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  2. From “Eurydics: Snake” by Rachel Blau DuPlessis
From “Eurydics: Snake”

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Large green-tailed lizard, zucchini-mottled
flicks and swirls. But, no! It’s not some random lizard:
that’s the snake! A rill of water falling up the stone,
he’d heard my light, quick foot     as human-hard.

And the dream? that wildly handsome man
who had no wife,     his wife had “gone away”
(but where?)     so he wanted to meet more     women
he needed help    with his decor, his place

was encumbered with little ceramic, clay-
kitsch banalities —      I did not see the snake’s head,
since it faced away.     I could not fix

it being vipera or serpente.
That question hinged on poison in his mix.

From what I saw, though, ’twas a very handsome snake.
 
                                                              •

Options:
“scaled to the human boy” or was it “scaled to the human body”? Which did I write?

Options:
Desire? temptation? yearning for danger? thralldom? lust? You can add to the list yourself. You can add yourself to the list.

Options:
Teasing enchantment. “How still the Riddle lies.”

Options:
Insistent     “Shaft”     “a tighter Breathing”

The sibyl’s many leaves are laurel made for wreathing.
Source: Poetry (March 2017)
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From “Eurydics: Snake”

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  • Poet, editor, and scholar Rachel Blau DuPlessis earned a BA from Barnard College and a PhD from Columbia University. Her special interests are in modern and contemporary poetry, especially issues of gender, the long poem, and cultural poetics. She is one of the foremost critics of her generation, and her works of scholarship include Writing Beyond the Ending: Narrative Strategies of Twentieth-Century Women Writers (1985), H.D.: The Career of That Struggle (1986), The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist Practice (1990), Genders, Races and Religious Cultures in Modern American Poetry, 1908–1934 (2001), Blue Studios: Poetry and its Cultural Work (2006), and Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry (2012). As editor, her books include The Selected Letters of George Oppen (1990) and, with Susan Stanford Friedman, Signets: Reading H.D. (1990). With Peter Quartermain, she coedited The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics (1999) and with...

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