for helping me get a jump-start on NaPoWriMo!
National Poetry Month is just a few days away, and that’s when the madness begins. NaPoWriMo. A poem-a-day for 30 days. If you haven’t taken the pledge at Read Write Poem yet, now’s the time. You know you want to! And once you start writing a poem every day, it will turn into an addiction. You will HAVE to write. Every day. Or you’ll burst. Trust me. It happens just like that.
In that spirit, Carolee and I have been talking about starting a little early getting our poem on. And since we’re the mini-challenge divas, well, you know we have to do it. This is my pre-NaPo poem #1. I’m sure my partner-in-crime will have one up on her poetry blog soon. Like today. Right?
What the Dolls Do While We Sleep
From somewhere near a pulsing
point of darkness (far from her heart)
Barbie reveals that most of her life
(the part we can not see
beneath skin stiff as bone)
has been lived behind the bushes.
Not a door, or a curtain, or even behind
Ken’s broad shoulders. You see, don’t you,
how letting truth slip from the split
of hard plastic lips is an act of bravery—
truth like a tree fallen over a chasm
your character drawn by the way you cross
balancing step by step on slick bark (courting danger)
or dodging below, stepping lightly over simple stones.
Minus the tree, the wide cavern (gaping hole) in her path
Barbie makes her first decision, slipping
out the window, snagging rubbery toes on the sill
landing hard on adventure’s packed dirt.
The bush is a cliché, rain soaked leaves
a moist haven glistening in the moon’s light
(all good love affairs begin with a cliché and hard rain).
This is where G.I. Joe waits, camouflage pants unbuttoned
gun hidden in a bunch of roots reaching up like hands.
Here in the bushes, Barbie lives another life.
Her dream house is a cardboard box
(so much easier to clean)
her lover, the hero whose shaved head
fits so much better on her belly than Ken’s sculpted crown.
In the music video version, our brave soldier gets carried away
rips Barbie’s left leg from its perfect socket.
No matter how they are molded at the factory
these are breakable times.
Returns are not easy to make
without a receipt, and even then
chances are slim the new doll you carry home
won’t believe the old ones really talk when you leave the room.