Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Party Girls

gently peeling the skin
off a bad day
in youth so cool
we girls
we tiptoed in
at daylight
the joy we lived
that night

we naive girls
we were
makeup applied
in bad lighting
one cheek too red
embarrassed silence
is electric
gently peeling the skin
off a bad day

we bad girls
first go round
the block
we laugh
in the dark
at the feel of hands
but soon speak
strong words
to stop the car
at the red light
to escape unscathed
the joy we lived
that night

we quiet girls
drop to our knees
and howl at
a silent moon
we teach ourselves
early on
to keep it going
make them stay
gently peeling the skin
off a bad day

we party girls
full of life
blind to the future
sclera white as white
as stars so cool
so serious
the joy we live
at night

our mothers
long before
the throne
on which
they parcel out
our future
curse us with their
nervous laughter
damn our mothers
we never knew
back then they
gently peeled the skin
off a bad day
lived the joy of
the night


NaPoWriMo Day 20. The NaPoWriMo prompt was to take a poem that already exists and rewrite it so that each line is the opposite of the original. Believe it or not, this is my opposite of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas. Go figure.

Please visit this list of my poet friends who are also doing the poem-a-day challenge. They are worth the look. I’m inspired by them daily. Contact me if you want to be added to the list.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2012

Comments on: "Party Girls" (28)

  1. I love the imagery of “peeling off the skin of a bad day” . . . Just beautiful, Adrienne!

  2. Autumn Eliza said:

    nicely worded with a jazzy rhythm!

  3. Always hard to think about what parents did, and what your kids will think of you. lots of layers…great one Adriene

    • So true. I think it’s those things we don’t say that cause the most damage. That’s why I try to get off the pedestal and talk to my daughter as a real person.Thanks for reading.

  4. Adrienne, this was amazing! I could see the girls, the young days, the Friday nights and wanting to be beautiful, and losing a bit of myself. I absolutely loved this.

  5. Especially love the authentic feel of the images, and how specific they are, the “one cheek too red” — I could visualize the girls. And the refrain of “gently peeling…” is very effective here.

  6. If only we could peel off the skin of a bad day, fantastic poem .


  7. Awesomely creative with a great flow

  8. I love how you capture all of the silences in this poem from the “embarrassed” one to “silent girls” to that of the mothers. In contrast, my poem today is the fantasy answer to the “come on” lines.

    • Whereas Thomas’ poem seems to be a vocal rant, this one manifests more so in behavior.and thoughts?

      • I did not catch that this was opposing Dylan Thomas’ poem. I see it now, and love the silences I felt as the opposite of raging. Glorious!

        So yes, the answer to your question is yes for the characters within the poem, who only speak loud once, laugh once: “tiptoed . . . concealing . . . embarrassed silence . . . STRONG WORDS TO STOP THE CAR . . . quiet girls . . . howl at a silent moon . . . ”
        Outwardly, though, I don’t see the speaker in the poem as silent about the silences at all: “They parcel out / our future / curse us with their / nervous laughter / damn our mothers / . . . ”

        cf: (http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/litany-for-survival)
        “and when we speak we are afraid
        our words will not be heard
        nor welcomed
        but when we are silent
        we are still afraid
        So it is better to speak
        we were never meant to survive”
        ― Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn: Poems

    • I like how in your poem you took the concept as a whole and spun it around, whereas I micromanaged it and “opposited” words or phrases. I had done that in a workshop before with some good results. Thanks for circling back to respond.

  9. Janaki Nagaraj said:

    Has a sing song feel to this.

  10. The juxtaposition of your reworked poem and Dylan Thomas’ is amazing. I loved the rhythm and the wording. So descriptive and meaningful. I loved how you made your poem about girls and women and in so doing you shined a poetic light on many of the things we experience. This is one of my favorites of yours girl. Just excellent!

  11. So strong I’m at a loss for words. I found “embarrassed silence
    is electric” thunderous in context.

    • Wow, thanks so much. Embarrassment is a powerful emotion. I heard recently someone say that a poet should be shameless in his or her writing. I may blog about that after NaPo, if I’m still alive!

  12. Dear Sweepy,
    Loved what you did with this. Powerful messages throughout. Nice job!

    Day 18 (20): Art Of Romance

  13. Scattered Musings of A Creative Mind said:

    I really liked this one!! Although I can’t seem to put into words what your poem meant to me. Know that it had me thinking a lot about, my 3 daughters, my mother and me as a mom now.


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