On my rewrite of Plath’s “Cut”

This was fun. Talking with Al Filreis and (the lovely and amazing) Anna Safford earlier this year…during one of the busiest weeks of my fall season, which is partly why my New Years Resolution is better self care along with more activism from the large to the small. I’ve put the original version of Plath’s below and a link to my version from Poetry here


Happy New Year everyone. And thanks Al and Anna.

CUT

What a thrill
My thumb instead of an onion.
The top quite gone
Except for a sort of a hinge

Of skin,
A flap like a hat,
Dead white.
Then that red plush.

Little pilgrim,
The Indians axed your scalp.
Your turkey wattle
Carpet rolls

Straight from the heart.
I step on it,
Clutching my bottle
Of pink fizz.

A celebration, this is.
Out of a gap
A million soldiers run,
Redcoats, every one.

Whose side are they on?
O my
Homunculus, I am ill.
I have taken a pill to kill

The thin
Papery feeling.
Saboteur,
Kamikaze man

The stain on your
Gauze Ku Klux Klan
Babushka
Darkens and tarnishes and when

The balled
Pulp of your heart
Confronts its small
Mill of silence

How you jump
Trepanned veteran,
Dirty girl,
Thumb stump.

–Sylvia Plath