“Like Agamemnon’s Bath” by Betsy LaPadula

Aegisthus“Ben Zimmerman ’19 sent me an article from the Huffington Post about high-saline-content, blood-red, 140-degree Lake Natron and its hauntingly preserved animals, who perish because something about the lake confuses their sense of direction, and they crash into it.  After looking at Brandt’s photographs, I thought of Clytemnestra’s revenge on her husband, Agamemnon–how she slays him in the bathtub after he had sacrificed their daughter so his ships could have wind to sail.  I was procrastinating writing my midterm comments as I wrote the poem in class!”   ~ Betsy LaPadula

Dr. LaPadula’s poetry chapbook, “Elpenor Falls,” was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2010. Click “continue reading,” for another poem, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Betsy's poem

Music CD by Regina Spektor

Music CD by Regina Spektor

“Some members of NA’s class of 2007 were very interested in Regina Spektor, a Soviet-American member of the “anti-folk” movement in NYC.  They shared her album “Mary Ann Meets the Gravediggers and Other Short Stories” with me, and I especially loved her song ‘Pavlov’s Daughter.’  This poem grew out of listening to that album…a lot…over a couple of years.”

~ Betsy LaPadula

“The Oven’s Queen, Her Bell” by Betsy LaPadula

                   for Regina Spektor

Has nothing to do with your Little
Red Hen or her wheat, her stone,
her need. Nor the chick with pieces
of fallen sky in a necklace of mapped
clouds. Not the bottles of frayed glass
collected, or their windowsills. At times
an asp will ask for a basket, and gets
a breast. Some others draw velvet,
or percussion. Her Guiro throat.
What the heat can say: venom.
Indelible, the forest, the mark.
What the monk can say: sprung.
Felicitations, the wax cake.
What fell can say: intention.
Marvelous Oedipus, your sleep.
What dwell can say: become.
Tablecloth, unhurried, flax.
What ghost can say: kiss the mask.
Something made of tin slips
under the door. Someone is boxing
with the piano and the piano
is losing. Three stars witch
a belt of absence. Like wet
Waterford, Christopher, I will flex
my broken toes on these wires
in my attempts to ring up the KGB.
The beloved octopus sends her regrets.
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