In honor of poet (and CWP professor!) Matthew Rohrer‘s reading and upcoming book, I thought it would be fun this week to write a poem in the style of Rohrer’s “will the red hand throw me?”  Try out the prose-poem structure, perhaps employ a list or numbers for a surprising effect.  Rohrer also accomplishes a great deal with personification here, the “lives” of an old radiator and tarnished fork become a high drama for us.  Or one could go a different tack entirely (but still within the vein of the poem) and use unconventional objects to arrive at a perspective on mortality.  It will be extremely exciting to see what you guys come up with.  Feel free to respond with your poems as a comment below!

1. Though our radiator is painted the color of the walls we know he’s there. Whatever we set on top of him bursts angrily into flame. He has come to be known as Petulant. He has come to be known as Wasted Space. To be contrary, the radiator will not heat us when we need it. “If only I could find his fucking face,” I say to her (who sleeps beside me), “I’d stick something in his eye. I’d stick this in his eye.” And I hold out a fork. Night has grown up around us and this luminous fork is our only light. 2. By the light of our luminous fork I see the old Mexican shortwave radio weeping on the corner. All her tubes are cracked and it is late in the century. No one will be putting on a hat and boots to find tubes for her, because they can’t be found. She is like the last auk in its cage with a shattered wishbone, while the naturalists were helpless and could offer to bring it something, again and again. She is like the last passenger pigeon when it realized it was the last passenger pigeon. We don’t notice her anymore. “God’s curse on you for ignoring me,” she used to moan at night. Now she only weeps or says her prayers, but either way we can’t hear her because her tubes are withered and it is late in the century. 3. The luminous fork is also worthy of investigation: Our grandparents cannot remember when the luminous fork first came into their lives. It was prefigured by the tools of Poseidon and Michael. It has appeared in my poems before. It is the last of the luminous flatware and is lonely in our drawer. Imagine a luminous fork in the company of our silverware and their steely glances. Think about this fork who cannot share his secrets with the dark knives, who will never lie with the smooth spoons. The luminous fork knows that someday when I open the drawer I won’t recognize him among the tarnished forks pointing at me, just as I am told one day there will come a knock at my door that I won’t answer.

 

P.S. Peeps:  Head over to the West 10th launch party this saturday night.  Special shout out to mah gurl Malarie Gokey who is among this year’s poets!!!  Here’s the facebook event page for more info…

 

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