Saturday, February 25, 2012

You can rhyme if you want to, but it's not really allowed.

Ah, rhyming. That sweet, often sickly cousin of free verse.

Some people can get away with it. They're usually 200 years dead or Shel Silverstein.

In college, I met some people whose poetry strictly rhymed. And they were into Pokemon and Dungeons & Dragons with equal avidity.

But sometimes, man.

Sometimes. I get that lethal itch. It's like cross dressing for some men. I just HAVE TO DO IT. In secret. But a in-secret-in-public kind of way. The same way a former football player will walk into Denny's at midnight with 'Runway Red' on his lips and a girdle.

Dear grandmother
I’m that whore that you raised
yes, dear grandmother
I’m that Babylon craze

My mother’s head soaks in bleach
there are rags on the chair
we had the same blood illness
spreading our legs everywhere. 

Now that I have that out of my system, we can move on. And by moving on, I mean in a way that means I don't really move on, but perhaps you think I have. 

As usual. this week I'm dealing with the (seemingly lifelong) themes of petty jealousy and envy - those godforsaken talented, wildly successful people who create loads upon loads - ENDLESSLY. 

One of the truly great ones I can just push aside pettiness and awe for is, well, not a writer in the traditional sense. 

Billie Holiday.
Something about her music drives me mad, lonely, fiercely joyful. This is her voice at the end of her career - which is admittedly different from the start of it. But heroin will do that.

How to dance to Billie Holiday

Move your hips like they
have borne a thousand children
and none

they cry out from the bedsheets

It’s okay, you say. This world is too
rough for you. I saved you. Birth control
and the Blues saved you from being born.

I’ll put you in the wash tomorrow.

How to dance to Billie Holiday at night

scrape your chest off like
you’re scrapping a plate
get it all off. All that red gunk
runs to the floor. Now, don’t you
feel lighter without it? Like a feather
on acid?

Now, move your feet, dear. Move.


  1. Hi there Jenny -- now that you're a 15th level warlock having completed that rhyming poem, let's just say that the rhyming added sugar to the salt. Closing the rhymes carried me along in a step too quick, to mild alarm. If it's going to rhyme then this is the... ti-


    Never heard Billie Holiday -- or at least I WILL have heard her; just haven't put the name to the music. Dancing or dancing at night -- I liked the precision in the difference. I shall go listen.


  2. Ah, thank you! I have to get back to reading other's posts and writing my own - I've changed residences and have yet to set up internet - which oddly hasn't driven me insane. But, please do listen to Billie! Please! Just a couple of songs!