Friday, July 01, 2005

potato handling instructions

Potato Handling Instructions

Store potatoes in cool, dark basement
So they won’t rot like memories.

Peel two for supper, one for the man, one for you.
Inhale the smell of earth on their papery skin,
Moist with iridescent blood of nourishment,
Flesh firm on your fingers.

Smell that summer field,
On the way home from school at 3:30,
An ocean and two decades away.
Breathe hot air, pungent moisture from deep furrows.
You picked berries from roadside mulberry,
Stained fingers, lips crimson.
Under your nails crept the juice, turned deep purple,
Sweet, warm

Like those nightly bruises, remember?

Breaking open the thin skin,
Pale stumps will sprout,
Their purple heads like dead fetus.
Ivory flesh will shrivel,
Drained, cell by cell,
By silent, parasitic offspring.

Of hidden decay, under your forgetful fingers,
Slip of knife, tiny pain,
Dry pulp absorbs the dark blood
Like draught field,
Like dad's flannel pants soft and tingling against your cheek.

Boil the potatoes, heat high,
Dark scar tissue severed,
Blood wiped and forgotten, almost.
Pinch of salt, drop of tear,
Home decayed in memory.

I entered this to the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition. Hopefully it'll see some sunshine. Fine Prints: The writer is not liable to any possible damages caused to the follower(s) of these directions. :P


At 2:18 AM, Blogger Kinch said...

Gosh, spotted someone sympathetic towards the grand Theo Angelopoulos. I entirely spilled blood for him (well, I skin myself if I get nervous, it was an argument). Was Ulysses' Gaze not a masterpiece among masterpieces?
Anywho, great writing by the way. Although... Actually, let that suffice as my unqualified criticism.


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