Ghazal of the Better-Unbegun

Heather McHugh

A book is a suicide postponed.
Too volatile, am I?  too voluble?  too much a word-person?
I blame the soup:  I'm a primordially
stirred person.
Two pronouns and a vehicle was Icarus with wings.
The apparatus of his selves made an ab-
surd person.
The sound I make is sympathy's:  sad dogs are tied afar.
But howling I become an ever more un-
heard person.
I need a hundred more of you to make a likelihood.
The mirror's not convincing-- that at-best in-
ferred person.
As time's revealing gets revolting, I start looking out.
Look in and what you see is one unholy
blurred person.
The only cure for birth one doesn't love to contemplate.
Better to be an unsung song, an unoc-
curred person.
McHugh, you'll be the death of me -- each self and second studied!
Addressing you like this, I'm halfway to the
third person.
From The Father of the Predicaments, forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press in September 1999. Copyright 1999 by Heather McHugh. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Poems by This Author

Etymological Dirge by Heather McHugh
Calm comes from burning.
Glass House by Heather McHugh
Everything obeyed our laws and
The Father of the Predicaments by Heather McHugh
He came at night to each of us asleep
To Go by Heather McHugh
U-District Incident Report by Heather McHugh
Apparently they want your body parts. They frisk you for
What He Thought by Heather McHugh
We were supposed to do a job in Italy