Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nonsense Verse

There is a nuthouse where they keep the nabob,
the North Star, the water lily,
and the brilliant negotiator.

Under the portico, there is a set of wind chimes;
in the rectory, a set of keys blessed by St. Gertrude of Nivelles,
and in that place, also, her chair, and comfort for suriphobics.

Patients are cured under a vague influence from the sea,
siren voices thick inside the fog and haze,
which lifts from the rocks and rises to the windows--a swan dive back into life.

The porter is pop-eyed from all he has seen,
and the doctors here are beautiful women,
educated at the opera house by Etruscans in their lovely extinct language.

I can see the skepticism in your hard eyes;
you go, even as we speak,
for the basin and the restraints--

but I'm telling you, it's true.
We live here under each others' mutual protection,
angels in repose, here just to vex you with our exquisite madness,

placed though it is, 
and by design, 
just beyond your dull, practical, grasping finger tips.
__________

24 comments:

Cloudia said...

I dream that I dwell in such precincts with you & our ilk. In a real energy, we do!


Aloha

lia said...

This is brilliant. You know I love it. :) Put "nuthouse" in the first line, and I'm hooked!

These are my big-time faves:

"There is a nuthouse where they keep the nabob"

"brilliant negotiator"

"Under the portico, there is a set of wind chimes;
in the rectory, a set of keys blessed by St. Gertrude of Nivelles"

"comfort for suriphobics"

"Patients are cured under a vague influence from the sea,
siren voices thick inside the fog and haze"

"educated at the opera house by Etruscans"

"I can see the skepticism in your hard eyes;
you go, even as we speak,
for the basin and the restraints"

"here just to vex you with our exquisite madness,
placed though it is,
and by design,
just beyond your dull, practical, grasping finger tips"

Still smiley. :)

TexWisGirl said...

you siren, you!

hedgewitch said...

Everything beautiful, exotic, unique, fragile, breathtaking, different--it is indeed too often relegated to the madhouse, or the minds of the mad, in this world, but taking this lovely poem literally is not the half--gorgeous images, and the language so sonorous and stately, yet leavened with colloquial directness, makes this far more than just a list of phobias and lunatics. Beautiful work, Shay--and I am so glad to have learned about Saint Gertrude--patron of travelers, gardeners, and protectress against madness and rats. My kind of girl.

HermanTurnip said...

The idea of another world existing just beyond the surface, keeping distance from the nonbelievers. It's a reality that I find fascinating, and you captured the essence of it perfectly.

kaykuala said...

A lot of convincing needed when confronted with a nuthouse. Nicely Shay!

Hank

Emma Major said...

a happy nuthouse, I think I'd like a visit

Kerry O'Connor said...

As I began reading I felt sure this must be some flipside flotsam magic. I'm not sure which words were suggested but there are a wealth of good ones in this poem.

Lolamouse said...

Well, now that I've looked up St. Gertrude, I'm offended! How could anyone dislike small rodents?!!Hmph!

This reminded me of the book "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children."

Helen said...

Beyond the dull, practical, grasping fingertips ... never want to go there.
Better to stay in the world of Shay.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Just what I need - a few weeks "taking the air" in this place!

Mama Zen said...

"By Etruscans in their lovely extinct language."

I love this.

Susan said...

I made a roused call of triumph at the end of this--a safe place to be.

Susie Clevenger said...

What a beautiful nuthouse...I would rather be there than in the abode of the dull! btw I am reading your book, Night Blooms, and loving it!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I read this as a guided meditation, as though I could see what was there, but I was always being led - siren song? A fun read.

Lynn said...

Exquisite madness - well, exquisite.

wkkortas said...

I am put in mind of the old move King of Hearts, where a British WWI private seeks asylum in an asylum, whose inmates seem much more sane than the leaders of the Great Powers. The British private returns to the asylum at the movie's end, as he (and you, it seems) has figured out that some madness is preferable to others.

Ella said...

I love this one, the depth and detail and the madness~ It had a spell like quality~

Wow Congrats on your book! Damn you are on fire...I gotta get busy ;D

Margaret said...

A swan-dive back into life ... up from the sea to the windows. So awesomely creative.

Kay L. Davies said...

You called it nonsense but I could see myself there, and I could feel every word.
Luv, K

G-Man said...

Too much coffee?
(some folks still speak Etruscan)
Veni Vedi Mangiamo Crostini....

TALON said...

As always, Shay, layered and handled with deftness and beauty.

Sara said...

A delight to read and congratulations on the new book:~)

myheartslovesongs.com said...

this is your word of the day poem, isn't it? suriphobics? what's that got to do with mice? sounds more like fear of Suri, Tom Cruise's supposed daughter, which is now a documented disorder acknowledged by all of the psychiatric community which NEVER happens ~ no three psychiatrists have ever agreed on anything.

i do believe that madness is exquisite... not saying that you or i have any issues with insanity, you understand... (ahem)