Sunday, March 6, 2011


The kitten Giuseppe Verdi is smaller than nearly everything

Except mice.

Woe betide the cheeser who does not understand this.

Dreams are smaller than the night they are born to,

And yet,

As the Succubus can tell you, they contain the soul.

Doom awaits the sleeper who denies this.

It is not the light which makes the morning,

But the presence or absence of this or that face,

Felt the more keenly

The fresher the change.

The kitten Giuseppe Verdi worries about none of this.

He has no mother,

But he has a waitress

And a panther to play with.

Mrs. Langtry's talent was smaller than Bernhardt's or Terry's,

But her loveliness brought roses and proposals from the fine gentlemen in the front row.

Theater is illusion,

And the Jersey Lily knew how to work it.

The play ran for one hundred and eleven weeks--

No one now living was there to see it.

The theater has disappeared, replaced by a coffee shop.

The kitten pounces.

The Succubus waits.

A waitress laughs.

The Dark-Haired Chick sits in one of the booths, dressed entirely in black,

With a panther stretched out at her boots

Like a thrown rose.


for One Shoot Sunday

photograph: Lily Langtry



Deborah said...

Delicious to read!

Brian Miller said...

can i please go there one day?

Anonymous said...

Could do with a trip there myself x

dustus said...

And they call the coffee shop Incontinent—serving 5 dollar flavored water! Incidentally, the only one who got a gig later on was the succubus who starred in The Iceman Cometh. Love how this piece challenges the reader, especially with those in-your-face lines "Woe betide the cheeser who does not understand this" & "Doom awaits the sleeper who denies this." Nice technique and then the change in tone, "The fresher change," sets an excellent internal structure.

ellen abbott said...

I woke in the midst of a dream this morning and just like that, in the blink of an eye, it was gone. Wait, wait, I wasn't through yet. But it abandoned me anyway.

Kim Nelson said...

The trick is to be the panther, lacking fear, filling boots and filled with confidence, doing what panthers are created to do.

I love the places and spaces into which you invite me, Shay!

JL Dodge said...

Very enjoyable !!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Loved every single word! What wonderful reading this Sunday morning!

hedgewitch said...

The show goes on as long as there is an audience or a memory. "...The play ran for one hundred and eleven weeks--/No one now living was there to see it..." Illusion is as big or as small as it needs to be, a kitten or a Langtry, a muse or a mouse. I love how you have filled in the blanks of the morning with these various faces and forms, purposes and patterns, threats and gifts.

Raven said...

As usual I love it, love it, love it! You have a definite gift with words.

flaubert said...

I love this, Shay.
My favourite line is;
"With a panther stretched out at her boots"
Well done.


Anonymous said...

I love the fresher the change part. Hope the new mail route is going well.

signed...bkm said...

I love the fact she had a waitress...and a panther to play with what a woman....bkm

jen revved said...

What an amazing photo-- look at that face-- and a wonderful turn on the prompt-- xxxJ

Susannah said...

"With a panther stretched out at her boots

Like a thrown rose."

... Wonderful! ;-)

Cloudia said...

WHEN will you find the recognition and riches you deserve?

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral



Steve Isaak said...

My third favorite - in order of reading - poem in this week's offerings. Perfect, sublime, wish I'd written this (said in a non-jealous way).

Lynn said...

I like the thought of that panther stretched out across her boots.

Beachanny said...

You know what pisses me off? That I know you're there and you're alive and so are so many others I read here and we're not all in that coffee shop with out own daemons at our feet (with a nod to Philip Pullman's Dark Materials). I love this -- remembering Judge Roy Bean and Miss Lily Langtry. Damn you're good.

TALON said...

I hope I can visit that coffee shop one day...and Stripey wants to come, too...

ileana said...

It always goes back to the coffee shop we all know and love. Save me a seat by Cloudia and Talon!

Anonymous said...

as always, Shay, i love your writing. amazing... brilliant... uniquely yours. i throw a rose at your feet.
dani ♥

Leslie said...

Shay - can you stop with the ridiculously awesome writes please!!!!

I want to paint a man hole cover(why is it called that?), pull it up and crawl in under the world until such time as I can brilliantly write!!!

Loving ya!!!

Mama Zen said...

"It is not the light which makes the morning,

But the presence or absence of this or that face"

That is so lovely it takes your breath.

La Belette Rouge said...

This, my Tiger-friend, left me breathless and speechless. Le sigh!

LauraX said...

Loved this Shay...this line really spoke to me in particular...I think perhaps because I am such a serious sort of person lately "
Dreams are smaller than the night they are born to,"

Daryl said...

Oh Danny's .. I love it there .. I keep hoping I will find it and be seated next to the Queen ...

ab said...

I really like this...the imminent danger in forgetting the power of the small or seemingly benign.

Jannie Funster said...

Later... the panther orders biscotti
and flips through Hairstyles Today.

The succubus slips through the keyhole of some guy's cufflink, a portal which leads to a lilac evening in 1592 at some Spanish castle or another.

And the dish runs away with the spoon?? :)