Thursday, January 11, 2018

Post Card


Greetings from Goon Island. 
If you feel ugly or are on the run from Sea Hag,
climb into a cannon and have them shoot you here.
You won't have to shave your legs,
and everything is served Florentine.

Greetings from Goon Island.
I must've got brained, I can't recall arriving or why.
I am 8 feet tall,
and tiny gals who would fit in a tea spoon always insist
on standing next to me. 
I am Blue LaGoon, the mumbling nightclub singer
with the flower in her hat.

Doesn't narrow it down much, I know.

Oh baby,
what I do remember is being Eugenia the Jeep,
arriving in a box with a printed message
all the way from India.
"I have magical powers" said my note,
which I had written
while walking through a wall just because I could.

Greetings from Goon Island.
Here, when I try to signal "yes", I just fall on my face. 
When I try to be HERE
and then
.
.
.
.
HERE, 
I just go in circles until I'm dizzy.

Despite the kindness of the Goons on Goon Island,
I wish you were here. 
Try to find a cannon.
Watch out for Bluto.
Elocution isn't everything, Toots--
try the sailor's semaphore,
head for the horizon,
and I will watch for you by the silent and singular 
light of the stars. 

_____

For "Rhubarb" at Real Toads.

I have chosen "Popeye" (originally Thimble Theater) characters Alice the Goon and Eugene the Jeep, staples of my young childhood. I watched them faithfully on channel 9 out of Windsor, Ontario.

Alice the Goon was an 8 foot tall gender non-specific slave of the Sea Hag, who had threatened to hurt her baby if she didn't obey. We found out she was a girl when Sea Hag finally called her by name, "Alice." Eventually saved by Popeye, in later versions Alice donned a skirt and flowered hat. She only spoke in mumbles. 

Eugene the Jeep was a creature from the 4th dimension, who managed to land himself here. In print, he was discovered in Africa, in cartoons it was India. He was mailed to Popeye in a box, with a note of introduction. Popeye's reaction? "Well, blow me down!" Eugene could walk through walls and jump from location to location in the bat of an eye. Eugene the Jeep didn't speak either, but he shook his head for "no" and bowed down and swished his tail for "yes."  The military vehicle was named for him because it was small and maneuverable. 

13 comments:

Kim Russell said...

I haven't seen Popeye for such a long tiem and had completely forgotten about Alice the Goon. Thanks for reminding me with your poem, Shay!

paulscribbles said...

Goodness me what a tale you weave here Shay. I have faint memories of popeye but the detail here is beyond my ken. Having said that I instantly warmed to Alice and anyone who lands by way of canon is alright with me. Thanks for playing.

hedgewitch said...

This made me smile, Shay--I watched some Popeye as a kid, but certainly not enough to know these less prominent characters. I do remember the 40's feel though, which you reproduce here with words like 'gals' and 'must have got brained' and the images themselves which have that aura of a whole nother planet in time. Even without the memory-knowledge, I find this works as pure poem, a narrative that catalogues the painful hazards of being the Goony Girl, (Blue LaGoon is perfect) and ends with that glowing, timeless last line.

angie reinspired said...

Oh yes. I raised my kids on Popeye and Tom & Jerry, like I was. But now they’re connecting school violence and general aggression in kids with media. Nevertheless, “I am what I am” ..:. And even if maybe we are what we eat (?!) You show no signs of sociopathic tendencies in this gem. A little old school never hurt anyone;) imagine me giving you a scrunchy Popeye wink right here *

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my goodness. This is so good, I dont know why I would even bother trying to write to this prompt. LOL. I enjoyed and admired every line.

Rommy said...

I yam what I yam! I loved the Popeye cartoons as a kid too, but only have vague memories of Alice. Thanks for reminding me of her. This was a whimsical and quite touching piece.

Susie Clevenger said...

Oh, I'm so going there if I don't have to shave my legs. Of course you would rock this prompt. Love it!

Marian said...

All smiles :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

I will watch for you by the silent and singular
light of the stars.

What a magnificent promise of friendship and high regard. Loved this, Shay.

Debi Swim said...

Forgot all about this character. Thanks for reminding me.

brudberg said...

I have seen the characters but never understood them... our cartoons all came from Eastern Europe so that is what I grew up with.

Toni Spencer said...

O loved Popeye but was always happy when the Goons or the Jeep showed up. At one point the only spinach I would eat was Popeye brand. Thank you for reminding me of this.

Frank J. Tassone said...

Ah, Popeye! I watched both series of the cartoon in sindication. I had forgotten about Alice and Eugene the jeep!