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OSI: Mi Alma y Yo

I’m once again participating in the fun that is One Single Impression. If you enjoy poetry and awesomeness of various stripes,check it out,won’t you?

There is a song I love that shares its title with this post. It’s a slow, gorgeous ballad recorded with trembling vulnerability by Maria Marquez (the Venezuelan chanteuse who began her esteemed career with equally legendary Vytas Brenner back in the 60s). For those Hordelings who don’t speak Spanish, the title means “My soul and I;” it is sung from the perspective of a woman alone in the watches of the night, accompanied only by her soul and the memory of someone she’s lost. “Centuries pass from dusk to dawn, and always we keep watch, my soul and I,” she sings. It’s a haunting little song, and satisfying in the same way poking at a missing tooth or gently working sore muscles is satisfying. There’s something masochistic in all three, but we still take pleasure from doing so – a bit like kneading the bruised but still-unbroken surface of one’s soul, perhaps.

The poem I’ve written for the prompt over at OSI is not directly inspired by the song; the prompt this week is “Soul,” and while I have certainly spent more than a few endless nights wishing for the return of that certain someone, I wanted to write something that captures my own understanding of the soul (or at least mine).



Let us consider
The pseudo-Gnostic wisdom
Of C.S. Lewis

(A man of talents,
flaws and imagination
in equal measure)

Who is often cited
As the pithy chap given
to reminding us

That we have bodies
But ARE, as the man says, souls.
Ghosts haunting ourselves.

This observation,
in terms theological,
seems a bit…hackneyed.

(Not to mention the
problem of attribution;
Walter Miller’s ghost

Is holding aloft
“A Canticle for Leibowitz,”
Coughing politely.)

But let us us set this
Soul Train back upon its




After all, even
The very thickest of thick
Understand that a

Ten-piece bucket of
The Colonel’s Extra Crispy
is not a chicken.

That there is, in fact
A ghost in the ole machine
Rattling  its chains

But not, let us say
(if you will pardon the pun)
A wry poultry-geist.

I’m not sure I am
totally comfortable
with such a notion;

All this

Creating by force
A soul self as my whole self
A sole self, made less

Than the sum of its parts.


There are those who may
Sell their souls and live on

(In my family, we always
called them

Often at crossroads,
Or back rooms, bar rooms, even




Gambling on long odds,
either cheating the house or
making sucker’s bets.

Either way, it’s wise
To learn to play the fiddle;
One never knows, yes?


Mi alma y yo.
We are not the same. I am
shady, but no shade.


The me I think of
When I bother to think of
myself, in the dark.

Is a haunted house
Straight out of Shirley Jackson
(And two Jacksons more)

Only fully myself
When the tread of feet unseen
thumps toward stoked hearth.

When lights flare in the
bright windows of an attic
filled with broken toys.

Published in"The Gay."BlogFun StuffLGBTOne Single ImpressionOne Single Impressionpoetry


  1. wryly humorous and moving.

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