The Sunday Poem: Someone Else's Hair, by Sirena Rayes

Good morning and good Sunday, Albuquerque! Rich Boucher here, poet, desert compound prophet and DitchRider Guest Editrix for the month of June. I've given a lot of thought to how I wanted to steer this ship during Jon's time away, and I really wanted to use this opportunity to showcase some poets who would not normally showcase themselves. Last week's Benjamin Bormann feature was really the start of that, and this morning I continue on that mission with another fantastic poet.

 

A poet, in fact, who in my estimation is one of Albuquerque's best-kept secrets....

...Sirena Rayes can be seen and heard from time to time at various open mic nights throughout the city of Albuquerque. A quiet but very powerful presence on the scene, and not one to toot her own horn, despite the fact that the strength, real-life-based immediacy and sheer, brutal vividity of her work certainly warrants a heralding....

 

 

 

Someone Else's Hair

 

 

they ask for my name

and then take it

sign here

 

sign here

 

one more at the bottom

 

and I was just one more at the bottom

of a handful of pills

or a bathroom floor

 

the cold water

between my toes reminds me

I wasn't here first

 

someone else's hair

on leftover soap

on the wall

in the drain

 

I want to leave

but I can only leave the empty

plastic containers they put my pills

and shampoo in

 

they won't even give me Q-tips

they give me instructions

 

give me a bed time

a hospital gown

give me pink walls

and rice krispy treatments

and take

my blood in tubes

go ahead

 

test me

 

as soon as I pop

my breakfast spork through the plastic

ask me how I'm feeling

on a scale of 1 to 10

 

they have a funny definition

of doing good

I must've complicated things

somewhere down that dotted line

it's actually quite easy

 

tell me I'm doing good

when a cigarette or a switchblade

doesn't fall out of my bra

during inspection

call me clean

 

show me to the towels

and my therapist

for the day

 

I sleep with my knees

very safely tucked in

to my chest

how do you sleep at night

doctor?

--Sirena Rayes

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email theditchrider@gmail.com.

Views: 189

Comment by Ben Moffett on June 17, 2012 at 9:01am

Damn, this is a good poem! Thanks. I remember my last hospital stay in February. Time to leave and I get the 1 to 10 treatment. "Six," I say. "Don't you want to go home?" the doc asks. "Yes," I say. "Two."  The doc says I'll be released in two hours, after I take one more pill.

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 17, 2012 at 9:12am

Sirena, you go deep, Woman.  Ah yes--the theys of the world with all their fixits for jobs--sad and serious poem--survivalism.  sock it to us, sister

Comment by Dee Cohen on June 17, 2012 at 9:19am

Good poem that captures the world of being inside: alienation, loss of self, surrender of control. From the first line, they have taken your name- and won't give it back until you behave... Thanks, D

Comment by Julie Brokken on June 17, 2012 at 10:51am

❤ love ya chica!

Comment by Margaret Randall on June 17, 2012 at 5:39pm

Strong poem! Thank you. Does a great job of contrasting what we get with what we need.

Comment by cc on June 19, 2012 at 7:49pm

good attitude in this poem - how they treat you, where this takes place, in an institutional, impersonal way - this kinda treatment needs an honest word play like this to challenge it!

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