Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #414 - How Alice Trumbly Learned the Secret, a poem, Writerly Wednesday

F. W. Woolworth and S. S. Kresge stores on Lackawanna Avenue, in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania. The two stores were often found near one another in downtown areas.


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #414 - HOW ALICE TRUMBLY LEARNED THE SECRET , a poem, Writerly Wednesday

Hi Mom,

Here's the weekly poem. I have enough for the rest of the year, but eventually I will run out, and I am not planning to write new ones. I could short-short stories, but I would hesitate to share the longer stories. We shall see.

For a time, I became interested in narrative poems, and in using my interest in the fantastic in poetic form, using magical realism and fantasy in the real world.

Here I was trying to capture the hum-drum of Americana, and I felt that the five-and-dime of yore best expressed that homogeneity that I wanted as the setting for what happens to Alice.

I see a bit of my own judgement and snobbery in the idea of what happens to Alice. But it's not harsh. I think the notion is born of being naive and with a fair amount of nostalgia for the department stores of old.

I also wanted a name that evoked the dead end of the nickel and dime days: Alice Trumbly. I may have been thinking of Eleanor Rigby as the name has the same lilt and trill. But mainly I was having fun with the magical idea expressed in the poem.

And I have to show off a word from list of words to use poems. Yes, I have an actual list. So, "chary" makes its appearance, and as I read, I feel that it really stands out apart from the rest of the language. As if I had thrown the trump card. Like using "inchoate" and not even pronouncing it properly.

Still, I like the line that gets repeated and is the last line of the poem. The poem may make the wrong assumption about housewives (see where I use "chary"), and I feel that's a misstep, too, But I like the image evoked there. Plus, I am not revising these poems before I share them.

So, here we go...

Alexandria Bay , NY - http://www.flickriver.com/photos/rjhayphotography/sets/72157624576960776/


Alice Trumbly worked at the Five and Dime.
Until one day, after stocking a bin of nail polish,
Alice discovered that she had become a floor mat,
the inexpensive kind, with the sticky, latex backing.

And there lay Alice Trumbly in a stack of bathroom mats
located between the plungers and the Tidy Bowl.

For a long time, Alice lay still, eyeless, mute
like a man after sex.

Alice heard the moan of empty aisles,
the chattering register.
Alice felt the weight of unbought mats,
and the chary caress of house-wives,
smoothing her nap,
much the same touch they perform,
mindlessly, late at night, waiting to be fondled,
as their husbands begin to snore.

Alice had always wanted to be thinner,
but this was ridiculous.
Her eyes, nose, arms, legs, and all her organs
were squeezed together like an orange
and then drained, flattened, and pruned.

Lying there, pressed tightly,
Alice flowered to life.  She felt tremors
rock the amalgam that was now her body.
Her new body sang, and she knew things
that she desperately wanted to share.

To each customer who strolled past pushing
a shopping cart to the rim of the day,
to each patron whose glassy eyes fell on her by mistake,
Alice wanted to scream what she had learned,
like a newsboy shouting headlines.  And she would have,
if her mouth were not part poly-urethane and part nylon,
like a man after sex.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 416 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1608.24 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.


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