Thursday, November 27, 2008

First Draft of a Poem

So I don't write poetry very often, and this is very much a first draft of something I've been thinking about for a while, but I'd appreciate your feedback as I think this has some potential if it were developed a bit.

Morning Confession

I eat pomegranates for breakfast.
And sometimes I yearn for the substance of
A slice of bread – its firmness and fullness
Familiarity, convenience, tidiness
Next to a cup of instant coffee
But instead

I slice into the pomegranate with my knife
And pry apart the insides with my hand
Prodding at the white fibers and
Pulling forth the beads of fruit
Pushing them between my lips
And crunching, devouring

I say that this connects me to the land
To the seasons – I eat what is
Growing here, now.
But I don’t know the land
And I don’t know the seasons
Although, at least, I do eat pomegranates
For breakfast.
From inside my apartment
I imagine myself a part of this vital world
And I cut into the land’s heart-shaped child
Grinding the seeds between my
Coffee-stained teeth

The environment is a cause for which
I enter my credit card number online
Donating chai for the source of all life
And closing my computer to shut it away
The environment is large and far away
It is a stranger whom I pity
An abstraction grounded only in the sky

But the round globe of the pomegranate
Feels firm in the palm of my hands
Flushed pink as I enter it with
My sticky fingers, plucking the
Pinkish blood and white, firm body
From a corpse splayed wide across my plate
A silenced heart upon a hospital bed

I drop the last teardrop-shaped seed
Into my cavernous mouth
The rind is empty, shredded
Its secrets revealed, it holds no more
And I throw the carcass in the trashcan
Close the lid, and
Walk away.

1 comment:

Laura Eve said...

dearest Jessica!

It was such a pleasure to read this, & I'm really glad you're writing poetry. Something I think really helps poets is simply the act of writing them, no matter what they yield. (This is something I have to tell myself here all the time, because I tend to self-censor!)

I think this poem has some vivid & wonderful images -- cutting into the land, the silenced heart, the pomegranate's white fibers -- & I think that if you want to shape this poem, you have a lot of wonderful things to work with!

If you wanted to look for ways to experiment with this, I'd suggest trying to play the cutting game, & see what happens. There are a lot of "I verb" statements here, which I think could be trimmed to reveal a slimmer poem that would move more quickly from image to image & really retain its tension.

I think that's a good place to start, & I'd love love love to see any other versions of this poem or others that evolve!

Much love, dear. It sounds like you're doing well in the holyland. & happy Thanksgiving!