Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Love, Alexandrian

My Love is as smooth as the most beautiful lie,
and as merciless, and raven-clawed, as absolute truth.

See the hunk of shit she drives,
and the impossible perfection of her elaborate expletives,
caressed like sleepy babies
on her lips until the language seems
almost holy.

She licks me with her tiger tongue,
wearing me away;
she planes me, layer by layer,
until I am nothing but shavings,
fragrant and useless and
utterly at the mercy of gravity, and her moods.

I am a single leaf of milled paper,
carried like a new future in a thylacine's mouth.
My Love, she is the burning library at Alexandria,
sending everything she can so magnificently be
directly Heavenward, but piecemeal,
as ashy birds,
word by
word by

the thylacine was a wolf-like marsupial which lived in great numbers in Australia and New Zealand, but which is now thought to have been hunted to extinction. The thylacine had the widest gape of any known mammal. 

The library at Alexandria was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, a repository of the world's knowledge up to that time. It burned.


TexWisGirl said...

sheesh! another grown up one, but i loved these lines:
she planes me, layer by layer,
until I am nothing but shavings,

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I adore "raven-clawed as absolute truth". Oh that tiger tongue. Yoiks! And the burning library, word by word. Astonishing images and you just keep coming up with them.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This poem showcases your wonderful control of free verse, and especially the way you control the flow and pace with your varied line lengths. The content smoulders like the Alexandrian library, word by word.

Hannah said...

Your opening two lines!!! I love that you brought in the burned ancient Alexandria's library...reminds me of a movie...just tried to find the title, can't find it any way...I think you'd like it...if I find it I'll tell you.

Your use SO many rich and unique images and your wording keeps one on their toes!!

I love this poem, Shay and your challenge, thank you for all the goodies in the post today!! Treasure trove. :)

jasmine said...

Holy cats! You've left me just about wordless! This is amazing, Shay!!!


the first two lines (oh my, they blow my mind! where do you come up with this stuff?)

"the impossible perfection of her elaborate expletives"

"until the language seems
almost holy"

"she planes me, layer by layer,
until I am nothing but shavings"

"utterly at the mercy of gravity, and her moods"

"I am a single leaf of milled paper,
carried like a new future" (unbelievable; what an incredible thought!)

"sending everything she can so magnificently be
directly Heavenward" (this confuses me grammatically; I know what you mean, but read it yourself and tell me if you see a typo of some sort ... perhaps "so magnificently be" is just an expression I'm not familiar with)

really love the way you slow us down at the end, clipping those last four lines; very effective

Excellent poem, Shay. Obviously, I love it.

Anonymous said...

A wonderfully sensual poem that describes well the head over heels of it all. k.

ps - very free verse! (In best way.) Yet bound too.

Loredana Donovan said...

So much unique imagery in this! I learned something new about an extinct wolf and ancient burning library, both great metaphors for luscious passion. Very sensuous! :)

Margaret said...


The first two lines are so amazing... just love them and the way it slows down at the end...

You are Queen of Imagination.

Sioux said...

"She planes me, layer by layer" is one of the many jewels in this piece.

Susie Clevenger said...

As always your creativity astounds...a burning library word by word..what a visual. I tried coping my favorite parts only to discover I must copy the entire poem!!

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Wow - I am now going to go back and reread and reread your poem! I know there is so much to find with each new read!

Mama Zen said...

Have mercy, woman! This is gorgeous!

Marian said...

ooooh, Shay, yes indeed. this is magnificent and actually in my view more controlled than some of your work, which i like a lot. it evokes Howl for me a bit, and not just because of the word "holy." compliment! nice, nice.

Lolamouse said...

Oh my. No one does it better! The opening lines were marvelous, and I just loved the metaphors (and the explanations so I didn't have to look up thylacine!)

Poet Laundry said...

Very cool metaphorical piece. I enjoyed the additional information as well. The library at Alexandria has always intrigued me.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure The Bard would approve of one's love being compared to a burning library, even the oldest among them, but I can certainly find no fault with that. Speaking from a somewhat less lofty literary perch, I'm generally not a big fan of one or two word lines, because they tend to be dropped with malice as opposed to aforethought, but there they work perfectly.

Peggy said...

Wow the language in this really does zing. Clearly free verse. Your prompt has given me lots to consider as I used to think free verse just meant no rules for rhyming or meter. Thanks for the education and your wonderful example.

Kim Nelson said...

No one sculpts a phrase like you, Shay. Specifically descriptive, your writing (here and nearly always) conjures images completely familiar, yet manifested in a whole new way. This is art.

Mixi said...

I want to write something that could portray what I feel when I read this poem, but I find myself bereft of the right words... so many images, so many thoughts, so many emotions running all over the place.. I'll need several reads of this piece before I can capture them all..


Daryl said...

you had me at 'as absolute truth' ... lies for me are a deal breaker