Monday, September 16, 2013

Wuthering Sleights


Young Heathcliff
Hareton Earnshaw
Wuthering Slights
Moors Crossing
Spending the Night
Mytholmroyd Romance
Stormy Weather
Haunted Heathcliff 
Young Giant
The Moors
The Boar

Young Heathcliff

“He is a dark-skinned
gipsy in aspect”
—Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights

Stephen Jones my landlord—
Was much younger than I thought

I was immediately attracted—
By his sullen bleak eyes

Gazing darkly suspiciously from—
His moody brows as he rode up

A perfect misanthrope like me—
Desolate as the Plains can be

Flint Hills so tres engulfing—
A vast sea surrounding us all about

The Bay of the Dead all around—
Me as Our Lady of the Shipwrecked

The cliff’s edged bare bones—
Admonitory Druid monoliths leering

Here and there on the stony hulk—
Tall grasses begrudgingly bent below

Hareton Earnshaw

“crumbling griffins and
shameless little boys”
—Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights

The power of the North Wind—
Gave Wuthering Sleights its name

The wind was blowing all the time—
Slanting thru some stunted firs

Gaunt thorn bushes clawing—
Clinging to the forbidden mansion

The windows were narrow—
Deeply set in the brooding walls

Jutting stones defended the corners—
The door a massive thick slab of oak

It was more like a wrecked ship—
All it needed was sharp whitecap waves


“this was land’s end”
—Sylvia Path

This was land’s end surely—
A cliff overlooking a black sea

All around the boulder tonnage—
Knuckled, rheumatic, gnarled

It was a gloomy dump—
Left over from an old, messy time

But the rock-pile didn’t budge—
It hid its grudges discontentedly

How did this young Southern Belle—
End up here in this ruined estate?

The doom-dreary wrecked past—
Tomb of dead resurrected souls

I’d married the young landlord—
I lived in his Hall of the Undead

Wuthering Slights

“rooks croak above 
the appalling ruins”
—Sylvia Plath
“Conversation Among
the Ruins”

Through the grim portico—
Of the grim elegant mansion

Ruins, black shadows—
Creeping thru a castle

Bankrupt estate—
Forgotten winter landscapes

A single Cyclops-eye—
Staring down from the moon

A brooding Dixie girl—
Alone in such a bleak place

Moors Crossing

“storm-struck deck”
—Sylvia Plath
“Channel Crossing

Each window shuddered—
The shock of the wind

Cleaving the house—
Waves, a stubborn hull

The stone ship—
Moving standing still

Rock-haven harbored—
Straining high above

Quirky sullen smirk—
Its mock-heroic pose

Studying me to see—
How long I’d last here

Spending the Night

“chalk cliffs blanched”
—Sylvia Plath
“Channel Crossing”

Too stormy to leave—
Cloaked in Kansas awe

Sitting by the fire—
Rackety flux outside

Blasts of icy wind—
Freezing onslaught storm

Sipping wine quietly—
Listening in frightened awe

Why would anybody—
Prefer such stark violence?

Bleak stark estate—
Ransacked and forsaken

Keeping such strange—
Unsaid secrets here

My husband Heathcliff—
Smiles as I walk the plank

Mytholmroyd Romance

“tottering banners”
—Sylvia Plath
“The Snowman on the Moor”

Struggling nonchalance—
Wrestling with angels

How was I to know—
My young husband grieved

He sized me up gravely—
A peacock-feathered fop

Not used to Kansas gloom—
Nor sullen, moody prairies

Stuck here my whole life—
Ending up in my room

Fitfully sleeping thru nights—
Branches rattling the window

Attracted and yet repelled—
Are all Cattlemen this way?

Stormy Weather

“She shied sideways”
—Sylvia Plath
“The Snowman on the Moor”

Stalemated by the plains—
“Come find Me” she taunted

Who was she in my dream?—
Stuck on the grim windowsill

Standing, haunting me—
Gaunt, winter-beheaded daisies

Stephen Jones warned me—
Without much polite goodwill

Not to pay attention to her—
Just a ghost of the dark night

The wind-harrowed night—
The weltering wind agreed

She had access to the plains—
Heathcliff nursing his rage

Haunted Heathcliff

“subdue an unruly man”
—Sylvia Plath
“The Snowman on the Moor”

A fire-blurting, volcano-hot—
Fork-tongued demon man

Above marble snow-heap plains—
Stone-hatcheted so very proud

Iron thighs, grisly-thewed—
Cowboy spur and knot

Moody face, smirky look—
Cynical, smoking his cigar

Dangling spike-studded belt—
Rich rancher and banker

Owned most of Strong City—
As well as The Flint Hills

Meanwhile the blizzard—
Turned into nightlong tryst

I tried to shy away sideways—
But it was already too late

The Plains

“a white fizz!”
—Sylvia Plath
“The Snowman on the Moor”

Throughout the dark night—
I withstood the dour assaults

The now-flowing wind—
His hard rough Texas lips

His root firmly-fixed deep—
His crudeness, his cruelty 

Each time another ruin—
His obscene Rod of Aaron mine

Cast down Pharaoh’s staircase—
It was like some cattle-drive

Remembering the magnolias—
Of lowland Alabama days

My Southern Belle maiden youth—
My shrewd secret landlord man

The Boar 

—Sylvia Plath

Gawd how he was endowed—
With a Giant Heathcliff Hog

Impounded from public stare—
Prize of the porky pig show

My bedroom lantern-lit shock—
Coming thru the sunken sty door

I gaped and gasped—
No delicate blue china lips

Glorified prime male flesh—
Mire-smirched, blowzy

Groping me his Snout-cruise—
His vast Brobdingnag boner

His slutty ogling eyes agog—
Prodigious haughty Hoghood 

Stomaching no constraint—
Proceeding to swill and slops

Stephen Jones and I—
Happy husband and wife


“stone-built town”
—Sylvia Plath
“Hardcastle Crags”

Flint-like my high heels—
Striking up a racket of echoes

Down the steely street—
Moon-blue rooks in the alleys

Stone-built town there—
Tireless, tied to Western past

Tracing Strong City’s roots—
Its Railroad-Cattle Wounds

Down the fissured valley—
Santa Fe tracks to Kansas City

Lost lusts under his boots—
The dream-people Town slept

Nothing dwelt in the town—
Equal to his moneyed grasp

Granite guises and shadows—
Antique looming landscapes

Sway of Chase County power—
Couldn’t wait to get away

No comments:

Post a Comment