for Jane Austen

Symphonic assault on propriety
a woman’s wit, most treacherous
deadlier yet if coupled with robust
appetite for passion flashed like an
overwrought Paganini violin concerto

Poverty unraveled ambitions
taught me to be tame, well cared for
I danced Purcell’s Abdelazer Rondeau
Hid all my wildness better than she,
so he sheltered me for a price

Voracious imagination unshackled
no overflow of joy in living
tethered tightly in the mind
freedom in life is terror
I remained bound by uncertainty

Poppet performing tricks
cracked porcelain doll
Offenbach’s bird aria
anyone can wind me up
or wear me down

They were in love with an automaton
dissociated darling designed to flirt
disembodied clockwork child
cold to the touch
Unaware I wasn’t real

Playing the trickster – show the world
my feints, its folly, crafting identity to fan
imaginations’ pyre rising unbidden
conflagration, melted with love
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring riot

Fighting for a voice, rage to master
never abandoning creation
the burning art he inspired
akin to spiritual suicide
Maria Anna Mozart’s lost works

At the tattered end of ashen tears
shards of translucent ceramics
tides of words, melody, and color
elegies of self possession
now I write my own songs

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