Get Stuffed.

Learning to Drive with Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath has always intrigued me. She was dark and disturbed. She had demons. She was an immense talent. She has reached cult status and a lure has been created around her. One year I was at the annual Halloween parade in NYC’s Greenwich Village  and a woman had come dressed at Plath. How could I tell it was her? She wore a night gown and slippers with a cardboard oven around her head. It was truly inspired. That is the thing about Plath, she inspires.

For my second published poem, my inspiration came while driving home one late afternoon. I was stopped at a light and in the car in front of me sat a woman. From behind she looked just like Plath. She wore giant round sunglasses that consumed most of her face. She could have been Plath based on the features not hidden by those monster glasses. Sitting next to her was her son, aged 16 or so. I immediately started to wonder what would it be like if Sylvia Plath was able to teach her son how to drive. What would she say to him? What lessons would she teach him? How would she say these things? I wrote the entire poem in my head while driving the rest of the way home. I had to keep repeating it to myself so I would not forget  a line. The poem itself is both odd and playful. I tried to channel some of my favorite rhythms from Plath’s poetry and  played up images that spoke to aspects of her life and attempted, and finally successful, suicide. Most of all, it all had to pertain to driving.

I am very pleased that it opens the newest issue of INK. A Journal of Creative Writing and Art – SUNY/Westchester Community College. I have never had a piece open an anthology before and having LTDWSP set the tone for the entire collection is significant.

In honor of my latest publication, I am going to be giving away copies of the anthology the poem appears in to a few lucky fans. To enter for a chance to win yourself a copy, all you have to do is comment on this post with your favorite Plath poem, tidbit, story, inspiration, etc. Share your love of Plath with me.