Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Poetry Exercise #2

Okay, to build this poem, first you need the following ingredients:

1. a physical feature or talent (either one can be made up)

2. an ability, spectacular or boring, it's up to you

3. an object used for presentation (i.e. a platter, a cake stand, a velvet box, a pedestal...)

4. an obsolete or close-to-obsolete profession (i.e. blacksmith, milk maid, rider for the pony express)


Write a poem about the physical feature/talent (#1) and make sure it is more marvel than brag, as if the thing is not truly part of you. As if it is a nuisance. What hardships do you endure for carrying this thing? What easy chore is made hard because of it? What can it do that no one else's can (#2)? Decide who passed it down to you. What was the profession of the person you inherited it from (#4)? How was it presented (#3)? What amazing thing might you become, because of this?

- - -

And here is my, er, stab at it:

You might think I have remarkable boobs. You might even call them tremendous when you speak of them with your coworkers, reminisce on how smooth & radiant they are. How they complete small tasks for you with hi-gloss enthusiasm. Changing the light bulbs. Stretching across the room to hand you the clicker. When I awaken from my naps, sprawled on the couch, drooling & bra-less, I often dread discovering what my unsupervised boobs have been up to. It is quite a chore picking up after them. A hair dryer in the fireplace. Stevie’s gasping goldfish flopping around the foyer. I inherited these boobs from my great-great-great-grandmother, Betty the Shoemaker. It is said these boobs were won in a card game by her father. He kept them snug in an apple crate and only brought them out on special occasions. Sometimes I daydream of being a flat-chested maiden, running through a field of tomatoes and daffodils. When I was a young girl, I never imagined I would one day possess such wild, incorrigible boobs. I am frightened to have children because of them. I suspect my left boob, especially, might be capable of murder.

(This exercise inspired by "Confession Poem" by Louis Jenkins)

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