You Put My Car in Stall

It was some time ago on this date that I lost my pelican briefcase,
the one with all the papers that needed proofing and the contracts that needed signing.
My bag of bagels careened out of my grip too,
the poppy seeds detached themselves from the dough like Jupiter had split the atom,
terrified, they’d abandoned their purpose and took the French onion flakes with them.

It was some time ago on this date that I lost my left shoe,
it came off somewhere in the stairwell, 
stuffed to the gills with a frenzied disbelief
that the sky was really falling.

It was some time ago before this date that my travels
were mere letters and numbers on grids.
They attracted the attention of no one.
With skin as white as snow, hair the kiss of sunshine,
or skin like amber syrup with tresses reflecting midnight,
nobody paid me any mind.

Now it’s some time after that date,
and you put my car in stall,
my eyes as likely to tell truths as false alibis

of where the villains got their power
and where they left their shoes
when they schemed to disintegrate
your kingdom’s towers.

It was some time ago on this date that I lost my first love,
her eyes cried red, white, and blue
when she saw her fathers and sisters burning.
She bore wrath into my reading glasses, slammed the door,
and left me wondering what I did wrong
to lose the trust of someone whose soul sung as my own.

— yiqi 11 sept 2015 10:53 pm

This poem definitely took on a life of its own.  This post became something entirely different than what I’d intended.  I’d wanted to write something about French music and what I like to listen to when I’m giddy or lonely or craving an ethereal caress.  Then, I thought I would say a bit about the memories I have of this date, where I was and what I was doing.  But, I started typing and a whole other set of words and images whooshed through my fingertips.

I do not typically explain the meaning of a poem, intended or otherwise.  In this case, though, it’s important to note that I am not the speaker here.  I don’t know whose voice I felt, whose specific experiences I illustrated.  Perhaps there are some headlines that I didn’t realize I saw, some photo galleries I forgot I’d seen, and now they surfaced.

The phrase “put my car in stall” is adapted from this song.  I believe she is singing, “you drove me to the wall/I put my car in stall.”

Et maintentant, je vous donne de la musique:

Deux visages se dessinent
Dans le creux de ma chair
Deux histoires qui s’impriment
Et me resserrent
Et je sens tout mon amour prisonnier
Pour finir ou bien pour tout commencer

Des larmes s’accrochent encore à mon âme
Et déjà me condamne
Des larmes de bonheur et de mal
Brûlé entre deux flammes
Comme un artiste avant de faire le pas
Et tout mettre à l’endroit

Tout mettre à l’endroit

On me tire en arrière
Est-ce que j’y crois vraiment
Mais quelqu’un me libère
Et me surprend

{au Refrain, x2}

Two faces draw themselves
In the hollow of my flesh
Two stories that imprint themselves
And confine me

And I sense all my captive love
In order to finish or in order for all to begin

Some tears hook themselves again to my soul
And already condemn me
Some tears of happiness and of pain
Burned between two flames
Like an artist before taking a step
And all to put to place
And all to put to place

One pulls me from behind
Do I really believe it
But someone releases me
And surprises me.

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