“What She Was Into For A While”


What She Was Into For a While

Take P.G. Wodehouse.
Clare did, meeting me every morning
with ‘what ho what ho
what ho?” and, when I
was not about to be called ‘Dingo’,
shimmering into talk of
“the good old F & B” (her brother,
Kieran)  (Flesh
and Blood).

Though even Wodehouse
was better than the bands. That one
actually started
with Kieran I think,
who may already
have been using–don’t know for sure–only
that he was crazed by then, bringing his
guitar to school to practice
in the bathroom, cradling it
on the boys’ room floor, which I thought
freaky enough, but his fingers oh so fast, man, like
he’d taught himself to

Though Clare, hurt the way he seemed
to just stop caring, sniffed ‘heavy metal,’
‘not her thing,’ her profile thinning against
her laptop;  again, again
clicking on some My Space rif
(or ten) that (from my point of view) could never
long enough.

The worse was when I’d go
with her to a beer-amped
cave to actually see the stupid
band and one of the guys would
unhook himself
from the stage, buzzing
nonchalantly to
her be; ready, I could see, to take her
like a cigarette, quick and half-
smoked down, and I’d ‘hey Clare,’ even whispering
‘what ho?’ as if
a joke could break
the spin, but had to snake
my own way home, trying to shake
her out of me like my own
out of my eyes.

At least she gave up on each band guy soon enough,
not admitting that the music sucked,
but that, well, it wasn’t so great after all, and we’d sit
on her parents’ couch, Kieran gone for good
then, gone
for bad,
watching Jeeves again and again
smooth out


Ah.  So here’s a rather odd draft poem that’s actually from a sort-of verse novel, called “A Good Thing.”  I am posting it for dVerse Poets “Meeting the Bar”, hosted today by Victoria C. Slotto; the prompt to create a character. 

The references to the wonderful P.G. Wodehouse, author of Jeeves and Wooster series, which I am quite sure Clare will agree are much much better as books (though there was also a very fun series starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.) 

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14 Comments on ““What She Was Into For A While””

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    I really enjoyed the way this poem turned loose–the very opposite of poised Jeevesian savoir faire, and yet, also feeling much more real and less remote than that sort of elegant irony and chaff–not better, the characters, the acting or the picture, just closer and in technicolor. I especially could see the boy-man who played so wholly sunk in his music that he flickered–(all of him flickered for me, not just his fingers.) A fine poem full of little subtle word twists and a lot of sad humor.

  2. brian Says:

    really and intriguing story…you got to watch those band guys…just saying….def like to watch the musicians that know what they are doing and are so into their music…i love live music…but this has some intriguing characters beyond that…never seen the movie or the books….will have to check those out….

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Oh, they are tv shows and books. The shows are a bit silly, but the books are very very funny. Also silly, but he has an incredibly witty way of writing, in which not so much happens, but his internal phrasing is just so clever. He writes about an upper=class kind of twit-ish sort of guy, and his butler, who solves all problems. k.

  3. One of the things that blows me away about this is how you adapted your “voice” to project us into the whole scene. Skillful writing, Karin. Loved both the characters and the atmosphere you create here.

  4. Claudia Says:

    haha…i always say…never trust a musician…smiles…love how you paint the characters here…great images like..her profile thinning..as well…

  5. I had to read this twice and chastise myself in-between by saying (once again) “never assume”. For no particular reason I read this as a mother and children poem the first read-through, until the end when I realized it was from the pov of Clare’s best friend. It all worked then – realizing your friend is going through things that are completely different from the ones you are. Amazing work in short order here and at the same time highly stylized – just as much Bertie and Jeeves. Well done.

  6. Nice exploration of the light and shade of frendship

  7. David King Says:

    These guys really lived for me. The whole story beautifully told, with passages like:

    but had to snake
    my own way home, trying to shake
    her out of me like my own
    out of my eyes.

  8. hypercryptical Says:

    This is really alive with memories of friendship and I have tried to select favourite words – but I can’t for indeed all are perfectly composed. Love it!

    Anna :o]

  9. Poet Laundry Says:

    So well-written. The third stanza is my favorite. Great craft of characters, well done.

  10. Love the way the title frames everything here. And the juxtaposition of Wodehouse, rock and the different relationships. I can definitely see how this would be part of a longer set of pieces as the characters are so intriguing and quirky.

  11. janehewey Says:

    i was sorry the poem had to end but thoroughly enjoyed the way you did it with twist and finality. gone for good, then, gone for bad. great write/draft!

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