Saturday, March 7, 2020

Musee des Larmes

Your Museum of Tears exhausts the visitor
with unrelieved monochrome. 
Repeat patrons squat and rock, 
pulling their hair,
begging for blindfold and bullet.

There is a booth to check your solutions
which will not be examined.
In lieu of a claim ticket,
special jugs of further tears are dispensed.
Bearers long for the grave or asylum.

Security stops visitors for interrogation.
Why did you make a face at exhibit 45?
Why did you skip the explanatory plaques?
Don't you see how unfair it all is,
and how innocent the artist?

In your Museum of Tears,
the railings are salt-rimmed,
the light fixtures red and swollen.
Several displays repeat in a loop.
Many have hung themselves from the balcony balustrades.

I cannot be a member.
I cannot be a patron.
I cannot be a docent,
Though I hear there is a brand new wing
where whole aquariums bear my name.

for Sunday Muse #98.


  1. s'il te plait ne m'appelle pas....Yes tears can either be infectious or make you want to run for the hills. I love the playful french direction you have gone here Shay!!The questions almost made me fall off my chair!!

  2. #45 ... that's no innocent artist! 'in lieu of a claim ticket,
    special jugs of further tears are dispensed' ~ yes.

  3. This is brilliant... there is something of this place you describe that makes me think of Jorge Louis Borges, this Museum could be a place like his endless library. I wonder though if there is a choice not to be member, patron or docent.

  4. What a clever museum you've presented for us to consider. Personally, I like the "out" options in the last stanza!

  5. I LOVE this. It m,ade me grin. I imagine I would feel much like the people in your poem, in such a room, begging for blindfold and bullet. Your imagination is the richest I have ever encountered. Bjorn is right. This poem is brilliant.

  6. The surreal quality of this only heightens the sense of exhaustion I feel the visitor must carry as they wend their way from one tear-soaked balustrade to the next, chugging a jug of super-improved, extra-salty tears as they try to offer solutions at the booth where answers go to die, til the visitor is as red-eyed and tear-swollen as the fixtures. Your pen is scalpel-sharp here, set loose among the connoisseurs of melancholy. This really is brilliant, Shay.

  7. That ending...such a perfect little twist, not to mention the elegant way the personality was built in the preceding lines. Amazing.

  8. Sadness on display... I love the ending.

  9. "begging for blindfold and bullet." and "Many have hung themselves from the balcony balustrades." perfect. The last line is a work of art. You tore into this and burned it down.

  10. A museum of tears - so much sorrow hanging from walls.

  11. "There is a booth to check your solutions
    which will not be examined." (O, Irony!)
    I, too, reject the museum of tears, though the more aware I get about true histories, the more I realize how much revision is needed and guess tears are appropriate somehow. Vivid images: my favorite--O, irony--are the aquariums. I also like the salt-lick railings and the military style interrogations. Dark, dark humor.

  12. as noted... brilliant. makes me want to stop writing.


don't be stupid.