Ms. Schadenfreude Can’t Get No Satisfaction
Sometimes she feels overwhelmed
by a swoon of silence so profound—
and yet, so ordinary—and devoid
of anything approaching meaning. But then
she finds herself among people talking, filling
the air with a clatter of words, the blather
of their tongues moving so much faster
than their brains—and more constantly—and then
she longs again for that silence which will
eventually, inevitably, overwhelm her
and send her scouting out more conversation.
You see the circle forming here—the mouth
of the yapping dog, and the tail
she has yet to figure out is hers. Is her.
Ms. Schadenfreude Meets the Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes
And to think, Ms. Schadenfreude thinks,
I used to worry about wearing too much
blue shadow or laying the black mascara on
a little too thick—which was, admittedly, a bad idea
for someone as prone to tears as she once was.
This girl’s face had never felt so much
as a powder puff, never been shored-up
under foundation, not even a hint of blush.
Eyelash curler? Out of the question.
Lining those lids would be like windexing
the crown jewels to make them really shine.
Ms. S. longed to see the sky as she imagined
it must look through Lucy’s diamond-studded lenses,
and the earth they both stood on as a dizzying dazzle
that would never stop spinning, where nothing
either one of them loved would ever really be gone.
Ms. Schadenfreude Meets the Devil with the Blue Dress On
Not quite baby. Not quite royal.
You wouldn’t call it Prussian
or cobalt or midnight. Not azurite
or indigo or ultramarine. Not the color
of the sky or the sea or the robe
of the most blessed of virgins, but blue,
nonetheless – a hue of it this demon seemed
to own – and the dress itself, a second skin
she wore as casually as the something comfortable
you may have been invited to slip into
on occasion, and maybe have—
or does that only happen in the movies?
Ms. S has never really swung that way,
as they say, and yet she’s mesmerized by this woman
and her frock, the way she rocks it—and the crowd,
who, like Ms. S, can’t take their eyes off her.
They all look like they’d follow her to hell and back
just for the chance to dance like that, just to be
for a moment, all body in motion, the pure satisfaction
of satin liquefaction, good golly, Miss Molly
the belle of the whole god-damned glittering ball.
Grace Bauer is author of six books of poems—most recently, Unholy Heart: New and Selected Poems (University of Nebraska/Backwaters Press) and co-edited the anthology Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. She notes that other Ms. Schadenfreude poems have appeared in Tin House, Atlanta Review, Southern Poetry Review, Laurel Review, and other journals, “so Ms. S has been getting around.”