Saturday, November 16, 2013

I am

I am a gravel road of a girl,
a glass jar filled with sharp-edged sea shells;
a spiky tail of a girl, swishing,
not the sort of girl you could take to dinner and impress anybody.

I have tried, at times, to be as smooth as a table top,
smooth as the slice-side of a wheel of cheese,
but the flock fills the arms of my sweater,
the body boils with them--

I am not going be able to stand still for long like that.

Did you hear me singing?
Did you say, please, please honey, shut up?--
that was the flock, filling my throat, stealing my breath,
rushing out of me with ribbons of red in their beaks.

Did you wonder why my kiss was so hungry,
my hands so restless?
I was afraid you would feel the flock and leave.
I was afraid I would have to give back your kisses before I even tasted them.

As for my hands, I was holding on.
The flock wants to take me like an updraft,
they want me to see what they see
until my illusions freeze one by one and the sky storms me back out.

I am a devil dancer of a girl,
a heart beating in a talon cage;
I am a blemished stone of a girl, swung on a leather string,
not the sort of girl you could leave at home and expect good things to happen.

I am a million wings with a soul inside.
I am gone like a broke-backed rat.
From the nest I came and to the nest I return,
and if I am torn apart and devoured, then at least I will be home--

in death I will be done,
silent, sky-shocked,
and still at last.
_______

 

26 comments:

Cloudia said...

Amen, restless flock! ♥ aloha

TexWisGirl said...

fractured but so beautiful.

grapeling said...

"but the flock fills the arms of my sweater"

what a great image ~

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love the way this poem gathers to a surge of emotion in the middle then levels off again at the end. Your picture is perfect for the piece, and was perhaps the initial inspiration for your words. You have taken the image of woman and birds and turned it into something grand and poignant at the same time.

Ella said...

I love the swooping feel of your poem! It has a crescendo that builds as the wings wave at us and tilt their gleam in the wind!

"that was the flock, filling my throat, stealing my breath,
rushing out of me with ribbons of red in their beaks."

I want to create this image it is so bold-I love this poem! It might be because I am part crow ;D

Gorgeous raw salvaged edges that make this poem hum! Cheers

Helen said...

When you write like this, poetry full of so much raw emotion ... I wonder if your pulse and blood pressure rise?
Mine do, reading your words.

hedgewitch said...

This is a terrifying one for me--the beat of those wings, their crowding up the throat, promises a freedom that is almost as terrible as the rending of the heart in the cage. Every image is bright with blood and sharp with pain in this. Exquisite pain and beautiful blood, though. Nothing but the best here.

Kathryn said...

I continue to be in awe of the way you write with such intense emotion that jumps off the screen. Amazing visual woven into this piece.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I dont know how you do it. Seriously. One of your best. The inner flock....."I am a million wings with a soul inside." Wowzers, kiddo. A breathtaking flight of words!

Mama Zen said...

If I could tuck it in my pocket, I would steal that opening line!

myheartslovesongs.com said...

a powerful barrage on the senses from the very first line and filled with fabulous and fantastical imagery!

favorite line ~

"I am a million wings with a soul inside."

pure magic, that is!

Daryl said...

you sure am

HermanTurnip said...

Great piece! An introspective look at a woman who wants to lash out and expose to the world who she really is. Fantastic!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

"not the sort of girl you could take to dinner and impress anybody."

Nope, you're the sort of girl I'd take to dinner and try to impress you. Great imagery, Shay.

Jannie Funster said...

I like to have people at dinner who I like to be with. They don't even have to say much if they don't want to. They speak with their eyes and leather jacket smiles.

Off to hug a wheel of cheese now. Not that I have one here at home. But I see them back near the deli at the grocery store, and when next I spy one, I shall hug it and you will feel all warm and fuzzy. Kind of like a good-voodoo cheese wheel hug. :)

Oh boy...

xoxo

Sara said...

You had me with the first line..."I am a gravel road of a girl..."

Perfection! It lets me see this character in eight words. How do you do this?

Margaret said...

Hate to "copy and paste", but :

Did you hear me singing?
Did you say, please, please honey, shut up?--
that was the flock, filling my throat, stealing my breath,
rushing out of me with ribbons of red in their beaks."

!! That is marvelous. I want to hug this girl and tell her don't be so hard on yourself! Don't worry about living up to other's expectations. Fly away and find a place where those you know can not judge you any more. Silence and stillness are only good if it is peaceful - the silence an stillness you end your poem with are anything but.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm glad to get another chance to read this poem, Shay! It is vintage FB.

இறுதியில் said...

I love this, especially the first 13 lines.

georgeplaceblog said...

Boring she ain't. Who wants to be a carbon copy when you can be a one of a kind? Wonderful voice.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such a beautifully emotive write :)

hedgewitch said...

I don't think I can top my original comment, but I love this poem--I went to your tags to pick, and the amazing poems you have under 'blackbirds' are all worthy of a repost, but this one just suited my fall-is-almost-here state of mind. A superb poem.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

This is stunning. I always love your work--but this reaches inside me and pulls that part of me forward that wants to hide but that I know is there--what a fabulous write

thotpurge said...

I am a million wings with a soul inside... sounds like a just about perfect sort of girl!

brudberg said...

Amazing and disturbing.. a dinner would be a great one, and your use of the image flawless.. I loved how I was pulled into the imagery and strong contrasts.. excellent.

Marian said...

Ahhh... nice. But wait, did someone say honey, shut up? Uh oh.