Wednesday, October 7, 2009

VANITY

So, I'm giving meter a go. But I'm notoriously incorrect in the way I stress the unstressed, and soften the stresses, if that makes sense. At least it works as a story.

I once had a poem ("The Hussy") accepted for publication in the Cider Press Review, and I contacted the editor to discuss a revision. She wrote back and said, "No, don't change it! We really like how it's written in trimeter, and that's so rarely done!"

My response said a lot about my level of experience. "Really? Trimeter? [frantically digging out the poetic dictionary to see an example of said meter description. tri...tri...tricycle?...means three...] Oh! Yes, well, that WAS my original intention. Wouldn't want to change THAT. Never mind."


VANITY
written in trimeter (except line 5)

I am watching my cat lose her patience
with a shiny black beetle outside.
She is letting him crawl up the post
on which our mailbox is fixed
then batting him down easily—twice,
chewing him lightly each time
to check his wings. From here,
my shaded kitchen window,
I can see his shell cracking
and imagine my cat searching
the reflection of her eyes.
She is vain but it seems practical,
not ugly as it is on a woman.
I have wished I was her before.
The beetle refuses to die,
rising and falling on
the post like a flag. I want
to snap the window open
and shout her name—Suvi!
but I hesitate, and notice
the moon is still awake
at three in the afternoon.
She, too, is vain,
lingering in the daylight.
I find my brows in the glass,
narrow them like wings.


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2 comments:

karenh said...

love it, trimeter or not!

The Poetess said...

thanks, karen!