The Notched Wing

Helen Tara Hughes – Poetry, Fiction, Film, Phantasms

Dorothy Parker

A friend reminded me of this quote from Dorothy Parker today.

“What fresh hell is this?”

She used to say that when answering the phone. She was groovy, strong and wild, beneath her skin.

I’ve posted some favorites for my friend who has never read Ms. Parker.
Symptom Recital
I do not like my state of mind;
I’m bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn’s recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the simplest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I’m disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I’d be arrested.
I am not sick. I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore:
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men.
I’m due to fall in love again.

Fighting Words
Say my love is easy had,
Say I’m bitten raw with pride,
Say I am too often sad —
Still behold me at your side.

Say I’m neither brave nor young,
Say I woo and coddle care,
Say the devil touched my tongue —
Still you have my heart to wear.

But say my verses do not scan,
And I get me another man!

Experience
Some men break your heart in two,
Some men fawn and flatter,
Some men never look at you;
And that clears up the matter.

Theory
Into love, and out again,
Thus I went, and thus I go.
Spare your voice, and hold your pen —
Well and bitterly I know
All the songs were ever sung,
All the words were ever said;
Could it be, when I was young,
Some one dropped me on my head?

Resume
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Author: smallboy

Helen Tara Hughes is a writer, producer and actor. An award-winning theatre performer, she cut her teeth in classical and new work at major theatres across Canada, including the Stratford Festival. Her first taste of documentary work – a POV radio documentary for CBC’s ‘Outfront’ – gave her the documentary bug, and in 2009 she transitioned into Producing with the feature documentary, Goodness in Rwanda. As a writer, she has been published by Backofthebook.ca, Eros Digest, and TWISI, and has a book of short stories that will be published in the fall of 2012. As a filmmaker, she creates short films based on poetic writing. She moonlights as an Asst Producer and Coordinator for documentary, factual, and independent films, and is developing a slate of her own media projects for 2013.

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