Friday, February 29, 2008

Two poems by R Jay Slais

Two poems
by R Jay Slais

Because Goldfish Don’t

From nine months before I was me
until then, it was my possession.
He fancied himself
a magic man, flimflam wand,
smile smooth like glazed ceramic.
A performer practiced in the art,
manipulation of props and sleight of hand.

Small talk over a beer
became little words on a map with dots,
places we were supposed to travel.
Him, like a little kid,
"are we there yet, are we there yet"
as he memorized my landscape with his eyes.
Me, like his mother,
rolling mine. This was no vacation.

As I drank,
my body poured out of me
slowly, like syrup,
a naked glistening jelly,
sweet on his tongue.
I shook, terrified to feel thrilled.

I didn't know its name,
but I could see
that his magic wanted me.
I was charmed, mesmerized
as if I was placed
into one of those trick boxes,
head and arms and legs
through holes, so an audience could see
I was still alive, my body trapped inside.

I was not prepared
when he Hail Mary plunged
his sword through the hole.
My Mother Mary plea
was mistaken as an act,
all part of the show.
It tore deeper,
I felt impaled as if dying.
How could I let this happen?

Senses escaped,
my possession lifted.
An odor, like a waterless ocean trench
surrounded me. Layers of hair tugged,
made heavy by blood,
my lava flowed out.
I couldn't see fire, but it burned.
Tears, filled with my regret poured out,
he gradually became invisible to me.

I no longer wanted to be myself.
I wanted to be my little cousin,
my kid sister, or better yet, a goldfish.
For the next few days,
circles swam around me.
People whispered and stared.
They must see that I have been changed:
that this vapor is like fog
blurring my conscience.
Is this the residue of my innocence?


Day I Break

The cat rests low, very near the vent.
Cooling unit out back kicks on again,
but it is unheard. Windows are sealed.
A gray man will think cold thoughts
knowing all things good are far behind;
a snow blanket of pine and roses last season.

Outside, the leaves droop lifeless and still
as if they are a painting, frozen brushstrokes.
The lake, dead calm sans its receding,
yesterday's sandcastle further from shore.
Only the minnows strive to move, jumping wildly
so not to seethe or sunstroke in the shallows.

As night sweats, I dream the warden is raping
impassioned, impetuous, his icey black stick pounding
my body smolder imperil, imprisoned. Morning rise,
no pain. A pile of unfinished poems on the desk.
Ignore them again; take care of myself in the shower
instead, the pulsating shower head held just right.

Author bio:

R Jay Slais’ poetry has appeared in Wild Child Publishing EZine and elsewhere. He also has a recent acceptance at Barnwood Poetry Mag. A single father, raising his two children, he’s an engineer/inventor in Metro Detroit Michigan. He blogs, or blobs when after a few drinks, typing becomes a luxury he would pay for, at He be contacted at


Sailing_canuck said...

Once again Slais has proven his Poetic Magic

Sailing_canuck said...

Once again Slais has proven his Poetic Magic

Calder said...

Thanks Sailing canuck!!

This is a cool magazine, don't ya think!!