Thursday, May 13, 2010



Dear Madam: I received your kind
letter from hell last Tuesday afternoon.
Here too we mostly talk about the weather.
It rains in my dreams. Freud said,
A gentleman would not have
such an unconscious.

As to diet, you either eat
the forbidden fruit,
or you’ll spend eternity
shopping for cabbage and potatoes.
I’m not saying cabbage is wrong –
see my essay on the nature of the soul
(Prelude to a Case of Schizophrenia, Volume II).

The error is to think we have a soul,
as one can have a car or an umbrella.
The soul has us.  
Please don’t take
your life personally.

In the underworld, you say,
everyone dresses well.
You sit in a vegetarian café,
waiting for the Orpheus archetype –
this time without the betrayal.

Dear lost bride, to sing one must
turn around – away from the hungry
living, and the even more
hungry ghosts. I have to go now.
Emma is calling me to dinner.

Believe me, I understand:
you expected a long, wise letter
from a famous man. Answers
to questions. Why
we live. Why anything
exists. Is there heaven,
since we know there is hell.

Freud was wrong:
the mundane prevails over sex.
Perhaps the meaning of my life
will lie in my off-hand remark,
A penis is only a phallic symbol.
A cup can be broken; a symbol
remains, waiting to be filled.

I see your signature is smudged.
Next time, please wipe your shadow.
Regretfully, Your Jung

    ~ Oriana



Dear Serpent Bride, The poppies you sent
withered at once.
Did you think the mild

flowers of the dead
could survive seeing this world?
Marrying a poet is a death wish.

Unlike being a poet –
that’s an immortality project.
Your mother should have

warned you –
but you were motherless;
you talked to the trees.


I will tell you a secret:
all my patients see me as Mother.
Please don’t stare at the alabaster

tear jars in my cabinet –
They bore me, my rich neurotics.
Not you – I like the lacy way

you lay your shadow on the couch.
You tremble, transparent,
thinking I’ll say

you have the Eurydice Complex:
waiting for a lover
to sing you out of hell.


Beware: attractive saviors
always have a tragic flaw:
a wound that makes them

betray you. Alas,
a woman has to be betrayed
if she is to give birth to herself:

not as the Loved One, but as a torn
Lover who loves beyond return.
You have the Orpheus Complex.

There is no cure. Follow your singing
like fate. And what is talent unless
fate, what good unless like a god

it possesses you? But being
a woman and having been dead
in your youth, you must –

Eurydice, shall we dance?
I admire how invisibly
you walk out the door. Do not

turn – or I’ll follow
and love you
like wind in the trees.


      ~ Oriana


  1. Thanks so much for posting these. These are fantastic. You've accomplished things I've been wanting to accomplish for years.

    Leonard Kress

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