A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

Madwoman’s Ghazal
I think I made you up inside my head.—Sylvia Plath

Leslie McGrath

Memory, imagination—it was never a choice. I made you up inside my head.
Comforter, where is your comforting? Hypoallergenic, please. I hide my head.

Your lambs have weaned. Your berries ripen and are picked.
Or wither. Another weather affront rages inside my head.

A young woman: sublime curves housing sublime holes.
An old woman: a couple of creaky knees and a silver head.

To swerve and orbit. To flick black pepper on a fire and make it spark.
To think I once believed in magic. Herr Doktor, it shanghaied my head.

To live in a metaphysical body, to drink deeply from the well of the well.
“Make it a double iced espresso. Black, two sugars,” replied my head.

From the distaff iron lung, the coldwater imaginarium, the copse of silent choirists
the gray fort assembles itself from the landscape I made up inside my head.

Leslie McGrath is a widely published poet, with work appearing recently in Salamander, Slate, and Connecticut Review; in 2004, she won the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, awarded by the journal Nimrod. Her interviews with poets are regularly published in The Writer’s Chronicle. Her first collection of poetry, Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage, was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. McGrath co-edited Reetika Vazirani’s posthumous poetry collection, Radha Says. She teaches creative writing and literature part time at Central Connecticut State University and serves on the board of the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut.


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