WWP Poem #26: Back Door Blues


I’ve been collecting music and pouring it into the coffers of my brain
since I was fifteen. It took a few years for me to understand
that the stereo inside my cranial walls needed more stuff to spin, so I
reached out in raven-claw fashion, stealing everything
I could get my ears on. Trailing behind me is the umbra
of a greedy teenage girl trapped in a good two-shoes, church girl headlock
while sneaking sonic pleasures through the back door of
her ears. Hey all you people that tryin’ to sleep,
I’m out to make it with my midnight dream.


Since then, I’ve been slapping up pictures onto my walls,
building rooms of encyclopedia between my ears,
stuffing reels of film away that curl up contently
in the back of my throat, just behind my uvula. I could
recite them for you, stringing ribbons of celluloid like
glossy pictorial speech through the chords of my voice box and
projecting the film over my tongue and past my teeth. Out from behind
that chorded gateway, I could sail my entire photo album of
scores, of movements, of fingers flailing the music off of strings;
of long-haired screams that could strip the velvet off the walls inside your neck,
of beat-box fury that could crack open your ears;
and of baselines kicking the Kundalini out of its tailbone home and
coiling up inside your sacral paradise. You men eat your dinner, eat your
pork and beans: I eat more chicken than any
man ever seen.


I have a line of braided leather threaded with
sun-studded silver conchos that I use for a spine. I have
fingers made out of Leonard Cohen and Arthur Rimbaud. I have arms
made out of an old steeple of broken brick red, planted without its church,
rooted singularly in the dirt on some street in Athens, Georgia. I have
Indians dancing inside my chest that have mistaken my heart for a drum, and there is
pale stick of a man wearing a long black flag for hair and
aquamarine marbles for eyes who dances with them. Above the chaos,
underneath my brow, there is a red-haired woman with a piano,
both held aloft by invisible wire. From the undercarriage of
her Bosendorfer, it is raining upon the heads of the revelers below. And

nobody knows this, but there is a garden where
the snakes have already entered in and apples on trees are extinct
because we started growing them In the pits of our chests. There is
a hard core heart, fruit-stripped, little black beady-eyed seeds exposed
where Eve has kneeled beneath that tree and jammed cobras
into her ears: sa re ga ma pa da ni sa. Her hips
undulate like she is spelling out slithers with them: listen carefully to the raga
she plays in the dirt beneath the knowing that blooms and spreads its arms
into a post-slumber sky. Look carefully: this Eve
has my face. The men don’t know, but the
little girls understand.

Written 10/28/10
© 2010 Nicole Nicholson except for words in italics, which come from “Back Door Man” performed on The Doors’ 1967 self-titled debut. All rights reserved on material by N. Nicholson.


This poem was written for two reasons: 1) We Write Poems Prompt #26: Collections, and 2) a poem I am sharing as part of Autistics Speaking Day

I thought about this prompt a little bit and two things came to my mind: 1) music, especially that of The Doors, is one of my “narrow, obsessive interests” characteristic of someone with Asperger Syndrome or in generally a person on the autism spectrum; and, 2) because of this, I “collect” music in a very broad sense: I constantly have songs playing in my head from everything I listen to, and I tend to collect a lot of knowledge about the music and musicians I love. As a result, I have near encyclopedic knowledge of some of my favorite artists, and I can replay entire albums in my mind. This poem was based on “Back Door Man” from the The Doors’ debut album.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the poem about one of my special interests. I look forward to seeing everyone else’s offering for the prompt.

Stumble It!
Stumble It!

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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
This entry was posted in Asperger Poetry, Poems, Prompt Poems, WWP Prompt Poem and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to WWP Poem #26: Back Door Blues

  1. b_y says:

    You are on a roll (piano roll?) with this one.
    I especially like the catalog beginning the third section, and the fruit stripped little black beady- eyed seeds .

  2. vivinfrance says:

    This is brilliant – full of exciting ideas and images. “sneaking sonic pleasures through the back door of her ears” is particularly effective.

  3. Irene says:

    “Eve jamming cobras in her ears” is astounding! The sonic pleasures collection sure has bite. There is depth in the narrow. Thanks for sharing, Nicole.

  4. Awesome words. And beautiful collections.

    bits and pieces

  5. pamela says:

    Wow! This is spectacular and the images are wonderful.

  6. Wow! again. Love the way you can just let the words spill out! And they make sense!

    Autism runs in our family, too.

  7. ms pie says:

    so glad to come by and read this ancient story of a life still living… love the format and the comical (?) italic statements at the end of each section… but inside between the last and first verse is filled with so many visions i must stop and contemplate… i love music too but never have i thought of music in such a way as you live… to store the world in between two ears each note each verse…. the doors, leonard cohen… and eve… what is it that she chants…?? luv the post-slumber sky…. there is hope for all of us… a recollection>/a>

  8. Judy Roney says:

    Wow, Your work really touches me. I would put out a particular line or stanza that stands out for me but ..they all do. Wow!

  9. Pingback: The Success of Speaking « No Stereotypes Here

  10. Pingback: Big Tent/WWP Poem #42: The Way Back Home « Raven's Wing Poetry

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