Thursday, May 5, 2011

Strange Woman by Jill Essbaum

(Photo of Angelie Jolie's back tattoos. I love, love, love Angelina...)

Strange Woman
By Jill Essbaum
(After Proverbs 7)

She searches the sky for a god who will reach down and love her.
She seeks the arms of a lust that would stretch out to have her.
She shudders like a whore in a rickety chair.
She plaits ribbons of pain in her hair.

She sings unruly songs in strident keys.
Her feet abide in no man’s custody.
She is pity’s shabby bride, and lechery’s courtesan.
Mistress of a never-to-rise-again sun.

She tinctures her wines according to your desires.
In her bed, Hell is always and only fire.
You can set her apart like surfeit, delirious tither.
But no. She won’t be faithful to you either.

But hearken: The Goodman is gone and she will flatter you.
Use her. She will let you.


Proverbs 7 (New King James Version)

1 My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.
2 Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your nearest kin,
5 That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.

The Crafty Harlot

6 For at the window of my house
I looked through my lattice,
7 And saw among the simple,
I perceived among the youths,
A young man devoid of understanding,
8 Passing along the street near her corner;
And he took the path to her house
9 In the twilight, in the evening,
In the black and dark night.
10 And there a woman met him,
With the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.
11 She was loud and rebellious,
Her feet would not stay at home.
12 At times she was outside, at times in the open square,
Lurking at every corner.
13 So she caught him and kissed him;
With an impudent face she said to him:
14“ I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows.
15 So I came out to meet you,
Diligently to seek your face,
And I have found you.
16 I have spread my bed with tapestry,
Colored coverings of Egyptian linen.
17 I have perfumed my bed
With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey;
20 He has taken a bag of money with him,
And will come home on the appointed day.”
21 With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips she seduced him.
22 Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks,
23 Till an arrow struck his liver.
As a bird hastens to the snare,
He did not know it would cost his life.
24 Now therefore, listen to me, my children;
Pay attention to the words of my mouth:
25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths;
26 For she has cast down many wounded,
And all who were slain by her were strong men.
27 Her house is the way to hell,
Descending to the chambers of death.



Terresa said...

"She plaits ribbons of pain in her hair."

When I first read this I read "braids" then I did a double take. Pain is more real, truthful.

Thanks, Marion, for this loveliness and those tattoos...(love).

Wine and Words said...

I love that Strange Woman poem! And I was JUST on! I love reading verses from The Message translation. It makes the word come alive for me. I love the theme you wove here Marion, though it made me cringe for all that I saw in myself.

Kelly said...

I see you're reading the latest Sookie. So am I!!

((hugs)) to you, my friend.


MAGNIFICENT words here, dear marion, for which i thank you! i was totally smitten with them! and then, there is ms. aj! another magnificent woman - and one with tattoos!!! a beautiful post -

Phoenix said...

Awesome. I love poems like this and turning Biblical stories and verses on their head - and reading different translations that are so much more beautiful and poetic than my King James Version! (I recently just fell in love the New Living Translation - such awesome phrasing!!)

Thanks for sharing - and Angelina Jolie is hot, HOT, I say. :)

Fireblossom said...

Pfffft, every woman in the bible is either meekly obedient or a harlot. Gee, I wonder if it was written by men? *rolleyes*

Angelina's tats are tuff. I love them, and used to love her, before she decided to try to become The World's Straightest Woman. What's up with that? She once claimed not to know she had a feminine saide. Now she's all flowy dresses and babies and big hair and her man. Okay then, Angie.

Angela Recada said...

I LOVE the Strange Woman poem! And the photo of Angelina Jolie is perfect for this post. She is one of my favorites, too.
Love and hugs,

Margaret Pangert said...

I'm going to have to read the Bible more! Interesting take on Proverbs 7... Do you remember Bad Women of the Bible? I thought Jezebel was bold and sassy...
I hadn't seen Angelina's back before! Loved her in Girl, Interrupted.
Great post, Marion! Love ☺