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Posts Tagged ‘alter ego’

 

 

 

I don’t remember inviting her along today,

that Prickly Rose, but everywhere I go,

she goes. I watch her pout around the kitchen

as she makes breakfast, her prickers falling

into the cereal, spines in the eggs. And she bristles

her way into the bedroom closet to

put on her clothes, daring to wear the same

outfit as I. She fusses her way to the car,

leaves a trail of bleary discontent,

then drives off in a huff, harrumphing

at beauty, at bliss. All morning, I watch her

from a distance, as far away as I can.

I tell her, “You know, you can choose

at any time to lose those thorns.”

She glares at me, like, “whatever,”

and goes back to her muttering.

“I see,” I say, giving her space.

She smells as if she burnt her eggs.

So I tease her, and make up new lyrics to.

“Miss Prickle regrets

she’s unable to smile today, Madam.”

and “The gripes are high but I’m holding on.”

I marvel at her insistence on holding

on to aggravation, frustration, annoyance,

stress. I mean, look at her now,

snarling there in the seat I’m in,

intent on her own misery. Oh Prickly Rose.

I want to hold her, but she will not

be held. So I watch her, let myself

get curious. Smile as she chooses to frown.

She’ll come around eventually, I tell myself.

Until then, I wonder at how she manages

to hold that scowl on her forehead

so furrowed, so deep, how she glowers

so impressively long.

 

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it just rolls off her tongue.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

The phone rings. She doesn’t

answer. A knock at the door.

She doesn’t rise. Unless

she wishes to. When she gets to work

and they say, Can you, please,

she says, Thank you. No.

When offered another job,

she says, No. Asked to lead

a committee, join a board,

volunteer, she says

no, no, no, no, no.

And smiles.

It’s not hard.

It rhymes with grow.

That night, in the mirror

she looks at herself

and says yes. That smile

on her face leaps

out of the reflection

and asks her to dance.

They sway

in the light of the moon.

 

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That bed looks so great.

There is nothing right now

she needs to do but slip

between those soft blue sheets

and close her eyes.

She has no words that must be written,

no lessons to plan, no bills to pay,

no conversations to have.

She is tired, and she deserves to sleep

right now. She doesn’t worry for an instant

that there will be consequences.

She looks out the window

at the light across the street,

sees the silhouette of the woman

who lives there as she

fusses and rushes and hunches over her desk.

What could be more important

than dreams. Whatever needs be done,

tomorrow is soon enough.

 

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She starts with marigold.
She pours the paint into a cup and selects the fattest brush.
The paint drips all over the floor as she moves toward the canvas.
She doesn’t care about the mess.
She drags huge pulls of marigold onto the blank, stroke after stroke after stroke.
There is no pattern, no purpose, no why.
More paint, she says to no one, more paint!
And she opens the ochre, the navy, the pomegranate, the plum.
She forgets about cups and pours the paint
directly into her hands. Then it’s hurl of paint, smash of paint,
fist and smear and splat of paint. Long slow pinky fingered tease of paint.
Puddles of paint. Great rainbowed pools.
She rolls in the paint and then rolls her body against the walls, the doors,
every inch of the virgin floor.
Every part of her is color now, and there is nothing
she’s not ready to touch.

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What do you mean I am one minute late,
she says to the man in the suit behind the desk.
The plane is here. I am here. Here is my bag.
Put it on the plane.

The man behind the desk explains
that this would be impossible.
He does not look her in the eye.
Wild Rose smiles. Everything is possible,
she says.
She jumps across the baggage scale
and pushes the man out of the way.
Ma’am, he says, I will get the police.
Wild Rose says, That’s okay.
She finds her name and gives herself
a first-class upgrade, prints out her tickets,
leaves her luggage for lost and walks
toward her gate. The man in the suit
stands there, phone still in hand.
He looks like a lost little boy. Take me with you,
he says to the space where she was.
She yells back, You’re one minute too late.

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And why shouldn’t she fill in on the trapeze?
After all, she’s no stranger to ropes and heights.
And the Great Flying Sabrina couldn’t be all that great.
She’d broken her neck in her last performance,
and that poor little ringmaster looked so cute
in his top hat and tears. Wild Rose strutted into
the trailers behind the tent and found herself a headdress
with red feathers and a red sequin leotard. Really,
how hard could it be? Climb the ladder, grab the bar,
smile and swing, gain momentum, flip three times,
hang from her ankles and spin. Sounded easier
than other things she was supposed to do that night.
Like make that call to apologize. Never mind what for.
She had other things to think about now, the audience cheering
as she walked into the center ring and let her robe fall to the floor.

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Wild Rose Goes Shopping for a Coffin

Not the one with airplanes painted on it.
Though it was fun to climb inside and pretend
she was the pilot, passing out barf bags to imaginary corpses.
Not the bamboo one, too bamboo-ey.
Not the willow one lined with wool. It scratched her face
during her afternoon nap. The salesman really didn’t like
the whole nap thing, but Wild Rose just invited him in to join her.
Not the sixteen-gauge stainless steel with hermetic seals.
Sure it looked durable, but when she danced in it,
it made such a racket, and not the kind of racket she liked.
The mahogany, too somber. And the blue and white veneer
reminded her of her Holly Hobby lunchbox from second grade.
Well, she told the salesman, there’s nothing here for me.
Stepping out into the sharp autumn wind, she’d never felt so alive.

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Of course she knows she is doomed.
That is not the part that bothers her.
Everyone is doomed. Lawyers.
Dilettantes. Poets. Priests.
She never takes Kismet personally.
Not even when he rips her dress
just before she goes on stage.
Not even when she is sick, near death.
Not even when she trips and splats
full body on the wall of her own loneliness.
She knows being doomed just comes
with the package. Still she can’t help
but wonder if Kismet is not, perhaps,
open for a little seduction. Cause Wild Rose
has a friend that she wishes that Kismet might
just forget to visit with his little dark bag
of doom if only she can keep
him interested here in her thighs
for just one more day, one more night.


* For those who have not met her yet, Wild Rose is my alter ego, the one who does everything that I am too frightened or embarrassed to do.

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In permanent black marker,
no less. But first
she rewrites the question.

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She has had enough of this tight-assed skinny hipped nonsense,
walking down the street like a rail, like a pole, like a wall.
Wild Rose swings her hips while she saunters.
She moves in curves. She is more swank, more sway everyday.
And she wants some tail. Not a fluffy little scut. Not a prehensile
appendage always grabbing at stuff. She wants a long and slinky
swirl of tail that swings when she walks, and you bet
she will swing it for the pure feline fun of swinging.
She wants to swish it and flick it with the wiggle of her gait.
She’s got fanny and flair and a swagger in her ramble,
and a tail, well she’s been looking for another way to tease
anyone who thinks a girl should play it straight. It rocks it
on her coccyx, and the way she’s feelin’, the road can’t be long enough.

*For those of you who have not met Wild Rose before, she is my alter ego, and does all the things I am too afraid or embarrassed to do.

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