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A Curious Yellow House… ; While Reading Page Six…

Eric Pierzchala

A Curious Yellow House, With These Tiny Made-in-America Windows, and No Apparent Front Door: At 1406 West Sumer Street, Middleton, Connecticut USA 

Saturday rain, a good excuse to stay inside

and daydream of what will be as

the child watches the rain and imagines

what it will be like to be a grown up,

a star, and president of the United States

so she can tell her parents when it’s time

for them to go to bed, and so she can stay

up late like a teenager. As the teen sees

the rain and dreams of being lost in the arms

of love, a wedding, and marriage, as she paints

her nails hot pink and bursts against her

seams and can’t wait to be an adult and drive.

While another teenager, just turned sixteen, takes

account of the rain, and in his mind takes a handoff

at the twelve-yard line—muscles his way over

the goal; to be cheered by hundreds, and swarmed

and loved by his teammates and all

the cheerleaders. As an adult notices the rain,

and wishes she was a teen again, no bills to pay,

no kids to drive, and she wishes to again swoon

in the passions of not knowing if one she loves

loves her, yet. As she paints her nails a muted

red. As another adult looks out the window and stares

at the rain and imagines he is fearsome and young—

a teen again—and capable of dragging four, or five

large men with him over a goaline, as he thinks

of the one cheerleader he loved but could not

have, and remembers jumping into his muscle

car; feeling fast and free. As the octogenarian

looks out through the window and sees another

Saturday’s rain falling, and wishes to be

a child again; remembers how much there

was then to wonder and dream and how

muscles and joints they did not ache and he

hears the rain falling upon the leaves,

the thunder rumble, and being no star or president,

and in not having done all that much to have

been remembered by, he hears in the sound

of the falling rain loud layers of applause.

 

 

While Reading Page Six…

I was worried about Drew Barrymore, and no,

not because of that little-girl lisp that still comes out

from between her teeth, tongue, and lips when she gets

too happy or excited, but because it says here it’s now

been six months since her divorce and she says

she’s still not ready to date, which means—the break-up

it all must have been an unexpected shock, as I’ve

known far too many women through my years who’ve already

had a certain “New Leading Man” in mind when they

were either about to break it off, or were, deciding

whether or not they could break it off, or they, knew things

were going bad. But then, it’s good to see she’s

now lost those twenty pounds she’d added in the throes

of relationship comfort—you know, having your own

instead of sharing a dessert, and having two babies,

as we all do Drew, as we all do. But see now, in this

picture here, she’s spinning, smiling, and body confident.

So I think she’s ready enough, at least as she can be,

to be seen naked by whomever the next in line might be—

but trust me Drew, he’ll find your form divine. And here she

says she’s spent a lot of time with her BFF’s, so we know

she’s both silly and empowered, and yes, Drew, the dating world

has changed, not only since your great grandfather’s day,

but also since you were last on the market (try the Raya app,

Dear, it’s where all the creative types are at) but, as it seems

my latte’s going flat…I just have to say that we love you, Girl,

and if your characters have shown us anything in the past,

it’s that, yes, you’re quirky, as should be expected of any

fourth-generation actor, but that your true super power is that

you can adjust through any given misadventure to, in the end,

love yourself. So, just count my thoughts among your blessings,

and know, the third marriage is the hardest, the fourth, easy,

and then, Dear Drew, I can about guarantee in less than, say,

another six months, we’ll all be taking jealous note as you float

over the red carpet upon those ankle-strap stilettos, and then,

after, are seen sitting in a booth at Cheeky’s, Palm Springs

with a gorgeous, mysterious he, you’re now feeding from your

palm: smoked salmon & avocado benedict on brioche toast.

Eric is a Humanities teacher (his favorite class to teach is Literature in Film), a former professional baseball player, and he's taught chess to children for over a decade. Eric holds an MFA in poetry from Murray State University. His poems have appeared, or will be appearing, in such publications as: Plain Spoke, The Stray Branch, Atlantic Pacific Press, Ceremony, The 2018 Surrealist/Outsider Anthologie, Rue Scribe, and The International Anthology on Paradoxism.

"My poem, “A Curious Yellow House…,” was inspired by a house I see off a four-lane highway on my way to work. The house is one of many similar looking houses in a newer subdivision, but this particular house is angled in such a way that, from the road, there appears to be no front door or windows. The house, like the others in the subdivision, looks big just to look big. I assume it would be the perfect size for an American family of five to all have their own rooms in which to escape. The house has beige siding. For my poem I changed the color of the house to yellow—I suppose I had Van Gogh’s painting “The Yellow House” in mind—and then yellow just seemed a more symbolically appropriate color. Being a fan of houses with character, and subsequently being depressed by houses which seem to have no character, I began to wonder who would buy this house—who would want to live there. I suppose there’s something about this house that says to me “All-American Dreaming.” In the poem, I’ve included references to being president, cars, driving, getting married, football, and cheerleaders—as these dreams, of course, can bring momentary happiness and satisfaction. Or then, do they?

My poem, “While Reading Page Six…,” was inspired by reading two tabloid stories about Drew Barrymore within a week—one about her third divorce and one about how she’d lost twenty pounds—how this was a sign that she was getting back on her feet. I am fascinated by our cultural interest in movie and reality TV stars. I suppose our star worship satisfies some primal polytheistic drive to worship many gods, or perhaps our stars stand in for “royalty” in America. I suppose Drew would be a minor god and acting royalty, but I think there’s no doubt that we delight in the struggles of the powerful, rich, and famous.

An interesting note about this poem…

Through the first drafts, the ending felt forced. Lucky for me, the ending practically wrote itself when a story came out last June that Drew was spotted at the restaurant, Cheeky’s, in Palm Springs, with a “new man.”