Friday, January 6, 2012

Metaphorical Family: Sister

Dear Sister

Out the morning window
of September,
a train horn shivers, and
the sunlit
bricks grid the
dancing verbena,
nodding pink
upon the sill.

In the photo Mom sent
of your daughter diapering
her newest brother, his
arms and eyes make a symbol
“wanting mother”.

When the dandelions blew off their heads
this spring,
your children corralled you in a ring of
cries that echoed
the hollow statue centered in our parents' living
room, in which you shriveled
farther inward,
wrapping around your
unborn son.

The weather is turning
dimmer, fading embers
in falling leaves.
Floating upward in my morning cup
spinning husks of
chrysanthemum bloom.

Despite your inner
the doctors injected you with lightning.
Apparitions arose,
animated your vessel, and
shuddered a wailing son
out the statue's womb that
closed again on you.

You escaped the hospital
last night and floated
above my bed. Cross-legged
in your gown you said,
“Kansas winds rattle
hollow cocoons.”
Then clover petals crawled
out your mouth and eyes,
and wound around you
leafy greenery.

Metaphorical Family: Mother

(criteria of Metaphorical Family)

Dear Mother,

Wrapped around me, your arms
pruned, dried to dust, and fell
to the ground under the yawning Oklahoma sky

The wind turned the dust
into dirty shoes, and flung
them into the trees of Brooklyn

The prayers I kiss across
your forehead are sweating
and running your mascara

Metaphorical Family (Criteria)

I don't know what I'm doing.

But, I'm going to explore metaphor through familial relations, and vice versa, as an exercise to create poetry. The metaphor will overpower truth, family will become fictional, time and place will be wrecked. The point is to write under a framework, but unlike Walking Stiff Blues and Transit Prosody, which were written at and about specific times and places in New York City (some spontaneous, some not), the framework for Metaphorical Family is . . . metaphor and familial relations (or archetypes).

To be redundant: metaphor will overpower truth. These are not autobiographical. What writer can exclude autobiography from his work? But you know what I mean. I hope.

As a part of the exercise, I'm going to sketch with blog posts. Each post may or may not stand alone as a finished work, but there will be something in it worth publishing. I will not waste your time and simply vomit here.

My ultimate goal is to come back to these posts and condense them or expand upon them to create a nice series of poems, so I may post second and third incarnations of these as I explore the archetypes.