Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Carmencarrion

Darling, don't be scornful of the little cripple
selling newspapers with your headline.

It was she who taught your mother a silence so deep
that it ran through her like black blood, carrying rot;
it was the endless shushing at mama's knee
that made a dancer of you after all.

Poison, though trembling in a perfect sphere
at the tip of the world's most beautiful finger,
is still poison;
taint is still taint,
even if you christen it with a fine swung champagne
and send it down the skids into a clear blue channel.

Your fans, they love you erratic, charmingly gut-shot.
They place the rose in your teeth, and you live off the thorns.

That doctor you keep leashed at your feet
can't even find the lesions beneath the lace;
he delivers his diagnosis while dancing on his hind legs,
in traffic,
with silly paper hearts taped over his eyes.

In the end, you still manage to remain obscure
even while performing, spot lit, in front of thousands.
You are a snappish, self-governing state
draped in silk, and wearing a stylish hat groaning with feathers.

Darling, don't be scornful of the little cripple.
Don't do her your turned brand of vile mischief,
then walk away in three inch heels,
laughing.

Your reviews have been slipping, and your notices turn up in birds' nests
with the dead mice and blank-eyed fledglings.

Feel the clips in your hair, like talons.
Sense your mother's eyes on you from out in the red plush seats,
though the footlights stop you from locating the bleed.

Take my hand.
Trust me.
I'll lead, just this once, light as a draught horse,
and you, Darling,
why, you will follow down stage
like a pretty hearse,
driverless and sinking
through the brittle ice and into obscurity.
_______

I wrote this using words found HERE.

23 comments:

punnypalaver said...

You killed that list--wow, just, wow. Powerful, mysterious, biting, beautiful--loved it!

Lynn said...

Gorgeous!

cloudfactor5 said...

WOW !! I really loved this from the title to the ending !! So many fabulous little snippets !!
"They place the rose in your teeth, and you live off the thorns.

That doctor you keep leashed at your feet
can't even find the lesions beneath the lace; he delivers his diagnosis while dancing on his hind legs,
in traffic," I really liked these lines !! Fantabulous !!

Daryl Edelstein said...

knocked it outta the park!

TexWisGirl said...

youch! take that, prima dona!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh, this is a biggie! Layers and layers of psychology, beauty and pain. Your second stanza is simply a masterpiece of concise story-telling. The later image of the mother watching from the plush red seat reminds me of the last scene in Black Swan. There is something of the narcissist and something of the masochist in your portrait: the rose in the mouth and feeding off thorns.
This is tragic, and heart-breaking in the loving offer of rescue at the end, which will probably be ignored. Some people cannot be saved.

nene said...

I'm a little bitter. You stole all my words and wonderful lines and verses and (sniffle) I can't go on.

What are we to use now?

Why do you have to use beauty and art and wonderful writing so selfishly? What are we to use.

Can you tell that I'm bitter?

Con amor, your ex-amigo (sniffle)

hedgewitch said...

I can only get a vague sense of how big this is atm, Shay, but I can feel that it's heavy and full, that the beauty and scope of the language is only a small piece of the working parts.But I wanted to say something about it, anyway--and that is, it's gorgeously written.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my Goddess, this one is even more breath-taking than usual. I simply do not know how you keep producing these fantastical poems, or imagine so many amazing images EVERY POEM. The silly paper hearts taped over his eyes.......for example. I am in awe.

awakenedwords said...

ah, very good. gentle flowing language of rebuke. I can hear the matron speaking, nice and soothing as she explains to the great one that she is no longer all that. Be careful what/who you scorn, for there might you be one day. Soon.

Mary Jane Bane said...

I agree with all the posts above. I can say nothing more they haven't already said, besides I am speechless. I am so glad I discovered your blog, your poetry makes me weep, in the best way. Gorgeous.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

This sounds like the nightmare Stanley Kubrick when he fell asleep after eating too much David Lynch. I love the wild inventiveness of the actors and the action. Never did acid before, but I have a feeling this is probably similar to how it feels. Loved it, Mosk

Mama Zen said...

"it was the endless shushing at mama's knee
that made a dancer of you after all."

Damn, that's powerful.

rosemary mint said...

You have gotten some wonderful comments on this. I'm sorry for holding back on mine. This piece is so big, it requires pages and pages of analysis. And I'm afraid it will break me into a thousand pieces of exhausted glass. But you deserve it.

How many hours did you work on this?

flipside records said...

I left a comment already, so either I didn't save it properly or you didn't like it.

This may be your best piece yet, but I've not read enough of your work to make that declaration with utmost certainly.

In the title, you tell me a several things---Carmen is a carry-on bag, luggage thrown around without much care; Carmen carries on, no matter how difficult life may be; at times, Carmen may carry on (complaining/whining/feeling sorry for herself) over her plight; carrion is also rotting flesh and anything repulsive. So in the title alone, you've made it clear how you feel about Carmen or how she feels about herself.

This is the first commentary installment. More to come throughout the day. ;)

flipside records said...

The opening two lines make me think of a town crier. Perhaps the one being shouted about isn't too happy that she is in the headlines. But the one telling the story (the speaker, I presume) feels insignificant and helpless and would sure like some compassion. Or maybe the cripple has stolen someone else's "headline" (story, idea, lover) and is using it as her own.

flipside records said...

The second stanza speaks of generations of silence. Quieting your spirit to be a mother. And a mother shushing her daughter breeds another mother shushing her daughter---and also a lot of women pretending on a stage.

In the third stanza, you're saying that a thing is exactly what it is, regardless of how it is contained or how it functions/appears. And by "thing," I also mean "person."

I love the double meaning in "they love you erratic." She is erratic, and so is their love for her. While they enjoy the petals, she suffers the thorns.

The next bit is my favorite, with the doctor (any relation to the weather examiner?). Such funny imagery, as if he is a pet. But being chained to her, she sort of becomes the pet.

"can't even find the lesions beneath the lace" ... GREAT line.

"with silly paper hearts taped over his eyes" ... Blinded by "love," only he can't really even see who she is.

I love the word "snappish," again describing her as a pet ... only, a dangerous one. The kind you might have to put down for biting the neighbor kid.

"draped in silk, and wearing a stylish hat groaning with feathers" ... Love this line. The girl wears a good costume in an attempt to blend in and play her part.

Then we're back to the cripple. Only, now I'm thinking every generation of mothers has its own set of cripples telling their stories and pointing fingers. First you mentioned the mother's cripple, and now you're talking about the daughter's. And really, the cripple may just be a voice inside her head reminding her that she has a voice.

And the mother/daughter relationship may not be literal. It may be multiple women inside one body, the conscience, one woman's identities at different points in her life. Any number of readings is possible here.

"Don't do her your turned brand of vile mischief" ... I like this too. The heels and laughter are all part of the show.

This is also cool: "Your reviews have been slipping, and your notices turn up in birds' nests" ... The performance isn't going as well as it once did. I think there is a double meaning here in "notice" and "bird's nest," as if she is being "noticed" in someone else's bed.

This is very Black Swan. She is turning into a bird before our eyes. That is quite something to do in words, Shay. You have done something quite amazing here.

"Feel the clips in your hair, like talons.
Sense your mother's eyes on you from out in the red plush seats,
though the footlights stop you from locating the bleed." ... I think this is going back to the mother's pain and endurance. I think the speaker is telling this girl her mother would approve of her doing what she couldn't do---become a bird, have a voice, get off the stage.

"I'll lead, just this once, light as a draught horse" ... The dancer dances alone and always leads, so to follow the speaker will be quite a change. But the promise is that the pulling will be gentle.

"through the brittle ice and into obscurity" ... I guess you are offering a different sort of obscurity. Quite an ironic ending. Beautiful. But going through brittle ice will get you killed. So perhaps the speaker has been death all along, guiding this woman out of her own life and into a sort of afterlife.

Black Swan.

Hannah said...

Of course this IS amazing!! And I wanna say I Do enjoy these bird details a lot:

"Your reviews have been slipping, and your notices turn up in birds' nests
with the dead mice and blank-eyed fledglings.

Feel the clips in your hair, like talons."

There's a ton going on in this piece, Shay, riveted for sure!!

cloudia charters said...

wow, Shay



Warm Aloha to you from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
<(-'.'-)>

> < } } ( ° >

HermanTurnip said...

How macabrely morose. Made feel queasy all over. Loved it!

Sara said...

Ha, Ha on me. I thought you got the words from the video and when I got to work in YouTube it was Swan Lake and all music. So, for a second I'm thinking is like the Beatles album you had to play backwards? Are the words going to suddenly appear?

AND THEN...I saw the word "HERE." I can be so stupid sometimes!

Anyway, this was a dark read, but you amaze with your gift for putting the unusual together, like the rose in the teeth, but living off the thorns and the "stylish hat "groaning" with feathers." You have such a gift of unique sensory poetry:~)

flipside records said...

I just love your new sidebar picture (the puppies and kitty): "Please respect my poetic nature." It's precious! :)

myheartslovesongs said...

"Don't do her your turned brand of vile mischief"

but that's her nature, isn't it?

brilliant! {bitch!} {oh, did i say that out loud? i meant it in the best possible way, you know! you ARE just a brilliant bitch when it comes to writing and that's a compliment!} {ahem!}