Lucky me! Today’s prompt is to write in a weird poetic subgenre that I happen to have explored extensively: anthropomorphized foods. I must have half a dozen poems that would qualify. My first ever public poetry reading in 2016 was of a poem about identifying with produce, called “Swiss Chard, Dear Heart.” Below I present my new shadorma for coffee and a few oldies.
You hand me a drink:
bubbly. Such tension! Keep me
No need to text me back! I’m fine.
I’m cucumber personified.
I’m chill. I’ll keep for weeks in here.
This crisper’s comfy! Cool. Benign.
It’s dim and when the fridge is closed
I’m out of sight and out of mind
and if a cuke leaks slime alone
you can’t say that it really cried.
Like if a stalk of celery
falls in the fridge without a sigh,
without a witness (but old ear
of corn, who’s deaf as Douglas pine)
philosophy can’t verify
the truth of that. And nor will I
admit the slime of past-prime grief
that’s roiling under rough green skin.
And nor will I permit the ick
of needs and feelings to offend
your sniffer fine, through balsamic.
I won’t aspire to grace your fork.
Nor talk accountability!
I won’t ask you to think of me,
or be less free. Or be less free!
Just don’t evict me from your fridge.
I love it here!!!! 😀
Don’t compost me. ❤
What’s a cassava. Resistant
starch. A fist upon a limb.
Broken and healed twisted wrist.
Second on the list on my box
of cheezy vegan snax. Right behind
that first-in-line white
mushroom cloud of carb hate
the cauliflower. Terrible
machinations from cabbage slab brain.
Convolutions excuses and demands
for sun moist well-drained rich
soil. Meantime cassava resists
drought like no one’s agribusiness.
Staunch survival called by many
names. Answers to manioc
and yuca. Brazilian arrowroot.
Loose approximations of the true
tongue shapes. Oh cassava. Oh you
are defamed as containing few
nutrients. Truth: So many
contain you. Whole nations.
Health sites claim
your antinutrients choke
vitamins from staple foods of virtue.
Calls you poor. A danger.
But you course with energy. You
drum bellies alive from the roots.
Swiss Chard, Dear Heart
Dear crucifer caked with dirt.
Dear blood-red ridges rich in iron.
Dear veiny reach through wilting leaf.
Dear bug-chew-through-made lace:
I think you are my heart!
Placenta-coloured and gory like mine!
A frayed yet upright core like mine!
Tattered and bordered by wear like mine!
Our uncanny organs aligned.
My veins trace paths well-trodden by plants:
The Fibonacci twists! The turns
and splits through pebble and grit!
The shameless mutant shifts!
Dear produce aisle! Dear family tree!
My cousins, the peaches, grin up at me
and yield to the press of my palm. I assess
their newborn flesh so downy.
Dear venerable carrot, so pliant, so grey:
You once sprouted crisp from the same earth as me.
Now your thin arrow droops as it’s pointing the way
to decay and our shared destiny.
In the cool ICU of my crisper you hide,
covered over in greens, your frail presence denied.
But forgotten? You’re not, as I cannot shake off
roots and rot, your memento mori.
Late at night when I open my fridge, roused by light,
each plant food pronounces my name.
Knows my dark secrets, shares my wild genes,
resembles me. Stakes its claim.