Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shoot The Ballerina

When the revolution came,
Katya was in mid-air.
Her partner was so taken with the sight of the soldiers in their uniforms,
That he forgot himself
Like Jesus' luggage,
And forgot Katya as well.

She came down from the spinning embrace of God,
Not into her partner's strong hands,
But behind the blankness of his back
As he smiled at a cavalryman.
She fell like a sputnik
To the hard stage
And the monkey within
Howled Tchaikovsky flawlessly.

This is where they shoot me,
She thought, amazed.
My leg is broken
Just like the performance,
Just like the dynasty,
Or the regime.
This is where they shoot me
Quick and clean behind one pitch-perfect ear.

But the cavalryman lay dead
At the hands of the second violinist,
Who,
In fierce regret,
Shook him like a puppet to revive him
That he might rejoin the violence and stupidity of the moment.

Like an equine saint, came the cavalryman's horse.
She grabbed a stirrup,
And he plunged magnificently over each row of seats
As if they were river stones or fence rails.
Again,
Katya was launched Heavenward;
Her lips at his velvet ear whispered,
Tonight, we both escape the glue factory!

This time, when she came down,
It was on his back
On the cobbled street outside,
And they went like hell,
Like anything,
Like that,
Til the moon disappeared, a fresh-healed bone.
_______

for dverse OLN #6

25 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

wow quite the tale, loved the glue factory escape remark. great piece!

Jack said...

Bravo!

hedgewitch said...

Your tales of the surreal are growing ever more amazing--this is shining with a sense of madness and escape from madness, society as the insane asylum where the inmates are in charge, and the only salvation is to find that riveting brown animal eye that understands. Splendid in both scope and execution, the whole piece is lyric and high flying, with the fourth stanza my favorite, though it's hard to pick which is the least stereotypical. Fine fine writing here, Shay.

Brian Miller said...

dang...this is a mini action movie...cant imagine the dancers fall though...partnering a ballerina before i was always fearful of dropping such a delicate creature...very surreal beyond that...i am glad she escaped...i wish we all could...at times...

Heaven said...

You left me breathless until the end.

I enjoyed the tale very much. It seems the break from bloggerworld helped you immensely. Hope all is well ~

ayala said...

What a great tale...I enjoyed it :)

chromapoesy.com said...

But the cavalryman lay dead
At the hands of the second violinist,
Who,
In fierce regret,
Shook him like a puppet to revive him
That he might rejoin the violence and stupidity of the moment.

Like an equine saint, came the cavalryman's horse.
She grabbed a stirrup,
And he plunged magnificently over each row of seats
As if they were river stones or fence rails.

The second violinist part is marvelous. I love the animal rescue, made my heart jump over the seats too. Pure genius - word verifier prognosticated hope(r)!

Mark Kerstetter said...

Boy that's weird, like a modern take on a Chagall painting,even the accompanying image with the equine and the human female cheek to cheek. Really enjoyed this.

haikulovesongs said...

a day without magical words from Shay is a day filled with grey and loneliness. if i didn't love your writing so much, i'd be jealous. {i DO love it, but i'm still jealous.} you continue to surpass yourself ~ no one else can come close! ♥ d

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow, what Hedgewitch said. I loved this tale, and love the photo of the two eyes. Beautiful, Shay. You are brilliant.

HermanTurnip said...

I'm enjoying the ride you've been on over your past few posts. I'm sensing a serious shift in style. A progression that's allowing an untapped side to come out. Fantastic!

Cloudia said...

"And the monkey within
Howled Tchaikovsky flawlessly."

YOU! I'm a HUGE fan of YOU!


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blueoran said...

I'll amen Hedgewitch that your storytelling is ramping up into cultural helterskelter where narrative and poetry ride the same horse into the magic sunset. I have no idea what this is about -- my guesses are all elliptical, like waves -- and love it for that. - Brendan

Lolamouse said...

Ride on, ballerina!

Hannah Stephenson said...

So very Black Swan (in the best way possible).

Daryl said...

a great escape!!!!!

Mama Zen said...

Cloudia already quoted my favorite lines, so I'll just say that this entire piece is incredibly cool, totally unique, and completely Shay.

Lynn said...

Read hearing a Russian accent in my head. Cool, FB.

TALON said...

"a fresh-healed bone" - I can feast on that imagery forever, Shay (no pun intended). The horse eye reminds me of Gypsy. :)

flaubert said...

A surreal tale told quite well, Shay. Oh, yes the cobbled streets.

Pamela

Joanne Elliott said...

I love the ride you take us on. From the arms of God to the fall and brokeness to the great lift of escape. Great tale told beautifully.

themslvh said...

What a great tale. You had me edged up to the screen. The posts above said it all. Brillant!

California Ink In Motion

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Wow, this is wonderful! Your use of detail is masterly, and is what I love best of all in a poem in wich everything is to love.

Beachanny said...

Being me and wanting to know why and all that stuff, I read this many times over two days. But I didn't exactly figure out why (although I really wanted to) and for some reason every time until the end I had inserted an elephant and a punch and judy show in the mix.

Also being in figure skating for more than half my life when you say she was in mid-air when the revolution began my mind said, well of course she was or she wouldn't have time to complete the rotations. So when I got to soldiers I wondered if it were a ballet on ice; but now at least I think I finally read it without inserting my craziness and found I still don't know the why but it is
a wonderful p.t. barnum kind of theater of the absurd that "could" be a commentary on the times and political satire and if that's true, it certainly works for me; (I'm thinking Hillary Clinton here). And if it's simply the way you saw something and wrote it, all the better for being truly brilliant as everyone else said!
Great to read.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I can;t say why I love this line so much: Like an equine saint, came the cavalryman's horse... The word order, or cadence or dramatic moment. What a perfect epic in miniature this tale is.