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By Diane Wakoski

I walk the purple carpet into your eye

carrying the silver butter server

but a truck rumbles by,

                      leaving its black tire prints on my foot

and old images          the sound of banging screen doors on hot

             afternoons and a fly buzzing over the Kool-Aid spilled on

             the sink

flicker, as reflections on the metal surface.


Come in, you said,

inside your paintings, inside the blood factory, inside the

old songs that line your hands, inside

eyes that change like a snowflake every second,

inside spinach leaves holding that one piece of gravel,

inside the whiskers of a cat,

inside your old hat, and most of all inside your mouth where you

grind the pigments with your teeth, painting

with a broken bottle on the floor, and painting

with an ostrich feather on the moon that rolls out of my mouth.


You cannot let me walk inside you too long inside

the veins where my small feet touch

bottom.

You must reach inside and pull me

like a silver bullet

from your arm.


Diane Wakoski, “Inside Out” from Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987. Copyright © 1988 by Diane Wakoski. Reprinted with the permission of David
R. Godine/Black Sparrow Press, www.blacksparrowbooks.com/titles/wakoski.htm.

Source: Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987 (1988)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Diane Wakoski
The poetry of Diane Wakoski has affinities with that of Beat poets like Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg: it alternates long and short lines, is frankly personal and wildly humorous, and expresses a mindset in stark opposition to Americans’ materialism and moralistic rigidity. Her conception of poetry as a deeply human and natural activity is reflected in her prolific production—over 40 collections published—while her “physiological imagery” of the female body has spoken powerfully to feminists.

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