The Applicant

Out shopping today I saw this..


…and I laughed. Worse, the first thing that went through my head was maybe I should buy that…. It’s quite hard not to assume, 48 years and two divorces later, that perhaps I need to read this book.

Or maybe I should just revel in my cluelessness. Only yesterday someone suggested to me that we are all clueless, in the end. Perhaps some people are less clueless than others. Last year my 8 year old daughter said….

Dad?  You’re not an idiot all of the time

You can carve that on my gravestone.

I can even feel a new short-form dating profile coming on…

“Me: Clueless.      You: Worse.     Fancy a pint?”

The other thing this book reminded me of was Sylvia Plath. Eating men like air. Bit nuts. Red hair. That picture looks a bit like the photograph of her on the front cover of my copy of Ariel.  She once wrote this in her journal.

“Can I write? Will I write if I practice enough? How much should I sacrifice to writing anyway, before I find out if I’m any good? Above all, CAN A SELFISH EGOCENTRIC JEALOUS AND UNIMAGINATIVE FEMALE WRITE A DAMN THING WORTHWHILE”

Erm, yes. But you were a bit nuts. Specifically, you wrote this and that book, that picture, brought it straight into my head.

The Applicant

First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,

Stitches to show something’s missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Stop crying.
Open your hand.
Empty? Empty. Here is a hand

To fill it and willing
To bring teacups and roll away headaches
And do whatever you tell it.
Will you marry it?
It is guaranteed

To thumb shut your eyes at the end
And dissolve of sorrow.
We make new stock from the salt.
I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit——

Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.

Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
I have the ticket for that.
Come here, sweetie, out of the closet.
Well, what do you think of that?
Naked as paper to start

But in twenty-five years she’ll be silver,
In fifty, gold.
A living doll, everywhere you look.
It can sew, it can cook,
It can talk, talk, talk.

It works, there is nothing wrong with it.
You have a hole, it’s a poultice.
You have an eye, it’s an image.
My boy, it’s your last resort.
Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.


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