Speechless the Magazine

 To render. Be rendered. Awestruck. Awesome.
A magazine of poetry and related arts straight from L.A.



Star Quality

Janet Leigh is afraid of jazz

Marsha de la O

The voices that swim through the music
offering something forbidden, close-up,
the dark arms of the horn player, his skin
fitting him sleek as a shark suit, clasping
the sax lifting it as sound descends
in long sizzling lines like wires arcing out,
empty eye sliding up and back
to the halo of the spot, motes drifting. 
It makes her want to run.  Like it could tear her
apart, a man at each limb lifting her
off the bed at the Otay Mesa motel,
all of them dressed in black and the music
never letting up its dazzling spun-out
phrases.  If she could run, she would, under
the shadowy arcade as the camera pans wide,
but she's hobbled by her tight skirt,
the staccato of high heels tapping
a rhythm on the uneven street,
her breasts heaving under cashmere,
dogcollar of pearls around her perfect
neck while the sea crashes in the near
distance.  We know she's doomed by music,
cloudburst of percussion on the windshield,
then silence, the camera wheeling around
and Bates Motel appears, lit up on the sign. 
It's the way every aperture turns
into another eye and the shower
won't stop running until long after
she's died.  We know she's doomed, chords
shifting darkly, but she persists,
carrying on with her share of sorrow,
changing into black lingerie and
skipping town if she has to, ending
finally there, wherever the
heart of trouble happens to be.

Marsha de la Oís first book of poetry, Black Hope, won the New Issues Press Poetry Prize and a Small Press Editorís Choice Award. It has recently gone into a second edition. She is the winner of the dA Poetry Award and the Ventura Poetry Festival Contest. She has published in journals such as Barrow Street, Passages North, Solo, and Third Coast. She was raised in the Los Angeles area and now lives in Ventura, CA, where she is co-editor for the literary journal Askew, which publishes both prose poetry and lined poems.

Contents   Top


Speechless Spring 2007
Copyright © 2007 Published by
Tebot Bach