NaPoWriMo DAY EIGHT  8 April 2020

Sylvia Plath: cage of ether 

It’s a spello alright — otherwise why

would Sylvia have opted for suicide?

Rather than “ether” it’s “other”

Sartre made it clear

never bothered to deny:

“L’enfer c’est l’autre.”

How come the other is hell?

Cause he forces me

be other than I am.

Ether means air

can’t breathe at my rhythm

adapt pace and taste

sing a song that isn’t heard

cat purrs when I stroke his back

molds himself into my hand

other’s stiff, barely stirred

I light a roaring fire

other won’t take time

to admire the flames

won’t hear the crackle

I like hot, he cold

I like liquid, he solid

I like philosophy, he politics

I like to move, he sits

I like variety, he sameness

I like surprise, he predetermines

I get ecstatic with the moon,

he with bitcoin and the Dow

I like no rules, he lays down laws

forever, here and now

different worlds

can’t weld them together

I’m just as much other for him

as he’s for me

he suffers just as much


except he doesn’t adapt

stays true to himself whatever

a clue

I allow the effect, not clever

of anesthesia by my side

definition of etherized,


”loss of sensation with or without

loss of consciousness”

another clue

I let myself get numbed

stunned, stupefied, deadened

initially it felt more like intoxicated,

intrigued by the manifest difference

enticed by the mysterious

worth fathoming, I anticipated

akin to a visit to the zoo

intently watching an exotic beast

I was amused, it was a debut

last not least the thrill wore off

familiarity did the dulling

habit, hair, horns, a smell

began to rhyme with hell

being improved on is the worst

the correctional ambiance

the unasked-for holding up of mirrors

daily reminders, not without glee

of – no chance — the deficit in my GDP

it’s clear I had to react with numbing

stupidly act stupefied

another clue

yet here’s another spello variant

there’s ethereous and ethereal too

meaning “subtle, delicate, light as air”

unfair cause who can summon those traits

when in the straits of focusing on otherness

worse or better yet:

ethereal stretches to “heavenly”

a quirk, throws me back, horror, full circle

like I’m the one who’s got to choose

from the semantics of togetherness

not the semblance of the convenient


and insurmountable incongruous

nor, most of all, the footloose, adlibbed

superior/inferior illusion

what a confusion

I end up with heaven

counterpoint to Sartre’s theme

applied in practice, look:

a new tune

didn’t dispense

the foot-rub

took a photo of the moon

treated myself to Cailler hot chocolate

comfy boon, in my Minnesota mug

exile in style in my daily newNaPoWriMo poetry club

while there — isn’t it serendipitous

stumbled across a slew

free to focus on what’s calamitous

of potential contradictory meanings

floating thru ether, who knew?

leaving me free to focus

on what could be calamitous

or pick what I desire, make it true

one last unexpected clue

to spelling happy-

end semantics to a T

yummy blueberry jam

no one can force me be

other than I am

One thought on “CAGE OF ETHER

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