Sunday, January 19, 2014

Plath at 350

At the top of some stairs,
at The Bus Stop of the Eternal Downpour,
I met a man.

He wore a beret,
and an old-fashioned high collar,
giving the impression that he was forever being jauntily hanged.

He told me that he had recently broken up with a life sized doll named D'zeray,
and then taken up with a cello.
Either one of them--but not both--
could fit easily beneath his bed.

He went on to explain that although the doll had been a fine listener,
she was a disaster as a dancer,
and Farran (for this was my new acquaintance's name)
could not live without music in his world.

I whistled a little of the Trumpet Voluntary,
and swayed on my boot heels like a Sikh snake charmer.
Nearby, a depressive fought a losing battle with a watercolor,
but I could tell my cello man had better possibilities.

"Where did you get your...companion?" I asked.
"I slipped her out from under Sylvia Plath's tear-stained cheek," he told me,
but the temperature in her final dream had dried out the wood,
and ruined its tone.

"I'm taking her down to the boat docks
to use as an oar,
and I will tell her the fable of the Selkie and the fisherman."

"Oh my sweet and idiotic owl," I said softly,
"she can never be the listener your old love was."
Then I slipped my arm through his and asked if he wanted to get out of there.

He did.
I feel certain that he never saw my tail switch beneath my raincoat,
but when he saw my cottage on the sand 
and plenitude of tuna fish cans,

he only told me how much he liked the soothing green of my bedding,
and, kissing the bell on the collar around my neck,
assured me that I was all the music anyone could ever need.

for The Mag #203

image" "Musician In The Rain" by Robert Doisneau


TexWisGirl said...

you vixen, you. :)

Helen said...

To this, I would add meow ....

hedgewitch said...

The devil is in the details, and everything else, including the tuna-fish and the bedding. I tried to spray for berets once, but they pop up every spring like moldy umbrellas which one absently folded up wet. I like the attitude hiding in the narrator's ruminative stance--and the apparent nonchalance which is so effective at disguising the predator, but I also like the sizzling poetry here, especially fifth and sixth stanzas--satire, like reality, bites, and here it hits the jugular.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love him looking like he was "forever being jauntily hanged". Another amazing story from your far-reaching imagination. Loved it.

C.C. said...

This is creative magic. I love "Bus Stop of The Eternal Downpour" and so many other lines from this. Excellent!!

Karen S. said...

...ah yes, and how sweet that music is! Indeed.

Cloudia said...

You are the Selkie of the great lakes!

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

Sioux said...

Those last two stanzas are my favorites.

Only one from Shay today?

TALON said...

As always, Shay, your poetry transports me.

Stripey is doing super well. He says, "Mrrrrow!" And thank you for asking after him. :)

hedgewitch said...

Forgot to say I loved the music--it sounds like it should be listened to while looking out a window at endlessly falling rain, remembering...things.

Chris Lawrence said...

some satire and surrealism blended together in an intriguing and wonderful read

Anonymous said...

who needs a magic wand - you wave your tail, and voila ~

Kathe W. said...

Love this!

Lydia said...

Nearby, a depressive fought a losing battle with a watercolor,

Now, that has to be one of the best lines in all of poetry! Coupled with the fact that you mentioned the fable of the Selkie (but we are fairly sure it is no fable, right?) it makes for something truly wonderful.

Mama Zen said...

"giving the impression that he was forever being jauntily hanged."

Girl, thank you for that. That is just what I needed.

Belva Rae Staples said...

Clever, witty, and great writing!

Lynn said...

I like how you got Sylvia Plath in there!

Tess Kincaid said...

Purr-fectly the image of the cottage strewn with empty tuna cans...

Sue said...

This is one of my favorites this week. Well done!


Other Mary said...

This is a fabulous owl/pussy cat tale. :o)

Poet Laundry said...

Oh this one made me smile. We are all the selkie every now and then. Mischievous and fun Shay.

Anonymous said...

stop it! just stop it now! have you no shame? torturing us poor mortals who will never be able to lay claim to even one-fiftieth of your talent... you are an evil woman!

Katherine said...

Purrfectly wonderful... a very entertaining read. Loved it!

Sue said...

I really enjoyed this. Thanks :)

Helena said...

Refreshingly different! I'm rather in awe, actually.