Two Poems by Walker Storz

Ode to Sylvia Plath

You were yr own Hero—
gold Narcissus—
flower turned to lead
Water turned to
ice—alchemy of
death.  In your mind,
objects turn
and turn and they
whirl themselves
into static.

You own a million
postcards of yourself:
faded photographs
of statues and ghosts

and a shrine, erected to
your image,
in your mind

which is to say, in
Your house, and

When water turns
into ice, it whirls
into stasis with a
deafening flourish

Then, materializing—

a glass
icon of yourself,
chiselled out of
frozen time.  That
infinite quantity—those
Crushed bodies, those
long-gone heroes.  Castle
walls would not protect
them.  And you were all
alone, in the doctor’s
office.  A sphere of
soft light, surrounded by
a harsher light—a
Splitting pain—forceps,
scission, the film ripped
from an eye, the fathomless
Glinting fields of
Glass, or ice.


I am a worm in
winter.  Inside—sickly-
sweet sap for blood. It’s
embalming fluid, it shuts me
My voice is brittle, my
hair is brittle, I am
prone to cracking. 
Fragility is damned and
beautiful.  I speak my
brittle voice as if
from behind a layer of
glassine, or glass. 
My heart pumps
slow and heavily,
driving the winter
sap through my body.
heavy lies resigned in
my veins. 

            On the window-
panes, chrystals waltz
slowly, accumulating
stasis.  I am the inside of a
cell in a whale’s blubber.  I am
someplace so deep in the
ocean that light has to
work to get there.

I shiver, ice is in my bones, slowing
time for me.  I can see through the
amber on my coffin, and I am fighting the
encroaching chill.

There are songs that
come from within ice,
there are long seasons
that sing to the body, that
wrap it tight, like pagan

My new residence is
   Chronos’ coffin,
wrapped in capillaries
of frost.

            Ice gods have
no mercy, their fragility
is an infection, diffusing
outward from the axis mundi.
More brittle than angry,
their Midas touch turns
flesh to glass and
tin, turns irises purple-
grey.  The silver in
me reacts to light,
needs to be washed and
affixed, angrily begging to be
burned in acid.

Freezing a thing preserves it, at the
cost of life.  A photograph needs a
victim.  A taxidermied bear loses its
grandeur, becomes harmless.  I lose
my energy, one electron at a time.  Memories

            Enduring is a
function of metabolism.
An infant or a humming-
bird thrum a spring
music with their
hearts and wings. 
I sing icebergs
creaking, my vision
fogged like frosted

Walker Storz is a musician, artist, and writer living in Vermont. His work covers the themes of faith, suffering, and illness. “Ode to Sylvia Plath” originally appeared in the May 2018 edition of Today’s American Catholic; “Dauer,” in the April 2018 edition.

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