Pro Forma

The best cat is a black cat. Siamese are the most vocal.

Carpet runners are a sign of impending nervous problems. Keep restraints at the ready.

Boots should be leather or suede, and should make a pleasing sound on hard surfaces--




Return all library materials by the due date; other patrons may be waiting. A drop box is usually available during off hours.

Ladies never spit on the floor.

Old Italian women do, at the mention of philandering husbands or lazy sons in law.

Pay careful attention to grooming and personal hygiene--



Remove blood stains before they set.

Choose flattering colors and fabrics. Florals are pretty. Classic black makes a statement.

Cursing is vulgar.

Men are large, but slow. Keep cutting edges honed, and your innermost thoughts to yourself.

Laugh often.

Show some thigh.

Rinse and repeat.

Every woman has a secret name.

So do hurricanes.

A woman's kitchen is the heart of her home; her bedroom its soul.

All women are priestesses. She may be--





Lie to a woman and in your next life you will eat carrion.

Beat a woman and in your next life you will be carrion.

Love a woman and in your next life you will be a lion. This life, too.


Dogs were created so that women could whisper their secrets to someone.

Discard anything you haven't touched in six months.

Water the flowers.

A woman who loves her hair, loves herself.

Wink at your image in the mirror, for luck. If you are not reflected in the glass, it is not you who will need the luck.

All women are nocturnal, answering to--

The moon.

The tides.


And lastly, if you know someone truly loves you, forgive them anything else.

If you know they don't, all their words are empty.

Kiss hard.

Fuck rules.

Protect your little ones,

And sing what you like; you are the only one who knows the tune.



Cloudia said…
Oh Goddess yes!

I need a smoke now...

Aloha, Shay Poetess Friend!

Comfort Spiral
Tabitha Bird said…
Oh wow. So good. I love how you pulled all those do's and don'ts together to paint such imagery.
Riot Kitty said…
That last graph is great :)
Mama Zen said…
Rules to live by.
mac said…
Oh boy, I'm a Lion !

These guidelines should be canonized.
Unknown said…
Tomorrow morning when I sit at my office cubicle, I am going to print a copy of this and keep it close to me to remind me of the rules, the ideas that we goddesses truly possess and those that are wired to our souls to remember...thank you so much for the soul needs it time to time as it moves to a more static twilight in itself...thank you...

blessed be dear sister...
Ileana said…
You don't mind if I print this, frame it and hang it up at work, do you? I need to rinse and repeat this A LOT, Chica! (Don't we all??)
I've got four dogs over here, one of them is deaf but he's the one that knows my secrets even if I don't tell him.

PS--I loved Mushy's comment too!
Anonymous said…
I was almost singing that in my head. Fabulous post... now need to get myself a dog!
Anonymous said…

I have two siamese cats and they truly are vocal.

And yes, protect the little ones.

All excellent rules.
Dul├že ♥ said…
Oh MY! This reminds me of the video sent... but so very well and wisely improved.
You are GREAT!
I cannot quote any of the lines to say, hey I especially loved this or that... I'd have to quote them all, every single one!
Shadow said…
this should be a poster on my wall.
the walking man said…
See...this is exactly why I have no fear of women because I know all of these rules and incarnations of you.
Anonymous said…
Some spouses may be discarding their mates after reading this, if they haven't touched in 6 months!
I'll be back again today.

Daryl said…
Lie to a woman and in your next life you will eat carrion.

Beat a woman and in your next life you will be carrion.

TALON said…
Absolute perfection, Shay.
Anonymous said…
I know You are the best black cat.

If a woman's kitchen is the heart of her home, then mine is heart burn.
hedgewitch said…
So glad you posted this--I've missed so much of your earlier stuff. This one is like the BEST Hints from Heloise/Vampira/Kali that ever was. Love the carrion lines (that sounds really...sickish, but I know you know what I mean.)
Thank you for visiting The Friday Forgotten and linking your post. Your imagination and creativity should never lie dusty in a dark corner of your blog. We are happy to help clear away the cobwebs.

I enjoyed this immensely. Although for vamps and their like it kind of took me back to beat poet days. I felt a need for some soft drums or bongos and wildly played flute that danced in between your strong words. Now I am seeing a vampire beat what a thought. But seriously I loved that it was so dare I say forceful?
Brother Ollie said…
Wise advice - carpet runners LOL!
signed...bkm said…
Great all the different sides you portait in women...and all their secret names...glad you posted...missed it the first time...bkm
Gemma Wiseman said…
I think of Medusa - all snaky in fiery beauty - venting some sugar-coated sensual spleen (with a bit of electric shock on the side). So delectably ideal for boots stepping out on marble or cement or bone...
Kathryn Dyche said…
This made me smile, laugh and shout yes, yes, yes!
brudberg said…
The third rule from the last is the only rule that's needed... hope to be a lion.
kaykuala said…
Great advice Shay! Just so for women. Good for men to know though!

Timoteo said…
Indeed, their words are empty.

Love the bite-sized nuggets here. Peefect for breakfast.
hedgewitch said…
This is either the world's biggest refrigerator magnet, or one of the best poems ever--going with the latter I think. the secret name here seems to be subtlety, stating what may or may not be the obvious as if it totally were, and in the process, bringing out the truths we overlook too often. On this reread, I especially like the ending.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Shay, this is the modern (and feminine) reply to Blake's Proverbs and every bit as noteworthy.

I'm tucking this one in next to me heart. It never pays to forget (or remember).

And lastly, if you know someone truly loves you, forgive them anything else.

If you know they don't, all their words are empty.
Rules to live by, and love by.
its like somebody pressing a burning cigarette on your skin.bravo!
Magaly Guerrero said…
Boots on bone... kissing hard... at night... Yum.
Susan said…
Wow. I am blown away. This is cut to perfection. After the boots/marble/cemment/bone, I felt a descent into madness--but rose again with the hurricanes until by the end I was flying, fully sane again.
Adura Ojo said…
A handy poem for sure. Your poem made me smile, Fireblossom:)
Anastasia said…
all women are nocturnal....yes, i write letters to the moon.

awesome work, shay!

come by and visit me, my poetries are missing you!

stacy lynn mar
Margaret said…
Wow. Now this is a list of twist and turns and rules to live by and rules to be warned by… LOVE it. Wowzers.

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