Exactly what everyone was looking for this weekend: more Lana Del Rey news! In addition to her recent main gig of courting controversy, Lana is still an artist, and she has a whole bunch of stuff coming out: a new album, two books of poetry, a spoken word album of “freestyle poetry” to benefit Native American organizations. And today, she’s shared a new spoken word poem from her upcoming second book, behind the iron gates — insights from an institution, out next March.
The poem is called “patent leather do-over,” and it seems to be inspired by a passage from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar: “I had removed my patent leather shoes after a while, for they foundered badly in the sand. It pleased me to think they would be perched there on the silver log, pointing out to sea, like a sort of soul-compass, after I was dead.” It’s three minutes long, and this is how it begins:
Sylvia, I knew what you meant when you talked about swimming in the ocean and leaving your patent leather black shoes pointed towards it while you swam. It tickled you to leave them there. It was the thought of a young child or of a lost fairy. It reminded me of who I am. It’s why I’m now at this facility by the ocean and why I go barefoot and why I go calmly. Why I leave my shoes up by the stairway. I do it for you and I do it for me. Because having learned from others and from you, I learned there was a missing piece to finding existential calmness and domestic bliss to lead to peace.