Monday, January 6, 2014

Searching for Medusa

“Off that landspit of stony mouth-plugs,
Eyes rolled by white sticks,
Ears cupping the sea’s incoherences,
You house your unnerving head –God-ball…”  -Plath, Medusa

We spent all day in the MET searching for Medusa.
“Lens of mercies,
Your stooges
Playing their wild cells in my keel’s shadow,
Pushing by like hearts
Red stigmata at the very center…”  -Plath, Medusa

The beautiful priestess of Aphrodite, raped in the temple by lustful Poseidon, and turned into a hideous monsters by her jealous and unforgiving goddess.   You meet a lot of Medusas in life, people turned bitter, resentful hags, lashing out and projecting pain.  Poor Creature!  After telling my daughters the story of how Perseus slayed the beast, and set her pain free, we set out on our own adventure, in search of Medusa's Head.
“Riding the rip tide to the nearest point of
Dragging their Jesus hair.
Did I escape, I wonder?”  -Plath, Medusa

Past Hercules and the Nemean Lion...
“My mind winds to you
Old barnacled umbilicus, Atlantic cable,
Keeping itself, it seems, in a state of miraculous
Repair.”  -Plath, Medusa

Around Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile...
“In any case, you are always there,
Tremulous breath at the end of my line,
Curve of water upleading
To my water rod, dazzling and grateful…”  -Plath, Medusa

Pausing to answer the riddling Sphynx...
“Touching and sucking
I didn’t call you.
I didn’t call you at all.”  -Plath, Medusa

And lament Ugolino and his sons...
“Nevertheless, nevertheless
You steamed to me over the sea,
Fat and red, a placenta…”  -Plath, Medusa

Startled by the naked golden archer...
“Paralyzing the kicking lovers.
Cobra light
Squeezing the breath from the blood bells
Of the fuchsia.  I could draw no breath,
Dead and moneyless…”  -Plath, Medusa

And held our breath at the bronze boxer...
“Overexposed, like an X-ray.
Who do you think you are?
A Communion wafer?  Blubbery Mary?
I shall take no bite of your body,
Bottle in which I live…”  -Plath, Medusa

Paid respect to Ares, God of War...
“Ghastly Vatican
I am sick to death of hot salt.
Green as eunuchs, your wishes
Hiss at my sins.”  -Plath, Medusa

and others...  like this Greek Warrior Helmet...
“Off, off, eely tentacle!
There is nothing between us.”  -Plath, Medusa

When we found Medusa, my girls ran ahead and took a great long look... they knew the story and were in awe of the size and scale of the statue, sketching and talking to strangers about the importance of the myth.  "Now what?"  Rebekah asked, after we had sat a good long spell.  "What do we do now?"  I looked up at Perseus, gazing into the dead serpents upon Medusa's head.  He was probably thinking the exact same thing.

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