These seven words (honey, girls, sheet, numbers, sex, grapevine, fireballs) proved to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. I posted those words yesterday very shortly after I drew them. That means I’ve only had about 24 hours in which to compose my poem. Most of the problem arose when I decided to try to rhyme it.
I was very frustrated by my first attempt, and I almost chose not to post it here. Maybe some day when I’ve had a chance to revise it, I’ll feel better about it. As it stands, it seems like the poem doesn’t know what it wants to be: free verse or metered; with a definite rhyme scheme or none; loving or vengeful. (I almost entitled the poem “Revenge,” and if you read it with that title, you may find it has a very different tone and meaning.)
You’re out on Sunday
collecting girls like charms.
You count their numbers, those fireballs
that you disarm and tame.
I second guess myself
when you go acting out of humor
Tell me all the news,
my little grapevine rumor.
Tell me all the news;
when the collector comes collecting
you pawn your sex, integrity.
You pawn your soul, and everything.
It’s nearly dawn; turn down the sheet.
It’s time: collect my honey, sweet.
Not being satisfied with that version, I hammered out an entirely different poem. This next one came to me in a matter of minutes. Frankly, I think it’s the better of the two.
Memory Not Mine
Those fireballs, those girls
in hip huggers — no hips.
honey glistening: the lips.
The grapevine boys who listened,
talk of cigarettes and
numbers notched on belts, or beds.
the stain of red.