Friday, August 17, 2018

Stone Soup Croutons, 8-16-18, Detached

Stone Soup Croutons is a weekly poem I write using lines and impressions picked up from poems overheard from Stone Soup's open mic readers and features. I figure out a title (and sometimes the rest of the poem) later. You can read the other ones I've done since 2015 here. To paraphrase Lorne Michaels, this poem doesn't go up because it's ready, it goes up because it's Friday morning.

Stone Soup happened again. The audience is growing again. I wrote a poem again. For the last few weeks, I thought my poems were going to come out more disjointed than I usually predict. That actually hasn't been the case, and I started to wonder if I've started to cheat with my improv a little, the same way Robin Williams used to whenever he went to his Elmer Fudd impression. Last night, however, if I had any go-to's, they were mostly erased when Jon Jarvis read "Musician" by Louise Bogan. It's first line got my imagination going that I went full-out silly and therefore risked writing myself into a corner even more. If people say this poem is even halfway coherent, then I have beaten all challenges and achieved immortality (though not really).

I do notice that I'm still doing a lot of religious imagery. Must be all the poetry I'm doing in a church lately. Thanks for reading.


Where did your hands go?
Deluded to have lost them
in the first place, you didn't know
until a women on the train
pulled them from her ass
wondering very loudly
to whom they belonged.

Your name is consigned to be
paired with scatology
in the minds of everyone
who hears her chew
your ears clean off,
Aretha Franklin's "Respect"
the likely theme music.

And you wonder why only
your hands, and not your head,
which you hang low enough
to be picked like a pocket.

open to be socked with
a chain mail sack of rolled-up quarters,
your lack of a pocket handkerchief
to wipe the blood just another sign
of your lack of honor.

Your body's a foreclosed temple
in need of a moat to keep
it's relics from running off.
Your hands are no longer content
to bond with palms who cut
your pay checks. Smooth  knives

rubbing them like a lamb,
looking for one more vein,
cribbing copperheads between fingers,
hiding promises like ballots.

To be a flower, your hands think
(as much as they can), even a petal
pulled off by a preschooler
in their first malice-less act of cruelty.

Your body is not depraved.
it only wants to be counted
if even only as a casualty.
Your limbs would cry for help
if they could, instead lash out
for whatever feels like a ledge.

We filled a number one slot this week!

Special thanks to Jon Jarvis, Chris Fitzgerald, Bil Lewis, Melissa Silva, Vicki Poulos, Michael Igoe, Jan Rowe, Martha Boss and James Van Looy. 

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