Friday, October 17, 2014


It was a dark and stormy night, and I,
pale as a sugar moon,
stepped my inviolate and ivory self out into it.

All the ashes flicked 
from all the cigarettes ever smoked 
by every cabaret singer who ever was,
are small-town stuff
compared to Vesuvius' great burning wave arriving
at out tender bare feet
and above our perfectly sculpted, stupid upturned faces.

My name is Nydia--
I am both blind as a bat and deaf as a white cat,
despite any contrary impression I may have given

All those times we lounged,
and I seemed to listen raptly
to your cocky prating,
my lord and master, purchaser of all my various blooms--

Here I stand in the ignited whirlwind,
with my porcelain fingers wrapped around some random staff,
such that you fly to me in a jealous rage.

In a thousand years, when they find us,
cooked in close embrace,
they will say,
"Behold the low one,
who, by this high one, was owned."

It will be so cute, how you'll think it's obvious
what they mean.

For Artistic Interpretations With Margaret.

 Nydia, the blind flower seller, was a popular character from the 1834 novel "Last Days of Pompeii" by English playwright and novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton.  Rogers depicted her wandering through the wreckage of Pompeii as the erupting volcano Mount Vesuvius destroys the city.  Her staff and acute sense of hearing guide her around the destruction.  Nydia, a slave, listens intently for the voice of her aristocratic master with whom she has fallen in love. 

Bulwer-Lytton is infamous for having penned the line "It was a dark and stormy night"


Matt D said...

This takes such a unique situation and creates such a powerful image—how excellent!

TexWisGirl said...

hmmmm. sadness, peril, a feeling of helplessness. *sigh*

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wow! I'm glad I didn't read yours before i wrote mine.

Excellent POV, and such an accurate portrayal of folly that seems unattached to any historical era.

hedgewitch said...

Really a sense of immediacy to this, and a period feel, very genuine, in the style, but the rather subtle snark is pure Fireblossom. You turn the cliche back on the hand that wields it always, and here, despite the formal flow, you use it to cut to the truth and pin it open on the dissection table.

Margaret said...

History repeats itself? How many Nydia's have their been? Blind and deaf in one way or another? Great twist - like that you brought it up to modern times with the beginning of the second stanza. Clever.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Told as only you can tell it.

humbird said...

Brought to the present time brilliantly! Song accentuate the urgency to say the truth. Cool.

Lynn said...

It has a definite dark and stormy night feel to it. Awesome!

Wander said...

Thanks for coming over to my place...I liked this poem...and I like the fact that it was inspired by another historical fiction, double fiction


grapeling said...

sly and strong, Shay ~

Mama Zen said...

This is brilliant, and I love the turn you gave to Lydia's story.