Jane's Guide To Engines

She finds eyes in a flea market basket,
hands in the sand at the beach.
When she gets home, the civil servant in her bed doesn't recognize her,
is desultory, communicating in lazy gestures,
dying of something 
and has been for years.

"I will leave the door standing open when I go," she thinks, and does,
knowing it will drive the civil servant insane.
This is as cruel as she ever gets,
but it feels good like a train station
when the cars are new, 
the line is clear and
the clocks are told by tarot and text message

sent by St. Creola,
Our Lady of the Favorable Signal Light.


Eyes in the basket, hand in the sand. This am creepy. Loved.
Susie Clevenger said…
"Our Lady of the Favorable Signal Light." Love that!
Fireblossom said…
Silly Mosky. She was "finding herself"!
. said…
Wow. This sounds
strangely familiar.
But what wife
doesn't end up
a "Jane Doe"
in her own home?

"I will leave the door standing open when I go," she thinks, and does ..." I love that the use of "go" leads me to rhyme, pronouncing the last word of the line as if you are giving verb to this she, running from man's house like a deer (doe/s). You follow it up with "knowing" just for good measure.

This is my favorite: "the clocks are told by tarot" ... and the opening line, of course.

Interesting that both body-part pairs are (re)discovered in dirty places.

"Engines" is also meant to sound like "In-gines." The engine(s) inside her, more specifically. ... And in the title, it also sounds much like "... guide to win-gines" as well as "... guy'd twin-gines." Even "Injuns," which makes me think of Injun Joe in Tom Sawyer, and then Becky ... whom I adore. Well, particularly the Jodie Foster Becky.

I love the signal-light reference at the end, which makes me think of the way we blow on traffic lights to make them change, think we're having lucky days if they work in our favor, and maybe even use them for signs or oracles, letting them give us advice.

The opening is also "She finds Is" and "She finds sighs."

And the ending is also "Our Lady of the Favorable-Signal Lied" and "... Signal-Eyed" (which ties it back to the first line).

How sad that what will drive him insane is the door being left open, not her leaving.

It's also sad that he is dying, and has been for a long time, while she is just beginning to come to life ... reinventing herself, getting new body parts ... starting to take care of herself, in other words. Seeing more clearly (with her new eyes), and being more physically productive (with her new hands). Also, she will need special eyes and hands to read the tarot cards.

I love that she is getting new body parts in pairs but is opting for improving her eyes and hands instead of getting new boobs, for example.

"The line is clear" makes me think of a close-call pregnancy test that (phew) let her off the hook, commitment-wise. I'm imagining that's why she's bolting all of a sudden. She was almost stuck because of the baby she was afraid she was having. But when she found out she was in the clear, she took her chance to run.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
The clocks being told by tarot and text message is an especially fine touch.
brudberg said…
The path to freedom is never through the civil servants though they might be well meaning, they rarely quench the thirst.
Gemma Wiseman said…
Sadly, when I think of civil servant, I think of someone locked into the mechanics of a job. But that interpretation fits the thread of this poem beautifully. I love the touch of the signal, so symbolic at the close of the poem.
Lynn said…
I like the thought of the civil servant being driven insane by the open door.
hedgewitch said…
There is a road-map here to the lost land of Self, which so few ever seem to really explore as intended, usually just laying claim to a corner and being intimidated by the rest--as always you write with penetrating intelligence and great grace, and draw us in to a clearer, cleaner vision with those flea market eyes. I especially like the open door.
Mama Zen said…
That kind of cruelty can be the cruelest. Really like this, Shay.
angie said…
love the subtle cruelty. heh heh
Marian said…
OMG close the door already!! :)

Popular Posts