Saturday, March 9, 2013

In The Eggshell Of My Mind

In the eggshell of my mind,
we had stolen this other chick's car--
one that went to the automobile graveyard decades ago.

I was driving.
It was a stick-shift.
We could see a small strip of pavement through the floorboards,
as blurred as we were, stoned immaculate.

No one ever did for a tee shirt what you did for that one.
it isn't that you were so voluptuous--
no, you were as you are now, slender as an umbrella handle;
but we were young,
and you were perfect.

Your breasts were the size of large oranges--
I knew this because I had studied them like scripture
only the night before,
and with the urgency of the starving.

All this while--
all the time we were driving, 
falling off the sides of bridges, 
lips together like a canning seal--

I was sleeping,
softly breathing the night in,
and then out again,
filling it, Goddess-like, with the stars that are us--
or, at least,
as I imagine us, now.

Just before dawn,
I was arrested.
They wanted to know about your hair,
and whether its blackness could be used to feather cosmonauts
as they dance, weightless, like we do.

They said to show them my hands,
and when I showed them my hands,
fields bloomed and the elk ate these blooms.
They were astonished,
but held me all the same.

Would you hold me, all the same, 
you with your Gypsy blood and your hands that hold a bottle
or a crucifix
with the same sure confidence and 
the smirk you save for holy moments?

They will kill me, 
these police with their reports;
or they will wake me,
and what will be the difference?

You and I will be older, 
gone down the river of time.
Look at all our mistakes!
I love them. I do. Better than any of the things we thought were important.

I wish these fools would let me go back to sleep, or just make me disappear
the way they are known for doing.
I won't tell them about your hair,
no matter what they try.
I won't tell them that my hands knew the little bumps that rose
around your nipples
in the afternoon
when responsible people were sober, and someplace else.

I won't tell them that I loved you,
and love you still.
There are some dreams that are the more beautiful for not being tangible.
Take a letter,
though you are not here;
take my heart,
though yours was never really mine.
Take all the gorgeous things I dream,
before they bash my brains in.
It is the least you can do
for the sake of our souls lost in the ether
like Fox and Carrot-Top.
_______

Note: Fox and Carrot-Top (or Lisa and Ryzhik) were the "Soviet Space Dogs" who made a sub-orbital flight in the summer of 1951.

"stoned immaculate" is from "Texas Radio & The Big Beat" by The Doors.

This is for Izy's Out Of Standard at Real Toads. She says to take three words from a job we hated, and use them in a poem that is NOT about that job. I once worked at a specialty grocery store, many years ago. My words are eggshell, oranges and canning. I might add that I showed up for work drunk as a seaside whore one day, and so my words could also be stoned, bottle and mistakes. 



14 comments:

hedgewitch said...

The Doors line fits into this time-space continuum so perfectly--with even a Ginsberg-like howl to the tone, mixed with a squint-eyed, Lorca lavishness of surreal image. Everything blends together for an intoxicating ride through the dreamscape of the past, (with the dizzy ballet of the cosmonaut's freefall swaying in time) conscious or sleeping; it's always with us, and here you make it breathe in our ears all its secrets.

Mama Zen said...

This is breathtaking! Line after line.

Sioux said...

Mama Zen said it--there are so many lines and ideas and images--too many to cut and paste (because it would just regurgitating your poem).

This poem is posted so early. Does that mean there will be a second helping of Shay later today? ;)

Kerry O'Connor said...

This my favourite of your poetic voices, the bitter-sweet knowing of what it means to have been in love rings so true to me. For some reason these lines hit home:

You and I will be older,
gone down the river of time like a tired comparison...

Perhaps because I'm very conscious that I'm in the last 18 months of my forties. Keep the secret of the hair safe. Never tell.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"lips together like a canning seal".........and the blooming fields with elks eating the blooms. Oh my goodness. So bittersweetly beautiful, and full of undreamed-of images.

Lolamouse said...

"There are some dreams that are the more beautiful for not being tangible." You've been reading my mind again, haven't you?!!

Vesper said...

I get from this poem such a sense of time slipping through my fingers that my heart breaks. And still, it is so beautiful...

nene said...

Lke always, beautiful words from a beautiful lady.

After a wonderful love sic journey through your eyes, I love, love, love, the stone tied around my neck experience bringing back to reality in your last lines...for the sake of our souls lost in the ether like Fox and Carrot-top. LOL, too funny.

Lynn said...

Wow - chilling and beautiful.

Margaret said...

gone down the river of time like a tired comparison...

or they will wake me,
and what will be the difference?"

Dreams are so fragile, like an eggshell! You are filled to the brim with imagination - sprinkle some my way, please.

Margaret said...

Did you forget to link up at the Garden for this prompt?

Margaret said...

??? I was thinking this was for the food challenge? I got to much fresh air today. Nevermind the above ;P

Isadora Gruye said...

yeah....every time I get in the way of thinking that short poems are by far the best poems (punchy, scrappy little things), I get to reading your work and become convinced long poems can be done right and hold my interest and steal my breath.

You've succeeded at the out of standard prompt ( and that almost feels like a side note, as this piece is epic in scope). I had to instantly reread this, trying so hard to get the story figured between the narrator and her girl. What happened to separate them, who were the narrators captors (metaphorical v. real v. metaphoric and real)...what did she do (exactly) to be arrested, etc. By the time I finished the second reading, I realized none if mattered. What this piece really said to me was sometimes things happen, people are held captive by real or invisible forces, and then they wake up and those they worshipped have gone into hiding..and what not.

That being said, your tone here is compelling, sensual, and innovative. I like the turn of phrase the egg shell of my mind, and of course the lips pressed tight like a canning press. lovely work, you....onward!

Marian said...

oh your gals in their t-shirts. sigh.