Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dreaming: The Snake Act

Dreaming: The Snake Act

It was a day in spring
or the fullness of summer
or a twilight in September
when you took the slug from the rose
and set it on my hand.
 I didn't know that slugs
could bite, but so it was.

While the wind played like pipes
you pulled the green end--so thick so pale--
of the suckering vine from its high dark place
 in the eaves, disappeared in leaves.
It fell for hours, in sweet hissing coils
 til you cracked it like a whip and it
flashed its rainbow fangs.

Then, you gave my snakeskin secrets
to your Kardashian-assed boss
with her eyes white as vodka;
'It's all over,' you said,
as I felt the sickly flush of
being taken for a fool
yet again.

So I took a bus to California
to work the arcades
with Manny and the Batgirl
but on Sundays
I always go down
by the old river graveyard
to water the parched pots

and feed the snakes,
because I still

~December 2015

posted for     real toads

Images: Bullsnake wallpaper, via google image search
The Organic Kingdom, by Wojciek Siudmak. Fair use via wikiart.org


  1. this was a wonderful short journey. i always wonder what snakes think about and how they see things.

    gracias for sharing your art

  2. I know that "sickly flush" - great description! I can see the snake, falling for hours, "in sweet hissing coils". Wonderful imagery in this piece, Joy....I especially love the ending.

  3. I think those bosses are just made to cause troubles.. I think getting away and feed the snakes was just the right amount of care to show... But maybe giving you slugs should have been a warning... a great way to tell a story.

  4. You've got a great feeling of melancholy for a love affair best left in the past going on here.

  5. Yikes--whoa--this really changes gear in a potent way--like the crack of whip or the final fall of the coils- or the bite, when it moves from the rather fantastical and legendary and ear-ful descriptions of the eaves and leaves and suckering vine (great wordplay) to the Kardashian-assed boss and the vodka white eyes--yikes yikes yikes--really terrific both in the more dreamy parts and in the fall to earth--the Manny and the bat girl funny but also somehow poignant. Must run, thanks. k.

    1. Thanks, k--it was one of those dreams that seem impossible even as one is dreaming--glad you enjoyed it. Take care.

  6. Great and I read the whole thing - no small task as snakes creep me out considerably. Loved.

  7. 'Tis said by evolutionary biologists that homo sapiens can thank snakes for peripheral vision—without a way to see the adder in the weeds, Eurydice was screwed. The vatic wisdom of this poem comes that way, slithering with assonance and inside rhymes and downward building blocks to confront the rub of the dream's hidden vision, which may be history or mystery, past or myth or both. How are we to know, crawled by insomnia from either way at 3 a.m.? Divine or profane(d) asp--Kardashianeque of course--prefers the oblique track, so meaning here approaches here along a snake-shaped river of dream-digested time. Now here (the arcades with Manny and the Batgirl, now there's a TV series), now there (that graveyard down by the misty waters, O yes), the den and lair under Kimmy's boolicious is the heart, of course, combing hair with the Fates 'n' Furies. I dreamed Donald Trump was David Ben-Gurion last night. O Morpheus, thou sliver silvery here.

    1. Good grief! That is a true beyond-Freudian perplexer--unless you think as my husband does, that in order for this country to be saved we have to descend into full republican hell, and who could bring it better than Trump? I wish I could have painted my giant snake better--so old, so sinuous, and so comic as well, inflated beyond credibility like a snaky zeppelin, and patched with incongruous, plastic-bright colors, a child's snake toy, till he opened his double-hinged airplane hanger of a mouth...anyway, thanks for the delicious comment, B.--and better dreams your way.

  8. Love the end ... Some things never really go away....

  9. Reflections of the memories that seemingly anything can trigger!

  10. Well, I never, ever would have expected to read "Kardashian-ass" invoked in one of your poems. Keeping us all on our toes! (or some body part anyway)

  11. That second stanza is incredible, and the ending as soft and heartbreaking as something dying hitting the earth.

  12. holy crap, this is fantastic. sorry, i have no mental bandwidth at the moment but am trying, in my free minutes, to catch up - and you know you're always my first stop. ~


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats