Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Party Instructions

Eat the cake Magda, 
even if the flour and salt 
turn to paste on your tongue. 
And keep working the room. 
You’ve caught the eye of a single banker 
and a married baker.
Neither care that
you’ve crumpled your cocktail napkin
into a sweaty ball in your fist
instead of folding it twice over. 

Eat the cake, 
and dance alone. 
Your shoes are reading
This machine kills fascists. 
And you're making eyes
at a sweater vested 
jalopy owner who could 
smoosh your butterfly
good and proper
even with a mouth full 
of cake paste
and cab fare jangling 
in his pockets.

But you’ll eat the cake.
And come home alone,
still clutching that cocktail napkin
in your hand like you were saving it

for your scrapbook.

For my first Poems in April prompt at Toads, I wrote a new installment in my black birthday cake series. For this out of standard prompt, I asked the Garden Dwellers to pick an image of a protest sign and write a poem with the phrase that was in no way political.  For my image, I chose this image of my favorite protestor: Woody Guthrie. 


23 comments:

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  2. I wasn't expecting this, Izzy,  
    "Eat the cake, 
    And dance alone."
    Orders from the boss, her spotter. 
    What went wrong, is there a price to pay? 
    You can see I got interested in the story and forgot that this was a poem, clever and well written.
    ..

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    1. Thanks Jim. Poems can be stories too (in fact all the good ones are:) And there is definitely a story here.

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  3. You've created a memorable character and scenario!

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  4. 'smoosh your butterfly' is such an incredible phrase...great poem...great prompt.

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    1. Thanks Paul! I am glad you enjoyed the prompt. I lifted "smooth your butterfly" from that TV Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but I wanted to pair it with Woody Guthrie so badly!

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  5. So much to enjoy in this one, Isadora! Just that phrase, 'Eat the cake Magda' made me grin, and the crumpled cocktail napkin says it all. I also like the phrase 'smoosh your butterfly'! I can't help feeling sorry for Magda. I wonder how many napkins she has in her scrapbook.

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    1. Thanks Kim. There is a pathos to Magda, but then again we are all Magda in a way. :)

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  6. I love this and there is so much to enjoy - your words and style are perfect.
    Googled words "Eat the cake" wondering if there was a history or usage behind them, and indeed there is - so I now know something I didn't know!
    Anna :o]

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    1. Thanks so much Anna. Not sure what you found on google. I had that whole phrasing of "life is short, eat the cake" I see on so many magnets. Think I was aiming to like....subvert that. Some cake is just awful and should not be eaten!

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  7. I'm always excited to read the next installment in the black cake series. This opened up a whole new scene before my mind's eye. As always, the narrative voice is very compelling.

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting,Kerry!

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  8. I like the speaker's voice. I can almost see her raising her inner-brow and saying, "Eat the cake". Because there is no other way around life, one might not like what it serves us, but still have to eat it.

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    1. Thanks Magaly, I am glad you could identify with the narrator!

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  9. Oh, I can see her. I love the voice in this.

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    1. Glad you like it De!!!! Thanks for reading!

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  10. There's a whole lot of world in that piece of cake. I love this piece!!

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  11. I also admire your talent to create a voice from the very first line, and carry through with nuance and depth ~

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  12. You've really made me wonder about what sort of choices Magda made that led her to walking into this party, and how those choices have reduced down to just eating this cake and muscling through, because all her good options are gone. Very intriguing and really well done.

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  13. Great minds think alike with the "cake." I am clutching that cocktail napkin, Isadora! Lol!

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  14. A really compelling poem, Izzy. k.

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