Saturday, April 07, 2007

two poems... and another in progress

my literature instructor gave us a couple of extra credit assignments sometime ago. after reading out loud margie piercy's "barbie doll" to the whole class he gave us half of the period to compose a fifteen-line poem about a childhood experience with a toy. i came up with this. in retrospect, i think i was being sick and perverted and utterly delusional to come up with something like this. but anyway here it is. it's fictional poetry, okay?

A Barbie for Bobby

Bobby ran his stubby eight-year-old fingers
through the doll's trademark corn silk yellow hair
-- his sister got it for Christmas --
(why didn't they buy me one too?)
and stared, with eyes wide as the moon,
at those two round bumps on her chest.
Slowly, gingerly, he tore off the fairy-sized shirt
like a Snickers wrapper, until nothing remained
to shield from his hungry eyes
on those creamy brown plastic scoops of ice cream.
(yummy oh so yummy they look so much like Mama's)
He mopped with his sleeves
the beads of sweat glistening on his forehead
and locked his bedroom door
with a soft click.

the following one is too cheesy and cliched, i think. he tasked us to compose a love song patterned after ts eliot's "the love song of alfred j. prufrock." the speaker, he says, could be anybody: ourselves, another person, etc. being a greek mythology buff that i am, the first thing that came to my mind was tithonus, the ill-fated trojan prince and lover of aurora, the goddess of the dawn. she asked zeus to bestow on him immortality, but forgot to ask for eternal youth. as a result, he lived forever but grew more ancient each passing day. aurora left him afterwards, of course.

The Love Song of Tithonus

Like the gnarled limbs of an ancient tree
my wide open arms await for thee,
Aurora of the fickle red dawn.
The lacy veils of your mists drape
the innocent morn in a sultry embrace
and turn my forsaken crown
to a barren raisin-head
flecked with the snow white strands of age.
Once bright ablaze, my heart forlorn
lies a sodden pile of darkened soot,
extinguished by the tiny breeze
of a careless half-wish.
O death, sweet death, engulf me
with your dreamless sleep
and quench my raging thirst
for her fiery golden kisses
and blind my milk-white eyes
from the eternal, ethereal vision of
my Aurora of the fickle red dawn.

last week he said he would automatically give us a hundred in one of our quizzes if we turn in a shakespearean sonnet, provided that we do it perfectly: ten syllables per line, a flawless rhyming scheme of ababcdcdefefgg, and only one sentence per quatrain. it's proved to be a challenge for me. i'm done halfway but i still have to figure out my last six lines. i'll post it here when i complete it.

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