Beep Beep

Caroline loved Megan.
Loved her olive skin.
Loved her in her suede boots, coming in the door.
Loved her, next to her, sleeping.

Caroline loved Megan, but,
Megan's crafts turned cruel.
Who knew that the big wind would come?
Who knew that knitting needles, left out,
Could become arrows?

In the emergency room,
A young intern who had been on duty since Tuesday
Laughed, because
Caroline looked like Wile E. Coyote
With a knitting needle through her head;
But Wile E. Coyote
Never looked so terribly confused, and lost.

After the accident,
Caroline changed.
She began to dream of stars, like children make,
With points.
She began to see the world like an old tv
With horizontal lines rising, rising, rising,
And she sees the flag, with its stripes
Promptly at 2 a.m.
Every night.

Caroline asks Megan,
"Take me to the salt flats."
Megan holds her hand,
With silent tears running down her dusky cheeks.

Once, Caroline loved Megan,
But now she can't remember.
A little blank,
She looks around.
Another storm could come, you know.

Caroline smiles her weird vacant smile,
The one that Megan can hardly bear.
"Beep beep," she says,
Looking at the sky.
As Megan turns away, she says it again,
Like a broken blonde doll.
"Beep beep,"
But she can never catch up with herself,
Or the teasing after-image of contentment
In the foggy broken clock of her mind.


for OLN 8


Kerry O'Connor said…
Tonight my insomnia has paid off, since I seem to be the first to find this awesome piece, which plays across the inner screen like a twisted psychological drama. The light-hearted tone of the intro serves to make the tale all the more sinister.. it seems Carolyn was more than triumphant over mad Megan and her knitting needles in the end.
hedgewitch said…
Lord Shay. this is just tragic. What could be stretched into absurdity is instead indescribably, painfully sad and human, and makes one of the best metaphors I've read for the deep damage that life casually inflicts in its storms, accidentally, often through the unintended tools of those we love. Stunning work.
Ileana said…
Tormenting, my friend, yet beautiful, like your thoughts at the time you wrote this, tragic and romantic. Classic Shay.
Anonymous said…
"Beep beep,"
But she can never catch up with herself,
Or the teasing after-image of contentment
In the foggy broken clock of her mind.

Ouch, ouch, ouch, oh and ouch. I found my self shifing in my seat reading this one. I don't have anything intelligent to say after Joy's amazing (as always) comment.
Anonymous said…
i'll never be able to look at the Roadrunner again without thinking of a knitting needle through the head!

only you could take something so utterly comical and turn it into a tragedy that breaks my heart. sublimely painful, Shay...

d ♥
Sioux Roslawski said…
Knitting needles turning into weapons...Wow!

This is tragic and hopeless. I hope your recent writing is helping you work through/bridge whatever you need to.
Unknown said…
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. You certainly have a wonderful way of weaving an interesting tale. This was definitely worth the read.
Christine said…
My grandpa loved the roadrunner cartoons, he couldn't understand English, perhaps there is a hidden magic in there somewhere for the lost? You kept me entranced through this entire piece.
Brian Miller said…
dang. i got nothing funny to say...

so sad...a knitting needle through the head...getting tv transmissions from years ago...thinking you are roadrunner never catching up with yourself...i am glad the other chick stayed but what will she throw next...esp if she wants to change the channel....
Anonymous said…
tragic, sad, even sadder to think of anyone ending up this way....
Randy Behavior said…
This makes me think of alzheimer's. Its the caregiver, shackled by loyalty, who actually suffers.
Margaret said…
I like Randy's comment. This is SO tragic. When a loved one can't remember us, our connection in the past ... it hurts.
HermanTurnip said…
After a 12 hour day at work staring at code last night I feel just like Carolyn. *Beep* *Beep* indeed. All I see are string variables dancing before my half-closed eyes...
Louise said…
oh, this is tragic! So sad..knitting needle through the head?! Beep beep...I want to cry..wonderfully poignant write..
Lynn said…
Beep beep is a great title for this. Yes - sad and poignant.
Interesting perspective with human emotional realities that sometimes evinces with Love. The knitting needles can be easily substituded by Love's more sinister weapon, that being verbal and psychological weoponry.

Wonderfully told story of how Love can be it's own nemisis.
Anonymous said…
Oh Love, thy sting'll will venom every sense ... It's the risk inside every dance, that one or the other will twirl and return a Drooling Swamp Creature. You map the consequences with a love song's throat that doesn't know it's been ripped out.
ayala said…
tragic..yet beautiful....
Daryl said…
But she can never catch up with herself,
Or the teasing after-image of contentment
In the foggy broken clock of her mind.

Sinister and totally creepy. You should make a whole collection of these scary poems...
Beachanny said…
Every time I read your work, I think I understand a little more about the things that inform it, the way you craft it. This week what struck me is how deep you have to dig for the "perfect metaphor". It doesn't feel as though you pluck it like a vagrant melody from the air. It feels as though you have to rummage through seven depths of hell for its perfection. And with every write you hold our feet to the fire of your words. Wondrous!
Sara said…

This was an interesting poem-story. Did you mean to change Caroline to Carolyn?

I loved the lines,
"But she can never catch up with herself
Or the teasing after-image of contentment
In the foggy broken clock of her mind."

This reminds me of my old dog. Seriously, with her dementia there are times when she just stands there, uncertain of what she needs or wants to do. You can see the uncertainty in her eyes. It breaks my heart sometimes.

If I had my druthers, I rather a complete blank, than "A little blank."
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Your writing, as always, is brilliant, bridging the tragicomedy of loving's darker side. Day after day, I am stunned by the originality of your vision and your writing. Day after day, another brilliant write. My hat is off to you!!!
Sheila said…
the stanza about the old tvs and how they played the star spangled banner at 2am before going off the air brought back memories...

a strange tale you weave of love and heartache and of complete shutdown from reality after such an injury. Wondering about the change of spelling back and forth from caroline to carolyn...intentional or not?
Fireblossom said…
First, THANK YOU to each and every one of you for the excellent replies.

A couple things...thanks to Sara and Sheila for pointing out that I inadvertently changed the spelling of Caroline's name mid-way through. *smax forehead* It is fixed now.

Also, some of you read this as Megan having done something to Caroline. That's fine, other interpretations are welcome! But my intent was that the storm was exactly that, an uncontrollable event that changed both their lives. I feel as bad for Megan as for Caroline. It's a very hard thing to watch a loved one disappear, while they are still standing in front of you. I drew on a past experience for that theme.
robkistner said…
Hi, Rob Kistner here. This is a piece well written, engaging – good work… mine is here:
Scarlet said…
Very lovely tale here Shay... Love the dynamics of their relationship specially after Caroline's mind went blank.

You captured her madness and vagueness specially the last few lines.

Hope all is well~ Great to see you ~
Cloudia said…
you are growing. . .

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >
Anonymous said…
I stumbled into your blog, after reading this, I am sitting quite still. Amazing throught provoking poem. Brilliant! I was looking through the comments and was happy to read yours. I could understand both sides of the opinions. Tragic for Megan. Wonderful piece. I think you will see me visit again.
California Ink In Motion
Lolamouse said…
Wow. I'm glad I read this one AFTER the storms ended around here! At least I hope they have. At first I, too, was thinking that Megan had hurt Caroline intentionally, but as I read further, I figured out that it was the storm. Still, the guilt...Now I will have an image of a girl with a knitting needle through her head saying "beep beep" burned into my mind forever (perhaps it will join Steve Martin with the arrow). This was a really uncomfortable poem, which means it did its job! (no shit-my captcha for this was "nomedula"!)
Lydia said…
I don't know how you do it, Shay. This was nearly out of this world, really "trippy" stuff!