What still remains a mystery is how she managed to put away the entire midday meal that I left her, Ted, and Bill. –Dido Merwin
How should I remember her? She fired her warning shots across the bow. Pitied my childlessness did she? My face lifts? My house in France? Things were not going to be congenial entre nous. No plain sailing. I saw her. Clearly. She was dodgy. Mistrustful. Not a scrap of sun. Moralizing. Coveting and accumulating. Given to cheap morale boosting. Toys. Clothes. Goods. Brilliant? Perhaps, but pampered. Really, who was the spoiled bitch? The young women she wouldn’t teach at Smith, or dark pool of loathing she swam in? The Kanes she crucified in “Lesbos”? She was “constitutionally incapable of knowing when to stop.” She needed a good slap. Grow up, I said, as did Olywn. So self involved. An achievement addict. Walking with “quotations” around herself. Narrating herself into fame. Too good for my rickety, moth eaten writing table she was, a lopsided hurricane to Ted’s sweetness: princess, lion bitch, against his cheerful, literal, pinch of salt. Like a cat riding a crow. Her sour victim-grimace generated such a climate of guilt, such a shabby manor, Strindbergian was her disregard, “hell-bent,” “hammering,” “flat haunting,” “silent-movie Mother-Heroine” suffering “new born babe in arms” frail, tottering (poor Ted), soi-disant (poor amenable stooge) bewildering sick Schaudenfreude, violently withdrawn, unwomanly goat and barrel, sulking shrugging (poor all-indulgent Ted), I was not going to be a “supportive soul mate” to that no “yes person” no “docile doppelganger,” she didn’t write the truth, she designed it. Oh sure, it was not her fault we happened to be opposites, but in hindsight, and with truth and Olwyn at my side, tearing into her work…it’s been twenty-five years of loathing…I think we’ve gotten to the bottom that tap root. I think it’s safe to say it was we who had the last laugh.
Sina Queyras is the author of the poetry collections, MxT, Expressway and Lemon Hound all from Coach House. Her work has been nominated for a Governor General’s Award, and won The Friends of Poetry Award from Poetry Magazine, The AM Klein Award for Poetry, a Lambda, the Pat Lowther Award, a Pushcart Prize and Gold in the National Magazine Award. Her first novel, Autobiography of Childhood was nominated for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. In 2005 she edited Open Field: 30 Contemporary Canadian Poets, for Persea Books. She is founding editor of Lemon Hound. She has taught creative writing at Rutgers, Haverford and Concordia University in Montreal where she currently resides.