Sunday, December 27, 2015


I'm 19
and up to my knees in vinyl

looking for Dylan
to smudge this place with grace

and baptize me
in the melodies of denial -

convince me that there's virtue
in all pain

and that the poet's way
is to bleed and pray
till the bottleneck breaks.

I'm 19
with Kerouac and a Bible

looking for some scripture
for the stone

I've knotted to my ankle -
it's a Woolf revival.

I'd do Plath,
but the goddamn oven's broke.

Ain't it the poet's way
to bleed and pray
till a bottleneck breaks?

Revisiting A Word with Laurie for Play It Again at Real Toads.


Gail said...

You write what I would if I could.

Susan said...

Absolutely--when we're 19 and haven't discovered moderation. Ironic that such LIFE leads to the end of life.

Sioux said...

I love the Woolf instead of Plath because of a broken oven bit...

We were all 19 once...

Isadora Gruye said...

It's brave work to revisit ourselves at 19, and here you have done just that with a careful, wise wit. I find it interesting the tone the narrator takes toward the younger character of the poem, it's not judgmental, but more understanding that in order to be, they must first be 19. Lovely piece, MZ!!!

Outlawyer said...

Ha. Yes. We do want a bottle neck to break. All kinds of ways and help--and those sources all are great but hard--lots of different bottles and necks! Thanks, MZ--for energy and inspiration--k.

Sylvia K said...

Ah, I can always depend on you to say what I can't -- or am afraid to!! Thank you and have a great new year, MZ!!

Jim said...

Two wannabe poets, young, ambitious, and on different paths. Cooking up a Plath makes me sad. She was my generation.

angieinspired said...

Dylan, Kerouac, and Plath? Triple good.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Your refrain is particularly poignant when juxtaposed with the names of artists who experienced that 'bottleneck' in one way or another. All art requires some sacrifice of self, I believe. This is certainly not something one is ready for at 19.

Fireblossom said...

Yes, it is. You were way ahead of me....I didn't start reading Kerouac until i was 20!

Ostensible Truth said...

oh this hit, I started writing properly around 19, not particularly long ago in terms of years but it feels a lifetime away in experience. 19 with Plath and Ginsberg, Kerouac came a little later.

What a refrain:

and that the poet's way
is to bleed and pray
till the bottleneck breaks.

Marion said...

Aren't you sick of me writing, "AMAZING"?! Well, it is. You write what I wish I could have lived in this one. I was married over a year and had a baby at clueless about life!!! Sigh...hindsight is so freaking clear, isn't it? I hope you had a Merry Christmas, MZ & keep on scribbling in the new year... Love & Hugs!!! xo

Bekkie Sanchez said...

Just thinking about being 19 again and listening to vinyl fits right in with New Years and this write. Awesome!

grapeling said...

i'm so far from 19 that I can't remember 30... ~

Margaret said...

Another "slam dunk". You are amazing... one of my favorite poets for sure. " baptize me
in the melodies of denial" Wowzers.