Music Prompt #2 “Italian Leather Sofa” by Cake

When meaning fails

She gathers the hem

Of her skirt, a flash

Of indiscretion

Like a smile, only sharper.

She is a tease, a spitfire,

A rift in his accounts.

He craves her because

She never spares him.

He likes the sound

Of silk being ripped

From expensive flesh.

She likes the shiv

Of his smile unbuttoning

Her overflowing blouse.

A passion that keeps them

Recoiling and rejoicing.

He craves her because

She never spares him.

Her laughter is

Like a truncheon

Exchanged beneath

His unfrequented ribs.

She has a love of numbers

And he so much to give,

Whether a dollar or an inch

He is always considerate.

She craves him because

He never spares her.

The press of her pelvis

Stamps out all memory

Of his failings

She likes the sound

His pockets make

When shaken.

He loves her violence

And she his.

A passion that keeps

Them clear of walls.

He craves her because

She never spares him.

I went with a more humorous approach to this one


32 responses to “Music Prompt #2 “Italian Leather Sofa” by Cake

  1. Sometimes in poetry, I notice that certain lines appear to be attached to what goes before, as well as what goes after. Not all poets do this, but the very crafty and clever ones do.

    For example, in the opening, you’re talking about the hem of her skirt. But I also think you’re talking about the hem of meaning, which is a fantastic way to describe how confusing things can be … the need to tighten things up when you can’t quite get a clear take on things. It’s like when you have to block out all the other voices so that all you can hear is your own. You know YOU aren’t trying to deceive you; you know you can trust yourself, and probably not anyone else. That’s why it’s best to travel alone. Gypsy in a skirt, all the way, baby.

    These are my favorite lines:
    “Like a smile, only sharper.”
    “A rift in his accounts.”
    “He likes the sound
    Of silk being ripped
    From expensive flesh.
    She likes the shiv
    Of his smile unbuttoning”

    There. You did it again. Layering the lines. I know this is called something, but I don’t usually remember all the poetic devices I learned about in college. (Greatest time of my life, writing papers dissecting poetry. Man, no one appreciated my brain like my teachers did. Now my analyses get on people’s nerves. I probably just need to go back to reading poetry books all by my lonesome. At least IIIII know what a treasure my brain is, even if it annoys the heck out of everyone else.)

    Oh, back to my point … Look what you did there, you little smarty. “She likes … his smile unbuttoning her shirt” but also she likes his smile unbuttoning [itself]. I’m picturing a tight smile opening itself into maybe laughter, or at the very least, a really big grin. Maybe even a jaw drop here and there. She keeps him guessing, I suppose; you probably never know what will come out of her mouth.

    I love the way you send me to the dictionary every time. SO much fun.

    “She has a love of numbers
    And he so much to give”

    … means so many things. Numbers themselves. Numbers, meaning a lot of people, a lot of … anything, I guess. Marbles. Chocolate kisses. Ice cubes. Who knows? It depends on what’s being counted. Ooh, numb-ers. That’s it. Alcohol, drugs. Anything that makes her feel numb. And if he has a lot to give, then he must be her drug dealer! Yay, I cracked the code. 😉 And she’s paying for her drugs in sexual favors.

    “Whether a dollar or an inch … (an “inch”; HILARIO)
    He is always considerate.”

    This is awesome. So, so smart. Not only is he her drug dealer, but he’s also the owner of a strip club. 😛 How do we keep coming back to this topic, girl? LOL. It’s all a metaphor, anyway. But she has to work for her drugs somehow. And he’s a good tipper. I can see that in your repeated lines. “He never spares her” means that he never just tosses his “spare” change at her; he slips her the big bills. 🙂

    Seriously, I love those repeated lines. It tells me there’s extra meaning hidden underneath. Quite a bit, I think. Like, for example, “she never spares him” could mean that she doesn’t see him as a spare tire. LOL. I know that sounds stupid, but you know what I mean. He’s THE tire … the one that can go and go and go, take her where she needs to go, keep her safe, etc. All the drug dealer stuff isn’t literal. Really and truly, underneath all the role-play and characterization, it’s pretty darn deep and they can totally trust each other. They do know how to have fun and keep it fresh, though. But in the end, and in the beginning (oh how they cycle), they love each other. No bones about it. Well, maybe a few bones. 😉

    Now that makes me think about reading bones … Maybe you can work THAT into a poem sometime. I LOVE anything about witchcraft, voodoo, etc. Just in case you want to play with those topics too.

    • Thank you so much for your deep and gorgeous compliments! First let me say that I enjoy your analyses all to often as a writer I don’t get to know what is going in my reader’s minds when they are digesting a piece (if they even get past the chewing phase before spitting it back out lol). I am interested in that aspect because one of my other loves and perhaps the reason I even write poetry is human psychology. By psychology I don’t mean the textbook psycho babble but more like the nature of man. I am absolutely fascinated by people. What it means to be human. One thing I have learned is that I enjoy writing about strippers LOL Some sort of subconscious desire there?

      I didn’t actually study writing in college. I took the min English classes not that I dislike reading/writing because I LOVE reading/writing but at that time in that environment it just didn’t feel right. I remember I was put into advanced reading in elementary and the teacher told me that I was thinking too deeply =(

      I do use a lot of metaphors in my poems and I like to use the meanings of each word as fully as possible. If I could I would stuff an entire poem into a single letter. Often my poems have several different stories and meanings built into them. I just love words you know? I suck them dry.

      Also I do think I have at least mentioned divining bones in some poems

      • “the teacher told me that I was thinking too deeply”

        I am big-time rolling my eyes at that teacher! 🙂 What an awful thing to say to a natural thinker. Talk about teaching the hunger-for-knowledge right out of a person. Goodness.

        I agree. I am also enraptured with both psychology and language. Sound, in particular. Another favorite course in college was linguistics. We got to study really cool things like how the mouth forms certain sounds and how to break words down into phonetic nibbles. It’s the most fun.

        I majored in communication, not English. But they’re close. Technical communication, to be precise — communicating through writing. When I worked (outside the home), I was an editor for an educational publishing company (our curricula was largely for students with special needs).

        Being an editor is one of the most annoying jobs because not only do most writers write poorly, but their content is often weak or inaccurate as well. So really, an editor is often more of a rewriter than a proofreader. Honestly, the most rewarding job would be physical, like being a construction worker.

        For what it’s worth, school (at any level) isn’t really for imparting knowledge; it’s for teaching people how to conform, follow rules, sit still, and behave.

        Yes, you do suck words dry. It’s magical to watch. I really am so thankful that I can count on you to share a poem every day, and at a certain time each day. It’s my one constant.

        I woke up to find my downstairs flooded this morning. Thankfully I’m past the stage of believing that life is “good.” It’s really just crap, with some highlights and even some beauty. But we’re always only a day or two away from another catastrophe unfolding.

        So I was thinking, “I don’t even care. This sucks, but whatever. I’m just going to mop up this water and then see if ____ (whatever your name is) has published my comment and replied to me. In the body, so often, we just live for survival. But thank goodness we have the mind (hopefully) to sustain us. This is the beauty and power of books. They can make an ugly life gorgeous, just by stimulating our imaginations.

        I have never been happy. My husband daily apologizes for giving me such a sucky life, and I remind him that I wouldn’t be happy in any circumstance. I’m not wired that way. People are either happy or they’re not. It has little to do with how their lives are going at the moment. And I know that I will never be happy. I grew up wealthy. I had everything. I had a million friends and “suitors.” I had a rad car and cash to blow. But I drank and doped myself senseless. And when I was alone, I sat in the dark cutting my body with knives and glass, crying myself into headaches, and wishing I were dead for no good reason at all. It’s just in my DNA somehow. And for me, writing actually makes it worse. Particularly if I use my real voice. Thus, the characters. If I make me up, then I don’t have to endure being the real me.

      • I have had some bad teachers such as in the above story and some really great ones. I had an abnormal psychology class late in the evenings that I loved. The teacher would have something like The White Rabbit playing when we’d come in and then we’d watch an hour of some really fucked up video. Now I am not a night person I wake up early and go to bed early so having a class from 6-9 at night when I am essentially brain dead (my brain slows after dinner) was very surreal but we learned a lot, it was an honest class. He talked about what really happens in mental health hospitals and though nightmare inducing we learned so much in that class. I also had a management class I was not looking forward to but we learned some genuine relationship saving stuff about conflict resolution that has really helped me. I also took Human Sexuality, another really good teacher. I had an Anatomy and Physiology course (which I love anyway I mean I love medical classes) but the teacher was so good at explaining things. I had a hilarious Japanese teacher. A math teacher who stayed after class with me everyday to work with me because I have a severe math learning disability. I liked school over all, not every class, not every aspect and I don’t see myself restarting my college education or anything but I am glad I went. I studied Nutrition by the way. I often think physical labor would be the most rewarding, the most honest. I have taught Pilates and yoga which I really loved. I have an issue earning money. I don’t mind working for free but earning money makes my skin crawl.

        Oh yikes that sucks. Is everything okay now? Thank you so much =) I go by Yves on the internet. My pen name is Yves K. Morrow. I know what you mean. I have been depressed my whole life. All the people I know are depressed. I have no real idea what happy healthy people should even look like. I had a difficult childhood. The early part of my life was spent in poverty and then later middle class but my mom was and still is obsessed with work and money. Work is her first priority. She came to visit recently we haven’t seen each other in 4 years and she was still working on her phone, despite being overseas ya know in this brand new place seeing her granddaughter and all that. I think she made me sick of money. There is a lot of trauma in my past because of it I could not make friends I couldn’t let others find out or get involved and well quite frankly I did not even know how to make them. My mom is Bipolar with ADD. My dad has Paranoid Schizophrenia, Psychopathy, and Depression he is also a Pedophile, wife-beater, alcoholic and a felon. And down the whole family line really. I am in a better place now being away from all that and being married to a wonderful man but now that I am in a better place all that repressed trauma comes to the surface. Now the work begins.

  2. I missed reading your writing for a few days (obligation and cockroaches suck!).Beautiful poetry as always, and I enjoyed reading the ponderful comment section too 😀

    • Actual cockroaches? I am lucky in Sweden they are virtually none existent and I haven’t seen one yet. Where I am from though they are a huge problem for everyone yuck! Thank you so much!

      • I keep telling my husband northern countries are the way to go! I must tell him there is no roaches there, after how many he had to kill, I am sure you will start browsing the landscapes of Sweden online 😀
        I hope you are well and looking forward to catching up with your poetry, now that we are settling down in the old home.

  3. We watched A Clockwork Orange in my Intro to Psyche class. My teacher totally hit on me, and my best friend (Derek, who incidentally LOVED me like crazy [and may still; who knows?] was SO irritated). Just flirty, you know. Derek swore that “Bob” gave me better grades because he had a thing for me. LOL. Whatever; I was an awesome student. But Derek just couldn’t handle it that I kicked his ass in that class. 😛 He was SO smart. Probably the smartest guy I’ve ever known. So obviously, I couldn’t date him. I didn’t want to lose the friendship. We never even kissed! But man, he would have married me on the spot if I’d ever have agreed to be with him. I think what was the hardest is that I totally told him I loved him. I just couldn’t let anything destroy our precious friendship.

    I took Abnormal Child Psychology too. That was an excellent course. Let’s see; what else? World Civ was good. Art History. All my lit classes. Brit Lit was a fave. Chemistry … oh, how I love Chemistry. It’s basically just math. … I was a night owl, so I loved evening classes. Plus, it sort of gave me an opportunity to hang out with this guy I liked. We could sit in the parking lot and talk/kiss, etc. 🙂 His sister was really the one who caught my eye first; she had a black VW bug and wore solid black clothing and jewelry. She also didn’t speak. I thought she was the coolest. 🙂 Derek was SO pissed that I “dated” that guy. Anyway …

    The college course I dreaded the most was Speech. I waited until my last summer semester, and took it in 6 weeks or whatever so that I’d have as few speeches to give as possible. I’m great at giving speeches, but it makes me SOOOOO sick. I can’t stand to do anything in front of people. But I am good at it.

    I love yoga. How cool that you taught it. Kickboxing, belly dancing, hip hop. Lots of fun kinds of exercise.

    Oh, I’m obsessed with asylums. They are the settings for my favorite movies.

    I’m impressed that you’re not in one, considering all you’ve been through. I completely understand how you must feel about your husband … your safe place. I’m sure he’s a lot like mine; someone who is your daddy in a lot of ways … the one you didn’t have. A really sweet, soft, good one, I’d imagine.

    • I love a Clockwork Orange book and movie! I took a class once with my husband and he was convinced the teacher had a crush on me. I always got an As on my papers and a lot of praise even when I didn’t feel the work warranted as much. I remember when I told the teacher I was moving he started crying and he was actually mad at my husband for taking me away (he harassed my husband a lot and gave him lower scores). I can’t remember everything but he was around a lot, lurking, it was pretty creepy so I was glad to be moving. I took Public Speaking with my husband as well. I dreaded that class but like you I am actually good at giving speeches but I just can’t stand doing it. As a nutrition major we had to give a lot of speeches, lots of talks on weight-loss, exercise, and health. Chemistry was hard for me because of the math LD. I passed only because we had a paper in the class. The teacher assigned us medical journals to read and she said the journals were too advanced and we wouldn’t understand all of them because they were specifically for doctors but I understood my paper and she was so impressed she passed me despite having failed miserably on all the math aspects. Did you ever get to know the sister? I do HIIT a lot and I dance but not like good professional dancing more like spasms lol I love asylums also! My husband is a good man I doubt I would be alive if not for him.

    • What sort of music do you listen to Jules? I was a teenager in the 90s and we often listen to a lot of music at that time so I was familiar with the band and many others from that period but I am not so good with current music

      Cake is an alternative American Rock Band

      • I never was into music much. I graduated High School in the mid 1970’s. Early rock I guess. Beatles, Monkees, Simon and Garfunkel, Chicago, Seals and Croft, other folk music – the Mama’s and the Papas. But our family also like the theater so I have a few albums of show tunes. and also some comedians records like Alan Sherman.

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