Lola Ridge

Jaguar

Lola Ridge was an anarchist poet and an influential editor of avant-garde feminist and Marxist publications best remembered for her long poems and poetic sequences She along with other political poets of the early Modernist period has been coming under increasing critical scrutiny at the beginning …






Nasal intonations of light
and clicking tongues…
publicity of windows
stoning me with pent-up cries…
smells of abattoirs…
smells of long-dead meat.

Some day-end—
while the sand is yet cozy as a blanket
off the warm body of a squaw,
and the jaguars are out to kill…
with a blue-black night coming on
and a painted cloud
stalking the first star—
I shall go alone into the Silence…
the coiled Silence…
where a cry can run only a little way
and waver and dwindle
and be lost.

And there…
where tiny antlers clinch and strain
as life grapples in a million avid points,
and threshing things
strike and die,
letting their hate live on
in the spreading purple of a wound…
I too
will make covert of a crevice in the night,
and turn and watch…
nose at the cleft’s edge.

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