Everybody loves Stanley

With their mouths and with their eyes

they tell him he’s a Genius, but to me

Stanley only says: Goddamnit, Shelley!

When I struggle to open the grand wooden door 

Of the Overlook Hotel

with a knife in my hand

my husband yelling, Psycho. Psycho. Crazy, Kill:

And Stanley loves Jack.

They exchange glances between them

building a bridge over my head

I clutch at the knife and 

when we take five, 

my hands are  all red.

Vivian comes and I put on a smile 

because Vivian pastes a

smile reversed

One made for a baby and says:

“These men, 

am I right?

their little boys club, closed 

up good and tight.”

She means Stanley and Jack

building a bridge over my head

when I open the large wooden door 

of the Overlook with a knife in my hand.

But the Colorado snow drift interferes with the door.

What month is this?

I think it’s March.

I tell her:

“these are geniuses at work. 

They’re doing what’s best.”


not building a  bridge 

but digging a ditch:

 “Serious, Shelley? 

Genius? Genius?

 I heard that word all my life.

They come up to me 

on the street and say hey girl, 

you dad’s a genius.”


from somewhere 

calling me mom:

“I’m hungry.”

I kneel

I hug

And he wiggles away,

“Why are they yelling at you, mommy? “

“They want me to do my best.”

“You mean to open the door?”

“That’s right Danny. Stanley and Jack want me to open the great wooden door of the Overlook Hotel with the knife in my hand.” “Danny, you think my father will let you starve? Make you resort to cannibalism to stay alive?” “You mean… That we’ll eat each other up?” “Danny!” “It’s ok, mommy. I know all about cannibalism. I’ve seen it on the television.”


takes off her gloves. Vivian

takes out a Vogue cigarette. Vivian

lights a lighter and smirks:

“You see that Shelley? He







I was young and beautiful and strange,

Woody said,


Robert told me so too.

They didn’t want to sleep with me


Fifty combs to each side


My lips are beautiful

And my very dark eyes

beguiling and high




I was thinking about …

the skeleton

under my skin

and the system of nerves 

blood vessels and cells

and that in some dreams

teeth fall

but in mine hair is thin;

walk under a streetlight

and you can see my skull

If it weren’t for Robert and Woody

and Stanley and Jack

I would’ve

spent my days studying

the anatomy of myself-

though translucent skin:

on the slab 


to me

at night:

Have more babies


I tried to put lipstick

on a cigarette break

just for myself

to feel like a woman

and Vivian

Came like a grizzley: 

“What are you doing? put

that shit away.

You know what would happen if my father‘ll


She always had it in

for me

digging ditches.

“You look ridiculous,


Like a skeleton;


dressing up.

Put it away

Be a professional.”

Then she lifts the camera

“You gonna wipe that


and be a professional, 


I wiped off the lipstick

as I opened the large wooden door of 

the Overlook Hotel

“Here. Let’s get you all nice and white now,”

says the make-up woman, and I love her

and daydream

and drift

she put on wake-up

making it 


Wake-Up. Is it my mother’s voice I hear?

The warm breeze through the trees

and scratch

of cicadas through

the summer night’s skies.


but I want to keep  on…


Never listened to Robert

in Nashville.

and I’m again in the doorway,

trying to open the large wooden door

of the Overlook Hotel.

It’s snowing outside and

Jack is behind me

swinging that axe

Stanley is there, and Vivian


swinging that camera:

I am wearing this dress


Window curtains.

My hand numb from cold,

my hand numb from the knight

But it was Stanley standing up-front

surrounded by crew,

lights in my eyes, and

snow in my face,

not Professor Knight from Biology

And a

knife clutched tight

in my hand and

an axe wielding Jack

coming to get me 

from the Colorado lounge,

Stanley’s face turning red 

and my wrists turning red

And Professor Knight

from Biology 

puts the frog on a slab

and I think it’s a girl frog

and I tighten my grip

on the scalpel


the Knight and

Stanley, yell:


Shelley, Goddamnit!

— Amir Naaman was born in Israel in 1984 and since 2012 lives in Berlin. He has published short stories, poems and plays in Hebrew and English . His first novel The Hummingbirds was published by Tangier press in 2020 and will be released in Germany in autumn ’22. He  works as a personal trainer in a gym in Berlin-Neukölln. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram.

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