Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Nothing is ever as it seems.

The Chinese people downstairs are like big jolly panda babies--

When I come in in the evening,

Bones gone rubbery and my heart growling like a fighting dog inside my chest,

They smile, ladling benign ancient blessings over me like pork gravy.

I become a biscuit,

The white girl smiling back, calling them honey and darlin just as if they came from

Alabama and not Shanghai.


They go in, draw the curtains, and speak rapidly to each other in dialect while waving kitchen knives,

While I

Let myself in upstairs, take off my absurdly heavy parka,

And put the newly arrived bills under the chipped jade Buddha paperweight an old girlfriend gave me.

That was in ancient times when love seemed possible

And the old Polish couple still lived below,

Boiling their cabbage,

Never hearing the rude jokes we made at their expense

In between kisses

And lapping up

The ridiculous, absurd shit we told each other,

Like, "No matter what, I will always love you,"


"Wherever we live,

Wherever we are,

As long as we are,

I'm happy."


for One Shot Wednesday 31


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my Goddess, you have nailed the truth right to the cross with this one........I love it in so many ways - love the "heart growling in my chest", the new pile of bills under the chipped jade Buddha,(brilliant!), the Chinese couple offering blessings, then waving kitchen knives as they talk to each other.........the undying promises of love that we have all made and broken. This is Life, girl, and you can sure write it!!! "in ancient times, when love seemed possible." Sing it, kiddo! And we will just lap it up. WONDERFUL incomparable writing.

hedgewitch said...

As usual you take the scalpel to appearance versus reality and lay bare the beating heart of our self-deception--that the lines we feed ourselves are any more meaningful than the honey smiles of a woman who becomes a biscuit, or that the graceful manners and easy cordiality shown to strangers carry over into more important relationships. No, if love leaves anything behind for us in its ashes, it certainly isn't the memories of hyperbolic promises....but there *is* always something....some echo in the bone we go back to find, and why we keep turning over the flase to find the true, if any.

hedgewitch said...

That would be "false" not "flase" Yeesh!

dustus said...

I think the painful part of it is that much of what is said between people "in love" doesn't seem like bullshit at the time. sigh However, I do believe you can find at least a little truth through b.s. It's not always apparent and must be sifted through. Eww. lol Thanks for another literary journey of great imagery; enjoyede the ethnic perceptions.

dustus said...

For my bad, that would be "enjoyed" not "enjoyede" Yeesh! deja vu (curse witch jinxed me. lol)

Lisa said...

I love waking up to you in the morning. No promises, but it's nice, really :)

Love the blessings/pork gravy bit -even if the thought of pork gravy is abit revolting.

as an aside--> Flaser: forward looking infrared laser radar, nearly poem worthy!

Have the best damn day...unless, that is, you have other plans ;)

Lynn said...

Love definitely sucks when things go south. This truly illustrates the pain of the aftermath of that.

moondustwriter said...

I would add ~things never stay the same except maybe the weight of that absurdly heavy parka.

Oh and the Moon stays the same too

Stay warm ok Shay

Tanith said...

This so reminds me of a line my ex said. It actually kind made sense. When we broke up and I told him he lied about love he said "No I loved you at that exact moment and so it wasn't a lie." I was speechless...I never forget that because it made sense in a weird way. Love is fleeting and sometimes can only last a second. Enjoyed the poem Fire. I still can see them yelling at each other with knives.

La Belette Rouge said...

I had to read this poem twice( which was a pleasure), my Tiger-friend, as the first time what I primarily felt was hungry. I got a little breakfast and now I can read this incredible poem with my heart and mind and not my stomach.
Now that I read it I feel the emptiness of the space she left in your heart and I feel honoured to tour the container that held your love, your life and your promises.
Beautiful, my Tiger-friend.
Your weasel-friend

ellen abbott said...

oh, we believe it all when we say it but life has a way of happening regardless.

Padmavani said...

I like it that you called the poem Bullshit. Fits the mood of the poem just right. The poem is simple, precise and wonderfully visual, no bullshit there:)


Daryl said...

Oh my I feel like a peeking tomasina

Old Ollie said...

Great poem = authentic narrative.

You're good FB.

Ami Mattison said...

Wow! Powerful stuff, my friend. Thanks for undoing all of my blissful denials and romantic notions of love, as well as my desire for polite conversation to be some authentic connection with strangers. Gotta love that bullshit!

jen revved said...

HW is exactly right; you take the scalpel to appearances. Even in this poem your glittering and Prufrockian sarcasm shines through--- brava! xxJenne'

Mama Zen said...

Sherry Blue Sky took the comment right out from under my little typing fingers. This is beautiful and painful.

mac said...

Don't we all spread that Bullshit sometimes?

I feel especially bad when Karma comes 'round and bites me in the ass. I shoulda kept the Bullshit to myself.

Beachanny said...

Cold winter angst today. I love how naturally you bring us up the stairs and right into your personal space. The external banging heart-on into the internal emptiness and the shock of again being alone. You are exquisite in the details and a true poet. I wish I lived downstairs.

signed...bkm said...

the Chinese Panda people wonderful and the Old Polish couple boiling cabbage...a concentration of culture and collected thoughts recapping a vivid memory for all to share....nice Bullshit Shay...bkm

Anonymous said...

You have such a perfect way of capturing everyday life. So wonderful!


Caty said...

I always wonder what makes people spout those things, believe they're true, but a few days (weeks) later, not so much. We are a fickle breed sometimes.

Raven said...

This is awesome. So sad, but I love the way you wove the story together. I especially like the line, "I become a biscuit" but don't ask me why, it just stands out in my mind.

Steve Isaak said...

Great line breaks, great everything. Excellent.