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Claudine Jones-Scene4 Magazine

Claudine Jones


Have I mentioned lost feeling in extremities?


An entire weekend retreat intensive rehearsal

something I naively look forward to

even back when I barely knew faces much less names

pillow & sleeping bag

crashing on the bottom bunk nearest the bathroom.

Felt good; felt natural.


Now I'm getting associations

in hurricane force:

tents at the Yuba river, freedom

to wander with an air mattress

float the river's surface, skeeters poised

all six feet, totally non-threatening

back at camp 

the man who haunted me.


I had no lifejacket; I swung on a rope

splashed into the water, swam back

did it again til exhausted

ideas of food took over  

Potato chips & cheap burnt hot dogs with yellow mustard

corn from a can,  gummy under-cooked pie

melted marshmallows mixed

with char from their immolation.


A sleepover with Valerie next door, and

the scary girl around the block

white lipstick & four front teeth

badly replaced after an accident

and somebody else; nobody I would hang out with at school.

Why was I there?

mother trying to socialize me again, get me away

from Tarzan books in my room

theater in my head. I see myself

playing a role anyway; the physical attraction to boys

75% of the attendees right there

the jokes, the sexy jammies

giggling over names of certain males

stillness & disapproval of anything serious. That would be me.


Surrounded by men 

wanting the key.

Big brother assigned the role of teaser

little brother plowing through what I say,

raising his voice by increments until

he finishes his recitation.

To get the mic would be

to cry, to wait, to disappear, to arm.  

Nothing really works consistently

like rats never fall for traps anymore.


The high school music director standing too close

can't think 

mixture of faint after-shave

mold & sweat

can't think

the answer to his question

I want to do what I'm there for—sing my part

how can I get out of the fucking hallway.


Dad telling me sex is over-rated

guy in the dark next to the library

can I feel your tits

doesn't pause to get an answer

now-dead husband the night before our wedding

climbing onto me on the floor

you belong to me

sick dread waking up in bed with somebody

pretty harmless

absolutely wrong.


Wanting either to turn the car around

go back to a guy's house burn it down

or calmly swerve into oncoming traffic. 

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Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades.
She writes a monthly column and is
a Senior Writer for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2017 Claudine Jones
©2017 Publication Scene4 Magazine



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November 2017

Volume 18 Issue 6

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