Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Fantasy

Mata Hari

I have wanted to be five-foot-eight ever since fifth grade, when the teachers made me join the third and fourth graders in a rousing rendition of “I’m a Little Teapot” for the school’s spring musical. It was traumatizing to be forced to sing and dance with the younger kids such a terrible song:

I’m a little teapot, short and stout
This is my handle, this is my spout
When I get all steamed up, hear me shout
Then tip! me over and pour me out!

I never grew past five-foot-one. In my mind’s eye I was thereafter always short and stout, even when I went through an anorexic stage. Mrs. Gulbro, the culprit who traumatized me, was on my Fourth Step resentment list 25 years later when I joined AA. She might still be there, another 21 years later.

I’m giving you this backstory to flesh out the poem I’ve written for the Poetry Bus this week. When Muse Swings, our guest Bus driver, presented three prompt choices, the emotionally wrecked 10-year-old me automatically zeroed in on prompt #3, which was this vintage photo:

The Exotic Dancer

Look at this skin, pale as cream
and wish yourself entangled
in my long legs, wrapped in my arms.
Feel my lips murmur against
your neck as my strong fingers
trace the muscles straining
in your back. Marvel at the pearls
of my spine. Lay your head upon
the jewels of my bosom and hear
the thrumming of my heart
under the fine arc of my ribs
just before your plump wife asks
are you finished yet, dear?


For a Busload of interesting work, visit Muse Swings’ blog.


Peter Goulding said...

Ah the killer last line. Love the jewels of the spine image

The Bug said...

Oh teachers sometimes have NO IDEA they reek on kids' psyches. Sigh.

Love the poem - this reminds me that I need to tell Dr. M about some vintage Playboys I saw yesterday :)

izzy said...

Marvelous ! and I would still have a
resentment about being short and stout too- except I'm still short and extremely
twiggish... Thanks!

Monkey Man said...

Great ending, Chris. But know, stature is not all about height.

Lolamouse said...

Love your poem! I too had a traumatic experience with a choral teacher in grammar school. Made each of us sing for him and then put us in a "yes" or "no" group for the chorus. I was one of only 2 girls in the "no" group. It was totally humiliating. Couldn't sing in front of people for years.

Magpie said...

Speaking as a plump wife...ouch! :)
Painting wonderful pictures in our minds again.

Brian Miller said...

oh my...that last line is are rather tall in my book, but that is all about poetry...smiles.

Syd said...

I wonder at the damage done by these teachers who pass judgment on our psyche. I was told that I was finally getting a personality. Ha...

Steve E said...

Well, I'm NOT the plump wife...
AND--I'm not finished, yet!

That teapot tune is a kindergarten thingie, yes? I knew a lady once who weighed over 350 pounds, used to sing that as if SHE were 5'8" and weighed 120. She thought everyone was laughing WITH her--I think...poor soul!

Zed said...

Beautiful imagery! And I loved the picture... Remember dynamite comes in small packages. :-)

Jinksy said...

Wicked! LOL

120 Socks said...

I'd say you're pretty tall, your honesty is tall and a great poem too!

Titus said...

Ah, perfect. Genuine, literary bathos, so well-handed.
And a heart-puller too.

erin said...

ahahahahahaha! perfect!


5.7.! (this is me willing it.)

i'm only 5'4". urg.


Helen said...

Oh, me too! 5'4"!

Long to be stretched a bit ....

I recited the 'I'm A Little Teapot' a few months ago (to a gentleman older than me) who told me it sounded 'sexual' ... can you imagine?

Dianne said...

OMG! I was all hot and bothered and then laughed out loud. Then I decided to get out of bed and read some blogs..... ha! you did it!

You are as powerful and as sleek as a lioness in my mind.....

And I have seen you!

...those steps are elusive....

NanU said...

HaHaHa! Wonderful punch.

Marla said...

Ok, this made me laugh. You are so wrong, Chris! Love it!!

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I had to do I'm a little teapot in front of a crowd at a Renaissance festival once (to get out of jail)

I also tried to take a jazz dancing class once, big fat girl next to all the petite little ones (was my perception)

It's good not to feel that self-conscious most times anymore.