Happy Poetry Thursday, everyone!
I decided to combine this week’s prompt (“the body knows…”) with last week’s prose poem assignment.
For the record, I love prose poems. Long ago, I studied with Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, and Phil Levine—masters of the form. So I wrote a lot of prose poems early in my writing career. I enjoy writing narratives using all of the tools poetry has to offer. But lately I’ve been drawn to a less linear, quirky narrative form; three writers who do it so well are Stephen Dobyns, Bob Hicok, and Charles Simic.
So onto this week’s poem. Still very new and written very quickly, but it could be the start of something.
What the Body Knows
The body knows it is part of a whole, its parts believed to be in good working order. It knows how it gets old, years ticking off like pages on a desk calendar, your doctor’s appointment circled ink red. Try not to picture the body sitting alone in the waiting room. The body creaks up and down like a hardwood floor, you tell your doctor this; he says your breast is a snow globe. Inside there’s a snowstorm—my job is to decipher a bear from a moose. He flattens the breast with a low radiation sandwich press. The body wonders if its parts will turn into Brie cheese, if its fingers will fuse and become asparagus stalks. He says it’s possible, but don’t give it a second thought. He says insulate your body with seaweed. He says true understanding of the body will enable it to live long and live well. But the body knows when its leg is being pulled. The body is a container of incidental materials. If it listens carefully, it can hear its own voice making the wrong sound.