Night Traveling, Day Dreaming, while Mapping my Escapisms, Tracing Love
Egon Schiele, The Embrace, Oil on Canvas 1917
Egon, painfully sensitive.
So now it’s your turn, little mother of silences, little father of half-belief. Take up this face, these daily rounds with a cabbage under each arm convincing the multitudes that a well-made-anything could save them. Take up most of all, these hands trained to an ornate piano in a house on the other side of the country. I’m staying here without music, without applause. I’m not going to wait up for you. Take your time. Take mine too. Get into some trouble I’ll have to account for. Walk into some bars alone with a slit in your skirt. Let the men follow you on the street with their clumsy propositions, their loud hatred of this and that. Keep walking. Keep your head up. They are calling to you– slut, mother virgin, whore, daughter, adulteress, lover, mistress, bitch, wife, cunt, harlot, betrothed, Jezebel, Messalina, Diana, Bethdheba, Rebecca, Lucretia, Mary, Magdelena, Ruth, you– Niobe, woman of the tombs. Don’t Stop for anything, not a caress or a promise. Go to the temple of the poets, not the one like a run-down country club but the one on fire with so much it wants to be done with. Say all the last words and the first: hello, goodbye, yes, I, no, please, always, never. If anyone from the country club asks if you write poems, say your name is Lizzie Borden. Show him your axe, the one they gave you with a silver blade, your name engraved there like a whisper of their own. If anyone calls you a witch, burn for him; if anyone calls you less or more than you are let him burn for you. It’s a dangerous mission. You could die out there. You could live forever. -Tess Gallagher, “Instructions to the Double”
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