Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Bastard






"Hey babe, what's in your eyes?
I saw them flashing like airplane lights.
...What's that laughing in your smile?
...If that's your love, just leave me blind..."
~Jagger-Richards, You Got The Silver



The Bastard





It wasn't enough
performing for the
shell-game professors
and small-time grocers
you called family.
O no.

It wasn't enough
to scrub your drawers,
peel your cow's-tongue,
wait graveyard tables
to feed the child.
O no,

you had to call me
'an authoress.'

A bastard could never
belong in your world
unless it was you.



 ~June 2016





posted for real toads


















Image: Tables for Ladies, 1930, by Edward Hopper  Fair use via wikiart.org

19 comments:

  1. This is blistering. Love this.

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  2. I love that it reads like a song. The refrain is yummy. And your last stanza is such a killer. I really like it when you end things with a punch in the gut.

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  3. A Shakespearean quality epithet, Joy. Hope I never get on your wrong side!

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    1. Impossible, Steve--it takes a real ass to do that.

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  4. I really love the anger here.. the waiting graveyard tables... only to be mocked. The final stanza is sharp as diamonds. Truly love this.

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  5. Two can play "Midnight Rambler" you know, and it baby hurts either way. That's the glitter of this dagger's edge as I read it. Is there an eely poison to "authoress," -- not "poet" or simply "author," the backside slapping compliment which makes all the other labors in love's hell even more demeaning. I don't know what peeling a cow's tongue epithets but whatever it's big and nasty. There's always venom in the vat, especially when it looks like silver ...

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    1. Thanks, B. Literally cooking and peeling a cow's-tongue--you boil it, then peel off the skin, which is coarse and pocked with little cup-like bumps. An unforgettable culinary experience, cooking offal...but there's a metaphor in everything, isn't there? ;_)

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  6. My first husband was a musician AND an actor. Talk about a self-centered combo, boy. The anger is razor sharp.

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  7. Yikes. There is a Shakespearean quality here, whether the unfairness is in the stars or not. More in gender it seems to me and a kind of legitimacy and authoress feels such a put down. Good enough for a girl. Agh. Really well done, Joy. I am mad on the speaker's behalf. Thanks, k.

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  8. I agree with Kelli, blistering is the word.

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  9. The heat is gone leaving only icicles sharpened into daggers! Brava!

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  10. You give the woman scorned a voice and a song we can all sing to. The peeling of the cow's tongue was second only to the unacknowledged bastard in her ingratitude list, but 'authoress' as the final insult.... that was inspired.

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  11. Speak up, not good living in discord.

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  12. There's venom in this. The right for recognition for so many things was ignored by the titular bastard and the speaker has had enough of sticking to scraps and shadows.

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  13. That's telling him!

    Mind you, coulda been even worse. I personally abhor 'poetess'.

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  14. The line that gets me is that of the naming, "authoress" the distinction of male vs. female is so unnecessary most of the time.

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  15. The first thing that pops in my head after reading this is: what an asshole. But you said it sooo much better.

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  16. Authoress?!?! Oh hell no! That is just beyond it all, fuck that. Ooops sorry for cursing.

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  17. I'm sitting in the coffee shop and people are looking at me because of the chortles and snorts erupting from my face.

    thank you :) ~

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