Monday, August 9, 2010

Tuesday poem: Body


I've just joined a new online poetry group, Tuesday poem . It's a wonderful way to get a fresh injection of poetic energy going into midweek (though I can't remember the last time I worked a "normal" 40-hour week). And for those of us with lazy poetic bones, it's a great stimulus for a stretch!

So: here's my inaugural 'Tuesday poem': actually a set of six sonnets, written as part of a larger project studying the archaeology of the person.


Brain

you swim
between islands
dive for words
sunken treasure

read the pulsation
of jellyfish
forget you can’t
breathe underwater

what you call memories
others call dreams

sometimes
you reach out
too far
and wake.


Lung
she once learnt
to tell the direction
of the wind
by wetting her finger

holding it up
to the sky
trying to understand
what cold was

now she’s been
to Antarctica

but still
she finds
most navigation
difficult.


Heart
she learnt
the valves
are tethered
like parachutes

that heart attacks
called infarctions
sound like
rude noises

that blood must balance
on both sides

and that
a healthy heart
tilts face upwards
like a question.


Liver
inside the liver
there are many suns
an inland river
ships and towns

factories and abattoirs
smelters and
storage towers
for sugar

a small girl standing
at a frosted window

her finger
drawing
a smiley face
on glass.


Spleen
that first day
she stood alone
in the playground
wet the wood chips

the following week
some big boys
pushed her
she lost her first tooth

after that she learnt
to keep her mouth shut

swallowed
her words whole
later spat them out
in silence.


Kidney
the principle of
countercurrent
exchange is like
two lovers kissing

talking
in tongues
limbs looped
in anticipation

the old Toyota
a warm uterus

to grow
new fruit
new dreams
new life.

Visit Tuesday Poem for more poetic lusciousness...

7 comments:

Mary McCallum said...

Welcome Renee. I love the life you've given to our organs. How luscious they;ve become. Thank you!

Mariana said...

Hey Renee, Welcome to the community!
I enjoyed this, especially:
a healthy heart
tilts face upwards
like a question

Andie said...

I like the ideas, but not sure these are sonnets?

Piokiwi said...

Hi Andie: you're right: I'm fairly loose in what sonnet 'rules' I follow. As I understand it, the rules for modern sonnets are mix+match according to taste: the only absolute is that the poem must have 14 lines. I'm also including a "volta" after line 8.

Happy to take opinions from the poetic assembly about whether I'm entitled to call my poems sonnets!

gnute said...

Really enjoyed reading these poems. Can they be found in your chapbooks?

Piokiwi said...

Hi Lydia,

no they haven't appeared in chapbook form yet - these are part of a new cycle of 48 poems written as part of a collaborative project with artist Paul Woodruffe, for Metonymy 2010 (currently on at Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson until Oct 17). The work is called "Human Archaeology" - will post more poems from the cycle, plus picture, for a (very belated) Tuesday Poem!!

gnute said...

OK looking forward to reading more of these :)