Saturday, March 30, 2013

Skully

When I first met Skully,
I was an ingenue in a silly fragile plastic body--
a nursery flat, a starter bed,
not yet Anne Of Queer Gables
magnificently not giving a shit.

Back then,
I believed that Skully was stuffed like a bell pepper,
jammed to bursting with thoughts, dreams and 
wisdom on every subject;
I didn't know, as we lay together under the ceiling fan,
that he was as vacant and distant as outer space.

He PEZed me kisses, bought me roomsful of useless junk,
and twisted me silly like a bonsai tree.
I let him.
Daydream starlets and archery targets both have curves,
and sit still for the incoming--
I spent a decade with Skully that way,
as if I'd done it with a porcupine and was proud of the damage.

Now, he sits like an unfortunate date brought to dinner--
big-eyed as a girl, smiling too much,
and adding nothing to the conversation.
Still, I can't bear to throw him out,
and so the dogs lug him around like a trophy,
scoring and striping him with their joyful teeth marks
and losing his mandible under the fold-out sofa.

My girlfriends tolerate him.
After all, he's dead, and won't start any stupid crap about threesomes.
The next door kids ask for him sometimes,
and they bowl him at empty pop bottles in the driveway.
I confess, though,
that late at night, when it's stormy, and I'm alone,
I pause before bouncing him down the basement stairs, and I say,

"Thank you, Skully,
for keeping me from having to be alone
in the years before I bloomed into my need for heart, flesh, soul,
and not just solid bone."
Then I lay one on his grinning kisser
and even add a little tongue
just to tease him
for the lack that made me leave him like a southbound bird.
_______

"pop" is a Michiganism for what I think most people call "soda".  
 
  

10 comments:

Cloudia said...

This is great work.
Each line, each image,
essential. Amazing phrases!
Not to mention how this makes me blush and wonder again how you know me so well, and if I should be afraid; but dissapointed I know that you are just not that into me. Lucky if I don't want to be consumed in a fire tsunami. Oh Shay, you would never beleive what I'm up to now; some late in life adolescent liberation. But don't FetLife, er FRET (heh heh)....wait'll you read what I'M working on..........fever dreams on the page, and in real life. . .

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

lapis said...

Wow. That last stanza is pretty powerful.

This is my favorite line: "Daydream starlets and archery targets both have curves" ... love the pez kisses ... oh yeah, and also the very idea of this: "jammed to bursting with thoughts, dreams and
wisdom on every subject."

hedgewitch said...

This is one of those poems of yours that is like a pinata, or maybe the proverbial easter egg hunt--there are all sorts of sweet goodies hidden in it. (Aging square that I am, I thought this was going to be about Skully from the X-Files--boy, was I in for a surprise.) I love 'he PEZ-ed me kisses' and the kids bowling with his remains, but I also love the thing which we minimize by calling it gratitude, the acknowledgement of what others have done for us, even in our worst mistakes. I never quote but...YEESH

Back then,
I believed that Skully was stuffed like a bell pepper,
jammed to bursting with thoughts, dreams and
wisdom on every subject;
I didn't know, as we lay together under the ceiling fan,
that he was as vacant and distant as outer space.

The ceiling fan here is the perfect accompaniment--monotonous, whirling the empty air..the next stanza also kills, and I could go on, but will save some room for others on the page.

TexWisGirl said...

i liked this part: Thank you, Skully,
for keeping me from having to be alone

we've all used someone or something at one time or another.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Love the kids bowling him at pop cans in the alley........and thanking him for "keeping me from being alone".Oh my, that is a line that hits home.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This poem speaks to me of rites of passage, the laying aside of childhood things, even when there may still be a deep-seated need for their comfort. I loved the poem for its details and the sad conclusion.

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

This is a truly wonderful piece for all to reflect upon as we then grow (hopefully) from our innocence or Naiveté. Even those of the 'skully' gender must acknowledge this to be relevent.

I remember looking up at a ceiling fan once (lol)

Great piece, mi amiga

Mama Zen said...

"as if I'd done it with a porcupine and was proud of the damage."

Only you could come up with that!

Susie Clevenger said...

This brings to mind those things I held for security, whispered my dreams to, abandoned when life became too real. You always seem to put grit in sentiment. I love that...whenever I get too sickly sweet with my writing I use a few words of sandpaper to rough it up. lol

Helen said...

Pop is a Minnesotaism too ... when I relocated to Florida and asked for a pop, folks just looked at me like I was nuts!

Your poem blew me away as everything you write manages to do. I'm into your poetry book now ... taking things slow and easy, savoring every line.