Thursday, January 7, 2010

Red Herring, Orange County


a little black ragtop 325
drive like you’re late but you never arrive
peroxide and cowhide, some pills and a bible
protracted divorce and a judgment for libel

some silicone, some collagen
great taste in shoes but not in men
pull into a dark garage
teardrops on your décolletage

so you’re not the kind of girl
that would give a pig a pearl
as he talks your Secrets off
carves a notch into the trough

charm with smoky eyes and skin
on the sickly side of thin
one more glass of chardonnay
long as you don’t have to pay

have a ball and charge it all
little boutiques, at the mall
find the perfect purse to pair it
even if you never wear it

so you’re not the kind of girl
that would give a pig a pearl
but he’s got a place in Vail
says he’ll teach you how to sail


your son’s friends seem very nice
coming to you for advice
stammer shy but wrung and wound
usually when he’s not around

and your daughter seems embarrassed
that her mom is not the squarest
never brings her boyfriend by
never gives a reason why

so you’re not the kind of girl
that would give a pig a pearl
as he’s pulling off his tie
carves a notch into the sty


maybe you’ll go back to school
trashy novels by the pool
maybe boost the child support
with another round in court

and the makeup’s getting thicker
and the wine gives way to liquor
and it’s harder finding claimants
for reciprocal arrangements

no you’re just a savvy girl
knows the worth of any pearl
(as a hoof runs up your garter)
is determined by the barter

10 comments:

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Great character study! The lines here are so good they would stand alone. Arranged together, they present us with an indelible, stereotypical character - who really deserves her own Reality Show!

Priceless lines -
pull into a dark garage
teardrops on your décolletage

maybe you’ll go back to school
trashy novels by the pool

and the makeup’s getting thicker
and the wine gives way to liquor

Great ending! HA! Hoof runs up your garter!

I can always count on you to be artistic and inventive!

Karen said...

Joaquin - you are a student of human nature, a keen observer with biting wit and loads of empathy. No matter how lovable, quirky, or unsympathetic the character, you manage to make him or her so human that we find some part of our family, friends, acquaintances, or selves in him. Fortunately, this gal isn't me, but I know her - maybe, as Kaye said, from some bad reality TV show (Real Housewives of Fill in the Blank).

There are many great lines here; I love the refrain that builds and builds until we know she's going to give the pig the pearl!

BloggerMouth said...

All of us know someone like that. It's pitiable really when your life is nothing but a huge pile of meaningless frivolities... I don't judge people like that though... god knows what goes through their heads or what made them what they are.

Julie said...

Awesome poem! Yes, I know this woman, too. I went to school with her. When I was a kid, I thought she had it made. Now I feel sorry for her, because she's sad and empty.

Your poem captures "that woman" we all know. Actually, I know some men like this, too. But you show her in a way that makes me laugh and feel sorry for her at the same time. "Talk your Secrets off" is a great line (and stanza).

The first three stanzas are a powerful intro. I also love the hoof running up the garter and how you keep that pig metaphor flowing from beginning to end. The title is excellent.

Jannie Funster said...

Sounds like maybe her choice in men is not so bad compared to what they get in her. :). Aye-yie the femme fatale.

As always, you take me on a trip of intelligence, humor, wit, sadness and unexpected turns of brilliance.

I like that " notch in the sty," my eyes read it as notch in the sky.

Always a true treat, Joaqiun-- thanks!

maaga..... said...

oh to be as talented!!..you make it seem so easy..

it's always enjoyable coming here :)

peace.

the walking man said...

From the male perspective I hope to never be counted among the swine.

For the first stop of the morning this piece will be a hard read to beat. Every image come direct and without malice. Well done.

Earth-ling said...

i like this =]

trooping with crows said...

Good Lord, Joaquin! I am just literally laughing. It's like, I love this poem about the woman I can't stand! Of course you could write this poem, Joaquin. Like Mom said a "character study" I can always imagine you looking inconspicuously over your shoulder in bars, diners, train stations, writing these gems in your head while observing these people!
Could never pick ONE favorite line, too many, but I really like

"have a ball and charge it all
little boutiques, at the mall
find the perfect purse to pair it
even if you never wear it"

Just love the way it all sounds and fits.
Cool!

joaquin carvel said...

k - i've (marginally) known some of these characters - there are alot around here - sadly stereotypical. easy to blow off, but they are also fascinating in a way. thank you!

karen - thank you - maybe the fascination for me is finding that connectedness - which can sometimes be easier than i'd like to think - those reality shows aren't that far off sometimes.

blo-mo - it is pitiable - and hard not to judge. makes me wonder about the kids who grow up surrounded by it - how easy it must be to get sucked into that cult of frivolity. thanks!

julie - yep - for every woman like this there's a man - just swap out shopping for golf. i'm not far from some really affluent areas - and when you get past the palm trees and shiny things - there is an awful lot of emptiness. thank you.

jannie - ha! i think you're right - guess they deserve each other. great to hear from you - thank you

maaga - hi there! thank you - but don't sell yourself short. (if i make it look easy it's probably just becasue i have so much fun doing it:))

twm - me neither. though your work seems a pretty clear indicator that you wouldn't be. thank you - i really appreciate it.

e-ling - thanks!

troop - :) - thank you - sometimes the difference between a stalker and a poet is just what's in their notebooks. ha! but people do (in my estimation) make the best watching.