Have I mentioned that I’m having a tough time with Poetry Class? I am! I feel like I’ve been dropped on the planet Bullshit without a translator. Seriously folks, I don’t speak the poetic language. Though I kind of want to, because I can’t stop saying things like enjambment and trochaic foot. They make me feel smart.
So what the hell is my problem? First of all, the poets in my class (aside from Polly and Peabo) are the meekest, quietest bunch of quiets I’ve ever seen (and not heard). They don’t laugh, at all. Not even when our beautiful British-accented Poetry teacher cracks a joke.
Or when I do.
My humor does not translate to the planet Bullshit. Clearly the inhabitants of planet Bullshit don’t think worry about how meter and music and syllable counts is tough as shit when writing poetry. They cannot crack wise about this stuff.
Second of all there is the Copious Note-taker who has to write down everything Jude (the aforementioned British beauty) says. Everything. In fact he’s so busy taking notes that he misses half the conversation and then has to have everything repeated. Plus, he can’t spell. Which, you know, is fine. I can’t spell either. So when I am taking personal notes I don’t worry about my spelling, because I know I can just look it up later.
This is not so for the Copious Note-taker, he must have perfectly spelled notes. First he asked how to spell syllable, and then hymn. Because it fucking matters. At one point during class, Peabo had to hold my hand down so that I wouldn’t shove my pen in his ear.
However, I am happy to report that things looked up once we started workshopping my classmates poems. This just goes to show you that I am only comfortable when I can be snarky and judgmental. Go me.
But I learned more during that short workshop time than I have so far. Which is awesome. It seems that a lot of the conventions of fiction still apply to bullshit, I mean poetry. For instance, having your poem be all a dream is just as much of a cop out in poetry as it is in fiction.
The only thing that sucked? I didn’t get my poem workshopped. Hopefully next week. If’n you like, darling ones, you can read it after the jump. It is bullshit, I know. But come on, it’s the first poem I’ve written since like 1994.
Who does she think she is?
With a baby curled tight
Like a question mark in the crook of her neck, and
A blond boy who weaves
Through our legs
To jiggle the knob of a door
That goes nowhere.
I shift my weight from foot to foot, cradling
Watching the clock as she raises her arms,
Presenting the baby
To the man behind the counter
Who should be checking zip codes, handing out stamps
And not cooing
At the special delivery.
My smile grown stiff while each worker
Comments on how much she looks like her sister,
How she was named after he sister,
How she is easily consoled like her sister.
It is bittersweet the bountiful mother says,
Her hand holding the blonde’s as he spins
And spins under her guidance.
My packages grow heavy and I press them
Into my stomach
Hoping the pressure
And the setting
Will kick start my lazy uterus.
The mother takes the baby
Who curls back into her neck.
Giving birth is the easy part, she said.
I narrowed my eyes and waved
Off her apology,
Unloading my burden at the counter.
She is afraid, the man behind the counter tells me.
That baby looks so much like her sister,
Who did not make it past eighteen months.
He hands me back a package they
Because I forgot the address, so I have to
Take it with me when I leave.