Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Poem Game Begins: Vegetables and Anthropomorphism

In July, my new boyfriend asked to read some of my poetry. I have a lot of poems. Some published; some not. I asked him to help me choose what to show him by giving me some topics. He gave me "vegetables" and "something non-human that's taken on human characteristics." Too easy. I sent him the two below.

We've done it once since (which will be the next post), and I am curious to see what else he comes up with and if I can continue to find poems from my collection that satisfy his requests. I have a feeling some of them are going to be a bit of a stretch. He doesn't know about this blog and probably won't ever see it. I'd like to keep it that way, so he doesn't have any pressure or influence in making his choices for poem requests.

The Corner Garden

The corner garden’s growing weeds,
obscene zucchinis, and tomatoes spilling seeds.

At least a month has passed since I last walked the rows
where only that which wants to spoil grows.

Hoping to discover something sweet,
I search among the overripe and ripped. Between my feet,

a softball of a watermelon sits.
Uneven markings trick my eye; I think that it’s

been squashed or cracked,
but passed between my palms, I feel it warm, intact.

I bet it can’t be good, but something makes me wonder what I’ll find
inside: weevils, powder, solid rind.

I grab the melon, leave
the rest to rot. It rolls toward the sink before I cleave

the ball in half. The core is organ red. I’ve lost
the bet. I scrape some off the top like frost

across a windshield, only it’s not cold,
and tastes like honey, gold.

Island Rain

I hear it first. A thousand typing girls
with Rockette legs and pencil skirts float down
the mountain towards my flat. Front lines descend
into the sea while reinforcements crest
the hill. They scramble in stiletto heels
across my corrugated metal roof
then slide into the gutter drains and pipes.
The sun returns. The carnage silences.
My cistern’s full of pantyhose and pearls.

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