Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year's Fool

New Year's Fool

I am from yesterday,
but not.

My veil is the cloud of a dozen
dead species of moth,
my too-short skirts some dismal fabric
that only comes in black,
like bombazine.

My face is from nowhere,
but not.

My hands namaste,
my hair is a madwoman's coif,
a harlot's passport.
I stole my maryjanes from
a Harajuku girl

stoned in the Mission,
I have no eyes

you feel me watching you.
Some say I'm a fool,
I'm not.

 ~January 2017

 posted for     real toads

a very impromptu write for

Image: artist unknown, fair use.


  1. This poem delights me to no end. I love the imagery of the veil created by long extinct moths.

  2. This is the perfect response to this picture..there is something so archetypal about it. Your narrative viewpoint creates a most impelling metaphor.

  3. You last stanza made me squeal a little. So many tales weaved into those five lines--the eeriness of having no eyes, the haunting watcher, the uncertain dance between what's believed unreal and what once was (maybe). I love it!

    And the image rocks, too.

  4. I really like how you made the image come alive.. Somehow I can feel she has a part of Miss Havisham's heart. Have you read the Carol Ann Duffy's "Miss Havisham"?

  5. So well thought out in so many ways.

  6. You have really captured her well. Love the contradictions you find in her.

  7. I wonder if a New year's fool is a more wintery, less dismissable fool than the April version. In any case, I expect they are both cruel by turns and this one always able to serve up the unvarnished truth, as opposed to what one might have been expecting or accustomed to. I especially love the moth veil.

  8. Oh, I like this so much and I agree with Bjorn about a slight similarity to Miss Havisham! I especially enjoyed the lines:

    'My veil is the cloud of a dozen
    dead species of moth'
    'my hair is a madwoman's coif,
    a harlot's passport'.

  9. Impromptu write coz its a mirror, this fleeting image. And like History herself, the song is attuned by the rocks here and there in its streaming -- the self-describing riddle of here and gone. Violated, discarded, extincting, outsourced, outvoted. Jesters speak their truths three-deep, beneath notice. History stares back that way. Happy New Year.

  10. Excellently done, Joy. I love the "But I'm not."

  11. "My hands namaste,
    my hair is a madwoman's coif"

    My lord! That sounds like you're describing me!

    I love the way you work the repetition in this. Stay warm!

  12. I think I saw the ghost of that girl in the Mission, sans shoes.

    The contra-positive lines work so well here - each like a slip of the rug from underneath the preceding image, encompassing the width and breadth of the opposition ~

  13. I think the self descriptive voice of that coming and that passed is entirely adequate for what has been and what will be.

  14. you've given that picture a whole new level of intrigue and depth
    I certainly feel it watching now

  15. That's rather chilling, especially the closing lines.


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

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