Tag Archives: wordplay

On Making Beautiful Monsters

Don’t let a poet into your Build-a-Body workshop!
There’s no telling what they’ll try to put together, and
for all the wrong reasons. They won’t care if mushroom bodies
dangle or dip or jut up like combs and wattles. Feathers
will have to be included, of course, and vibrissae. (Who
cares that they belong on different phylogenetic
branches of the evolutionary tree?) A poet
might vajazzle a cloaca with ommatidia
just because they like the sparkle and bounce of the words, but
trust me, you do not want to see those words put together.
Pray they don’t add a sprinkling of blastomeres for some cleavage,
or knit neuroglia over biofilm for a net
to scrunch into a purple nictitating membrane. What
it comes down to is no one quite wants a poet’s bodies.

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Vermin Sonnet

Buzzing of teeth against lips, a burning
in the throat, as if a thousand dust mites
scrape the skin with each breath. There is yearning
carried in the sound, the jangled sound bite
as a jingle singer hums personal
ads written for letters, voiced and unvoiced.
“Fricative seeks friction, bilabial
preferred.” But alveolar disappoints
(or not, if you only give them a chance,
the tongue moving in the mouth so sweetly).
The word flirts, and courts you. Don’t look askance,
What could make such a crude word more discreet?
Or at least more delightful, the tingle
vibrating and voiced in a gasped jingle.


NOTE: This is a kind of love poem to my favorite word.

COMMENT: Last night (the actual 13th) I was working on my daily poem when my son came downstairs in shock, having received a phone call that one of his teachers had just died. It was almost 2am before he felt ready to sleep, and since Friday the 13th was way past at that point (and the poem I’d been working on felt jarring and inappropriate under the circumstances), I left the poem and the day incomplete, and went to sleep, hoping to write two poems today. Which also didn’t happen, but I’m still planning to catch up with the 30-in-30 for NaPoWriMo before the 30th. There’s still time! Although I don’t think I’ve ever written two sonnets in a single day …