I'm having a rough day. I don't usually turn to poetry when I'm sad; I'm more of the "watch bad movies and eat candy" type. But today I feel like looking for solace in poetry, even if it's only in the "misery loves company" sense. So: here are some words from poets who seem sad and dark like me today. (I usually hate nature imagery but apparently I like nature when I'm sad? Poems with fish in them are usually melancholy.)
The people are always pilgrims. This is the worst gutter medicine
I've ever taken. I hope it's working
All primitive types gamble away their very circuitry.
But I'm not going to give myself up to anyone but the death fish.
Oh your eyes are flashing again, you terrifying bugger. Maybe I'm going to give it up to you.
You don't want me to do right; or climb the ladder to the money couple
You don't even have decipherable wishes.
- from "Living on Brackish Water" by Alice Notley
In winter my loved one retires,
a fish among fishes, and dumb.
Slave to the waters she ripples
with her fins' gentle motion within,
I stand on the bank and look down
till ice floes drive me away,
her dipping and turning hidden...
It is fog land I have seen,
It is fog heart I have eaten.
- from "Fog Land" by Ingeborg Bachmann
Although the lilac is long dead, the bees still seek its entrance.
In vain, the chilled and resurgent bees.
It's not so much the lilac they want
As subtraction of lilac,
some sumptuous, idyllic door
Unlatching to them its inner and sumptuous rooms.
- from "Saturday Afternoon" by Charles Wright
Night is such a furled feminine thing
around the muscles
of horses, the nettles in their fetlocks,
it is nothing
but the night before and the night after,
uglier. I try to shake them from it, take
their pain away,
they're dirty, I think, I'll make them clean.
It goes cold
again as horsetails lash the air; shadows
in the heart of the field, flooding it, and I flee.
All night long
I see the violent iron frowns of horseshoes.
Someday this pasture
will be pavement. See the barbed wire?
See the weeds?
Once I had a breath I did not breathe.
- from "Slowly, Slowly, Horses" by Julianne Buchsbaum
I saw how the night came,
Came striding like the color of the heavy hemlocks.
I felt afraid.
And I remembered the cry of the peacocks.
- from "Domination of Black" by Wallace Stevens