In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

HATING THE WORLD / Alicia Ostriker 1 hate the world! you scream At me over the telephone. I translate fast, it means That you hate me. Somehow it's my fault That you are unhappy, that your job At the scummy motel demeans you And you won't quit, that you don't have a lover Or work to do that you love. You're getting old, almost forty, You who were once my student, Almost my lover, only You like men better, or fear them less. What was it, our friendship? A little sexual aura, a little faith In spiritual truth, some book chat And some weird stoned joking? You used to wear sweaters with holes At the elbows, and carry your lunch Of fruits in a brown paper bag. You liked the flaky edge of rock and roll. Once you announced, ethereal, You'd learned in the midnight park How the entire world was a sort of dancing, Even the maple leaves the size of your palm, Even the Chevies speeding past on the highway. Do you know, to hate the world Makes you my enemy? I love the world, I reply, Sticking the knife in. I'm trying to help, I mutter Twisting it. 236 · The Missouri Review BOIL / Alicia Ostriker Boil over—it's what the nerves do, Watch them seethe when stimulated, Watch that electric impulse that finally makes them Fume and fizz at either Frayed end. If you could hold a bundle Of nerves out here in your fist, like a heavy Python's writhe, or a garden hose when the pressure's High and it willfully weaves about Trying its best to get away from you— You'd see how nothing is passive, We're all—I mean from our elephant sun, ejaculant Grandfather, cascading down To weightless Unstoppable neutrinos Leaving their silvery trace In vacuum chambers, in Effervescent lines, twisted Madly in our madhouse jackets, Rules, laws, which we are seething to break Though to rupture them might be of course to die, Or, as they say, To change: Boil, it's what water and everything else teaches. The Missouri Review · 237 ...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 136-137
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.