Friday, July 30, 2010

sent by proxy






















sludge

heavy footed slogging
through the front yard.
after this discussion, my feet
sink into the grass as if made
of anchors; i am thrown overboard
to ballast this household with my ankles
bound, drawn down to the ocean
floor with my mouth like a live eel,
working electricity.

darkness
spills like squid ink across my retina,
there is nothing to see but the
phosphorescence of some adaptive
creature; i cannot glow, no matter
how tightly i squeeze my eyes:
there is no getting used to this.

long iron links sway upward.
land dwellers hold court in the ship;
i can hear echoes of your chatter
like sonic booms in the deep.

sand paper skin snatches match lit
heat across my face, something
has come close to biting me in half
and i am sitting with my shackled
hands and feet, holding the boat
in place. the sand snaps like pirrahna,
a thousand hot bites of red plum flesh
rubbed to pinkish sap of sting.

nothing reaches me here.
time stretches across the dark heft
of liquid and against every inch of
my body; i feel the patience of
death breathing open mouthed and
dark around my form. i am
engulfed in the mouth of that whale.

i breathe salt, my skin bubbles with
pustulence. seaweed lashes detach
and ride away in the smooth humming;
teeth give way and coral grows from the
gut of gum; a slick fish flickers in the
dim light of my eye. small scales
run over each other like waves on shore,
disappearing human markings with each
shiny silver curve.

some primordial slimed beast
attaches to my back, the barnacles
find knobby joints to suck, and
i find my nipples aglow with the
green illusion of light. a mermaid
tail smacks my face; i have
become lost to the land of make believe.

no one can hear me here; my mouth
opens, fills with the belly of ocean,
i vomit the scat and chum and the rest
fills my body like a balloon; i pop
as a blowfish and find myself useless
as anchor.

floating
to the calling surface, the

flap of sun on wave front, the sketching
of salt against boat side, the skittering
vocals of gulls, i imagine you will
pull me in, and this will all be over.

seaweed
hair against your chest,

naked and stripped of scale,
you will open my mouth and
hold me as i wretch and heave
and tremble in fury, and i will
never let you send me proxy again

weighing in for what you cannot hold on to.

maggie may ethridge old poem, undated
Elizabeth said...

When is your collection coming out?

yolanda said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhhh-

Hannah Stephenson said...

"No one can hear me here"--would make a fabulous title for your book.

But reading you loud and clear.

Maggie May said...

Hannah you are SO right! i'm saving that.

however the book of poems i collected and have never submitted is titled 'The Pirate Queen', while my novel is ' Agitate My Heart ' (from a Sylvia Plath poem)

Annie said...

Vivid imagery, and stark emotion in this poem, with many great lines, in your own unique voice:

"i am thrown overboard
to ballast this household with my ankles bound"

"i pop
as a blowfish and find myself useless
as anchor.
floating
to the calling surface, the
flap of sun on wave front, the sketching
of salt against boat side, the skittering
vocals of gulls..."

Truly, from the many poems I've seen on your blog, what you've already had published, and from your previous selections, you could collect a volume of poems, and seek publication by a major publisher.

Marion said...

This is a beautiful, otherworldly poem. Amazing!!

Therese said...

Amazing talent. Admiring as always...

jennifer said...

this speaks to me. really great!

Maggie May said...

thank you so much for reading and responding guys. xo

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