for Sarah Hannah
Poetry is how we talk to the dead when it’s too late – Ted Hughes
Once the ceremony’s done, real work begins
in fury - in curtained, darkened rooms – its chief
intent the mining of a perfect crime
to fit the punishment, refining grief
from a wash of mourner faces.
Oh spare me,
are so rehearsed, I’ve even lost belief
in mineand so fucking what. This is me, mean, absurd,
appalled by pretty wreaths and grief beneath
a pond’s gnarled tree. Midnight,
I’m back to smash
like your new neighbors’ bas-relief.
They too deserve avengers of the painful lash
that’s not the rain hardly felt by common thieves
digging up graves. It’s a rage that shouldn’t pass.
It’s irreverence that’s worth you. So should this grief
be: inhalation of a box of potpourri-ish ashes
with a taped-on
Eva Salzman’s volumes of poetry include Double Crossing: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe). The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, Fulcrum, Independent, Guardian, Times and Poetry Review are among the leading journals and newspapers in which her poetry and prose has appeared. She has also been widely broadcast on BBC radio. The short opera Cassandra, written for her composer father Eric Salzman, has been performed in Oslo, Vienna and Dusseldorf. She is Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths (University of London) and co-editor of the acclaimed anthology Women’s Work: Modern Women Poets Writing in English (Seren) which bridges the USA, UK and Ireland divide as she does herself , both psychically and physically. ‘Sonneral’ was first published in the Times Literary Supplement in England.