Velma Laments Her Medicine Chest

Big Cartoon Database

These childrenís vitamins mock me

in helium voices. The condescending episodes

of my career pursue me like syndicated ghosts.

They wonít get away with it. Not this time.

My two years at Sarah Lawrence were not for naught.

I am a mind and body and a voice. Not these

cedar closetsful of orange turtlenecks, knee-highs,

and plain Mary Janes. Not this mousy Mod do

(which, I am told, is sure to come back in style).

Iím no Angela Lansbury. Iím studying ikebana.

I play chess by mail with a man in Istanbul. Smoke

long-stemmed cigarettes that smell of clove and citrus,

and I canít remember the last time these breasts

were caressed correctly. Behind the Biology

building, smoking weed, before they handed me

my walking papers? My investigatorís license.

These glasses: no one sees past them,

thick as Connecticut license plates, and flying

off my eyes at the most shortsighted moments.

Not the clumsy townie boys in their painted vans.

Not the bunglesome professors with their cockamamy plots.

Ah! Dorothy: how well you apprehended the villainous

truth of their infrequent passes. Elvis mocks me

in marathon holiday beach party potboilers.

I am mocked by dune buggies and Volkswagens.

Any cartoon boy could save me from this reflection.

Match my wit and tickle my jinkies.

That latent Quest and his painstaking pompadour.

He was worse than the redhead. Never dirty,

never mussed. His angry, meticulous teeth.

The voice on his answering machine message

rejects me. The Pussycats reject me. Quantico

returns my applications, unopened, unread.

Despite the sphinxes unriddled, the cardboard

boxes of X-Files unwound without murder

or prop blood. As if the Prom King and Queen

ever solved anything, or the hophead and that ridiculous

Dane. I deciphered the clues. I broke the fun-loving

criminalsí ironclad alibis with Holmesian aplomb.

It was me in the haunted castle! It was me

in the spooky gold mine! Backstage, under the Big Top,

in the mummyís tomb! It was me! Remember?

The fifth wheel in the Machine. My iMac speaks

to me in my motherís voice and I am not dislodged.

Even Senator Bono rejects me. Only a guest staró

half an act. I lost that election by defraud.

They wonít get away with it again, not

if I can help it. In the primetime reruns of my dreams

the only mortal who ever wants me, desires

this searing shade of orange, is Mr. Barbera, disguised,

the rubber mask of tenderness pulled loosely over

his incestuous visage. He leaves me this unchewable pill.

< back

next >