I snatch a store-bought
‘Snack apple’ from the bowl,
Small, red, and tasteless
Like the ones on the tree I’d
Balance on a sloped sapling hand-rail
Stuck in cement stairs on
Our hill to pluck from, but
Without the dusty taste I loved,
Though, yes, so deeply hued.
A bite: brown veins cut
Through the meat.
Mud-soft craters to the stem.
For some reason, all my third grade classmates
Are watching, suddenly, at red lunch recess tables.
They scream and laugh, and the tallest kid
In class, a orange-haired girl who swoons for Spice Girls,
Standing on my picnic bench, grabs
My apple with an “Ew!” and throws it in a bush.
The classmates congratulate her and me
On our near escape from imperfection, mush, and shame
And eat their Cheetos, grinning broad.
Here, in great-grandma Marion’s
Pea-green creaky chair,
Looking at my yard, I grin
And keep on biting.
IMPORTANT FAMILY HISTORY DOCUMENTATION DOCUMENT:
Rules: One line per person until all persons have contributed a line.
Participants: David Gross, Emily Gross, Peter Gross (& Co.)
Circa 199? (maybe 200?)
Location: Mono Hot Springs.
Illustrations: Peter Gross
Table of Contents
Bored _______________________________________p. 1
Vulture Gourmet _______________________________p. 1
I’ll admit it: I’m not great at reading poetry. I didn’t grow up reading or listening to anything more than the indomitable Dr. Seuss or one of my dad’s limericks (There once was a cucumber, Phil/ Who wanted to go to the hill… & etc.).
Sure, “He clasps the crag with crooked hands” made something of an impression on me in high school, but anything that was significantly more abstruse than prose was lost on me… and even if it wasn’t more abstruse, “Why not, then,” my mind wondered, “just make it prose? So much simpler.”
It wasn’t until college that I found myself floored, awed, mesmerized, overcome, and, well, you get the idea, with a poem. It was “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and it was wonderful. Since then, I’ve become such an advocate of the art that I’ve heard friends call me the “poetry guy.” I’m sure I’m the most uneducated, under-read individual to get the name yet, but when I’m feeling particularly pretentious, I’m happy with the moniker.
All that to say, I’m a poetry convert, and think that you should be too.
The following is the beginning to a poem of sorts. There are quite a few more stanzas to it, and more to follow, but this was the bit I wrote first, so, while perhaps not the best, it’s my favorite section. The poem might end up being called “Mt. Ida, the Flight”, “Sunder Not”, “The Unity”, or something better that I haven’t thought of yet. That latter seems likeliest to me.