Tuesday, October 3, 2017

M'duza

M'duza has just finished doing my hair.
The chair spins slowly around as if I were the world and M'duza the sun,
albeit a sun that charges money for her not-inconsiderable skills.
"Have a blunt, "she says,
"And an apple."

"I don't smoke," I tell her for the millionth time.
"The apple, then."
Her voice is lazy as she leans against her station.
Blunt in her right hand,
arrows in her left.

She comes from a floral source, does M'duza.
Pistils and stamens and honey bees.
She makes fig jam, 
and stores her picks in a yellow box.
Her lineage is traceable to women whose feet stood in white ocean foam.

"I didn't bring any money," I tell her, lying.
"Money is the tool of the enslavers," she parrots,
"A chain around the neck of the people."
Then she takes a long drag and holds it.
I ask, "M'duza, why did the proletariat cross the road?"
She raises an eyebrow, lips sealed shut.
"To make that goddamned chicken join the fucking collective."
She laughs hard in spite of herself, blowing smoke like a New Year's dragon.

M'duza sprang from the halls of macadamia,
and is my favorite nut;
her shop smells of acacia and sage as much as peroxide and hair spray.
Me, I leapt fully-formed from the forehead of Zeus,
my father's daughter all the way.
"So, what now?" I ask her.
It's Monday, she doesn't have any other clients.

"Now we set out to find the wild nest," she says,
stretching her arms over her head in her typical elaborate gesture.
"We carry caramel babies in our honey-stomachs,
and start a colony of sweet clear-minded revolutionaries.
They will stick it to the man,
and always remember their mothers on holidays."

I parrot, "Holidays are a construct of the ruling class,
meant to distract the workers from their misery."
"Oh, fuck you!" says M'duza,ratcheting the chair up as high as it will go.
"Uh-huh," she says, nodding at my predicament.
And so, as always when I'm with M'duza, I leap. I am in mid-air,
without a thought in my head, true as a launched arrow.
________

from this word list.

19 comments:

Blogoratti said...

What a wonderful tale, well written in delightful lines.

angieinspired said...

your brain, in the swivel chair, has me dizzy. you launch arrows so easily

Kerry O'Connor said...

"We carry caramel babies in our honey-stomachs,
and start a colony of sweet clear-minded revolutionaries.
They will stick it to the man,
and always remember their mothers on holidays."

Ah, Shay, you know how to spoil your readers with the good stuff and keep us on the edges of our seats, just waiting for how it will all end.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Also meant to say how much I love the title. Such a clever name for the protagonist.

hedgewitch said...

"..She comes from a floral source, does M'duza..." (!!) This is such a complete tale, everything a poem should be, both promise and fulfillment, description and action, emotion and response. I love all the ways you use your craft with these two, to paint characters that are so living yet so much larger than life. This is bewitchingly lovely, Shay, not the least for the dry wit and social commentary woven into all its splendid flight feathers.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I love it when poetry lets me have fun (even laugh) while it also flashes the not so funny bits of life right in my face. Brilliant. And, yes, fun. And I needed fun, today. Thank you.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Loved MDuza... finally you've met your match in witty comments. Also, thanks for the birthday la las! I is old now. I be Grandpa Dracula officially now.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Ooooh this is delicious!! ❤️

said...

"M'dusa" --- You slay me with your creativity. :)

That first stanza, man ... Boy can you set a scene. I am incredibly hard to please, as book-openings go; my attention span is all shot to shit at this point. But this is what I'm looking for, every time I pick up a book --- I'm hoping the opening paragraph grabs me as hard as this. (It never does.)

Love this response: "The apple, then."

"Blunt in her right hand,
arrows in her left." ... The first time I read this, I totally read though the arrows had been shot through her hands and she'd just kept on working (it). Now I guess maybe it's possible she's holding their tummies, not their heads.

"She makes fig jam,
and stores her picks in a yellow box." ... ❤

"Her lineage is traceable to women whose feet stood in white ocean foam." ... ❤❤❤

Love: "'I didn't bring any money,' I tell her, lying."

Dying over this: "M'duza sprang from the halls of macadamia,
and is my favorite nut"

Ooh, lovely rhyme (acacia/sage/spray): "her shop smells of acacia and sage as much as peroxide and hair spray."

"We carry caramel babies in our honey-stomachs,
and start a colony of sweet clear-minded revolutionaries." ... Oh my gosh, you adorable little kangaroo mommas. This is precious!!! (You say stomachs, but I'm picturing pouches. It's a must.)

Another fave: "ratcheting the chair up as high as it will go"

"And so, as always when I'm with M'duza, I leap." ... Aww, I love this!

If you are an arrow, I so love that you could be going out from her hand or coming in-to it.

I am SO happy that you wrote this. THANK YOU!

Timoteo said...

M'duzza sprang from the halls of macadamia...that line alone was worth the price of admission.

brudberg said...

This one is a keeper... not only for the wild you ride you brought me on, but also that I peroxide my hair in a saloon called Marvelous Medusa and Friends... I think your hairdresser works there, though she brings me a glass of wine instead.. Thank you for this

Toni Spencer said...

An excellent poem/story well told. I love how you named your hairdress M'duza. I like that she makes fig jam, as do I. Hair salons are always rather foreign to me as I cut my own hair, carefully burning the cuttings.

Sherry Marr said...

Oh my goodness, I want this one to be a BOOK.....Notes On the Revolution....or Evolution, whichever happens first. (Not holding my breath.) This was perfection to read. I didnt want it to end.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Shay--I agree with Sherry. How about a book of poems filled with nothing but some of your favorite characters?

Kim Russell said...

Love M'duza, Shay - my kind of hairdresser but hard to find around here. I love the lines:
'The chair spins slowly around as if I were the world and M'duza the sun,
albeit a sun that charges money for her not-inconsiderable skills';
'She comes from a floral source, does M'duza.
Pistils and stamens and honey bees.
She makes fig jam,
and stores her picks in a yellow box.
Her lineage is traceable to women whose feet stood in white ocean foam'.
You create such vivid characters and vignettes!

Brendan MacOdrum said...

Some wild shit FB. Ain't grand riding the wires of the mind. And M'duza? Pure starry invention. I rate it five rattlers.

Marian said...

Totally dig this. I might even get my hair done if I could go to M'Duza!

Carrie Van Horn said...

When can I make an appointment?.....Love this Shay!!! I especially love the lines "they will stick it to the man, and always remember their mothers on holidays" and "M'duza sprang from the halls of macadamia, and is my favorite nut" Love it!!!

Susie Clevenger said...

I'd like to hang with M'duza