Saturday, January 12, 2019


Don't try flattering me;
don't tell me Pittsburgh is Paris.
Inside me there's a closed factory where my smiles pile up,
each one tied up in court, edgy as a man with a pushy mistress.
Bruce Springsteen came by today.
He claims you shoplifted photographs of his ex-wife,
giving them each a coral ankle bracelet and a tube of sand.
If it looks like a thing, it is that thing, and twice on Sunday ain't that right?
In the weird bookstore of alternate honeymoons,
I discovered your secret blue clarinet hidden in a cloak.
I was a waitress once, I still know what you want before you ask
but I'm slow in bringing it, resentful, bitchy, getting old.
You are good solid maple, I am balsa,
but it's you who jumps at noise that's just kids ripping us off.
Send me into our future, I'll go and even curb my tongue--
the only thing I had that seemed fine and wild and mine enough.
Inside the closed factory where my smiles pile up,
I cock-teased the lawyers until they gave up their writs.
Bruce and I went down to The River where I found my ring--
I roll it like my back ain't got no bones, home to you, to us, to this.

from wisteria's Patti Smith word list, for this 


  1. Spank me with a willow switch of thundered roads, every one of 'em hollow as bone.

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  2. Wow. Alternate honeymoons and exwaitress. I love this fren. I truly do. Sounds like the Fireblossom of yesterday. give me a dollar and I'll drive you to the river. Anytime.

  3. Love that closed factory where the smiles pile up. Mine was full of tears, before i started leaking. Now i cant stop. Love the waitress lines. Fantastic, as only you can write.

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  6. A packed, wonderful first stanza... sets the scene to this story poem that leaves us asking questions and wanting more - as many of yours are mini novels!

  7. On my very first reading, my just waking-up-eyes gave to me - "a pushy MATTRESS" ....
    yup --- blink blink blink - which then sent me howling in absolutely mad laughter, because a pushy mistress is entirely interchangeable with a pushy mattress, or inflatable. But enough of my urchin yowling -

    I understand you had a bit of help to get the word mojo flowing ... and whatever gets you through the night,...
    kick-start that Harley Mama, and ride on - 'cos this just is a delight to imagine, read and let the mind savour; all the delicious concrete images and all the hollow spaces we allow for as the details are left to us ... these poem-stories are fascinating and high octane.

    now this is rocking it ...

  8. I especially love the blue clarinet!

  9. You have combined so many disparate images into one amazing whole love poem. I enjoy every non sequitor, each leads to a new angle on a perennial and favourite theme.

  10. As I was reading your poem I thought of Pattii Smith, Shay, so I wasn’t surprised to see your music choice. She’s a big favourite of mine, music and poetry. The lines with the closed factory where smiles pile up really got to me and the ‘secret blue clarinet hidden in a cloak’.

  11. I love this! I love the closed smile factory and the alternative honeymoon bookstore, but I hope you don't curb your tongue, or you pen!

  12. Ooh, I love this kind of a poetic banter, a conflict which at the end of it is humorous, but not necessarily funny. I love the entire lawyer routine and of course the closed factory. A very interesting verse. Also, I absolutely loved the Patti Smith accompaniment!

  13. “I was a waitress once” is my favorite line ... I feel the Jersey shore in this and Bruce! (do not expect you to read mine as title is dead giveaway)

  14. damn. the end of that 4th stanza ~

  15. I love reading your poems Shay. They make me feel like I've just landed in Never-land! :)....with alternate honeymoons...sigh

  16. Wow! Even giving up the tongue, well. That is something. I feel like I have this kind of factory inside me too.


don't be stupid.