Sunday, April 08, 2018

NaPoWriMo Day 8: Call The Plumber, Paradise Is Stuck In The U-Bend

Prompt: Let’s write poems in which mysterious and magical things occur.

I don't even want to know why the first thing that came to mind when 'write about magic' came up, was 'Oh god NO I've flushed Paradise down the toilet.' 

It went from there. Don't ask.


They said, “Don’t read in the bathroom.”
So I did.
There was always a stack of Reader's Digests
On top of the cistern.
One day I looked up from reading an article
About Adolf Eichmann  (I was seven.
Pudgy. An undercooked char siew bao)
And I saw a unicorn – “MA LOOK IT’S A UNICOOORN!”
Standing inside a great shimmering starry portal.
But the minute I scrambled off the toilet seat
Chubby-roll fingers outstretched (god, all the germs.
I could’ve killed it with disease)
Both magical beast and portal vanished.

I cried for days.

Twenty-six years, 9496.29717 visits to the bathroom
(give or take several extra for sick days)
A couple shitty boyfriends, and several non-careers later
I’m in a run-down public toilet
 In a high class mall
Reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
On my iPad, and I look up
And there’s a portal in front of me:
A great shimmering starry portal
With a view of the insides
Of the most beautiful library I’ve ever seen.
I can’t take my eyes off it. I don’t. I stand up.
And then my hand snakes out by instinct
(it’s important to flush public toilets you know.
It’s only polite)
And the minute I flush
The entire damn portal disappears
And I howl, Oh god no
I’ve flushed Paradise down the toilet.

Given the wreckage I’ve made of myself so far?
Wouldn’t be the first time.
Won’t be the last.

(The looks those snooty elegant dress-up dolls
That pass for women gave me
On my way out.
You’d think they’d never known the pain
Of being so close to Paradise,
Only to lose it down the drain
Due to societal niceties and being – gasp!- considerate.)

I just know I'm going to cry for days.


Linda Crosfield said...

I love this! Both the poem and your introductory comment: " went from there." I so get this!

Shuku said...

Hi Linda, thank you so much! Yes, 'It went from there' needs to be a CLASSIC phrase of writers and poets because that happens all. the. TIME. *high-five*

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely great! I especially like the use of parentheses, makes for a good story-telling (which this poem is).

Shuku said...

Ileea, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! If only we could find paradise so easily (maybe not in the toilet, but...) If I keep reading your work, I've a feeling I'll at least improve my Swedish *reading* if not the pronunciation (I'm a beginning Finnish language student. I'm dropping into the deep end.)

Anonymous said...

That is a deep end indeed, you have me intrigued! Do you have some connections to Finnish/Finland, or do you learn the language just for fun? (No obligation to answer, of course!)

Shuku said...

I started out learning it so I could read the untranslated books in a Finnish series I love! Only two books have been translated into English, in that series, so I figured that rather than wait till I was about 100 years old to read the translations, I'd be better off learning the language. Now I'd like to visit Finland so I could observe the education system, but I still want to read my favourite books!

Swedish is also the second national language there, so I suppose this is a Sign I should start attempting to comprehend Swedish as well. I sing it, and I can pronounce it decently well in song but I can't speak it at all!

Anonymous said...

Then I am even more impressed! I am a Swedish-speaking Finn/Fenno-Swede myself (quite obviously, since I write my poems in Swedish) and know what a difficult language Finnish is. What series made such an impression? I think you will have a great advantage in speaking English if you ever start studying Swedish "for real". Good luck in your language studies! :)

Shuku said...

Oooooh!!! It's the Raid series I want to read - I loved the translations and a lot of the humour does get lost in translation. I'm wading my way through all the conjugation insanity of Finnish (Saatanan ultra peruna!!!) and it's making a little more sense but still boggles my mind x.x

Thank you re studies! I will try and see what I can pick up of Swedish too! Then I can communicate with you in your language tooook. said...

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