Thursday, May 7, 2009

Skinny Fingers

She had them
skinny little fingers,
she had them
skinny little legs,
she had a certain way of walkin’,
made the boys all walk on eggs

She was a cool
backwater diva,
she was a truck stop
angel eye,
kept her makeup in the glove box,
always gone before goodbye

She sashayed in
the roadhouse
as I tuned up
my guitar,
skinny fingers wrapped a cold one
before she got to the bar

and she ran
her skinny fingers
through her
long brown silky hair,
at a dark booth in a corner,
black powder in her stare

And when I
finished playin’,
she walked
right up to me,
with a voice like June and julep,
skinny fingers on my knee

and I recalled
my mamma,
she’d read ‘em like a book,
sayin’ never trust a woman, son,
what don’t know how to cook

So I told her
she was lovely,
I was glad
she heard me sing,
but how’d them skinny fingers
ever hold a diamond ring?

And she
looked at me quiet,
and the tears
rolled down her face,
and her skinny legs was shakin’,
ran her straight out of that place



I think about her
sometimes,
in these empty sheets
at night,
and that last long skinny finger,
and I think my ma
was right.



[to all you mamas – who are, of course, always right – happy mother’s day!]

17 comments:

emptygarden said...

great read!

Aniket said...

A very happy mothers day!!!

And what a wonderful way to say it.

"and I recalled
my mamma,
she’d read ‘em like a book,
sayin’ never trust a woman, son,
what don’t know how to cook"

SO Very True!! :D

And now I'll humm the Mulan song 'A girl worth fighting for' coz this so reminded me of it:

"The girl I'll love would unlike be any other!"
"And the only girl who'll love him... is his mother"
"Oh I don't care what she looks like... I only care what she cooks like..."

Brosreview said...

Ha! Enjoyed reading this one mate!!! As Aniket wrote, those lines are so very true!!! Great job, as always!!! Keep writing!!!

Karen said...

You always capture the speaker so well -- love "them skinny fingers." I know people who talk just like that! You have either a most vivid imagination or a most interesting life story, joaquin. I think it must be a bit of both!

I'm glad he recognized this gal "with a voice like June and julep" for what she is. Mama'a always right!

("a voice like June and julep" -- WHAT a line). You are a fantastic writer.

Julie said...

Your mama was right! Watch out for them skinny little girls:) I love the poem, the voice, and the story. I can hear the guitar with this one, too. You can tell an awesome story, Joaquin. It always makes my day. Thank you!!

trooping with crows said...

HA! LOVE IT! (and HA! I'm here before Mom!)

I could swear that I have Johnny Cash singing this on a record somewhere. Joaquin, either you are living a bonafide Coen Brothers screenplay life or you are an visionary genius! How do you make all this stuff up?! More later....

(I know that June must be June Carter?)
-Troop-

RachelW said...

Oh, sweet story! I love it! The repetition of the skinny fingers, that just does it.

lafemmereva said...

brilliant!!!!! :):)

Catvibe said...

This is fantastic! I could feel the dark shadowy bar, and see her eyes watching you play while she nurses that beer with her skinny fingers. I feel bad for her though, and I hope her mama's watching over her too.

Little Girl Lost said...

you really gave a feel of the place, the lingo, the people... i loved the rhythm :)
i'm in trouble. i don't know cuts about cooking. maybe it'll help that my fingers are anything but skinny :(

and you reminded me about all the mommas(and papas) who have till date warned their sons about dating me :(

Sarah Hina said...

This poem had a great, great voice, Joaquin, and was really funny, but it left a lingering bite, too. I'm with Cat--I felt a little sorry for Skinny Fingers. (she could have left a better impression at the end, I grant you ;))

black powder in her stare--that line really caught me. There's a spidery kind of sexiness to it--a little ruthless--but also made me think of a melancholy veil obscuring her vision, too.

I love the layers in your poems. Even lighter escapades reveal rich and complex emotions. I couldn't help but think there was a smidgen of regret in his loneliness at the end, in spite of his belief in Mamma's words.

Thank you for the Mother's Day wishes, too! :)

Silly Girl said...

sweet poem!

I have them - skinny fingers, and long brown hair, and ok I dun know how to cook!
so what? /:)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joaquin - Excellent vivid images...and just filled with literary flamboyance! Great action piece. Your characters are so original!

So I told her
she was lovely,
I was glad
she heard me sing,
but how’d them skinny fingers
ever hold a diamond ring?

NOW, I who have to say ---- Merissa said it first, but I agree... I envision a scene from a Coen Brothers movie!!!

Jannie Funster said...

To me this could be ZZ Top lyrics. You think?

joaquin carvel said...

emptygarden - thanks!

aniket - ha! thank you - though i think i may have gotten myself in deep with this - so it goes, i guess.

Bros - the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? thanks!

karen - thank you - "june & julep" was a last second change, so whew.

julie - :D thank you - from one of the best storytellers i know of - anywhere - that is huge!

troop - i wish i had a record of cash singing this! thank you - i don't know - i just always assumed i found a constructive outlet for crazy. (June - um - it is now :))

Rachel - thank you - glad you liked it!

lfr- *bows* thank you.

cat - thanks - though i feel for her too - makes me wonder where her papa was.

lgl - you're not in trouble - you can always learn to cook (or find someone who's happy to do it). and why would anyone warn their son away from you? actually - if he doesn't have the sense/spine to stand up for you - better to know that up front, i think. no point in wasting your time.

sarah - i'm a little sad for her too - and thank you - i like "layers" better than "confusion" (which is how it feels sometimes)

silly girl - ha! so what is right - you may look a little like her - but you are filled with something entirely different. (i knew the cooking thing was going to get me in trouble.:P)

k- thank you - i am smiling huge at "literary flamboyance" - wow! i can sorta see a "raising arizona" nic cage delivering this...

jannie - i was thinking it might be more lyle lovett - but zz top would rock it - more electric guitar and crunchy riffs - i'm diggin' it..

frozenwell said...

'skinny fingers' all the places makes it neatly good...so i say 'its finger licking good' LOL..enough of my PJs...nice poem..yuppy moms are always right....

utopianfragments said...

so good.
it is my first time here and i enjoy every moment of reading your stuff. it does all ring like a song and i do hope you have them somehow composed, would be great to hear.
i have allowed myself to add you to my blogroll as i would be happy to share your words with those few that come to my place (and as it will be much easyer for me too to keep on with it)
great days
Dhyan