ImageFor more information about the narcissus flower, visit the page where Carlos M. Herrera’s photo appeared:

The narcissus flower was named after the young man in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own reflection on the surface of the water and drowned as he bent to get a closer look. In psychology, a “narcissistic personality” is extremely self-centered. When such a person is given a handheld device, she can alienate her Facebook friends with her incessant “look at me!” posts. After putting up with all her shallow status updates about being “sexy” and getting “sexified,” I finally hit the “unfriend” button. Then I went and added seven more people. These were visiting poets who had depth.

In this poem, I call her “Dorothy,” and in a previous one from January 2012, I referred to her as “Alice.” Had she not professed to “love Spanish” and expressed a wish to reach out to others, I would not have been so angered. This was clearly a case of not practicing what one preaches.  

Somewhere Over Your Monochrome Rainbow

 Dorothy, go back to Kansas

and take with you

your toothy smile

and your peachy complexion

and your bleached blonde hair.


You’ve been wandering

your twisted Yellow Brick Road

for far too long.

You say: I’ve just gotten the best haircut and color ever

and I must admit I look damn sexy!

A girl has to look good

to kick butt!

All this you proclaim

on the eve

of your Spanish interpreting oral exam.

(smhh shaking my head hard) 

Says the Book of Proverbs: Pride goeth before a fall.


If you love Spanish so much

then learn about that other Dorothy–

the one who was raped and killed

months after they assassinated Oscar Romero.

And who’s Oscar Romero

and who’s they?

Use your handheld device

for more than drowning

in your own reflection

and look it up.


And in the meantime

you Narcissus flower

bent hungrily over your screen

no I will not like your photo

with the hamburger smile

and no I will not tell you

how pretty you are

and no I will not praise

your attempts to post in Spanish

with your perfect inverted exclamation points

and not an accent out of place.


I would rather see an accentless a, e, i o or u

and no punctuation at the beginning

to warn us of an impending whirlwind exclamation

and poor grammar:

the indicative where the subjunctive should be

because you pampered princess

in the comfort of your own living room

you don’t know the first thing

about the cultures you profess to embrace.


Go back to Kansas

you jaundiced self-absorbed little Dorothy

without even the redemption

of helping the Scarecrow find a brain

the Tin Man a heart

and the Cowardly Lion courage.

Keep looking past the bald wizened man

behind the curtain

and keep searching for the special effects

of the almighty Wizard

somewhere over your monochrome rainbow.

Forget the ruby slippers

since you never left home

in the first place.


You wouldn’t know a cyclone

if it swept you away

and dropped you

on your inflated head.