Going all the way with it

Head bowed at the desk.
Stop talking. You’re no longer special.
Notebook in hand. Rilke and Hemingway
In my head. Always in my head.
Their empires have become mine.
Their knowledge has become mine.
What masters of observation, lessons, intimacy.
Their breath has become my breath.
They cut me with their small details
Because they were both tough in their own way.
I wonder what they thought of the feminine writer.

The female poet suffered too.
They sowed brave seeds and planted weather.
She discovered that clay was grand.
And having a husband and children too.
These poets they feel things. They see things.
They are prophets and chefs too.
Memorising recipes in the kitchen.
And their words come to them in whispers, mother-tongue.
Men of that generation thought it was strange
For a woman to write, to have that kind of knowledge.
And if women were not brave enough they gave it all up.

Stupid stars how I love them.
How I love to worship them.
Diamonds that are broken off into pieces.
What is poverty anyway? It is not a crime.
I don’t want love, any of it and that is the truth.
I don’t want to be worshipped or admired.
And that is also the truth. Ship the news off.
Insomnia means nothing and everything to me.
In youth, perhaps I was more beautiful then
Than I am now. Now I live with regret.
And it is bitter like thoughts of suicide.

Watching someone bleeding to death is a horrible bore.
Or even in the sight of yourself in the eyes of someone you love.
Can I get anything useful from it I ask myself?
Here bleeding is a metaphor for such is war and battles.
The written word, love at first magical sight.
Loneliness, morning, waking up alone, the sight of a lake
No people swimming in it or on it in sight. No beasts about.
And when you remember and when you remember not to forget.
There was no fish on Easter Sunday. Daddy was very upset, sad even.
After leaving Mr Hughes there was nothing left of me.
But love can do that to you.

Abigail George is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated South African essayist, poet, short story writer, and novelist.

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