In my last column, I discussed and shared two poems about ordinary, everyday objects. If you happened to read the column, you probably were left scratching your head.
As happens sometimes in the newspaper business, especially involving the rare appearance of poems, things can get messy. The newspaper might not be the ideal platform for poems, given its unique limitations and format requirements.
Still, I am grateful to be able to write this column, regardless. You see, the inherent challenges of putting poems in a newspaper are: space restrictions (which is why I can only include short poems), strange line arrangements (which is why I try to avoid using poems with staggered lines all over the page), and number of poems (which is why I limit the column to one or two short poems). Despite these considerations, problems can still occur.
The two poems last Sunday became merged together so that instead one poem about a fork and another about a doll, a single strange poem about a doll that resembled a fork (from hell, in fact) found itself printed—a sort of mutant poem with lines from both poems interspersed and jammed together (a sort of Frankenstein monster poem!). Although quite hilarious, this new poem-thing didn’t make much sense.
It reminded me of the old commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups where two people—one eating chocolate and the other eating peanut butter—are not paying attention and collide on the street only to find that the chocolate and peanut butter have also collided, turning the two separate treats into a wonderful new chocolate peanut butter candy, proving that sometimes amazing results can be born from unintentional experiments or occurrences. The poetry “experiment” from last week’s column was much less successful, I’m afraid.
So, here once again, are the TWO poems about objects. As I write this, I wonder if you will be reading the real poems, separately, or if yet another bizarre poem creature will find its way to the page (here goes, fingers crossed):
This strange thing must have crept
Right out of hell.
It resembles a bird’s foot
Worn around the cannibal’s neck.
As you hold it in your hand,
As you stab with it into a piece of meat,
It is possible to imagine the rest of the bird:
Its head which like your fist
Is large, bald, beakless and blind.
When she was little
my sister loved this doll
until the paint flaked
from its bad luck eyes
and its cloth face, abraded,
bled cotton waste,
until its hair pulled loose
and its body became
a filthy sock,
a beaten stick,
dirt with ears.
And she cried, my sister did,
at what love could do.
The newspaper is as wonderful as peanut butter, and poetry is as wonderful as chocolate. Sometimes they work nicely together, sometimes not.
Address correspondence and poem submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Neil Carpathios, Shawnee State University, Dept. of English & Humanities, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. (740-351-3478).