Monday, April 6, 2009

Craving to Burst

how can i learn to take
just small bites? to savor
rather than gulp knowing
i sputter and choke.

i want everything vast
and unnameable and
big! so hungry but
what is it i'm wanting?

more, always, sharper
sweeter, deeper, something- experience
amped up, voluminous
intense with colorsoundtaste time

it's a terrific
craving to burst
out of contentment and
softened dreams

a need that doesn't bloom
it explodes and blinds i want
to drink the stinging lemon of the sun
and find beneath,
its sweetness

It's unedited. A draft poem straight from the tap, not bottled carefully and popped at the correct moment. Or? It is grape juice, not wine, and probably too sweet. It's National Poetry Month, so I might try to be more Writerly.


  1. i like it (and really relate) but the last paragraph SLAYS me:

    ...i want
    to drink the stinging lemon of the sun
    and find beneath,
    its sweetness

    The stinging lemon of the sun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! That is a great image! And the turn is perfect!

  2. I like it too, reading it now after the impetuous posting:) I'm glad you like, Lex. *Sigh* I long to share notebooks and toddler giggles with you.

  3. Also, Lexie, What is "the turn"? I assume you are using proper poetry terminology but I do not grok:)

  4. The turn is technically a sonnet thing (part of the form: sonnets have 18 lines, are in one or another rhyme scheme and have a turn at the end -- in a sonnet, the turn happens in the last two lines. In different forms/ no-forms, then turn can happen in the middle or the end of a poem).

    The turn is basically that moment, at the end of a poem, where the writer/ narrator or reader makes a startling discovery that changes, alters or broadens the theme of the poem.

    In this one, it's a true turn (turn around): you go from wanting to take smaller bites to wanting to more of an acceptance (the way I'm reading it) of wanting to eat the sun, of accepting that there is (at least a little) a sweetness in the wanting MORE.

    The turn doesn't necessarily change the initial truth of the poem (sometimes it does) but it brings depth.

    Do you know The Art of Losing (which is a villanelle)? It has a PERFECT turn at the end.

  5. Actually, scrap that, lots of forms have the turn as part of their form requirements. The sonnet is just the most popular form that uses it, in Western Poetic tradition. (The vilanelle also works best with a turn.)

    Also, in modern/ postmodern/ contemporary poetry, the turn isn't always followed.

    (PS: is there a way to be getting emailed notices when you respond to my comments?)

  6. i like it, miss heidi. it's so fitting, since just 5 minutes ago I was reading about restraint versus indulgence, or restraint as prerequisite for proper indulgence. sorry your back's out :-( feel better...

    i just got a book of elizabeth bishop poems for my birthday! she is the first poet i've actually felt compelled to actually stop and read (sad, I know..) I'll look to your blog for further examples of good stuff.

    i too and jonesing for some of that lemon sun. something abou the longing in your poem reminds me of this quote from Everything is Illuminated:

    Waiting for someone? Yankel asked.
    What color is this?
    He stood very close to the door, letting the end of his nose touch the peephole. He licked the wood and joked, It certainly tastes like red.
    Yes, it is red, isn't it?
    Seems so.
    She buried her head in her hands. But couldn't it be just a bit more red?