Saturday, April 12, 2014

Poem a Day:12



Mary Shelley wakes from a dream, from looking
in the ugly mirror of a pair of horrifying yellow eyes,

from a dream of Science's frightening future -- a
souped-up, tricked-out world spinning through

crazy space into the infinite, where fathers give
birth and run screaming from their sons --

and scribbles Frankenstein in a fever dream, a
sweaty afterbirth, swaying in Swiss firelight, hunched

over a stack of curling papers, ink dripping
black blood onto her stained sleeve, while Percy

runs away over the glaciers with Byron, leaving her
with a sickly son, a dead daughter, and the challenge

(one he probably doesn't think she'll meet) to out-
write them all. She must prove herself to her not-

yet-husband, and to her rejecting father, and to
her famous dead mother. She must prove herself

worthy of their absent love. No wonder, then,
that when she looks into her soul's black mirror

she gives birth to the creature: her alter-ego,
a moving mass of dead bodies, an "abortion"

who grows up overnight and who asks for just
a crumb of the love he sees all around him.

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