Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022


 Nobody thought he was handsome except for me,
the sharp-elbowed stick girl with the camera around her neck.
Always, he would show up on the street early,
a midnight cat sliding in on private grooves, to sit and wait
on the curb for the other workmen and the Jonah bus 
that swallowed them away.

If I could've, I'd have built him a church,
with Host of egg sandwich and coffee black or white.
I'd swear I saw him take out a rosary one diesel-rattle dawn
and it was strung with candy skulls and baseballs.
I imagined his prayers were colorful foreigners wandering 
in warehouse downriver drab Detroit, hated by strangers, loved by God.

After an absence, getting off gin and bad poetry,
I returned to find him gone, the bus stop shifted, the lone tree down.
The starlings had lost their home, me my jones,
and my camera stayed empty for a year after that, like an unfed stray.
I asked a girlfriend once, "Remember that guy, the different one
we used to see waiting?" Ugh, she said, that one. 
Like I said, only I thought he was handsome, like rain, 
like new work boots pawned.


  1. Your characters are always unique, and I can SEE him......."like new work boots pawned" has to be the most original simile I have encountered. The camera "empty, like an unfed stray is a close second". So good.

  2. I read this as a prayer, the persona pouring into this handsome workman, her own visions and predilections, her wanderings and her desires, her need for connection with something extraordinary and ordinary . . . . . like rain. Ah Shay, so beautifully done. Sigh.

  3. Love the Jonah bus, and the whole mood of back-looking reverie. For me you show the importance and individuality of any one of us to someone that make us unique and that lives at the heart of love. The rosary description is also just fantastically done, and the end lines have a peace and beauty that carries just the reminding flavor of great loss. Fine poem and wonderful weaving of the list words, as well.

  4. Oooooh. So good. Everything wrought in language that transcends nostalgia, taking us not back but in. And that last line: "handsome, like rain, like new work boots pawned." Oh wow.

  5. Just so exquisite in every way, Shay. I love your metaphors, they're always the best, and there are too many to quote here, I'd end up copying and pasting the whole poem into this space.

    From "diesel-rattle dawn" to "his prayers were colourful foreigners" to how your camera stayed empty for a year "like an unfed stray." It's just beautiful, the whole snatch of narrative, like a mini film short.


  6. Ah yes, the metaphors .... You made both characters 'come alive' and I want to know more. A year is a long time ...

  7. Love this, looking back, breathing out poetry. You have such a gift with the ability to write characters so full of life. I feel them every time I read your work.


Spirit, what do you wish to tell us?