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Karren L. Alenier

Paul Bowles Laments the Death of His Wife Jane

Since Jane died, I am a shadow of myself.

She was my muse. Did I abuse that, did I steal

her energy to write?


Did my flights into the world leave her

unprotected? Did she need me more

than I knew?


Like Apollo struck 

by Cupid’s arrow

my attraction to Jane

shocked me, shocked

my family, my friends.


Since Jane died, I cannot raise my pen to write

neither prose nor music. Jane you had so much

trouble with the white page.

Was it my fault? Was it my fault?


I hear “Lamento di Apollo” play

replay -- where is my light?

I, a pale shadow of myself. Yet

Francesco Cavalli’s aria lifts me.

The melody haunts and forces

my breath --

Janie, I loved your work

those two Serious Ladies,

your play on Broadway when few

other women playwrights ascended

the Great White Way. And you heard my soul

cry out in my fiction, my dark brooding

characters so much like myself, so much like you.

You taught me what love was -- a sea of gardenias

on our honeymoon bed. Ah! I breathe.

The darkness leaves room for the sun to rise.

Sven Birkerts

Matt Hanson

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