Sunday, March 13, 2011

Interstate Aubade

I'm sick of the back door--

That's no way for a lady to make a proper entrance.

Thanks for the short-handled fire axe...

It's easier for me to grip;

And ever since you brought it, wrapped in a pink bow, to bury in my living room wall,

I've been mulling other uses for it.

I can be the tenderest of lovers, you'll see--

I will wrap my arms and legs around you weightlessly,

My lips at your throat,

Like a grinning locust on a stalk.


When I wrist-flip your skull down the hard wooden stairs,

You'll hear me at last

And see seven of everything.

Don't let's end this way--

Let me write you one last love poem on a lamp shade,

So that my leaving will light up the room every time you think of me;

And when,

After I've kicked off my shoes and run to the middle of the pedestrian bridge above the freeway,

I'll be careful about the cars...

I know they always make you sad, and I am not heartless.

The link mesh is like a protective angel--

It lets the breeze in, but prevents me from dropping things into the lanes below.

Still, you always liked me clever,

And so I crawl up and hang upside down from the inside arch,

And that is enough

To distract and bring fire and doom

To travelers I can't get close enough to touch;

Lunatic moth, that's me,

As I make my way at last

Down the parallax to the other side,

And away from us.



Lisa said...

omg, this is so good ~
a nice read (and welcome back) for someone (like me) who finally turned on a computer. love the entire thing, love the grinning locust. brilliant!


hedgewitch said...

I had an old foreman back in the day that used to exclaim at the end of little cautionary tales like this, "That scairt me, and I ain't scairt a nothin." I think it's the first stanza of menace and appraisal, or maybe the reappearance of the locust, more grisly than when last seen, that causes the grue. The fact that the narrator ends as an escaping moth (moths are not known for toothiness or wielding axes)--even a somewhat sociopathic moth, relieves my mind however. Quite an edgy, incisive piece.

Raven said...

Absolute genius. 'Grinning like a locust on a stalk'-that's so awesome!

Your poems are gritty and real and oh so delicious!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic. I love the edge to it.

ileana said...

"...wrist-flip your skull down the hard wooden stairs..." Why do I like that line so much??

Hannah Stephenson said...

The intensity works so well here. I agree with ileana about the "wrist-flip"---that is super effective.

I think of that Shellac song, "Prayer to God" (warning--creepy song, but creepy GOOD!!).

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I'm a-skairt too! hee hee. I love the "grinning locust" - totally fantastic image. The axe, the wall, "mulling other uses for it"..........wonderful. Quite a scary read.

jen revved said...

It's about three a.m. here and I'm listening to this 'nfernal song and reading/re-reading this very fine poem-- edgy and fine. xxxj

Daryl said...

Lunatic moth .. I identify

Lynn said...

Like a locust on a stalk - a vivid image. :)

Sara said...


I like the imagery of the moth; attracted to something that could lead to its death.

I also liked these lines, "Let me write you one last love poem on a lamp shade/So that my leaving will light up the room every time you think of me;"

Sometimes I feel your poetry seeks to shock me with its pain.

Ami Mattison said...

Wow, Shay! What an intense opening! Kinda scary, and then that grinning locust--fantastic image! Love, love the lines about writing a love poem on a lamp shade. But the ending is perhaps the most intriguing--the moth wreaking destruction. Fine and powerful writing, my friend!

Helen said...

Just once, before I exit Earth ... I will write a love (or hate) poem on a lamp shade!!!

Mama Zen said...

This made me want to break up with someone just so I can do the lamp shade thing.