Cassidy, Where Are You?

from by Thadra Sheridan

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Where is my Neil Cassady, my
sandy-haired, blue-eyed
Denver muse-prince;
dancing under the tree tops,
driving me from coast to coast,
sucking the marrow from life
and showing me how.
Someone was eating pistachios
at the bus stop.
I study empty shells,
awaiting the 4B.
In the movies
lipstick never comes off
on the edge of your cup,
there’s always a parking spot
right out front, and
when he loves you
he stands outside your
bedroom window in the rain,
blaring Peter Gabriel from the
boom box he
struggles to hold over his head.
In real life
he never broke up with his last girlfriend,
and I’m his inadvertent unwilling
In real life
sweat makes my mascara run
and someone keeps swiping my shampoo
from the Y.
I bare my arms, my belly,
my back to the sun;
weighing fashion against cancer.
Sex makes me thirsty.
Mangoes taste like gasoline.
A day in the sunshine leaves me looking like
W.C. Fields.
By the time I like the way I look now,
I’ll be sixty,
looking at old pictures.
I have this theory
that the quality of a neighborhood is
directly proportional to the
amount of discarded shopping carts you find there.
There’s been one in front of my building
for a week.
On sticky summer evenings I
check my e-mail; mostly
porn links and personality tests while
the cat finds the
highest spot in the apartment,
which ends up being
the top of the bathroom door.
He just stands up there and
wishes he was higher
for a while.
Past a quarter of a century
I reassure myself there’s
ample time left, but
television distracts me from
just about anything, and
time keeps marching on.
Nearing thirty,
I find myself
admiring the lifeguard at the Y, and
the stock boy at the grocery store, and
the new waiter at work, and
I can’t remember libido
ever nagging so loudly.
When I was a kid
I passed a whole afternoon
riding the elevator
in a 50 story building.
I wish anything
could entertain me like that now.
I pass whole afternoons
tapping a pen against my teeth and
remembering the smell of crayons.
Memories lick around the edges;
fat yellow spider chrysanthemums,
like shredded softballs
on my godfather’s casket.
I grind fresh coffee every morning and
flip countless empty pages,
wishing I was
smarter and thinner and taller, but
the ice cubes melt in my drink
if I write in the sun, and
ink gets all over my fingers.
with your tedious, labored prose,
I need your kind of inspiration.
The prince never came back
with my glass slipper.
I never met my movie star.
Life takes
I’m dwindling in a one-bedroom apartment with
two cats and
room in the basement
for my bike.


from Poems My Rat Didn't Eat, released June 23, 2014



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Thadra Sheridan Minneapolis, Minnesota

Writer, Performer, Humorist, Teacher Thadra Sheridan has performed her works on stages from HBO's Def Poetry Jam to San Quentin Penitentiary. She writes a regular column on, and tries very hard to avoid waiting tables. Her recent film, "Waiting" recently went viral when it was picked up by Upworthy. ... more

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