Naomi Foyle’s The Night Pavilion is a book of three distinct parts, though each one remains differently varied. Not afraid of the coarse or erotic, the second part (“Aphrodite’s Answering Machine”) contains, amongst other erotica, new definitions of words for genitalia. But while that section is devoted to such, a tinge of the taboo permeates the whole (“We are embracing, / our bodies are smoke; / yet I am perspiring / under your cloak. // For in the heat of passion / who was rider, who was ridden? / Who bid and who forbidden?”)
There is a poem about Sylvia Plath (“I admire her / stubborn efforts / to find a rhyme for orange“) and a series of riddles. Plus, there are two poems featuring spiders , which I will share here. If you are squicked by spiders, you may wish to skip past the first and just read the second. The first poem is from the first section of the book (“Darkroom Debutantes“) and the second one is from the third (“The Night Pavilion“)
Mademoiselle Mal Chance
A secret of eyelashes;
a daisy dipped in pitch;
a delicate brooch
pinned to the side of the tub –
until I approach
with my plundering streams,
my inveigling finger:
Where is your fine lifeline, spider?
Where are your eight water wings?
You sprawl, a legless gamine.
I share a hot bath with your corpse.
It clings to my skin like a mole.
My mascara runs in the steam.
Things I’m Cool With Now
Needles, nettles, splinters;
Spinach, spiders, peas.
Lessons, long journeys, winter;
Geese, coffee, bees.
Return to the intro/roundup.