Velma Laments Her Medicine Chest
These childrenís vitamins mock me
in helium voices. The condescending episodes
of my career pursue me like syndicated ghosts.
They wonít get away with it. Not this time.
My two years at Sarah Lawrence were not for naught.
I am a mind and body and a voice. Not these
cedar closetsful of orange turtlenecks, knee-highs,
and plain Mary Janes. Not this mousy Mod do
(which, I am told, is sure to come back in style).
Iím no Angela Lansbury. Iím studying ikebana.
I play chess by mail with a man in Istanbul. Smoke
long-stemmed cigarettes that smell of clove and citrus,
and I canít remember the last time these breasts
were caressed correctly. Behind the Biology
building, smoking weed, before they handed me
my walking papers? My investigatorís license.
These glasses: no one sees past them,
thick as Connecticut license plates, and flying
off my eyes at the most shortsighted moments.
Not the clumsy townie boys in their painted vans.
Not the bunglesome professors with their cockamamy plots.
Ah! Dorothy: how well you apprehended the villainous
truth of their infrequent passes. Elvis mocks me
in marathon holiday beach party potboilers.
I am mocked by dune buggies and Volkswagens.
Any cartoon boy could save me from this reflection.
Match my wit and tickle my jinkies.
That latent Quest and his painstaking pompadour.
He was worse than the redhead. Never dirty,
never mussed. His angry, meticulous teeth.
The voice on his answering machine message
rejects me. The Pussycats reject me. Quantico
returns my applications, unopened, unread.
Despite the sphinxes unriddled, the cardboard
boxes of X-Files unwound without murder
or prop blood. As if the Prom King and Queen
ever solved anything, or the hophead and that ridiculous
Dane. I deciphered the clues. I broke the fun-loving
criminalsí ironclad alibis with Holmesian aplomb.
It was me in the haunted castle! It was me
in the spooky gold mine! Backstage, under the Big Top,
in the mummyís tomb! It was me! Remember?
The fifth wheel in the Machine. My iMac speaks
to me in my motherís voice and I am not dislodged.
Even Senator Bono rejects me. Only a guest staró
half an act. I lost that election by defraud.
They wonít get away with it again, not
if I can help it. In the primetime reruns of my dreams
the only mortal who ever wants me, desires
this searing shade of orange, is Mr. Barbera, disguised,
the rubber mask of tenderness pulled loosely over
his incestuous visage. He leaves me this unchewable pill.