiful blank, but smooth it--

The blood blooms clean, a cut paper shadow. Whatever these pink things
mean, I break and the mouth black on black, angrily clamoring. Must you
kill what you can?  Six cat eyes in the cellar? A hospital of dolls?  It is
impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole. This is what it
means to be complete, it is horrible.



It is so small, the place I am getting to—

They are hunting the queen. Glowing and coming and going. Is she dead? Is
she sleeping?
  She is very clever, flush on flesh. All gods know is destination --
the little toy wife, the ghastly orchid. Love, I am pure acetylene, hard and
apart and white.   I am the magician’s girl who does not flinch.  O moon
glow, o’ sicko.  I am so stupidly happy.



Whatever these pink things mean

I am so stupidly happy.  I have hung the cave with roses.  The
soul is a bride.  The bees, so slow I hardly know them.  All
night, I carpenter a space for the thing I am given.  I have let
things slip—my night dances, my mathematics.  Love is a
shadow.  I lie and cry after it.



Kristy Bowen’s work has appeared recently in HANDSOME. PAPER DARTS, AND MIDWAY JOURNAL. She is the author of 6 books of poems, including the recent SALVAGE (Black Lawrence Press, 2016) as well as numerous chapbooks, zines, and artist's book projects.

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