Friday, November 6, 2015

Successes, Enumerated


Congratulations! I didn't get the job.
Useful degrees never bore my name,
but the inside covers of used paperbacks did.

Tolstoy, Ferlinghetti and Bronte made poor references,
had no current phone or email,
and though I came to know them well, they had little to say about me.

Way to go! I stayed for years in part time positions
because there was staring out the window to be done,
bad poetry to be written,
and rain to be contemplated.


Fan-freaking-tastic! The acrimonious divorce,
the shit-canning of thirteen years of trying to be
respectable, and all that jazz.

So sorry, Mr. and Ms. Notgoodenough.
Hello, solitude. Hello to bashing away at the hunk of marble
inside of which I had been hiding.

I got rid of my slave name.
I loved several wrong but exciting persons,
too much and briefly, but oh boy. (though most of them weren't.)

And now here I am. Ta-da! 
With the house on fire,
my tail on fire,
and my words on fire.

Don't call 9-1-1, I want to burn.


Somewhere, in some non-existent suburban shadowland,
there is a sensible person who put her books away
along with her red shoes.

She is liked, I guess, by all,
whoever she is,
blinking on and off as required, like a traffic light.
For Izy's Out of Standard at Real Toads.



Kerry O'Connor said...

I guess this is what they call a 'good long look at self' - trust you to make the self-satirical so entertaining to read.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Correction: you are not liked. You are loved. Thank you for the revelations. -Mosk

Sherry Blue Sky said...

OH! MY! GOD! This is THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ever!!!!!!!

hedgewitch said...

I am left thinking about the thing that didn't happen here, how hard it can be to see it and know it for what it is, and yet, how one can feel it, the idea of it, as one has imagined it--perfect and indelible--lifting one away and like that whole second section, setting one on fire, even if somewhere inside the blink blink goes on and off in a room no longer lived in that still remains all too familiar. This is a poem that is layered like a drawer full of winter sweaters, by favorite color, not size or weight--all of it is exceptional, but the line 'I got rid of my slave name' really sings for me.

brudberg said...

Actually looking out of the window is not a bad thing... but burning beats the books... especially since Dostoevsky is not of Facebook.

Sioux Roslawski said...

You are loved and you are envied. If I had a butt broad enough, I'd get part of that tattooed on my rear end... Wait. My butt IS broad enough. ;)

Mama Zen said...

This is one of your best, Shay. I really love it.

Hannah said...

I especially enjoyed your 911 line and the closing...excellent all together. :)

Outlawyer said...

Wonderful poem, Shay-- agree re slave name. K.

Isadora Gruye said...

Wowza. This poem is pleasantly razor sharp. You know I admire the fireblossom anti-hero, and here she is at her most desirable: clever, nonchalantly cynical and accessible. Those last lines are killer and raised a level of poem envy in me I have not known in some time. Thanks so much for posting to the out of standard and viva la!

Margaret said...

I absolutely love I II and III. Have never written a poem like this but the progression, the "chapter" feel of this is mesmerizing to me. I too am envious of this write.

Susie Clevenger said...

Loved the opening..nothing like satire when doing self examination...Pretty words never fit my internal reality check.

Shadow said...

Oh hell, you sure bring home the fake lives we lead...

Lynn said...

Your imagination astounds me - this is awesome.

Carol Campbell said...

Wow, wow and wow! What a terrific and kick-butt poem!

Helen said...

Awesome! (I never want to be a traffic light)

TexWisGirl said...

a brief but raw trip through a life in stages. bless you, shay.

grapeling said...

the best mirror is the one which tells the truth.

I suspect few could bear to with as much grace and fire as you, Shay ~