Monday, June 29, 2015

Owl Pelletry

It was conveniently intermission -
that glorified term for a potty break -
and my wife called
to see when I would be returning
from your poetry reading
and to inform me that my son
(having fallen asleep in the car
and thus
skipped his pre-sleep poop)
had recently rolled out of bed
and defecated on the floor.

I bade you and the other poet I heard
an urgent farewell,
laughingly recounting the anecdote
and confiding I'd probably be inspired
en route home
to write a poem about this incident.

You said, also laughingly,
that you'd like to read it.

I don't know if you were serious,
so I hope this doesn't stink,
this extrusion of my own orifice,
this log entry of my own experiences...
for I found upon driven consideration
that my son's performance
and my own poetry production
were cut from the same cloth,
woven of the same warp and weft
since they are
natural byproducts of the
physical and mental digestive processes
respectively.

But pondering this parallel
threw me askew into a perpendicular
train of thought:
Perhaps this penchant for propogating poetry
is more akin to the owl pellet than the child turdlet:

I mean, owls, like people, have means for excreting
that which they have digested,
having sucked all the nutrients out,
but owls also have a means for expelling
those substances which they have swallowed whole
and cannot digest (i.e., bones, fur, and the like).

And isn't that what this and many poems are -
regurgitations of undigested incidents,
things we haven't yet figured out how
to suck the meaningful nutrients from?

And some poor sap,
in some lab or classroom,
is left to dissect it,
noting the skeletons we've spewed
and inferring what they will
about our mental -
and sometimes physical -
diets.

Source here.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Pete's First Purchase



His whole life,
Pete's income from holidays and birthdays
has been hastily stashed into his piggy bank.

The recent $5 from Great Grandma,
though,
came with firm instructions to be spent,
not saved.

Like any good son of mine would do,
he eventually narrowed down his options
to 2 small character cars:
Yoda or Darth Vader.

Alas,
falling victim to the quick and easy path,
he chose the sleeker,
seemingly swifter
Lord of the Sith.

At home, he and Vader had many
hot wheeled pursuits
of me and the Chewbacca car
till we were all out of gas.

Before bedtime, he announced
he was going to sleep with
Darth Vader.

What an odd thing to say.

I suppressed my laughter,
trying to replace the image of
Pete snuggled up next to a
7-foot, black-cloaked machine-man
with what I knew
he intended.

Later that night,
when he stumbled out of bed to go potty,
the car still clutched in his fingers,
I realized that,
by virtue of cuddling up with him,
I had been kind of like
the Darth Vader
in the picture I'd previously had.

Then, as if by a jolt of
force lightning,
I realized that my previous conception of
"Return of the Jedi" could be totally wrong:

I'd always perceived it through 
Luke's perspective -
the jedi returning to conquer the Empire 
after it had struck back
at his new hope.

But,
perhaps,
I thought as I was looking through
Vader's helmet for the first time,
the title could refer to
Anakan returning as a jedi
after a long stint on the dark side.

Duh.

It made me wonder,
if in a hexalogy,
or any creative work,
a character switches from
protagonist to antagonist
and perhaps back again
or vice versa,
what do you call that?

Do they cancel out into
"neutragonist"
or combine into
"bitagonist"?

Are there creative works
where someone fills both rolls
simultaneously?
What would that be?

What if a bad character 
brings about good
unknowingly
or vice versa?

These are the $5 questions
of life,
or at least mine,
as I try to use the white noise
of my breathing apparatus
to lull young Luke to sleep,
resisting the urge
to force-choke the front yard
woodpecker.