Blind Dating With Sylvia Plath (Application to Love)

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Love me or loathe me,
you do the math:
it’s time for blind-dating
with Sylvia Plath!

Romance lies
behind one of three doors.
Our contestant is Agnes.
She’s just been divorced.

She’s sixty and sexy.
She won’t be repressed,
commodified like cattle…
but it seems I’ve digressed.

Escaping her marriage
and its perilous jaws,
I present you with Agnes.
I demand your applause.

[A glittery Agnes
ascends to the stage.
The make-up does wonders
for masking her age.]

Welcome, my darling,
and do take a seat.
I’ve got three living Ken dolls
for your libido to meet.

[Poor Agnes starts wincing
under the spotlight.
Poised on a stool,
her dress looks quite tight.]

Our sort of people
are men without flaw,
false teeth and glass eyes –
should this not be the law?

[With the uproarious crowd
in a state of unrest,
the first door creaks open
like a treasure chest…

A young man emerges
tanned from head to toe,
wearing pink branded briefs
spelling out the name “Joe”.]

Come out of the closet.
Close enough to touch.
He comes with a six-pack,
and an all-too real crotch.

He’s a prime piece of beef.
I can tell by the cheers.
He has us all salivating –
so what’s with the tears?

[Agnes whispers to Plath.
Her response seems to stun.]
But who cares if this hunk’s
the same age as your son?

Don’t you for a second
think that you’re a perve!
A young shatterproof man
is what you deserve.

You’re choosing this man.
I’m ending the game.
Do you not think your ex
would do exactly the same?

Toast

by Robert Gould

I can’t do this anymore.
A mood-swing I can’t afford.
All you guaranteed before
I see evaporate into a snore.

You never had my back,
just a list of what I lack.
They say that opposites attract,
so maybe we’re now too perfect a match?

Letter to an Ex, Part 2

by Robert Gould

I can’t hate you more than you hated me.
Unlike you, he kisses me in public;
I shook when he did it for the first time
in a crowded street, under Christmas lights.
I was afraid of what people would think,
of the contortions their faces would make
when they saw what I had always hidden
behind closed doors, between cold sheets.
He felt no shame in being seen with me,
and yet he couldn’t wait to take me home.

And I don’t care if this lasts forever,
or if it fades as fast as your love did.
It’s enough to know that I can be loved
like I deserve to be – in broad daylight.

Letter to an Ex

by Robert Gould

One day I saw a couple holding hands.
Were it not for his grasp, she would have slipped
on a path encrusted with winter’s sand.
My respect for this stranger slowly dipped

as I thought of all you preached to me
each night in between puffs of something foul
about the dangers of dependency.
I used to hang on every vowel.

For the longest time, I pitied this girl.
I thought of the faith she placed in his care.
It plucked at my nerves, and drove my toes to curl
to think she had the strength to dare,

to trust someone enough to take their hand.
It was a cold day in a lonely town,
and if her heels gave way, she knew this man
would ensure she’d never hit the ground.

Pins

by Robert Gould

A pouch of pins haunts this home of mine.
He does not relent when they pierce the lining,
for light and dark in his head now entwine.

Like mistletoe suckles at the sycamore’s spine,
he’s pretty enough when he’s publically dining.
A pouch of pins haunts this home of mine.

Nobody cares that I’ve married a swine.
My love is a quarry he’s eternally mining,
for light and dark in his head now entwine.

With this house aflame, I know I’d be fine.
My distress bared to the world so that it is shining:
A pouch of pins haunts this home of mine.

To be rid of this man, I would cross every line.
But it is I whose strength is slowly declining,
for light and dark in his head now entwine.

He sits back with a glass of luxurious wine.
I feel pricks in my skin as I watch him reclining.
A pouch of pins haunts this home of mine,
for light and dark in his head now entwine.

Million Dollar Bill

by Robert Gould

You can expect the worst from this woman.
Every day she sculpts the night like clay,
like a bad tour guide with a god complex;
her demands are final and most unfair.
From bar to bar you go with modest hope
that perhaps she will find some kind of mate,
a man with low standards and cash to burn.
But when she pulls, she pulls the veil away,
and reveals her truly toxic nature –
whether he leaves or stays tests his morale.

But her wit makes her hard to fully hate.
Each fight concludes with some clever critique:
“If I’m a million dollar bill,” she barks,
“then you’re the change I get back at the till.”

I Drank

by Robert Gould

I drank it cold and thick like it was air,
and I had run a mile before breakfast.
It sank its teeth into the week before
and flicked its head, ripping my pain apart.
I sank into my chair and felt at home,
this town standing over with open arms.
For once I thought I could belong, for once
I felt what they did in their raging herds.
They sweat and move as though they are wounded,
yet they thrive in the face of their captor.

The face of all the world is changed, I think.
It shifted, and I found a way to live.
The solution is fluid and finite.
I drank it cold, and thanked the world that night.