Shakespeare’s Boutique

Shakespeare’s Boutique

A Poem by R.E. Ray

Shakespeare’s Boutique


From the sidewalk bench, bluebirds at my feet,

I watched you and him through the tinted glass.

I wandered through the same store, Shakespeare’s

Boutique, and I even tried on his designer jeans,

brand name Sonnet; they were too tight,

had too many buttons ~ and I don’t do sequins!

The Villanelle jacket was too long and smelled

of cigarettes and whiskey. (I think Dylan Thomas

died or was buried in the same.)


I see you bought the Madrigal dress.  If you’d

asked me I would’ve told you it’s not a good fit

for you, other women (or men) your height

or age. But, knowing Chaucer designed it

would’ve been enough reason to leave it

on the rack, like those Golden Shovel stilettos,

the same shoes I saw at a local flea market

and on a prostitute on Bukowski Boulevard.

You look (and walk) better barefooted.


I see you allowed him to buy the Epic suit,

the mustard one on the Big & Tall rack.  Did you

tell him it’s an awful color with his pale skin,

and doesn’t fit short, scrawny men like him?

And, the Terzanelle fedora with the peacock

feather? Did you tell him it looked splendid

on his bald head, lie to him ~ like you did

yourself, until your friends told you the truth?


I’ve seen you in the café wearing patchwork

denim, a camisole, and flip-flops, and at the Lake

swimming freestyle.  You look like a natural,

the butterfly on your back, little fish at your feet. 

Maybe I’ll bump into you later you on the street,

when he again argues with the old tailor, the one

who told him Coleridge’s suit will never fit

~ even altered.


And, I’ll buy the first round: an Americano coffee

for me, a skinny latte for you, a black tea for him.

And, we’ll laugh about the time when we, too

dressed up and played dead poets.

© 2020 R.E. Ray

My Review

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Sorry I haven't read you in awhile. I've been slipping into solitude a lot lately to avoid the strife. I think I told you this about a year ago when you were writing some poems about classic poets. Since I have no background in anything remotely literary, I love that your poems (such as this one) do not require any knowledge of the poet getting your tribute. You drop just enuf familiar terms to follow the otherwise lush path of your fertile imagination, which is really off-the-charts in this one. This is by far the best of the "classic poet" poems of yours I've read so far. I am insanely jealous of the complexity of your imagination. I'm sure there's a whole helluva lot I've not even catching here, but I love what my simple mind does catch! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 6 Days Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

6 Days Ago

Thanks very much, Margie. This was a fun write. Though I've attempted some of the forms referenced.. read more
This has got to
be one of m y faves
the detail images
described and with
just the right touch
o f humor and you
can keep the stilettos
going barefoot sounds
much better

the sonnet much
too restricting the
form and the
gawd-awful mustard
suit..egads ..i love the
way this came together
matching poetry to fashion
with a vintage flavor of
a boutique shoppe..

superbly written
In your special style

Posted 6 Days Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

6 Days Ago

Thank you, Fran. Great to read your review. It was a fun write. And, I learned a few things in th.. read more
  Fran Marie

5 Days Ago

you re s o very
Aside from the brilliant clever use of our language, as I read this, what immediately, and perhaps somewhat bizarrely, sprung to mind, was a rather posh wine tasting I was invited to at Langan's Brasserie in London, (which was a while back now, during my working years in the city.)

It was attended by a great number of the then current glitterati, strutting their stuff and almost uniformly dressed in the sort of clothing rarely seen outside the catwalk; and I could only observe these strange creatures in wonder. The majority of whom by the way, would have been hard pushed to tell the difference twixt plonk and grand cru.

Me being me, and despite the upwardly mobile guy I was with, doing his desperate best to try on the Emperors clothes, I eschewed stilettos and remained barefoot throughout. All in all, It was something of a surreal experience; and again I draw comparison to your poem, which assails the senses from every direction, yet leaves me with much to ponder.

Must end by saying, that I very much enjoy my visits to the cafe; and that your poem is a grand example of what can happen when so many wonderfully diverse intellects become gathered together in one place.

PS. How absolutely spot on was that old tailor. :))

Posted 1 Week Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

1 Week Ago

Beccy, your story could be a poem. I’ve never been to London, but I can imagine the scene. And, I .. read more
Now, this piece is far too cultured and high-brow witty for me to adequately review.
Was a bit hurt, though, when you, so cavalierly, dismissed those stilettos.
Must apologize for my, obviously, shabby background.
Great stuff, R! (Or, at least, I'm pretty sure it is.)

Posted 1 Week Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

1 Week Ago

Thank you, Jimmy. This one made me laugh. I often read poetry I don’t understand but I somehow con.. read more
Jimmy Yetts

1 Week Ago

Was, of course, meant to--hopefully--make you smile, R.
You have a pleasant day, as well.
a stylish, interesting place to shop - so hard to find something that fits and looks good too. so hard to fill someone else's shoes. we must find our own style and purpose. i always check the clearance rack. seriously, this is very clever and insightful. great movie (Dead Poets Society) by the way ... :)

Posted 2 Weeks Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

R.E. Ray

2 Weeks Ago

Thanks very much, Pete. Glad you read this one. I knew you'd get it. And, yes, one of my favorite.. read more
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I like the way you give the reader a peek into another's life. Once again I find it necessary to say I don't write poetry, but I hope what I say is of some help anyway. I was able to keep track of everything fairly well, however, you use a lot of long words that make this a bit of an intimidating read. On the other hand, I love the many references you slip in, whoever the person through whose eyes we are seeing this has a sense of humour, I think.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


2 Weeks Ago

I know what it's like to never get reviews, so I try to always give them. It's not an overly long po.. read more
R.E. Ray

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you again. I'll check out your work soon.

2 Weeks Ago

No problem and thank you for you interest in my work.

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7 Reviews
Added on June 24, 2020
Last Updated on June 24, 2020
Tags: madrigal, villanelle, sonnet, dead poets, poetry, poem, fun, humor, uniqueness, originality, terzanelle, Coleridge, epic, Bukowski, Chaucer, Dylan Thomas, golden shovel, RERay, free verse, freestyle

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