Thursday, August 09, 2018

Poet Anya Silver bids farewell with righteous rage

Nicole Cooley wrote a Facebook post about her friend, poet Anya Silver, who died this week. She included a poem by Silver that expresses the anger we feel at the premature death of a loved one. This is the raw anger that we would like to turn loose but don't. We are angry and sad but sad rules out because that is what we feel and what we are expected to feel. If we indulged in the anger that Silver writes about, well, we would upset the others who are equally sad and angry as hell. It is a moment of solemnity, not rage. But rage belongs. Find more of Silver's poems at the Poetry Foundation web site. 

by Anya Silver, 1968-2018
I’d like a long braid to lasso my rage away,
to stand on a stage in a garter belt
and thigh-high boots and stamp my feet
through the floor, like to put my face
right up against someone else’s face and scream
until the scream knocks me to my knees, coughing.
I could become an arsonist, delicious click of the lighter.
Every time someone I love dies, I’d like a diamond
to line the hilt of a dagger, or tip an arrow.
I’d like to shoot the whole God damned universe
through its infinite starry center, and watch it suck
into itself, scattering the suns and galaxies
over each other like a jar of tipped glitter.
Don’t tell me not to be angry. Do you know
how close I am to flinging my whole animal body
at you, how little I care about being hit
back, or spat on, or bruised? Humiliation
means nothing to me. I have nothing to lose.
If you push me off a building, I’ll sing.
I’d jump in front of a bullet if I could.
I’d let someone wring my neck if only
I knew it would hurt God just one bit to watch me die.

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