Poem for Poetry Thursday

What a morning! We're recovering from a night of Wiggly fun from seeing The Wiggles in concert. Needless to say, I did not write a new poem this week. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was exhausted.

However, I did take Wednesday off from work to work on my poetry manuscript. Now that was a mess! I nearly had a panic attack trying to impose an order on my poems. But it's done, so now I can revise the text and see what should stay and what should go.

In the process of looking through my poems, I did find this one for Poetry Thursday. It's an older one, a bit Sharon Olds-esque. (Can't seem to get the lines to break correctly in Blogger.)

Hope to get caught up enough to read everyone else's poems and respond to your blog posts. Remember, I'm still in a Wiggles-induced funk.

And yes, Twitches, I had a great time :)

Saturn’s Child

When my father snores
he sucks in the whole world
and releases it in one pure breath.
At night I’d come into his room
where he would pass out on the bed—
too drunk to change his clothes or
put out his cigarette, which had
burnt itself down to the embers. I pulled
off his shoes and watched him sleep,
smelling his sweet, stale breath
fill the room in waves. He was so out of it
I could put my finger into his mouth and pull it out
before he inhaled.
Once I let my finger linger a second
too long and his tongue touched the flat of my tip.
I thought of going in deeper, first a hand, then an arm;
the tender cutlet of my body swallowed whole by my
father. But I was barely enough to make him cough.
He rolled over on his side, leaving a well in the space
where his body had been. I crawled back into my own bed,
as my father slept the peaceful sleep of ogres, feeling
the house shake with his rhythmic tremors.


This poem is wonderful. In general, I love poetry that takes a very specific incident, with very specific images and implies (applies, subterraneanly) a very global emotion or feeling to it. You do this so well: the child's desire to be something to the father, the sense fo smallness and inconsequence next to the largness and importance of the father. These ideas are universal, and we can all find times when we felt this way.

Thanks for a great entry.
jim said…
Wiggle on. Sounds like fun.

My world, outside of poetry, is full of kiddie stuff. I work as a children's librarian, so spend my time reading children's and young adult books. My second job is as a toy designer for a major toy company (Barney, Dora, Spongebob) -- so I spend my nights writing song lyrics etc. for electronic toys. In fact, I have some difficulty relating to adults (surprise, surprise). So.... wiggle on!

How did you end up ordering your manuscript?
la vie en rose said…
this is great. i love how you took this one moment in time and put us right in it, letting us see it so clearly.
Catherine said…
I used to love children's songs, but sadly I have no excuse at the moment, since my five are all young adults with no inclination to give me grandchildren. The songs are generally unhibited and joyous. I enjoyed the poem, with its strong details.
I am (again) so impressed with your images and your words, that I am (almost) left speechless. Not quite. I know the Wiggles well, tho'not personally. My grandkids have gone to concerts. My little Starfish fell asleep, left his mother waving, calling out, "Jeff! Jeff!"
j.b. said…
You are a complicated gal - from the Wiggles to a poem that rivals Olds. I love the idea of the father swallowing her whole (aren't fathers larger than life as a child?)ma, and the "sleep of ogres" - an unforgetable poem. Thanks.
January said…
Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

Jim, that's so interesting that you are a toy designer. Very cool.
As for the manuscript, I'll post on the process this weekend. But I split up about 55 poems into 4 groupings.

I'm not comfortable with two of the four sections, which leaves me to think that maybe I should just consolidate everything into two sections: the personal and the private. Again, I'll do a full post on the process in a day or so.
Anonymous said…
Reminds me of the awe I felt for my dad as a child, that yearning for connection. Beautiful words. Thanks for sharing.
Rethabile said…
Nice. Very nice.
bb said…
is this the type of poem you've got tucked away? hell, i can't wait to read the whole manuscipt.
'the tender cutlet of my body swallowed whole by my
father', makes me shiver - dangerously erotic and daring.
P.S. I've finished ordering my mini-collection of 20 poems - what a task, but so satisying in the end. I posted it this morning. Yikes!
Rethabile said…
I hope you don't mind. Your poem has stayed with me all this time, and i've posted it again on my blog. The imagery is magnificent, and sticky.
January said…
Wow! I don't mind at all, Rethabile. Thanks for letting me know, and I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the poem.
getzapped said…
Found you through Rethabile. This poem speaks loudly with truth and imagery. My stepfather drank and passed out, snored, and kept us up. Happy those times have turned into murky memories. Peace.
Rethabile said…
I'm back on your magnificent poem. I'll be mentioning it in a feature write up for PT this week. Is that OK?
January said…
Really? Be my guest! I am flattered and honored that you like my poem.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dear poetesse, I felt I should have informed you, too, that your good name along with mention of your poem 'Saturn's Child' was made by me to appear, in a truthful context, in my latest poem 'New Births Blooming Divine After Sad Notes Of Demise' submitted today.

Thanks a lot, with best wishes
Erhard H.J. Lang

P.s.: the poem in which you and your interesting poem are mentioned may be found at
January said…
Thanks for letting me know about your poem.
plasma tv said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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