Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Treatise On Gender Inequality ( by "Cookie" O'Flanagan )

The thing about my husband is--
the most irritating thing about my husband is--
his face
his face
his face.
I said, look, lumberjack,
either grow a beard, or shave--
cos this everlasting
endless
eternal
three day stubble stuff
sucks dead donkey lips, dude.

I know I talk trash--
I know you'll scoff--
you'll cue the quizzical look, and ask,
"Why did you marry him, then?
Why?
What was it that happened,
that caused you to choose him
from among all choices,
from among all men?"

Well, I'll tell you.
Hell, I'll tell you the whole sorry thing.
There I was
pocketing a lipstick,
just as innocent as a spring breeze,
when they caught me and rolled my dainty fingertips
in black ink for fingerprints,
and hauled my happy ass before a judge.
I ask you, does that
suck much?
You bet it does!

I was sent for counseling
to the aging, crumbling, crappy south wing
of a cruddy community hospital,
for the solving of my mental
panics and peccadilloes.
What do you think was the first thing I saw?
After the
boring-ass
reproduced,
faded pictures on the wall?
His face
his face
his face.

He invited me to sit down,
so I did, cos the assclown had my paperwork,
and i really wanted to
put this behind me,
so I smiled quite benignly, and said,
"Lay it on me, Spike.
What d'you have in mind?"
"I'd love to get my hands on you,"
he revealed,
setting his clipboard across his knees.
I told him, "Keep dreaming, cowboy,"
and spat on the floor
like a Nawlins whore.

Do you want to know what he really meant?
No, you don't already know,
and I'm getting to that.
Deep in the basement of that crumbling,
cruddy,
crappy-ass south wing,
he stood before me
and with a flourish of professional pride,
proceeded to show me his thing.
No, not that thing.
Here, have another drink;
you're going to need it.

I said, "Whoa.
Holy shit!
What in the name of Isis and Indiana Jones
is this?
It was a gadget, with a chair,
and a helmet made of glass;
it had electrodes, and dials, and a scary-looking switch.
He told me, "Sit your happy ass down,
and we'll get started now, Miss."

Girlfriend,
listen to me.
Next thing I know,
I was in 1843,
five-fingering candles, and dowels, and
all kinds of useless shit.
Pretty soon, they hauled my happy ass before a judge.
Some things never change.
Some man was fucking with my brain!

The jowly judge, who had hair in his ears,
said, "Hear me, young strumpet!"
Oy.
Can you believe that?
He actually said that.
Anyway, he told me I could marry my doctor,
or, if I preferred,
rot in a rat-infested prison cell
at the Podunk Penitentiary For Women.
Hmmm...
I thought,
and I thought,
until the bailiff stuck his baton under my chin
and I was urged to hurry up
and make my decision.

"Honey!" I exclaimed.
(not being in full control of my brain)
and so we became man and wife
for life.
Holy fucking Christ in a prom dress!
I figured, keep smiling, girl--
baffle 'em with bullshit until you figure a way out
of this whole stupid mess.

Do you know what he should have done?
(besides shaving his stubble?)
Do you know what he should have tried
if he wanted to save
a whole lot of trouble?
He should have locked the door
back to the main floor
of the crappy, crumbling, shitty south wing,
and the time to which I am most accustomed,
back where a girl can find
a decent store with decent things.

But never mind.
See, I knew this guy.
Everybody knows a guy,
right?
So, by the following Tuesday night,
he had thoroughly fucked with
my husband's stupid glass helmet,
to make it do my bidding
and to hopefully undo
our ersatz, antiquated wedding!

I went back down
and put on this ginormous, voluminous gown,
which nonetheless
was quite a lot less
than was customary in 1843.
I told my husband, "You must be tired--
leave everything to me;
just sit right here and close your eyes--
mama's got
a nice surprise."

Honey, I didn't waste any time.
I switched it on,
and like that, we were gone,
our happy asses jerked right quick
into the year two thousand and ninety-six.
Okay, so here comes the good part.
Cross my heart!

We landed in a land
where it sort of sucks to be a man--
they just fetch and carry
for Jane and Mary.
Not only can't men vote--
they can't marry!
Science has made enormous strides
bringing bouncing babies
to blushing brides.
It's too bad for the doctor;
pretty harsh, pretty tough.
I'm telling you, girlfriend,
I couldn't make this stuff up!

So I hid the key,
which I'd stolen long before--
you know the one,
to the first floor door
of the crappy, crumbling, mental health clinic place.
I'm afraid I'm mean.
I'm afraid I'm cruel;
I left the doctor in the future, living out his days.
Oh, and one thing more--
I made him shave!
_______

for Kerry's "worldbuilding" challenge at Real Toads, and "breaking the rules" at Poetry Jam, hosted by my very own Sista Poet!!!



41 comments:

Buddah Moskowitz said...

This was a trip and a half. Frickin' wonderful. This is a poemonologue de force! SoundCloud this one immediately! This was a damned rollercoaster of a movie! Your usual and casual genius am a marvel to behold.

And, I agree, either shave or don't, Don Johnson wannabe.

Seriously fun, Ms Cool.

Love, Moskowitz the NVS

jasmine said...

"and spat on the floor
like a Nawlins whore" Nice.

"Next thing I know,
I was in 1843,
five-fingering candles, and dowels" Love this. But I hate it when that happens. ;)

"You must be tired--
leave everything to me;
just sit right here and close your eyes--
mama's got
a nice surprise." He he he. I like where this is going.

"they just fetch and carry
for Jane and Mary.
Not only can't men vote--
they can't marry!" Ha! This is awesome. :)

Too funny, Shay. You are so creative!

Emma Major said...

wow wow wow, I'm going to share this with my own stubbly man :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

Ha! I was lost a long ways in your backwards-forwards world, and then these lines hit me:

I'm telling you, girlfriend,
I couldn't make this stuff up!

and I laughed out loud.

I love the narrative voice, the conviction of her tone, it's so persuasive. And certainly there are worlds within worlds, so much is hidden from view, whose to say there aren't time machines in the basements of sanatoriums?

ND Mitchell said...

Ha- this was awesome. Confess to being one of those three day stubble guys so maybe you're poem taught me a thing or two. Wonderful creativity and great fun.

Mama Zen said...

How, how, how in the hell do you come up with this stuff?

Helen said...

This was an out of body experience! OMG.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my God. What Mama Z said. This is SO MUCH FUN to read - especially "I couldnt make this stuff up." Now I want a sequel with more about 2096!!!!! Wish I could live long enough to live THERE!!!!!!

hedgewitch said...

You are killin me here, girlfriend. Once again you make a character that *is* an entirely different world, her very own world, of course, and everything just seems to follow as naturally as spring tripping along after winter, but a lot more entertainingly. It was only after I finished reading this poem for the second time that I realized it actually was *really* long--more lines than I usually am able to swallow online--but here they flew by so fast I was regretting that I never found out which delectable nurse the narrator ended up with, and how many babies they created in a steampunk baby machine during tourist trips to 2096. Fantasy? Alternate reality? Seemed pretty real to me.Great great job with this challenge, Shay--I knew it was exactly up your crooked timewarping little alley.

Mary said...

Ha, I knew you would have fun with the breaking rules idea, Shay!! Quite a tale about quite a world. And in the end women are in charge! I enjoyed this.

TexWisGirl said...

your imagination and wordworking never ceases to amaze. and go cars!!!

Dave King said...

I'm a three day stubble guy, so it's good to know it all worked out well in the end!!!

Brian Miller said...

ha...for one i am glad that i have a full beard...no shaving please....luckily with my life expectancy as well i will not be around to be a slave, though it might not be a bad gig...smiles...this was a trip though shay...and serves his right for mucking with your brain...

Marian said...

hah, so fun! it's like Margaret Atwood meets Quantum Leap. (and i adore both, lest you think this is somehow an insult. it surely is not.) :)

Sara said...

This was so much fun:~) the words tumbled and danced off my tongue and sometimes didn't. It's hard to say "crumbling, cruddy, crappy-ass south wing."

I love how create characters in your poems. I also love that they're sassy women who don't put up with much shit and create their own worlds and rules:~)

Thanks for making reading so much fun.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Loved this adventure!!

Peggy said...

I enjoyed this very much. The title confused me a bit about whether you or someone else else wrote it.

Tatius T. Darksong said...

This has absolutely made my day on top of getting strange looks from people while laughing out loud reading this. lol guess I should tell them I was in another World. Very good write!

Susan said...

Fun character and world(s)--best amazing escape ever--narrated with suspense and spunk. I had to read without pause. I love science fiction!

Ella said...

I love what you made up! Oy...now I need me a boy clown ;D

Kim Nelson said...

LOVE IT! You not only create a world, but you devise rules and regs that please the best of the gals in chains. Atta girl!

Hannah said...

This is so stinkin' awesome my friend!!! You're imagination is a good, good thing...yup, wow!!!

I love that you break through...the narrator does and talks to her reader...I just love that.

I also love that I don't know what's going to happen...totally unpredictable!

Details and conversation are done to perfection...

I bet this was easy for you too, huh?!!

I need a do-over...I admitted I was not in the right frame of mind when I wrote it but after reading you...wow. Ha!!

Thanks for having fun with this makes me smile!! :)

manicddaily said...

Ha! Very charming. I hope I live long enough. A lot of fun. k.

ellen abbott said...

That was fun. But I get the whole shave or don't thing. huh ad to say those very words to my husband.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love this. I'm so jealous. I want one of those helmets. Then I get to decide which husband to use it on first.
Ohhh, fun!!!
K

Margaret said...

they just fetch and carry
for Jane and Mary.

ha ha . Just have to wait 83 more years... (I like a bit of stubble... just sayin' :) Your imagination never ceases to amaze me. I came up with NOTHING for this... my imagination is like... zero. sigh.

HermanTurnip said...

Wow. That was just...wow. I'm speechless. Excellent!

Judging by this piece you might be interesting in reading the book The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger. It's chock full of shoplifting, magic tricks, identification theft, and a guy with an extra finger. It's a fun, twisted read.

Susie Clevenger said...

Goodness, give you any challenge and you run with it. "We landed in a land
where it sort of sucks to be a man--
they just fetch and carry
for Jane and Mary.
Not only can't men vote--
they can't marry!" Now that is some payback! Love it!

Shadow said...

this sounds like an episode of American Horror Story, superb!

Kelvin S.M. said...

...ha, this was epic... the entire poem set an image... a strong point to hit issues 'bout gays & lesbians... i think we encounter a lot of these in the current world... yet still misunderstood.... i think i had a clever read this afternoon... thanks...

Lynn said...

I chucked at "no not that thing" :)

nene said...

Psst, he shay! Can I hang out with you just one day? I'll shave on the way and I promise I won't 'muck' with your mind because we won't have the time when we go back to nineteen ninty nine.

Love just being on this site with you. :-{)

Robyn Greenhouse said...

wow - got carried away with your words ! what a poem!

Hannah Stephenson said...

In the name of Isis and Indiana Jones, I declare that this poem is delightful!

You could write a collection of short stories about this character....I just love the voice here.

Mary Jane Bane said...

I spend too much time away from you. I love this so much-I have not words and I am not eloquent enough to share my love of your writing. I swear it's true love. Good god you wreck my heart. I'm stunned by your talent. Gorgeous wonderful funny--

Grandmother said...

What a wild ride this is and what a great world you've created- yeah!

Karen said...

Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

Lolamouse said...

"spat on the floor like a Nawlins whore" LOVE THAT!!! This was a fun trip! Where do I get one of those glass helmets?!!

SaraV said...

You are wonderful!! An incredible story in the best of bawdiness-could totally picture the whole thing, lots of laughs too-thank you:-)

Susan Lindquist said...

Hahaha! You go! This was such fun to read ... great storytelling, great voice, great pacing, and such a cute twist on the ending of what might have been a sad comment on psychiatric ethics!

myheartslovesongs.com said...

{{{bowing forehead to floor}}} i'm not worthy... i'm not worthy of your EXTRAordinary writing in response to my prompt!!!

shall i grovel in the gravel by the graveyard while you eat grapefruit?

would you like me to kiss the ground you walk on? {hell no! i'm not gonna kiss your feet or your ass! ~ this is fucking brilliant but i ain't kissin' your feet or your ass! my boyfriend would get jealous!}

damn, Sis! you constantly outdo yourself and that's not easy! well, maybe it's easy for you but not for the rest of us mere mortals.

thank you SO much for joining in at Poetry Jam!!!