Mary Angela Douglas


Lives Of The Hunger Artists - Poem by Mary Angela Douglas

'This is my letter to the world'
-Emily Dickinson

'O Jerusalem, stoning the prophets,
how often I would have gathered...'
Jesus Christ

'This living hand, warm and capable'
-John Keats


I am sending you this last letter:
written on snow
by moonlight.

you do not answer
when I ask:
you do not

honor what I honor.
you leave thorns
instead of roses
thinking yourself a
charitable person

you let me starve;
then you expect a feast.

you leave me friendless
then demean my friendlessness to others.
and let me freeze
asking

'why is he/she shaking? '

I am writing this letter
like a bloodless revolution
like a smile, - a simile-
broken in two
by those who abandon with
no conscience

what others died for-
chasing all evictions down
rushing in to steal
whatever's left behind they can

carry off in truckloads

after I'm dead you'll build an
edifice of Criticism
and furnish it like Versailles;
you will live comfortably

pilfering old letters
first drafts scouring
earliest sketchbooks like
kitchenware

munching on the windfall apples
of ghost-written libels
so

here is your fair copy
with no envelope
like a night with no stars
a summer with no breeze
a Heaven with no God-

a gallery with no paintings O
Jerusalem, stoning and stoning
what you'll never understand

yet God Himself is
with me, His starry
hand on my right shoulder:
writing with me in invisible ink

this winter telegram to you O
Jerusalem I only wanted to
tell you how beautiful it could be

to live

mary angela douglas 10 december 2009

Topic(s) of this poem: Poets


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 10, 2009

Poem Edited: Wednesday, July 30, 2014


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