—to the memory of Virginia Woolf,
Randall Jarrell, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman,
Albert Camus, Vincent van Gogh, and Anne Sexton
Surfacing, the poets shoulder proven
tools—Virginia, her damp green bed, its springs
lifeless as whirlpools in winter;
Randall, the vixen road, its double yellow
stripes signaling the behemoth’s eyes, wide
grin. Sylvia in her wife’s apron shows
the oven she’s marrying, shows,
like a starlet, its blue hereafter, proven
box. Again and again John flaps wide,
gift to glacial currents. He springs
like a winged puppet below each yellow
sun, and his girded bridge displays winter,
poetry’s finish. Above, as he upshoves winter’s
heaviest rock, Camus regards its ceaseless show,
crawl and mumble—man and yellow
stone encoded. Sylvia joins the proven
suicide. Winsome, younger than spring,
its sick-sweet smell, she embraces Albert, flings wide
her arms, and strides into Randall’s wide
highway. She stares from the divide into winter.
Maggots thrive inside her soul; spring
brings winged proof. Sylvia returns, shows
Albert how to make angry coffee, proven
remedy for despair. She snaps yellowing
pictures, advances kisses toward his yellow
teeth. The philosopher accepts all, wide
mouth glowing—his theory has been proven.
His keeper arrives, and it is again winter.
Albert introduces his darling keeper, shows
that custodian yet unpublished passion for spring.
Later, Albert muses while Vincent springs
for flowers in the garden, slut-showy, sun-yellow.
Brazen Anne abandons her grave, shows
Vincent how to defeat living, that too-wide
fly-under. Blackbirds demand their share, winter’s
prize. Vincent shouts, Give it to Virginia; she’s proven
her mastery! Anne vaults again from winter into
spring, breasts showy, rich with guile. Then all the
stewards, bearing proven yellow pills, widely smile.