Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cake

Here is a cake made from coneflowers and cut losses;
you have to eat it with the window open like a suicide.
My house is your house, and all that.
Anything wrong with the cake?
Something is funny with the lights, they keep flickering and exploding.
Why is your baggage still here in the kitchen
taking up space so unattractively?

I like samplers.
This one says things you'd rather it didn't. 
So. Tell mama.
Use all the usual Hollywood tricks.
Happy it up. 
Make everybody prettier, then have more cake.
It's from an old family recipe that calls for legal documents and collected dust.
Inside, you'll find a letter.
It's from the future and says the same thing as the sampler.

Don't come at me with the utensils. 
You called me, after the priest and the psychic threw you out.
Don't eat with your mouth full.
Now's the time to get it off your chest,
come clean, stop mumbling excuses, stop fidgeting and just say it.
Well?
Don't talk with your mouth open.
Don't waste my time.
Don't keep me from my daily rituals.
Of course I love you. 
I knew before you did that you'd come here,
with no preservatives, no animal flesh, no bread, no bone.
So, I baked at 375 for all these years.
Now eat your cake before it gets cold. 
_______

For Marian's "November Themes" challenge at Real Toads. I chose "cake."
 

16 comments:

Rommy said...

I imagine there are some Thanksgiving dinners that go just like this.

hedgewitch said...

There are some especially strong passages in this. I like particularly the first and last lines of the first stanza, and the entire second one, and the third winds up the hex nicely, with a resounding sound of thrown cutlery and broken plates. Here once again you show that however nasty the aftertaste, dysfunctional can look so delicious.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

You've evolved a craft that packs an M-80 into just about every line, so that dancing and skittering along the exploding length of the poem is a thrill-ride in itself ... and the deeper the emotional territory allowed, the shorter the fuses. Bang a drum, girl. Twirl a gunpowder drumstick and call it cake.

Marian said...

I will confess that your first line smacked me so hard that I would have been satisfied with just that... holding a cake made from coneflowers and cut losses in my mouth, slinking away. Really, really great. Whoosh!

brudberg said...

There is nothing worse than a family recipe, but still nothing better.

Esther Shaindel said...

Oh my god, I started out laughing and ended up crying - just like real life, your poetry is! So powerful...

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm with Marian - the first stanza just blew me away.. the rest was icing on the cake, so to speak.
Loved this too:
Don't come at me with the utensils.
You called me, after the priest and the psychic threw you out.

Your tone is cutting edge, Shay. Poetry to make one sit up and pay attention.

Sherry Marr said...

What Kerry says. Cutting edge. No one writes like you do. Superb.

Sara McNulty said...

You had me with the first lines. Amazing power in this poem.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Love this, Shay!❤️ The tone here is absolutely kick-ass and gosh this cracked me up good; "Make everybody prettier, then have more cake. It's from an old family recipe that calls for legal documents and collected dust." Beautifully penned!❤️

said...

I am dying for the second installment where we find out the backstory on the ghost.

This is my favorite part:

"you have to eat it with the window open like a suicide"

Then this:

"with no preservatives, no animal flesh, no bread, no bone"

Cloudia said...

For all those years. You pack so much into your work, Shay

Jenny Hill said...

I love the powerful voice of this.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I did say I wanted cake, didn't I? And since I've never been good at Hollywood tricks or happying it up when it isn't happy, I will shove the cake in mouth and talk while I'm swallowing. 'Cause I'm gifted like that. And greedy.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Shay--Perfect tone, paired with a perfect photo and quote.

Lynn said...

Perfect for Thanksgiving!