Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paris, Au Revoir

Oh, Honey,
I'm so tired of being angry.
That rosy flush
You loved so much,
It was just the outward radiance
Of the cauldron I carried,
Ruining my heart from within
Like bloody steak.

But never mind.
I can see that I'm
Upsetting you with my vulgar talk.
You have always loved me better
In a wicker chair on the veranda--
My Japanese fan,
The pillars of the little railing,
And my fingers
All the same harmless white.

Hush, Sweetheart.
I like this, just us two
So quiet, like monsters of the deep, slumbering.
Why did we scold and chatter so,
And why did we go so long never knowing
This opium peace in silence?
Let me hold your hand--
I will kiss it softly,
And I know you will never raise it to me again.

See my bags?
My favorite dancing slippers,
My books?
They have waited with the patience of saints.
But shhh,
If seeing them set carefully near the door upsets you,
Just close your eyes,
Pretend it is our wedding night.
We're in love,
And the red stain on the bedding
Looks just like Jesus.

I'm sorry, My Heart,
I must go.
No, I won't be back this time
With my sad smile and sigh,
And my prescriptions
Like small officious doctors themselves.
In anticipation of this moment,
I have made our oak floors shine--
You will have your own image for company
As you always have.
I never want to think of you alone, when I have gone,
So I leave you the ring you gave me
Set carefully on your lapel
Like a butterfly that will stay forever
Where its perch is peaceful,
And still.

for dverse poetics


Claudia said...

dang shay..i stopped breathing...goodness...what a write...this gave me chills..the blood and the softness of voice...the madness in the face of murder...what did he do to bring her to that point...ugh..

Heaven said...

The tale is bewitching sad and gritty, without the excess gore.

I like the images of the bags, dancing slippers and shiny oak floors.

The narration is excellent here:

So I leave you the ring you gave me
Set carefully on your lapel
Like a butterfly that will stay forever
Where its perch is peaceful,
And still.

Great share today ~

ellen abbott said...

and I was so tired of the anger that shredded my heart daily.

Natasha said...

Well...that tore my insides out and left them on my shiny wood floor looking so much like steak. Amazing, as always. No is what it is, and in this case, a brilliant write the has touched all senses...awesome exploration of textures of every kind, dare I say bravo!

Louise said...

Gosh...this was so evocative and sad. A strong sensory experience that will stay with me for some time. An awesome write, Shay!

Brian Miller said...

darn you for making me cry...this one hurt to read...images i dont want to see again, much less feel...

baby, please dont go...the blues version, not the new pop trash...

Sioux said...


I don't know quite why, but the image that hit me the hardest was the line about the red stain on the bedding looking just like Jesus.

Helen said...

Wherever you went ... I am thankful you returned!

Sheila Moore said...

ugh - sadness envelops me but so does a sense of peace as it seem to have happened for the narrator of this as well. great one, Shay!

TALON said...

'You have always loved me better
In a wicker chair on the veranda--' - that line says so beautifully and simply how some like to put people in a certain place and hold them there.

Beautiful poem, Shay.

Marcos said...

Awesome write. :)

hedgewitch said...

I wrote a really long comment which blogger decided to eat...sigh. I don't think I can say it just right again, but I'll try. I said this poem soared higher and dived deeper in a landscape most were afraid to even look at, that it was not the so-called usual 'ambitious' piece, but an achieving piece, that I love the second and third stanzas, and the very dark and bloodcurdling finish, and that if it took a few days off for you to find this voice, it was well worth it even though you were missed. Hopefully this will time the spirits of bloggery will be kind enough to let me through. This is a superlatively fine poem. Words can't touch it.

Shawna said...

This piece is SO powerful! This is my favorite line: "It was just the outward radiance Of the cauldron I carried" ... and these descriptions as well: "So quiet, like monsters of the deep," "opium peace," "Prescriptions Like small officious doctors themselves," and "Where its perch is peaceful,
Sane And still" ... You made me feel it, Shay. And that is the mark of a great poem.

Jenny said...

Your muse is back!

Lovely imagery!

Susannah said...

Ooooh Shay, you are brilliant!

Beachanny said...

I can't give you praise higher than what others have offered here - all so well deserved.

I read this several times trying to wrap my mind around its images and it took me through a veil piercing a mind that had clung to shreds of sanity, then finally relinquished it. Actions pierced the other side of order while keeping precise observations of both sides.

In this way it is both shocking and satisfying. WOW!

Mama Zen said...

This is like a good boxer. It sways before you, tantalizingly out of reach, then it breaks your nose. Brilliant, Shay.

kaykuala said...

It worked me up. The feelings and the tie seemed made in heaven but somehow he must go. How hurting to abandon a relationship in such manner. Very beautiful poetry!

Anonymous said...

I think you've done something miraculous here, bear with me while I try to explain it: "The special advantage of literature is that it doesn't (like people) dodge around and make a lot of noise and then vanish from view. Literature, on paper in dried ink marks, is made of assertions that stay put, fairly to be examined, lying open to the play of the eye... The miracle of the grammatical sentence is that it can be shared - that it can thump softly through the wall of the lonely self." - Louis B. Jones While you clearly have connected with us through the medium of language I would assert that your piece of literature is not fixed on this page. That in its honesty and complexity it has transcended the confines of its existence and come alive. Great art does this, allows us to come back again and again and gain something new, as if the object we're interacting with is alive. This is masterful, artful, and shockingly alive.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Like everyone ese, I'm moved, enthralled, enchanted.
'This opium peace in silence', 'Prescriptions / like small officious doctors themselves'. Bu tit's hard to select any one piece of this deceptively gentle, cumulative tale. It's a delight in so many ways ...and sad and scary too. It's practically a novel in one poem!

Reflections said...

Powerful, icy... rippled muscles of self worth and self loathing wrapped tightly within, without... beautifully shared.

Lolamouse said...

Don't know what I can add to the other comments except to say that it must've hurt to go wherever you went to write this piece, and it was very brave of you. The imagery was gorgeous and scary all at once. Each word was picked like the perfect flower and arranged just so. You are amazing.

HermanTurnip said...

"So quiet, like monsters of the deep, slumbering."

"No, I won't be back this time
With my sad smile and sigh, and my
Like small officious doctors themselves."

Woohoo! Man, now this is what I call poetry. This piece stung so deep it hurt *me*.

Anonymous said...

Shay, there are so many adjectives tripping through my mind as I read this. The almost matter-of-fact voice that's ready to explode, iciness, scathing, powerful. Wow. As assortment of emotions and determination. Sad, but in a sense freeing if someone has been held captive in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. Victoria

Anonymous said...

what they said!

only you can top yourself, Shay, and you've done it brilliantly!

Hannah Stephenson said...

Opium silence....those words are powerful. I think about Neruda's poem about quietness and lovers, "I Like for You to Be Still."

Daryl said...

Wow ... I am catching up .. reading, re-reading .. loving that you're BACK!

nene said...

The thoughts conveyed by your words in this piece pierced my heart. Not with that fatal piercing that would cause it to cease from beating again but in a prickly manner that heightened my love of words and those that use them well. More importantly, this piece with some of it's reflecting and referenced nuances affected me
profoundly. Thank you for being that 'gag fly' that Socrates made reference to.

This piece affected me like Shelley and Byron. It spoke to me with the passion in my language of birth, Spanish. Gracias!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Hold Me Closer Crazy Dancer...

Lynn said...

Wow!!! Glad you are back to the poetry, FB.

Carrie Burtt said...

You had me at bonjour....only you could make a sad this Shay! :-)

Gemma Wiseman said...

The gentle control of the razor...a crucifixion of inner treasures and soft sensitivities without ever slipping into melodramatic mayhem! A master painter paints the invisible and lets the identity evolve! Stunning!

Dianne said...

it is so difficult to leave me with nothing else to say, to add
yet that is what you have done

Willy Landscape said...


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Brilliant writing, kiddo, and if you wrote a novel like this, in this tone, it would likely be a NYT best seller. Wowzers!!!!!!!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I wonder how I could have missed this poem back in August!? I've never read a "break up" poem so filled with compassion and understanding, even of the weaknesses of the one who must be left behind, the vanity of focusing always on her own reflection. To hear you read it doubled the emotional factor, and placed the farewell firmly in reality.

Lydia said...

Thanks to your reading this months later I did not miss out on reading this piece of genius. I think it is interesting to read Claudia's comment at the top of this she mentions "the softness of the voice" which is fitting for your having actually given it voice tonight. Loved it.