December 1, 2010

Lit by Chicks

Plath's Pop Culture
by Jen Schneider


Where is your knight in shining armor?
He has not yet rescued you from the storm.
The fairy tales they read you,
while you, pigtails and "My Little Ponies"
imagined "Prince Charming."
I was twelve once too;
preteen years blooming.
I was a faded rose;
my stringy, long hair. . .
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel. . ."
Could there be more than just fairy tales and sugar coated lullabies?

And then Plath haunted my mind with her poetic voice. . .

"When on tiptoe schoolgirls danced,
Blinking flashlights like fireflies
And singing the glowworm song, I could
Not lift a foot in the twinkle-dress
But heavy-footed, stood aside."

Sylvia, alas, where did my fairytale go?
I began to paint my nails black,
listen to Alanis before she was "pop"
and The Cure before they were cured.
What we called gothic was just a trend.
The year prior we were
Nirvana grunge,
devoted to Kurt's Teen Spirit.
What am I today? Highlights in my hair,
Express clothes,
and stilettos. . .
a professional victim of body image obsession.
What would Sylvia think now,
masking my depression with MAC makeup
and glittery eyeshadow?

Well, Screw you Plath.

I want to be happy,
whether I am masked or naked.
No longer blackened and bruised
with fractured fairy tales
of spoiled dreams
and poisonous apples.

My nails are naked,
a clear gloss defining the creation I have made.
I am nothing without my writer's voice.
I am empty without a summer psalm.
I look in the mirror and see an image,
ten then 13 years prior.
Grunge to goth to pigtails and daffodils.
What a plethora of being she was-
this little girl.
I remembered falling in love with the mere idea of being rescued-
when all it took was poetry
of a faceless victim
and the lyrics of a generation,
but most of all,

Jen Schneider is a writer and middle school English teacher living in Nebraska. Her flash fiction and short stories have been published in print anthologies and online at Six Sentences, Thinking Ten,, the NOT, 50-to-1 and JM Prescott's blog. You can read more of Jen's writing at her blog, Life on Shuffle, and follow her on Twitter.