Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Le Printemps


I traveled across an icy place.

My shoes fit badly.

I reminded no one of Swan Lake.



I arrived, in a snow storm, in front of a coin laundry, under an overhang.

The pavement was wet.

An old black man was mumbling on a bench.

Cars crawled by like thoughts through a hangover.



There was a woman there,

With a baby on her hip,

And a cigarette in her hand.

There was no bible god in sight, and so I

Put my hand to the back of her month-old highlights and kissed her

Like a butterfly landing on a pastry.



When I leaned back to gaze into her eyes,

She squinted and said,

"Who the fuck are you?"

Standing there in my old parka and knit hat, I said,

"I am the Spirit of Spring, baby."

She was wearing boots, jeans, a brown ribbed turtleneck and a red flannel shirt.

She took a drag, blew it out, and then stood there in the smoke cloud

As if it were dry ice.

She seemed to decide something, tossed away her smoke and tilted her head.

I followed her.

The baby looked back at me as if I were some amazing talking toy.



She lived above the coin laundry.

There was crap all over the place;

A little portable stereo on the floor,

Books on the couch,

Off the kitchen a stuffed-full pantry with no door.

I said, "I came to the coin laundry to get clean."

She said, "I came to the coin laundry to get kissed."



In the morning, she kicked me out,

But with a smile.

The baby was fussing behind me as I went down the stairs.

All my clothes smelled like an ashtray.

I had trouble getting through the downstairs door to the street

Because of my glorious, white, soft-feathered wings,

And everywhere I looked,

The apple trees had blossomed overnight.

_______

amazing photograph by Daryl Edelstein

linked to magpie 48 and One Shot Wednesday 28

69 comments:

Neva Flores said...

Love this, especially the line about the baby looking at her like she was a talking toy.........

Daryl said...

I love it .. I am preening that my photo inspired such beautiful words which in themselves paint an incredible picture .. gush much?

hedgewitch said...

Glimpse of the life force in white wings, out prowling the streets, getting and giving the immutable warmth that makes the sap flow in the frozen trees. As someone's spirit was flowing when they made this. I like the way the contemporary language, setting and feel drive home all the things that have been true forever.

The Subversive Librarian said...

Nice post. I really like the line about cars traveling like a hangover. Very apt. The photography is sumptuous, too!

Mama Zen said...

This is just SO GOOD!

Deborah said...

Oh Wow .. I was completely transported, just gorgeous!

ellen abbott said...

Oh my! Is she coming here do you think?

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

WOW! Didn't expect this. Couldn't stop reading. Your imagery is wonderful, as if I were actually there. Well done.

Shadow said...

love the line "thoughts through a hangover". perfectly descriptive!

Lynn said...

The imagery is fabulous as usual.

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

Another stellar piece, Shay... I laughed out loud at "I reminded no one of Swan Lake."

Kristen Haskell said...

Shay you are a fine writer and I love reading your work. Where does the story go from here. I would love to read more of this. I am pulled in completely.

Marion said...

Just fabulous, Shay. Awesome writing!

Blessings,
Marion

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Loved it all, but when the big white wings appeared in the doorway, I was DELIGHTED!!!!!!! Loved all the reality throughout, as well - hey! she is wearing MY red flannel shirt! - and the mess, and I can SEE the baby! Wonderful writing.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

p.s. Oh, and then the APPLE BLOSSOMS! Too much felicity!

Andreas said...

vivid and wonderful.

TALON said...

I loved this, Shay. Is there any chance you can fly over this way and bring some of that beautiful Spring with you?

Tess Kincaid said...

Nice. Very nice.

I'm lovin' the snow today, though!

lightverse said...

a tale full of sound and laundry, signifying the nascent.

repressedsoul said...

Angelic and touching in an innocent way Shay. Excellent

Dulce said...

Brilliant FB!

rToady said...

This same exact thing happened to me once.

It's funnier reading about it than living through it, let me tell you.

Brian Miller said...

you know...you make the perfect angel shay...smiles.

Margaret Bednar said...

...I reminded no one of Swan Lake! Such an awesome line! And as my 8 year old daughter says "a bit spicy!" :)

dustus said...

Shay, you've such a way of turning a simile into graphic, palpable elements to the poem/narrative. Many writers rely on such a device to provide needed imagery. Yours seem to follow clear images that set them up. Vivid scenes from beginning to end; brilliant writing.

booguloo said...

Awe struck with your creativity, but you never offer seconds or dessert.

rockp88l said...

Wow, what an unexpected ending. Really enjoyed the piece. I;d be tempted to structure it differently on the page, more like prose poetry, it would probably read a little smoother. A couple of real stand out lines for me

Cars crawled by like thoughts through a hangover.

and

Put my hand to the back of her month-old highlights and kissed her

Cool write.

signed...bkm said...

Shay, you get better and better...images are to die for and the "I had trouble getting through the downstairs door...beacause of my glorious...wings" el perfecto....ending...bkm

ninotaziz said...

Dear dear Shay,
Finally I get to your blog without any computer crash/hanging/glitches too! Great!

Your poem was simply -

GLORIOUS

SW said...

Hmmm, kissed by Spring, and sprouting wings, makes me think of other things.
;-)

moondustwriter said...

So are you the Apple blossom fairy or the laundry blossom fairy?
oh this is fiction silly me!

well you are better than Swan Lake any day

MoOnIe sMiLeS

Helen said...

Again ... a brilliant write! Sent shivers up and down my spine. Yes, the photo is amazing too!

Beachanny said...

You're a shining light, you're a torch of inspiration, you're Toni Morrison compressed. My God, you're Good! I'm not just a little jealous.
Gay

Tabitha Bird said...

Beautiful. I loved the line about cars moving think thoughts through a hangover. I could see that image. :)

mac said...

What a delicious story you have given us here.

Now, I want to get rid of my washer and dryer just so I can hang out at the laundromat ;-)

razzamadazzle said...

Your poetry always keeps me spellbound; I never know what direction you are going until we arrive there for the glorious end.

Teresa

Cloudia said...

Go, Shay,
GO!



Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

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<°)}}><

MartyrMom said...

What more can be said. I too loved the line "Cars crawled by like thoughts through a hangover."

I wish I could come up with things like that! good to be the reader too

Joanna Jenkins said...

Perfection.
xo jj

Lisa said...

wracking brains, wracking brains...my land must have a coin laundry somewhere....

don't change. you rock!

haikulovesongs said...

As I read your beautiful words, it was if my eyes were closed ~ the vision of you there played out in front of me ~ transluscent and transcendant.

joanny said...

Perfection in a snow laden kiss --- a breath of spring time. so many visuals swirling around my mind from this eloquent write. This is one of my favorite poems ----

joanny

Pete Marshall said...

once again you weave a tale that leaves the norm behind...the picture on the right of the lady smoking caught my attention before the verse..but somehow with the use of cigarette imagery i was imagining it to be her..great share...pete

arspoetica said...

you weave magic with words here, turning the improbable into something believably concrete. awesome.

Cad said...

Almost enough to send me in search of a "coin laundry" (a washing shop?!)

flaubert said...

An amazing story, I was transported to the scene.
Pamela

Claudia said...

the spirit of spring baby - so good!!

Lulú said...

The amazing talking toy line got me, too..the whole thing is amazing!! You rock, chica! :)

Carrie Burtt said...

No prose can captivate me quite like yours Shay....this is wonderfully amazing!! :-)

Desert Rose said...

SHAY...shay..OMG, this is so GREAT! i mean how could any verse get better then this! you are SO FU***ING AWESOME! ok, yes i am addicted to your lines now..:))
you are one fine raw writer! I HOPE one day to read YOUR BOOK..:)

Susannah said...

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! I loved every word. :-)

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

I could us a little pre-Spring cleaning 'round here :)

gorgeous as always, Love

kathew said...

stunning image
stunning piece

kavisionz said...

I love your imagination, Shay... and the way you translate it into words is remarkable!
Am hoping to meet this Esprit de Printemps sometime in March too.. yaaayyy!! Till then, I'll frolic in the snow though :)

Tumblewords: said...

Brilliant. Perfectly.

Shashi said...

Dear Fireblossom

Its so beautiful... I enjoyed it very much..

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com
Twitter @VerseEveryDay

Reflections said...

Beautiful images, stark contrasts, dreamlike dance between two worlds.
Lovely.

Hannah Stephenson said...

That is a beautiful photo. Winter is so beautiful, I agree.

I thought of Black Swan here...

Happy new year to you--hope it is off to a wonderful start!

jen revved said...

I agree with many stopping by-- this was a hit-- erotic, that butterfly landing on a pastry; btw putting up some eros-driven poems shortly-- you are so very good, and generous with your impassioned work. A brava once again... love, j

Jinksy said...

I had trouble getting through the downstairs door to the street

Because of my glorious, white, soft-feathered wings

Nice feeling!

Jannie Funster said...

Oooo, super-delicious.

At least she had books. And food!

Excellence, Shay.

xoxo

Steve Isaak said...

Great storytelling, great poem - perfect.

Terresa said...

Parka, knit hat, dried ice, some compelling details here, great Magpie!

Doctor FTSE said...

Imagination in overdrive. Excellent.

Lena said...

What a visual treat. I loved this.

Helen said...

Drum roll ... #2, here's one more comment for you!

Kerry O'Connor said...

This makes it 67 comments! I don't know how I missed this one, but how glad I am to find it today. I love how you captured the feeling that a chance encounter can turn one's world to Spring on the instant. Those last lines are fabulous!

Lydia said...

Rats! I wanted to be 69.

This was dazzling, Shay. Weird, but dazzling. :)

Sara said...

I can see why this one was your pick. The writing was so sensory. You do that better than most poets I know. You make me understand your words in a visceral way.

Beautiful, Shay. I'm pleased you did the 7x7 and I got to read this one:~)