Saturday, June 8, 2013


There are stupid women everywhere--
thick as pigeons on every sidewalk;
if you step on one she will try to lift her snapped neck
to kiss your boot heel and make it better.

I am not like them,
any more than a tigress is like a turnip.
I am nothing like those women laid out on the berber, weeping,
as if they were human carpet runners in the rental house of Love.

I have perfected the art of being solitary.
I cup my hands under the good sturdy faucet of just-enough.
You can lean on my doorbell all day, caress it like a clitoris, 
but I will stay in the far room, as bored as a blind Burmese.

Once, though,
in the months after Us,
when I spent my time plying puny needle and thread
building swaying rope bridges to find my way around the bomb-scatter of my heart,

I wept for you like a child.
I kept your last message on my machine until a power outage erased it.
I took myself for long walks and was jostled by strangers
who hurried through and past, like bad news from a Ouija.

Sometimes they looked like you,
and I would coo to them,
from my broken throat
like an imbecile.

for Karin's "entwin(n)ed" prompt.



TexWisGirl said...

wonderfully crafted.

Brian Miller said...

nice...i like how you start with the women willing to let themselves be stepped on and still kiss the heel that does it....then point out you are not them...but then bring it back in the end to your own tender place shay...all done in your unique style...smiles...well done.

Anonymous said...

Hey Shay - this has a wonderfully mordant sense of humor coupled with a self-deprecating pain that works super well - Agree with Brian that the pigeon on the sidewalk comes back to roost so poignantly - very well done - my favorite image though is the faucet of just enough - I think of W.H.Auden - plunge your hands in the basin, plunge them up to the wrist, stare stare in the water and wonder what you've missed. Those good old difficult old faucets. Thanks for participating. k.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant - the way you brought us back to the opening stanza in that last part.

Anonymous said...

A great way to encompass conflicting emotions.

grapeling said...

The last three lines are sublime and punctuate the entire, well conceived and executed piece. ~ M

Kerry O'Connor said...

The excellence of this piece lies in your similes - each is vivid and unexpected and shows how good figurative language can provide a world of experience in a few lines. I also like the journey here: a woman who has risen above heartache, is beyond forgiveness but remembers the fall, and the broken neck all too well.

Björn said...

Wonderful how it reads like a story progressing almost between the lines.. and the end a sadness thats extremely raw. Love the read

Anonymous said...

imagery and emotions well portrayed in words. Enjoyed the read.

hedgewitch said...

I don't know which is harder to regulate--one's own stupidity, or one's own needs--and is it really stupidity, or a kind of grace that floats like a fragrance from the crushed rose? Making it a pigeon may perhaps be closer to the truth, because such things are messy, and also innately limited, yet still pigeons do fly...I am babbling a bit and wandering through the woods of your words at random, but that's a side-effect of the knock on the head, the recognition I got from this piece.

aprille said...

You don't pull any punches, do you?
This left me reeling and breathless. You have the enviable gift to do that with your writing.

Marion said...

omg, that nick cave. i can't hear him sing without having to change my panties. love the song (i hadn't heard it before and i have all of his cd's and books).

your poem is amazing...just like you. xo

Heaven said...

You have painted the complexity of the woman, yet her strength comes out ~ "I have perfected the art of being solitary." - resonated with me ~

Have a good week Shay ~

Anonymous said...

Whoa--the diction here bites. And the mysterious woman with such a strong voice rising from the reduction to the gutturals of the imbecile. Really powerful.

HermanTurnip said...

"any more than a tigress is like a turnip"

Hey, waitaminute... ;-)

Excellent piece. Loved the last stanza, and how it brought the entire work home for me.

Sioux said...

"Caress it like a clitoris." Brilliant line. Simply brilliant.

Cloudia said...

the sturdy faucet of just enough sustained me for centuries as turnip and tigress! I love your fine wordswork

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

Mama Zen said...

"human carpet runners in the rental house of Love."

That is just beyond brilliant!

Claudia said...

think there always is a once that brought us to where we are and it hurt so bad that we never wanna go there again..ha..i like the caressing the doorbell like a clitoris

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Wonderful, superb, totally brilliant!

Anna :o]

Akila G said...

i like the journey back and forth. Crying, weeping and then picking up the pieces to move on, resolute! Very well captured, the ensembles of emotions

Daryl said...

love this .. but not like a broken neck pigeon

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I, too, was most struck by the waters of just enough........and the depth of pain expressed towards the end. No one writes love - or pain - like you do.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow this is exceptional and I love the intensity and vehemency of your writing. I am quite antisocial if I weren't married now I would be a crazy cat lady or institutionalized whichever