Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Freaks

Behold the human tragedy of the discarded runway model--
This is not the cheap bathos of crying clowns, painted on velvet and sold to women named Madge at tawdry flea markets.
This is true waste, genuine suffering.

Do you think that high cheek bones are a guarantee of
Joy?
Adoration?
High-paying shoots in glamorous locales?

Listen--
They are a predictor of sorrow.
Consider this...
Being exceptionally beautiful places one outside of the norm just as surely as exceptional ugliness does.
Removed from one's fellows, one becomes
A perpetual foreigner,
A beautiful mote floating within one's own smooth skin,
Another panicked dot--albeit a gorgeous one--lost on the streets of an inner Tokyo,
And everyone around you
Is, in some manner, a hungry Godzilla.

Welcome to Beauty.
But wait. There's more.

No one cares about your soul, honey.
No one cares about your wa, your essence--
Stow that shit.

You are the blank screen upon which the visions and perversions of others are projected.
In London, Rome and Paris, you are nothing but virtual reality, a mecha dream girl,
A dumb donkey to haul the loads of otaku motherfuckers who can design this season's rage,
But cannot tie their own shoes or order a sandwich without desperately consulting their tablet--
That severe and tiny god.

The runway model is a brand ambassador for the Divine.
She is what we would be,
If we were not so twisted, so marred, so comically fucked up.
Why, then,
Is she reduced to shilling for overpriced underwear?
Why does she not destroy us all, an angry Athena not to be trifled with, confiding in her owl,
Leveling fools,
Bringing fire and flood?

Perhaps I overestimate the power of beauty
As I prowl the soup kitchens and freeway ramps for discarded angels,
Loading them into my dented van,
Adding them to my holy army.

I am the hideous crone at the head of a sexy shock wave--
Here we come, the Different Ones you never understood.
Kiss our asses and hand over the cameras;
It's our world now, and you shrunken Godzillas
only 
live in it.
_______

My sincere thanks to Flipside, who provided me a word list to work from, and to my co-worker Tanya H., who shared with me some of her impressions from having worked as a runway model.

18 comments:

Mary said...

I do think it would be hard to be exceptionally beautiful as you would never know if someone liked you for WHO you were rather than how you looked. In some ways beauty could bring about a very lonely life.

Brian Miller said...

i tend to agree with mary...runway model would not be my occupation of choice...as you point out now one cares about your soul or your wa...might as well tuck that away...and it all ends up feeling shallow...

always a pleasure to see you at dverse shay...

Rene Foran said...

Damn Shay
This is so on point regarding the fashion industry
and those poor hanger souls.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I LOVE every freaking brilliant line of this and by the time I was reading the last two stanzas I sorta wanted a marching band to accompany me as I fell into step behind you. Wow, kiddo. You totally slay me.

HermanTurnip said...

You, my friend, really need to read the book Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. You'd dig it the most.

seasideauthor said...

Your write is so true and most people are afraid to approach people who are very attractive because they somehow believe they are unapproachable. It can be like a plague to be too lovely. Good to expose the industry again and again.

Shawna said...

That last stanza is awesome! I'm so pleased you used "Adrienne's" picture to accompany this. :)

I've always thought if my cheekbones were ever prominent enough, then I'd be truly happy. Thanks for setting me straight. ;)

Love these:
"This is not the cheap bathos of crying clowns"
"They are a predictor of sorrow."
mote/float(ing)/own/Tok(yo)
"Another panicked dot"
"an inner Tokyo"
"No one cares about your wa, your essence"
"You are the blank screen upon which the visions and perversions of others are projected."
"what we would be, If we were not so twisted, so marred, so comically fucked up"
"confiding in her owl"
"Perhaps I overestimate the power of beauty As I prowl the soup kitchens and freeway ramps for discarded angels"

It was definitely worth the wait, girl.

Vesper said...

This is beautiful, harsh because it is so true, but beyond all very beautiful.

Margaret said...

...a blank screen, a brand. I'm sure it is the rare beauty that leaves that business unscathed.

hedgewitch said...

We are as cruel cruel species, never more so than to those we single out to hate or adore, equally. I love so many of the adroit images in this, but especially the final one, of the van full of avengers. You know I don't quote much, but this line really grabbed me:
"Why does she not destroy us all, an angry Athena not to be trifled with, confiding in her owl,
Leveling fools,
Bringing fire and flood?..."
Yeesh! And, if only.

Kerry O'Connor said...

We want our young ones to dare to be different but they are condemned if they fall outside the norm. Such a minefield society has made of living.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

As a former model myself (I was the "Before" picture) I take offense to many of the comments here. Great poem, but I am not at war with my fellow models but rather the culture and industry that proclaims them the standard.

Meanwhile, I await your dented van.

Love you, Shay

Daryl said...

another load of awesome

nohwhere said...

There is such truth spoken here. It really is like a sack of meal around one's neck. I feel sadness for the life of most models.

Sara said...

Wow. Speak your mind, Shay:~) This is a powerful and true writing. I love these lines, "Being exceptionally beautiful places one outside of the norm just as surely as exceptional ugliness does."

We don't often think about that. What beauty takes away from someone and it does. Everyone wants to be with a beauty, everyone wants to have her or him around, but can they truly see who the person is behind the face or body. You spoke well and somehow I also think its appropriate I read this on Halloween. Not sure why I wrote that, but there must be a reason.

Hope all is well with you.

William A. Sigler said...

A lot of great poems lately, but this one is one of your best (I think). Lines like "The runway model is a brand ambassador for the Divine.
She is what we would be,
If we were not so twisted, so marred, so comically fucked up."

myheartslovesongs.com said...

HA! take that shrunken Godzillas!

Love it!

Mama Zen said...

Yes, yes, this is exactly the problem I'm always having . . .

Seriously, this has some fearsome fangs!