Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fool in Blue

Silent Night




Fool in Blue


Being Shiloh’s fool
was one of the most
peaceful things.
Oh he never thought
to call her that,
just a blue-cornered woman
with too many empty nights,
a vacuum
it was his nature to fill
in the two AM hot

Oklahoma vapor lock,
scratching on her windowscreen,
come to town for the thrill.
Sitting in the disappearing room
they’d get high and talk, drink cheap Zin--
always the best wine to go with cheap sin,
if you happen to believe in sin--
while his old lady finally got 
a good night's sleep. Being Shiloh's fool
was a peaceful thing.

She knew him for all
he was worth;
runaway country boy,
too smart homegrown freak,
aging acidhead.
(Ate a whole sheet of blotter once
he'd stashed and forgot;
thought it was too old and
he might not get off, 
but he misjudged.

Composed himself to die
on the dining room table
for two days and nights
while the party held a wake.
He was surprised as anybody
when he came down 
like a busted windowshade
and had to
go back to class.)

Being Shiloh’s fool
was a restful thing
up to a point.
She knew her purpose
and he knew his.
That night she broke,
he drove her to his dad’s pond
took off her china doll clothes,
led her into the black water
where salt tears and sweat rolled 

invisible as water moccasins in the dark
dancing their poison tango,
washed her in owlsong and moon
till her body whispered to her
she still had a heart.

Shiloh never owned her,
no one ever owned him,
and she,
she's never owned
anything.




~November 2011






posted for   real toads

 Challenge: Free Verse
This one has been in the files forever, and I think it's as free from any rhyme or contrivance of meter as anything I've every written, so, with apologies for the length, I submit it.





Header Image:Silent Night, by Kr B on flick'r
Shared under a Creative Commons license

24 comments:

  1. a blue-cornered woman
    with too many empty nights,
    a vacuum
    it was his nature to fill
    in the two AM hot

    Oklahoma vapor lock...nice...what a sense of character you set up there...also the mocassins in the water, washing away...nice...really great close on this as well with the owning of each...tight piece hedge...

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  2. Agh! Lost my comment because of stupid wordpress/blogger stuff.

    A wonderful poem that flows so beautifully it definitely does not feel too long; reads as story, all interesting - so many encapsulated resonances - and a beautiful if painful picture of interlocking needs and personalities that works oddly - the "taking one to no one" taken to a level of healing. I found the last scene -- pain coming to the fore and being washed away to a degree very wonderful. k.

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    1. that stupid wordpress/blogger stuff--it's a conspiracy I tell ya! Thanks, k.

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    2. I came back to read your poem - I meant "taking one to know one" ! In the sense of a certain kindred spirit that also are at very different poles. A lovely poem, and very cinematic as some have said. One can hear a kind of soundtrack with it, and picture certain yellowish (sallow but beautiful!) twilight in darkening blue. I kept thinking of Almost Famous in the first part - but I see very few films. k.

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    3. I was wondering about that! And yes, you get to the heart of it--there is an affinity we meet rarely in life, and it calls to us--there have been many I felt were part of some kind of kinship of sorts, who meant more to me than any real kin, despite a lot of differences. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we *could* put our lives to a soundtrack and film? well, maybe not purely wonderful(!) but instructive, surely. ;_)

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    4. I was going to say that I also like the title fool - - of course there's the idea of fool for love - but my mind goes to Shakespeare-- and I can't help thinking of the fool as (i) the entertainer, jester, for the other, sort of tool, lightener--but also (ii) as the baby - since they use that term that way in Shakespeare - and when it comes to carrying down by water, I go to Lear with my poor fool is dead at end of play, with Cordelia. I don't know that you meant it that way, but it's carried with the language - of course, the guy is kind of a fool too, but perhaps more of the modern kind. k.

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    5. I had a much stronger and more pejorative term for the female in this tale, but decided to not drag in the value judgments too much. For me the connotations of 'fool' are similar to your sense, with a little frosting of Tarot.And of course, we're all bozos on this bus.

      Thanks as always for reading with such attention, k.

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  3. For all its freedom of expression, this delivers a tightly packed description of your Bonnie and Clyde type pair, with their story neatly woven between the lines. Your signature flair for figurative language always elevates your poetry in my eyes. I love the description of the immersion in the lake - water moccasins and all.

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  4. Love all the sound play especially hot/lock and the story you reveal is multi-layered and intriguing I found that I was eager for their story. I love the visual of this stanza especially:

    "invisible as water moccasins in the dark
    dancing their poison tango,
    washed her in owlsong and moon
    till her body whispered to her
    she still had a heart."

    Washed in owlsong and moon...gorgeous and biting in contrast next to the snakes poison tango...

    Such an excellent poem, Hedge!!

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  5. This is so melancholy and is such a deft portrait of what it's like when our different emotional jigsaw pieces try to make a connection. When it's hearts, and lives, it's so complicated and sad and messy and very hard to forget.

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  6. oh my goodness. this takes me places and puts thoughts in my head...some of which im not sure i want to linger with. well, bleh. all these words in my head aside, thx for taking me there.

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  7. "washed her in owlsong and moon " I will highlight only that... but really, the whole poem is gorgeous and sets up the mood and characters wonderfully. It's a novel in free verse... and way too short.

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  8. A great read, first and foremost a really attractive narrative . . . like a beat road movie for the head in Picasso tones of phasing blue: cut-sequences expanding in their infancy. Suggesting a scene rippling
    without ramming it down my throat, more like a poke in the mind-pond.

    The picture is an excellent allusion to the stillprint that is now peacefully quivering out on my PO-line:

    a serene waft of a write hedge,
    right up my alley and about half the length
    of my shortist poem - lol -

    glad i stopped by! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Arron. Not everyone can keep a poem alive the way you do for line after line. It's a great gift you have that I never find your poems too long--too hard, maybe occasionally, for my little pygmy brain, ;_) but not too long.

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  9. O, I own him alright ... always have and always will ...

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  10. just a blue-cornered woman with too many empty nights...just one of the many lines I love in this.

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  11. Wow ... this transported me ... such vivid imagery ... it flowed on like a story .... amazing !!!

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  12. This slithered and sang, hedgewitch...

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  13. This is really breathtaking, Hedge. The repetition works beautifully. And, the imagery is beyond beautiful.

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  14. wowweee. agree with what others have said already, and to me, this reads like an exquisite cautionary tale. love it.

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  15. Wonderful elongated aside in the middle, gives the piece real texture. Fine storytelling, and that is a difficult and underappreciated thing.

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  16. I read and wondered what she gave up, what she gained, if she found it worthy. I suppose I'm biased... didn't give a hoot about him! The flow, the tale, the imagery are completely engaging.

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  17. This story took me right in. Has me wondering about Shiloh's fool and what happened. You say so much just dancing around the facts and giving us mood and personality.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg