Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Remember The Alamo


"And now! What did we wish to say, that we were not able to say?" --St. John Perse

"Love is a stranger in an open car" --the Eurythmics

When love is a stranger, things can get twisted.
A girl can get sick, being the McDonald's drive-thru of eating shit.
She may cop an attitude, or hear the cop say
to his partner, "That chick might as well just shoot herself."
That stuff sticks.

When daddy and his strophe wife, the replacement who shoots up Thomas Mann say,
"We'd like you to move out," after just a month of nervous dumbshow confusion,
the mulligans are running out and the road calls.
Where else you gonna go, baby?

When love is a stranger, there are still poets, painters, 
failed academics, leering dittybops, locust nutjobs
and grandfathers walking with canes into
the roaring pandemonium of downtown San Antonio.
There are still stricken drunks on pulpit stools
to tell you, baby,
let's get out of here,
I know a slaughterhouse on the south side
where a girl like you could see god in fumed gold Krylon.

When love is a stranger and the bones bend 
like spines of books with pages knifed out 
to hold some lack-rent new straw man's works,
it's time to get knocked up with an idea,
blood out a new plan and join the shanghaied sailors
at the 12-step dock in the free lunch church downtown.

When some oxford-cloth fuck tells you not to come back,
You come back anyway, you find a new high,
you start scudding down San Pedro with no idea
and no wheels, but a sacred heart, a votive candle,
and maybe a shine-ghost mirage of something better.
Slide into the Olmos Theater,
start tatting together the film edges until you spill
out with the rest of the film buffs,
find a tarantula on the pavement on the way home and say,

"I will not die here." 
That's when you pick up some pride, some Spanish 
and some mom and pop Texican deliciousness
before doing the dishes to pay.
Hey chica,
it doesn't have to be this way.
New friend Jake tells me that til it rings my ears.
He buys me the leather jacket I was jonesing for,
and suddenly it's my world too,
holy fuck, I have the right to be here,
and I am walking down Alamo towards the cenotaph
thinking maybe being a live coward or dead hero

are not the only choices that I have.


  1. A layered and magnetic write, Shay. The detail is just devastatingly complete, and gives the narrative the feel of a film or novel, while never sacrificing one bit of the imagery and force of poetry. From the opening and repeated "love is a stranger..' used/varied with ever-mounting dramatic effect to "..stricken drunks on pulpit stools.." and " time to get knocked up with an idea,/blood out a new plan.." to the perfect kick of the close of this hellish yet somehow redeemed odyssey, this is not just a poem, it's an experience. I'm sure Lewis would be thrilled to see where his words have brought you. Just excellent work.(Also-I love the tags.)

  2. I’m so happy I’m from San Antonio so that I can fully enjoy this poem. Sigh. The nostalgia. I would love a series on the city. <3

  3. I was in awe thinking of something to say that does this deep and brilliant poem justice, and I saw what Joy said about this poem being an experience. Yes yes yes!!! That is how this felt! I love the wisdom this gives us and how it places it in our hand casually but still in a way that stirs the heart and senses. The closing lines are perfect too!! Sigh.....I love this poem, and can relate to it as well! 💙

  4. Oh that father and new wife wanting her to move out........gah! So many let-downs and yet in the last stanza she picks herself up and struts, high-stepping, knowing her worth. A poem that reverberates with any woman who has been down, and gotten back up, too many times to count. "And still I rise."

  5. What a ride. A lot going on here. A lot of clever content. Bags of attitude, sass and swagger - feels like an narrated introduction to a 80s movie (maybe, a bit Fear and Loathing, for me) - but, that’s not to say, as a piece of writing, it doesn’t feel complete - because, it certainly does. It feels full, brimming - accomplished. I could quote so many badass lines, I dig the hell out of. So we’ll fleshed out, even down to the quotes at the beginning - it just has SO much character.

    Really enjoying the prompts you’ve been orchestrating. The format, with the generosity of its word offerings, whilst stimulating the muse, lends itself to creative freedom, and this shows in the variety of the great poems your friends, and you, have produced.

  6. I'm in awe of you've taken Grover Lewis's voice and made it your own, resurrecting his swagger with a relish and freedom and drive that spurred the man to become what he was, a journalist that pounded the pavements and brushed shoulders with the unknown and the famous to cut the reader into a world that otherwise remained inaccessible. I love the fourth stanza, my favorite, but also this: "you start scudding down San Pedro with no idea/and no wheels, but a sacred heart, a votive candle,
    and maybe a shine-ghost mirage of something better." A high-octane read, Shay, brilliant and thoroughly enjoyed.

  7. there's a world here. and with that ending... a new world to come ~

  8. "I know a slaughterhouse on the south side
    where a girl like you could see god in fumed gold Krylon" - OK, that's amazing.


Spirit, what do you wish to tell us?