Monday, September 29, 2008

"Autopsy" ~ Christopher ~ First Draft

Christopher selected words provided by Julie Carter. Thanks Julie!

AUTOPSY

I am holding my own orange guts,
forced to scoop out with bare hands
the wet strings of muscly flesh
twisting, wavy hair
alive in my fingers.

And I am crying.

My hands are thick in slime,
and the oh-so- slight catch of flesh
pulling apart from the slippery walls
is enough to make me gag.

And then I do -- my throat
clogged with the stink.

Something in the gut
I still have inside me
quivers. It is a worm?

This hollow place I am up to
my elbow in looks like
home to worms and their
seeds slip in and out
of my fingers, an infestation
of their eggs, boiled white
as the white of the worm.

I am making a burlesque
of my own autopsy!
But they won't let me stop.

Someone is calling me
a little baby, someone is shaking
their head and someone
is shaking me:

Stop crying
It's only a pumpkin.




Julie's Words:
pumpkin, wavy, burlesque, clog, boiled

8 comments:

Julie Carter said...

It definitely went a different way than I expected with those words.

I was horrified as a kid the first time I tried to scoop out a pumpkin with my bare hand. Yick.

Christopher Hennessy said...

Thanks for the great words, Julie! I'm looking forward to doing the revision.

Montgomery Maxton said...

very cool poem, well written, christopher.

Christopher Hennessy said...

Thanks, MM!

Timothy Forry said...

Great imagery and an unexpected ending.

KATE EVANS said...

Strong imagery. Overall, a wonderful poem.

I almost feel like it might be worth having the last two lines be the title or an epigraph. Otherwise the poem feels like it has a punchline to a joke I'd already figured out.

Christopher Hennessy said...

Kate-- that was exactly my worry, too. In revision it's something I am to fix. Just ran out of time. But you're totally right. And I certainly don't want it to be a punchline. Thanks!

Marisa Starr Bardach said...

I love this poem. For the first 75% I was envisioning a human performing an autopsy on himself. The end is such a surprise. It makes you realize how your first reaction is always to associate and and relate to a human. Really nice work.