Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bulldozing The Spring

I wore a mask when I married the mayor.
"You'll need a nutcracker," I warned,
But he performed the ceremony himself,
At gunpoint, and with mirrors.

When I stopped laughing, I invited him to kiss me.
He sent in miners with pick axes.
"We will be so happy," I confabulated,
Going en pointe like a dog or a dancer.

He demanded that I show myself,
But, daringly, I escaped into the sewers.
Woody and hollow, I floated on the waters
Like a little Moses, but female, and cuter.

My husband deputized the pool hall boys,
And, with authority, they bulldozed the Spring.
Like angels undressing, the apple trees fell
Snapping, never giving their names.

"Okay okay, don't have kittens," I crabbed,
And revealed myself from the pipes like a miracle.
"My love!" he crowed,
And when I bore him a litter in the crook of a snow pile,
He handed out cigars
To our children, and to me,
So great was his sudden magnanimity. 

That was then, of course, and I've doctored it a bit for the historians,
But in time,
I put down the gin and picked up women,
Running hell for sunday down the boulevard, going wild.

In the end, it was for nothing.
Now look at me; there are stray cats in better shape,
And who write better, and who have day jobs on the straight.
There are moon-mad raccoons making the garbage rounds
Who snob me, and do the deed where I can see,
Just to rub my nose in it.

Still, if the matron strip searches me before tossing me in my pen to rot,
She will find the poems I wrote for you,
And she will feel like she is in church;
She will swoon on the spot
At what I could do when I was in love,
Vibrantly, fiercely proud of that minute when I was happy
And the bloom of who I was
Came through.

I wasn't having any luck writing new drivel, so I trotted out the serious juju. One Bolthouse Farms vanilla chai tea later, presto, a poem. 

I hope that Marian will forgive my leap from Levon Helm (her music prompt) to Bob Dylan.



Kerry O'Connor said...

Those first four stanzas are brilliant on their own - each one has a wow factor surpassed only by the next, and then all the good stuff begins!

I love this line so I'm taking it with me:

what I could do when I was in love... This says so much within the context of the past and present loves, faked, fulfilled and denied.

Mama Zen said...

I am simply in awe.

hedgewitch said...

There's a strong element in this of that generational alienation thing--maybe every generation feels it, but I think it's stronger in an age when culture is marketed only for money and values are disposable. I feel I know those sewers and have been seriously pissed at those raccoons. But the last stanzas are poignant and transcend any particular time or group identity--very human, very tender, very painful. Fine off the wall poem in all ways, Shay.

TexWisGirl said...

like a little moses, but female and cuter. :)

Sioux said...

I can attest to the power of Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea...It has such mojo, at our next meeting, I'm bringing a bottle to each of my critique members. Just trying to pass the monkey on my back to someone else...

Marian said...

well obviously it wasn't for nothing in the end because there's this beauty. thank goodness for that.

Susie Clevenger said...

Wow! I am speechless...btw that doesn't happen often..What a wonderful piece!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"what I could do when I was in love...." Yes, I know. "when I was happy and the bloom of who I was came through. Wow. I so know this feeling.

Shawna said...

Vibrantly, fiercely proud of that minute when I was happy"


Lynn said...

Now we'll all be drinking chai tea to see if we can write like you.

HermanTurnip said...

I love stories of self-discovery and scavengers. Brought a tear to my eye, it did.

Anonymous said...

"Vibrantly, fiercely proud of that minute when I was happy" a whole minute!

Lolamouse said...

I don't like Chai, but if it can make me write that like, I'll give it a go! Hey, Bob Dylan is no slouch in the lyrics dept.! If he inspired you, who could complain?!!

Daryl Edelstein said...

wow ... chai tea, huh?

Shawna said...

Gotta love chai. Wish I had some.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

OK, sweetie, here's the truth: when I experience a great piece of art I am humbled into silent awe. So I don't have any cute comments to make other than I'm sure glad that I found you! You're a real kick in the ass, in the nicest way. Love, Mosk

Jannie Funster said...

Trot out ANY kind of stuff you want, Shay.

From fuck-a-duck funny to feeling like I'm in a church...

You ARE a miracle. And a very special bloom all the time.


Oh, running hell for Sunday is that like running arse over teakettle, or hell, west and crooked?

I'm gonna go back and read this again. It's just so freaking great!!

Jannie Funster said...

Even better the second time.

Anonymous said...

And a fiery bloom at that. You rattle off tales like a barnstorming crop-duster: barrel-roll here, loop-the-loop there, lah de da, what's next? And from a cuppa hotcha chai, no less. I'll credit a blossoming brain in a cage of ribs. Fine stuff, FB - Brendan

Joanna Jenkins said...



How do you do that. WOW.

This is awesome.
xo jj

Hannah Stephenson said...

So wonderful and strange, Shay.