Monday, December 8, 2008

"Everything Loosens in the Kitchen" by Guest Poet #2: Dana Guthrie Martin

Guest Poet #2 is Dana Guthrie Martin, and she has selected the words provided by Anne Haines.

Everything Loosens in the Kitchen

Broccoli florettes are jaundiced by their separation from the earth. The refrigerator kicks out a new batch of ice, a percussive interjection. We stopped talking long ago. "How long we are going to be here," I ask. You don't reply.

*

Winged ants emerge from gaps, move in unison along the grain of the floorboards before spreading, circling and backtracking. They smear like ink. They are the shadow of something we'll never see. No way to manage our infested lives. What finds its way in never makes it back out.

*

We set up a pool in the middle of the room. We wade, you in flippers, me in goulashes. We barter: no for yes, yes for maybe. I tell you I threw out my wedding dress three years ago. You tell me you didn't really lose your ring. We trade footwear. We hug. The water grows colder and colder.

*

The dining room table flaunts its legs suggestively, lustrous as the skin of an eggplant. The backs of my hands were once smooth. Your face never relaxes anymore. We ladle hopeful words into the air: respectable, insoluble, inexchangeable. "I thought we had a deal," you say.

*

The walls are pigmented with old arguments. Fixtures wash our faces in light, diminish our imperfections. Tomorrow, we agree to rise like bread. To nourish. We high five, though the game was lost long ago. We move off to the far corners of the house.

Anne's Words:
broccoli, respectable, diminish, infested, wade

9 comments:

Dana said...

Hi Dustin, it looks even wonkier now. Obviously the line break gods are trying to force me to have breaks even though I don't want there to be any. Don't they know I don't do line breaks on first drafts?

Here's how it should look:

Everything Loosens in the Kitchen

Broccoli florettes are jaundiced by their separation from the earth. The refrigerator kicks out a new batch of ice, a percussive interjection. We stopped talking long ago. "How long we are going to be here," I ask. You don't reply.

*

Winged ants emerge from gaps, move in unison along the grain of the floorboards before spreading, circling and backtracking. They smear like ink. They are the shadow of something we'll never see. No way to manage our infested lives. What finds its way in never makes it back out.

*

We set up a pool in the middle of the room. We wade, you in flippers, me in goulashes. We barter: no for yes, yes for maybe. I tell you I threw out my wedding dress three years ago. You tell me you didn't really lose your ring. We trade footwear. We hug. The water grows colder and colder.

*

The dining room table flaunts its legs suggestively, lustrous as the skin of an eggplant. The backs of my hands were once smooth. Your face never relaxes anymore. We ladle hopeful words into the air: respectable, insoluble, inexchangeable. "I thought we had a deal," you say.

*

The walls are pigmented with old arguments. Fixtures wash our faces in light, diminish our imperfections. Tomorrow, we agree to rise like bread. To nourish. We high five, though the game was lost long ago. We move off to the far corners of the house.

Dana said...

And also: Your words are great, Anne! It was challenging working with them. I had to drag a kiddie pool into the kitchen just so there could be wading near the broccoli. ;)

Dustin Brookshire said...

Dana-- Sorry it took a few tries to get it right! I think blogger or my computer was on crack, or I was just screwing it up. Thanks for participating.

Nathan said...

This poem is fantastic. It describes a certain dynamic beautifully.

Dave said...

A powerful and affecting piece. The winged ants, the wading pool, the skin of an eggland, the new batch of ice: delicious details all.

Dave said...

("Eggland"? Ack!)

Jo said...

Well I got to say this is wonderful......so many fabulous lines but my favourite is the lustrous eggplant......

Michelle said...

Dana, I love your first line:

"Broccoli florettes are jaundiced by their separation from the earth."

What an imaginative way to describe the yellow they turn ...

"Winged ants emerge from gaps, move in unison along the grain of the floorboards before spreading, circling and backtracking. They smear like ink. They are the shadow of something we'll never see. No way to manage our infested lives. What finds its way in never makes it back out."

Awesome!

Your observations of the relationship dynamics are superb. Well done.

jillypoet said...

Dear Dana, have you been lurking in my kitchen?

The surreal quality of this marriage dance speaks to all the unspoken drama in a marraige (if that is, in fact, possible). Really great.

Re: line breaks...did you mean it to be prose poem sections? That's how it looks on my computer, and it is neat, like lines in a script.