|Getting in the Hallowe'en mood, Primrose Hill|
All Hallows’ EveBy Dorothea Tanning
Be perfect, make it otherwise.
Yesterday is torn in shreds.
Lightning’s thousand sulfur eyes
Rip apart the breathing beds.
Hear bones crack and pulverize.
Doom creeps in on rubber treads.
Countless overwrought housewives,
Minds unraveling like threads,
Try lipstick shades to tranquilize
Fears of age and general dreads.
Sit tight, be perfect, swat the spies,
Don’t take faucets for fountainheads.
Drink tasty antidotes. Otherwise
You and the werewolf: newlyweds.
Source: Coming to That (Graywolf Press, 2011)
Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012) started writing poetry in her 80s, having worked as a visual artist (painter, printmaker, sculptor, etc). After the death of her partner of 34 years, Max Ernst, in France in 1976, she returned to the US. Her second collection of poems was published shortly before her death, at the age of 101.