Monday, May 31, 2010

The Savage on the Bus

It's crazy on TFE's world famous Poetry Bus this week.

Blogger Bill, with a devious mind, made us do this:
1: Think of (or find) a sentence. 2: Delete the second half of it. 3: Think of as many different ways of finishing it was you can. 4: Now, delete the first part of the sentence, leaving only a collection of "second halves". 5: Play with these and concoct a poem out of them.

I felt like Julia Child, with a pinch of this, a bit of that, concocting a strange meal. Here is my sentence:
"A pantheress, thinking and throbbing, is a savage
queen caged in the middle of a miserable street."

Pablo Neruda, Ode to a Black Pantheress

The Savage

She can rip you apart with claws and teeth
this teenage girl with topaz eyes,
who paces the night like she owns it
all sharp edges dressed in black,
a cold judge of humankind.

She searches for something,
intent on her hunger—
lock up the village goats
and be wary yourself.
Kindness will not save you.

This fierce beauty
is enraged by you,
your miserable domesticity,
the cereal you eat.
To her you are edible

So throw her some meat.
Watch. She will grow old
and tired all too soon.
Then she will slink
into the cage that awaits her.


See what other writers have done with this prompt. Start the tour here.


Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

This is great. I feel the urge to share it with my two teenage daughters, but get the feeling the power of this poem is not let loose until one has aged and slinked await into the cages that await all of us.

Brian Miller said...

she sounds like a man least until domesticated...hmmm....

the watercats said...

Love the ferocity.. it really grabs you and keeps you held by your throat the whole way.. and then the end.. lets you go... excellent stuff!

steveroni said...

See what OTHER writers have done? I have found THE writer! Just beginning
to see how it works--familiar phrase: "How It Works..."--grin!

Birdie said...

wow!! I love this one! gave me a goose bumps ... lol, have a beautiful day Chris :-)

steveroni said...

NOW I will go see others, and what they have done with thee rules. Actually, it looks like fun.

A little bird told me you met a blogger named Carmen not long ago. Really, isn't it a "blast" to meet Peeps in person who you have found here?

Niamh B said...

Ah, this is really fantastic, she is so visibly there in those few stanzas, and the last few lines are a great ending to it, really take the wind out of her (and our) sails.

Rachel Fox said...

Good intensity in this. And great use of goats.

Syd said...

She will be caged at some point even without the bars.

Magpie said...

Beautifully done. I especially like the first three lines. Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

love the fierceness of the images here, feel like I am being stalked.
thanks for sharing

Poetikat said...

Ah, this takes me back! Those glory days of my early 20s—my David Bowie, "Hunger" phase. You capture it so well! (kidding, kind of)

Really unusual choice of starting point, but you pull it off, Chris!


Titus said...

I feel like I'm following Rachel around and she's beating me to all I want to say! It was the
"lock up the village goats"
that took this to another level for me.

I don't know if you covered the passing of time a little too quickly in the final stanza though - the ferocity was so great that I would have liked longer to witness its passing. But this was really good.

Emerging Writer said...

ooh crickey I'm loving this, Close to the bone. Fab

Bananii said...

Yey! I really like this post! Thanks for sharing it :)

And thank you for your comment in my blog. I really aprecciate what you said.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Oh the cages we all possess and the powerful part of the post is that she returns to the cage herself...

You always amaze and me and fill my heart and mind with words and ideas and your heart how it manages to create with words such worlds...thank you.

Enchanted Oak said...

Titus and I talked about the last stanza. Originally the poem ended with:
This fierce beauty
is enraged by you,
your miserable domesticity,
the cereal you eat.
To her you are edible
So throw her some meat.

I added the current final stanza later, probably out of instinct, since I sure couldn't tell you why.

Do you like it better with the original ending, making it entirely a snapshot of a raging girl, or with the current ending, forecasting her "fate"?

Argent said...

Short and savage! Excellent stuff!

Alan Burnett said...

I love the way the poem matches the shape - and the sharpness - of the panthers' tooth.

TechnoBabe said...

I prefer the current ending. Wonderful writing. Fierce and unstoppable natural yearnings.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I absolutely love this and oddly enough the same poem would fit my challenge for when I am driving the bus next Monday. Hope you will hop on -another fantastic poem like this and the bus should soar through the air so fasten your seat belt.

Peter Goulding said...

Ah, anything with a goat in it is okay with me.
Lovely, dark, brooding poem that slinks through the undergrowth like its subject.

Bill said...

What a good one! It reminds me, there's supposed to be a "Beast" round here - a puma-like creature the slinks along the hedgerows (living on sheep, perhaps?), but I think most who see it are one over the eight.

lakeviewer said...

You're on a roll! This is a verdant time for your creative juices! I read your previous post, and was caught by the beautiful youth you were. Yes, the 60's marked you; marked most of us; and asked a great deal of us too. We thrived, got bruised, and survived.

Jeanne Iris said...

You've captured the essence of over-confident youth here quite well. I like the lines:
"She searches for something,
intent on her hunger—"

Indeed, her feast will eventually lead to acid indigestion... eventually. ;)