New Poem

Draft. Still working on last stanza.



The Oriental fire bellies are singing.
They are splayed under a plastic tree branch
beneath a florescent sun, croaking their soft song,
a clinking bell only I can hear.

I am looking at them and they look at me.
A threat, I guess. One clearly arching his back,
rising up with his slimy fat body pressed flat
against the glass, all unkin reflex,

showing me his toxic orange belly and his
“come-hither-and-I’ll-kill-you” bullshit stance.
That’s cold blooded, my friend.
You will never attract a female like that,

but I hear what you’re saying.
The night is long and slippery.
We have no words to speak of
so let’s not talk of dying,

or finding perfect happiness,
not tonight. We’re all in this together.
Show me your true colors
and I’ll show you mine.

Let’s heed the call and rise
out of the trance of ourselves,
secrete our souls into the world,
this place of life, hiding behind the light.


The line “The night is long and slippery.” is from a Lynn Emanuel’s poem “Homage to George Herriman from her book Noose and Hook.


Maureen said…
You might consider ending the poem at the end of your fifth stanza. I like how that would leave the poem open to us to imagine what those "true colors" are and how they'll be shown, and so not give us a conclusion as the sixth stanza does.

The "I guess." (second stanza, second line) inserts a tentativeness that seems a little off-voice (in the same way mentioning "our souls" does), given especially the strong second line in the third stanza and the rest of the poem; I like the sassy, back-talking stance of the narrator. But I see also that perhaps that's a feint, to divert from that "hiding behind the light".
Anonymous said…
Thanks for braving your draft with the world, January! Always happy to read your work. xo
January said…
Thanks Marie. I appreciate the support.
January said…
Maureen, you picked out my trouble spots. Not sure about cutting the last stanza (I did consider it), but it definitely is a bit of a let-down after the second and third.

Thanks for the feedback and support.

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