Conundrum Press

Fiddlings of a Poet in a Month of Poetry

April 7th, 2014  |  Published in Blog

Fiddlings of a Poet in a Month of Poetry
by Kathryn Winograd

“I must confess that I, too, like it:,” writes Ronald Wallace in his poem, The McPoem, “the poem that’s fired up flat and fast with condiments…/ A poem you can count on always to be/ the same–small, domestic, fun for the whole/ family.”

So what does a girl do when she fears her poem stuck beneath the golden arches of the McPoem? McPoem? Dreaded moniker bestowed upon the predictable workshop poem born of tidy narrative sensibility, careful blue milk imagery, and that reader-weaning epiphany of transformation.

Oh, but she loves it so–the ordinary title of an ordinary day, the perfect epigraph signaling “deep, deep,” the orderly figurative turns and twists until the last redemptive “oh.”

Does she turn it on its head?  Let epiphany become title? And narrative genesis become end?

Is she wrong-headed, this girl?  But what of tenderness, the unexpected quiet of a cradling hand?

***

 In My Daughter’s 7th Grade Science Lab

                A word is elegy to what it signifies
                                                        Robert Hass

You teach me eye and arm, your hand cradling
the weighted base of this microscope.

A careful, slow turning of power, this,
and at your touch a miniscule slice of frog

muscle transforms into clear facets
of rubies, I say, the new world already

naming itself into the bearable.
Do you see? you ask me, catching now

a nail scraping of onion between wedded
glass, my terrible nightly weepings

dissipating into thin paper
as I squint one-eyed down the eye tube

into light, nudge the first apparent nothings
into the torn edges of onion,

the illuminated epidermis–
those soldierly cells with their black dots,

eyes, I think, of this translated nuclei—
littering the dear and visible world with our
dreams of sphere and stem, word and tears

 ***

of sphere and stem  word and tear

littering the dear and visible world

eyes   i think   of this translated nuclei–
these soldierly cells with their black dots
their illuminated epidermis–

into the torn edges of onion   into light
nudge the first apparent nothings

as i squint one-eyed down the eye tube
dissipating into thin paper   glass   my terrible
nightly weepings

a nail scraping of onion between the wedded
do you see? my daughter asks me–catching now
naming itself into the bearable–

of rubies  I say   the new world already

muscle transforms into clear facets and at her
touch        a miniscule slice of frog

a careful slow turning of power   this:

the weighted base of this microscope
her teaching me eye and arm     her hand cradling 

***

Kathy will be presenting a workshop on radical revision, Discovering Kintsugi: The “golden joinery” of revision, at the Denver Woman’s Press Club on April 26 at 10:00 a.m. Open to the Public. Details here.

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