Sunday, April 10, 2011


Raise a child up in the way it should go,

And even the bad apple will fall damn near the tree.

Mama took every pill in the house--

She was country but tried to be posh--

Either way, Mama, they bury you in the dirt.

I'm the sale rack girl...

I ate an entire tray of cookies instead...

And I'm higher than a mailman on pay day.

I need to tell--

I need to tell you and Dead Mama something--

I'm out by the pool in my pepto-dismal pink dress and Payless boots,

Seeking Aqua-Jesus.

Aqua-Jesus lives out of reach of the squalor and stupidity of this world,

Down there in His perfect kingdom at the bottom of the in-ground.

Down there, far below the oil-tainted dead leafy scum at the surface,

He lives with Mary Magdamermaid

And several trident-bearing Neptunes from the Home Depot.

Aqua-Jesus, you're my last chance gas, my last call at Corinne's, my tampon machine in the restroom of my extremity.


Snorkel up,

Enfold me.

Aqua-Jesus, here comes the apple that Eve should not have ever tried.

Imma fall,

Call it a dive,

Hoping that, face down in the crappy filthy pool, I can see you better.


Make me your goldfish--

Overfeed me til I die,

Keep me in your cool coral reef shower curtain world

Where no one hurts,


Let me be your beloved barnacle.

Let me quit this fucking world and float like a cute seaweed,

Down where even Your sacred blood looks like strawberry jam from a squeezie;

Down where every scream is muted in a gentle rising of bubbles,

As if the whole thing were just a giant champagne flute,

And we were just happy half-smashed lovers

Getting over,

Getting married,

Oh baby, getting it right at last.


for One Shoot Sunday

photograph by Lauren Randolph


Sioux said...

"Getting over,
Getting married,
Oh baby, getting it right at last."

The rhythm...the power. Sheeeet!

Would you be ticked off if I spoke to the owner of that little independent publisher I know? I would direct her to your blog and your poems. She's done at least one collection of poetry, and did some interesting things with it.

The bottom line: You need to have a book of your stuff out there!

dustus said...

Quite the depth of despair among satire. Here's to hoping the sheepish girl in pepto pink discovers Aqua-Jesus, and more importantly that he provides golden showers of love throughout her life and habitual wimples.

signed...bkm said...

Shay this is and Brian have both hit nerve endings today...just love your Agua-Jesus your pepto-pink dress...(i personally despise pink)...and Mary the ...mermaid...wonderful...i am no water soul...need earth ... unable to swim or - not enough to be said about this sunday sermon....except feeling its blessing....thank you...bkm

Neva Flores said...

Your words never cease to amaze me.....what a talent!

Brian Miller said...

way to bring the sledge hammer today capture much of that hopelessness when finding god in a breath at the bottom of the pool seems to be a much better way...

Natasha said...

I stand in awe at the gritty, potent, ranting power of the piece. I'll tell Mama ya done real good.. Awesome~

hedgewitch said...

What a mix of the sublime and the trashy, the commercial and the eternal, the insane hope balanced by a brain too soggy to think, a heart floundering in the scummy soup trying not to be boiled alive...Magdamermaid is classic--along with the tampon line and so many others...every image works overtime, and the whole piece hangs together with the thrust of a gut punch from god.

Can you tell I think its really good?

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

This is perfection.
Gonna go drown myself in a chocolate fountain now...

Anonymous said...

you can put more power in a poem than anyone i know. brilliant!

"Down where every scream is muted in a gentle rising of bubbles,"

that made me shiver.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Totally brilliant genius material. 'Be the tampon in the restroom of my extremity.' I dont know how you do it.I am just so grateful that you do.

Reflections said...

Powerful... brilliant write! Love the depths you have gone to here.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Hate this laptop. Difficult. Missed the word restroom, but you knew that. I also love the overfeed me like a are such an amazement. Submit some of these somewhere. SERiously.

Anonymous said...

Is Coal Black morphing into Fireblossom? Or vice versa, down the verse road of vice? Yeah, we used the same pic, but I'm not sure how widely we diverged -- same gods, at least. (Persephone one of the daughters of the horse-union between Poseidon and Demeter.) Personally, I prefer my divinities down there at the bottom of the pool, but there's a hell of a lot of difference between diving and drowning there ... I know this doesn't have shit to do with your poem, but oddly my stepdaughter - she's 32, long estranged from me after I divorced her mom, long estranged from her mom down her road of addiction -- was found floating at the bottom of a pool a few weeks ago. Still in a coma. Your nun isn't far from her now erased perplexities. - Brendan

jen revved said...

i don' mind if it rains or freezes long as i have my aqua jesus...boy do i love this, although if i were feeling worse than i already do, having used the same photo and written a darkling poem, i might jump out my first floor window... :)--
I love this:

I need to tell--

I need to tell you and Dead Mama something--

I'm out by the pool in my pepto-dismal pink dress and Payless boots,

Seeking Aqua-Jesus.

outta site. xxxj

Beachanny said...

What a spectrum you cover here - beyond the grave, into the pool, through the aquaJesus to the realization that posh or poor..dead is dead. Deep end stuff!

Ami Mattison said...

Oh wow, Shay! Some parts of this are just so sublime and then you bring it down the absurd--love that duality about this poem. "Beloved barnacle"--brilliant! And that ending is fantastic. Great poem!

Lolamouse said...

You never cease to amaze. This one reads like a Southern Gothic novel, perhaps Flannery O'Connor. It's dark and funny and sad and eerie and fan-fucking-tastic!

Patricia Caspers said...

Oh, this is so funny, and so sad, and at some point I started reading it with an accent in my head. My favorite bits: "Either way, Mama, they bury you in the dirt"; "sale rack girl"; "Mary Magdamermaid"; that whole tampon thing; the goldfish; "let me be your beloved barnacle"; and that ending gets a big WOO HOO!

HermanTurnip said...

I love uplifting poems like this! Makes me want to hug a basketful of puppies. ;-)

But seriously, "Hoping that, face down in the crappy filthy pool, I can see you better". Brilliant! My inner Chuck Palahniuk is smiling at this.

Hannah Stephenson said...

I can hear your writing as a song very you write songs? "Pepto-dismal" was a nice little gem.

Steve Isaak said...

Strong story-telling "voice" here - exemplary stuff.

Lydia said...

This sure would get that evangelical set goingoff like crazy! I honestly do not know what to say about this one. That Mary strangely nice that is.

Shadow said...

break the circle hunny, break it!

TALON said...

"Either way, Mama, they bury you in the dirt" - that line just leapt out at me, Shay, for it's simple and utter truth.

Daryl said...

Aqua-Jesus .. love it

Raven said...

I just bought my very own Aqua Jesus action figure. He even came with swim fins. I created a shrine for him in my bathroom sink. Aqua Jesus is the bomb!!

LMAO Another freaking fantastic poem Shay. When you get published, I want an autographed copy, please. :D

Mama Zen said...

Acqua-Jesus, you are brilliant!

Cloudia said...


A publisher's gonna find you
and pluck you from obscurity
and the PO.

Aloha ?

Comfort Spiral



Brian Miller said...

bated breath awaits
polished poetic pearls
pen leaks on paper

Vesper said...

This is just fantastic. The imagery you conjure is fascinating as always. And I love the new (to me) look of your blog.
Missed you!

mac said...

Wasn't that a cheesey cologne from back in the day???