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GULL / Sandra M. Gilbert The waves hiss in, seething, flattening: this is the limit, this dead end of the Pacific where you hunch a moment on a jagged rock until a sudden gust of hunger lifts you and you skim low, fleet, flat white wings and sea-gray body taut, over the flat gray sea, seeking, seeking. A meadow crow goes by, a dark monsieur whose bleak sardonic sidelong clack declares Enough! Enough! What is there anyway except dead flesh and more dead flesh? But you don't seem to hear: harpie, you race and pounce, pierce, race, pounce on the thing you want, the one damp thing, the salt thing, and the next, the next, and your fierce voice calling against black cliffs is my own voice that I once heard crying aloud in a dream, slamming against the bedroom wall, a voice screaming for more, for more, a voice shrieking At ¡east give me my share! 110 · The Missouri Review HOOKED RUG / Sandra M. Gilbert I was eight. I stared at the gray hooked rug, its pattern of pink timidity—a rabbit twisting through a pale forest, pious birds overhead. I stared and stared. Why did the rabbit run, what was the fact somebody's hook had knotted into that center? I stared. I thought I'd be sick. From the kitchen came the voices of my parents, brooding on dinner. I was eight. What did I know besides sweating at ballet, that clumsy jete into the mirror, and trembling at punchball, the cold schoolyard with its loops and lines? I was eight. I toed the line. I stared at the rabbit. She leaped under the birds but they swooped nowhere, they offered no cry, they were only threads, and she was only a lump of wool: she was fixed in the rug, her pink flight from the dark border was stopped, and stayed in place like the bedroom wall, like the boards on the floor. The Missouri Review -111 FOR BEETHOVEN / Sandra M. Gilbert Listening to the virile fugues of the Eroica, Beethoven, loony bachelor, thick-wristed German, I want you to sweep me away in the measures of your foreign sexuality. I want, yes, I want to waltz with you in a smoky wood-walled Bierstube, your heavy belly hot against me, your dense chords, coarse fingers at my waist. I'm a feminist, yes, and my feminist matron/goddess, Adrienne Rich, says your orgasmic Ninth must be "understood as a sexual message": yes, its virile ferocities 112 · The Missouri Review are alien to her and me, but Beethoven, I can't help myself, I have the feeling I know you, your hair an uncombatable thicket, your desire pounded, blared by drums and trumpets, and soothed by subtler cadences of violins, your name, as an old lover endlessly, boringly, orgasmically, reminded me, meaning Beet Field, so I imagined you, dirty warrior, divine masturbator, delicious clumsy hero, dreaming underground, dreaming up a hundred, a thousand, crimson drum drops, hearts, throbs, heart-throbs, and then the green plumes those pulsings flowered into. Sandra Gilbert THE MISSOURI REVIEW · 233 ...


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