Sunday, March 30, 2008

Overheard

[Read Write Poem challenged us to find inspiration in something overheard. I found my inspiration on the NPR.org website, listening to interviews (nice because I could make sure I had the quote right). We were further challenged to write a prose poem. Because many of my poems read like prose (with line breaks), I was a bit challenged to keep the words in this one carefully chosen so as to stay on the poetry side of the prose poem line.]




Overheard

In a make-believe town, it’s a make-believe position. I might as well be paid in Monopoly money, all orange and blue and yellow. I put my sham-leather shoes under my ersatz-wood desk and tidy my polyester pullover. And for what?

I flirt with the truth. I fold the truth into origami so that it is sharp and cute and fits in your pocket. I trim the edges of the truth so that nothing sticks out when I cram it into today’s box. A pert plume of truth may as well be dross. When do the creases wear through on my facts, turning them into tattered fictions?

But such pretty fictions! At my coffee break I drink water flavored with delightful simulated tastes and charming false colors. I smile with my artificially-whitened tooth veneers at tanning-booth-bronzed co-workers in counterfeit friendship. My perfectly-polished acrylic nails flash in the light from full-spectrum bulbs as we wear the same weight clothes all year round, having fine-tuned the building to impersonate one unchanging season.

In a make-believe town, we may as well feign reality.





20 comments:

Jo said...

You did a good job here, there are some hardhitting lines.

Crafty Green Poet said...

excellent, very true description of how artificial we've allowed everything to become

gautami tripathy said...

This is wonderful! Speaks of our times!

last journey

paisley said...

"where tangerine trees meet marmalade skies...." are we living lucy in the sky with diamonds??? sometimes i have to wonder...

expertly done.

sister AE said...

Hello, Jo and Juliet and Gautami. Thanks.

Hi, Paisley. Perhaps we are. Thanks.

seb said...

"I smile with my artificially-whitened tooth veneers at tanning-booth-bronzed co-workers in counterfeit friendship."
That's a great one ...

sister AE said...

thanks, seb

Janet said...

I am sick to DEATH of artificial ... my teeth aren't bleached, I'm not bronzed, I'm overweight and not particularly attractive, but it is what is it. GREAT post!

sister AE said...

Thanks, Janet! And you should see my all-natural fingernails!

Christine said...

This is a terrific poem, not only for the subject matter, but for the extended metaphors. The false impressions are paste-ups for a false self. Layer upon layer.

I especially love the truth as folded oragami. Well done!

sister AE said...

Thanks, Christine. It was a bit cathartic to write. I'm glad you like the origami part - I like how it almost doesn't match the rest of the piece - how it almost "sticks out" itself.

pepektheassassin said...

Good job! I particularly like "I fold the truth into origami." But there is lots to like.

Leigh Lear said...

you speak much truth here, loved it.

sister AE said...

Hello, pepek and Leigh. Thanks.

Linda Jacobs said...

You did what I couldn't do in a prose poem and that is to stay on the poetry side of it! So, so well done!

sister AE said...

Thanks, Linda.

Jessica said...

This is fantastic! I love the monopoly money line, very interesting!

sister AE said...

Hi, Jessica. Thank you.

gkgirl said...

i really liked this...
and there was alot that made me
stop and think how true...

sister AE said...

Thanks, gkgirl. I'm glad you got it.