Sunday, 10 April 2011

Daily Poem #3. What do you mean it's late?

I need to stop writing poems that I can't actually publish. It's great stress relief, but not so good for actually keeping up with poetry months.

Sadly I've been a bit uninspired, otherwise. And by uninspired I mean that my brain feels like a sponge that's been wrung out and wrung out till all the soap is gone and the fabric's coming apart and damnit, now we have to get a new one and there are still so many dishes to wash. That's a bit of a questionable metaphor, but I'll leave it and move on before I forget what my original point was.

Carrie Etter blogged a couple of excellent links to resources for National Poetry Writing Month. They're like soap to my chafing brain. I'm using one right now: #1 on the list here, which involves taking words from the nearest book and building a poem up around them. (Goodness knows why I didn't think of that. When Livejournal wakes up from its latest round of politically-induced death throes, I might run a few searches there for prompt-giving communities.)

Right now, the nearest book was Fever Dream by Preston and Child.

Fever Dream is... well, it was recommended to me as God's gift to fine literature, but I feel like I've been lied to a little. For a taster -- and let your eyes glaze over if I've told you this anecdote three times already -- there's a completely serious scene in which the two main characters are driving through the skeletal wood to a mansion that's all creepy towers and spiked iron railings... and then the building is silhouetted from behind by spectral yellow lightning. Then later in the chapter, they're in one of the towers and it happens again. It's extra spooky!

It goes without saying that I'm enjoying the book immensely.

Anyway, there was supposed to be a poem involved in this post somewhere. Let's get to it: a piece of verse employing seven words from page 29 of Fever Dream by Preston and Child. I'd like to work on it some more, because at the moment it's clumsy as hell, but it can sit as a placeholder until I have time to actually do so.


Romero's Hunting Trophies

The zebra appeared, its mane in a twist,
Whinnying loudly and smelling of rot.
Whoever had killed it was no taxidermist
And probably asked for whatever he got.

Maurice ducked his head, looked down at his gun.
A stuffed buffalo made a great hiding-spot,
But sooner or later he'd just have to run -
He'd brought the thing down with the last of his shot.

He'd fought off a lion! Maurice would be damned
If he could be killed by some glorified horse.
Crack-crack went the hooves, as each of them slammed
The chestnut headboards on the ground with great force.

The moment it came within reach, he leaped -
And swung his gun on a zebra's-headward course.
The animal crumpled and finally slept,
And Maurice stamped on it, his breathing quite hoarse.

He glanced round the room, at carcasses piled:
A dusty hippo, and a rhino, and more.
Still mounted: a tiger's head that slyly smiled.
Next moment, he heard a loud growl at the door.

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