Tag Archives: Poetry

Poem: The Body is a Fairy Tale

23 Feb

I was reading the dream journals of Jack Kerouac and came across the phrase “peach meat”.  Didn’t care for the dream but found the phrase compelling. I knew that I wanted to freewrite on it and see what it kicked up. Twelve drafts later (!) here it is. Started off as poem and became prose, but I think it’s still a poem at heart.

Let me know what you think.

***

The body is a fairy tale, a story that we tell ourselves that started long ago. Back then, we were mostly mouths that spoke only sometimes and always of our love for each other.  Back then, we had only heads, and no bodies. Our heads rolled around like peaches, happy and unthinking.

Back then, the body was a fairy tale, a story that we told ourselves every day. But one day it came true, as repeated stories often do. We became so enamored of the thought, we stopped our moving, lost in the dream.  Our scalps became rooted to the earth. And the story became a seed that grew, our heads like planting pots, the neck guiding the soft pink stalks upwards, until they became feet that we could walk around on.

That’s when the problems began. We spoke too often and frequently of nothing. We became obsessed with our new bodies, and their strange smells and juices. We began to consume each other with our mouths and with violence.  We learned to spread our juices by spreading our legs and by spreading war. We broke each others bodies in the name of love, and in the name of nations we broke each other bodies to spread the fruit flesh out for all to see, to speak as if with one big mouth: “We are better because we are victorious.”

But the body is a fairy tale, do you not remember? There still are soft reminders: Can you feel it in your cheek, this irritation, where the skin has been rubbed raw by the edge of a tooth? The flap of skin, pink and pulpy and lithe against the teeth. Probe it with your tongue until it peels free and you can hold it in your hands. Dream of a time when our mouths were minor miracles.  I remember this ancient time when I say your name, when I feel the soft stone of you under my tongue.  I speak your name, pit and flesh, and long to return there.

Let us unwrite this fairytale with our fingers. Let us revoke ourselves with silence. With these things we loosen the hold of this dank and slippery meat between our ears and our thighs. Help me put down this body and these words, and let’s drink stone tea together, the bitter taste of which becomes sweeter over time. Let it reduce us until we are bones, whole and forgotten, sleeping, dreaming of something better to grow.

Poem: Opening Presents

18 Feb

(My commentary posted to comments below.)

***

OPENING PRESENTS

What is this? A tie tack? Did you buy me a tie tack for Christmas?
It’s fine.
It’s just. This is not at all in my style or my taste. And,
further, doesn’t our relationship amount to more than this, a tie tack,
bought where at Sears?

But even if it’s a fancy tie tack,
what does it say about us? Look at what I got you, open it now, just
tear the paper. Look,
Look at the care I put into this gift.
Look at the many layers of meaning and personal resonance.
I thought about this. I wanted to get something for you that would be cherished for years to come. Time immemorial, if I could pull it off.

And you got me a tie tack.

Shit. This makes me want to question the strength of our relationship
the rapport and kismet I thought we have together
if you felt it appropriate to get me a piece of tie

jewelry.

Well, yes, it’s practical. But your gift is MEANINGFUL.
What do you mean, what is it?
It’s an ode to our relationship. To us! Don’t you see,
these shells represent that first time we kissed at the beach.
The figurines there are us, I admit, a bit fanciful, but you used to almost look like that, and I thought it would be romantic.
And those pictures of our faces, I’ve used for the heads, from your father’s wedding, because we were so happy then. Drunk as skunks, and happy. You see, it took time and thought and it’s not a stupid tie tack.

Shit.
I’m sorry,
I’m sorry. You know
how critical I get during the holiday. And
being around your mother makes me tetchy.
I know,
I’m sorry, baby. Please, stay here. Please hold me.
I am afraid to be alone.

Poem: Lady Jupiter

8 Feb

Last night I dreamt that you were Jupiter, and I your moon, longing to hold you yet fearing I would be crushed in your embrace, and

I could feel you pull me, could feel you beg me to draw close, to be wrapped in your gentle arms, but I resisted, though

like Europa, I was full, broad-faced, open-minded; but how I could I comprehend your curves, when your body filled my vision to the exclusion of all else?

I knew that you were so small at the core of you, and that you had drawn close to you weightless hydrogen, oxygen, space dust, pieces of your brothers and sisters, in order to modestly clothe yourself, and

I knew these things should not be substantial. Yet your gravity makes them so; the ephemeral becomes concrete, near your core,

like this dream, the weight of which draws its power from my body, the one that lies heavy and sweat-ridden in my bed of twisted sheets, stone-like.

O Sultry Jupiter, I am powerless to resist, you draw me inevitably even as I beg you to let me stay locked in this sweet orbit.

Be careful, if you pull me into your crushing embrace, you will find me gone.

These moons that sing rounds about you are the few words that you know.

Be careful, lest you find yourself one day speechless.