Not an Odalisque


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This month we are writing poetry in my creative writing class. I have avoided the genre since I was seventeen, when I realised just how bad my poetry was. There is something in poetry which does not love an amateur. We tend towards grand, ineffable communications and the overuse of adjectives. My particular predilection is for meaningful pauses, in which the reader is to realise something inexpressible, and marvel at the author who thought such a thing. I am afraid the reader is more likely to think that I’m making a fuss over something quite mundane, and wonder at my naivety and egoism. You may think it a good thing that I stopped.

I do, however, have to write some poems if I am to participate in this class. Confident in the fact that I am the only person reading this blog, I will put them here. If I am not, then please make some critical comments. The joy of discovering I have a reader will overcome disappointment in finding that my poems are imperfect.

Green Shoots

I hear there are green shoots.
Did you expect yellow seedlings
Left too long in the airing cupboard?
No, your outdoor green means
The snails might get them.

Tell me about your green shoots
While I pray to pay
The gas bill.

Pineapple Puffs

I have a vision of myself fitting
Into a one bed flat
And one sexy pair of jeans.

But you folded your letters into origami hearts,
Rinsed the crumbs from a jar,
And put them inside.

I think I preferred the pineapple puffs
Which dwelt there before.
Your letters weigh me down
And lead to biscuits.

Kuan Yin

They amputated your arms.
They melded your remaining palms together,
Like labia lips of an horrific mutilation.

I knew you tall and proud.
I tried to reach your armpits from rickety temple attics.
I couldn’t count your hands.

In miniature
I hardly know you.


Written by Not an Odalisque

October 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Posted in poems, poetry, writing class

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