Sunday, January 13, 2013

Angelina Aztec

Angelina Aztec, pretty as a poisoned pie--
her snowstorm hair melting at a touch;
she loves the spring
and birds that sing--
just not very urgently;
not very much.

Take the high steep steps to Angelina's place--
bring her tiny sweet cakes, and jelly in a spoon;
put your flowers in a vase,
set them in the fireplace--
lean always toward her lips
as enticing as the moon.

Angelina Aztec is an old-fashioned girl--
she picks apart the artichoke, leaf by leaf;
paper birds, silk blooms,
placed all around the room--
turning seed-sown love
into ribbon-wrapped sheaf.

for Real Toads mini-challenge

artwork by Kim Nelson 


Kerry O'Connor said...

Oooh! What a fascinating portrait. Your last two poems (among so many) show amazing insight into the feminine mystique. You see the humanity, foibles and flaws and reveal all unstintingly, with your signature blend of wry humour. I so appreciate that in your work.

nene said...

I so agree with Kerry's show with amazing insight into the feminine mystique.

Your creative gentle words are so much a self manifestation of this feminine mystique.

Gracias for sharing such a pretty song

Loredana Donovan said...

What a beautiful poem celebrating femininity, and it complements the painting so well.

Kim Nelson said...

She likes the pretty things, yet there's a depth kept hidden 'neath the lace. You've figured her out. Always admire your diction, Shay. Always.

hedgewitch said...

You know I get all melted into scrap metal when you do rhyme, and this one is particularly hot and melting. Artifice autopsied, with a scalpel of sugar. The fine line between attractive and repelling, and a wonderful use of metaphor throughout, especially the close. Really, another deceptively simple piece that makes me yank hairs out, one at a time. Wigs are so uncomfortable--I'm thinking of getting a hair tattoo.

Mama Zen said...

How, how, how do you do this? I adore the delicate, gorgeous imagery.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"just not very urgently; not very much". I dont know how you manage a masterpiece every day - just am so grateful that you do.

Mary said...

Very nice, Shay. Loved the detail.

(And I bet Angelina Aztec could put Martha Steward to shame...ha.)

Laurie Kolp said...

She must have a twin (although you describe Angelina much better).

Anonymous said...

This is excellent. I've read it several times this morning. From the mesmerizing picture (she sucks me in too) all the way down to the closing, this is creativity at its finest.

I love ...

her name, the snowstorm of hair melting at a touch (she disappears if you get too close; or maybe she's not even real), the way she doesn't like being begged (as long as the birds/suitors sing her a gentle melody she will respond, but when they require too much of her she can't handle it), the fact that her home is hard to get to (she makes it as difficult as possible to get near her; perhaps she knows she is poison, so she tries to protect others as well as herself; maybe she isn't really even poison ... maybe she just thinks she is), the jelly in a spoon (that is classic, creative you; no one else would think of this, but it's what makes poetry great), the move from the beautiful and delicate flowers to the fire (which is both destruction and passion/heat/fire), the fact that you advise us to lean toward her lips even though everything about her is a warning (it's like you know it's impossible to resist her so you're saying just go ahead and give in from the start because there's no way you're getting away; going straight for the kiss will at least provide a sweet anesthesia in preparation for the coming pain), that she is old-fashioned (her heart is tender and she wants to follow the rules, so in attempting to avoid hurting us she holds back in such a way that she picks us apart leaf by leaf and we don't even know it's happening, nor does she; she means well, but she still destroys everything despite her efforts not to), the dead things decorating her room (symbols of the people she's destroyed, turning into paper and silk: beautiful, but dead), the way you so subtly make your point at the end (that she takes the sweetest intentions and purest loves and preserves their beauty for eternity, of course having to pluck the "flowers" and destroy their roots first)

What's so brilliant about this piece is that it sounds so clear and straightforward. But it's anything but. Every line sounds pretty, but it's packed with underlying meaning/connotation that says much about her personality, character, and history.

Susie Clevenger said...

Brilliant as makes me wonder if Angelina is her own nemesis when it comes to love.

Helen said...

You left no doubt about the proper way to approach Ms. Goddess (in six easy steps) ~~ that second stanza says it all .. yes ma'am!

Lolamouse said...

That first stanza was brilliant! "Pretty as a poisoned pie," is a new favorite simile, and the end of the stanza made me smile. I'm with Hedge about getting a hair tat! Don't know how you manage to do it EVERY TIME!

Anonymous said...

There's a bit of cummings in here (cf. "anyone lived in a little how town")and a bit of childhood rhyme in here as well. The combination is handled with great skill, and the whole thing ends up as top-shelf stuff.

HermanTurnip said...

"Angelina Aztec, pretty as a poisoned pie"

Wow. A better opening line could not have been written! May I tap your muse for a few precious moments? I could use an infusion of brilliance, especially after a hectic weekend...

Anonymous said...

f**K! i'm so grateful i didn't read your poem before i wrote mine! see what being on vacation does to you!!! stop it right now or be responsible for driving dozens of poets over the edge into unending madness and jealousy and self-worth so low they/we {not YOU!} can't even find it by digging all the way to China!

i mean it!!!

Ella said...

Gorgeous poem and I love the dance of your words and the journey I went on ;D

Hannah said...

Such a cool persona you've given her, Shay!! I love that she likes the birds but not to sing too loudly!! Always winning with unique details. :)

Also I posted a fair warning for you in the open link Monday...I've been writing the unspeakable hai**!! Lol my response for this prompt was one as well. I just was looking out for you...didn't want you to go into hai** shock or anything!! ;)