Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rejected Poem of the Week: A Brand-New Series!

Each week, I'm going to post a poem that has been rejected multiple times by various literary magazines. I'm posting mine own for now, but if you have one you would like to me to share on my blog, send it my way! If it's been rejected at least five times, I'll post it!

This week's poem: Jellyfish Dreams. Enjoy!

Jellyfish Dreams

The morning news heralds the grand announcement:
scientists discovered the secret of bioluminescence--
the protein that makes jellyfish glow hot green in the deep.
But it's the sound that enchants me,
this bioluminescence.

What a poem in the witless day! The word itself a force--
a verdant burst of fire to ignite the dampened edge
of my exiled imagination; a wild-card word.
All day I work, but daydream
of phosphorescent hearts.

That night the jellyfish shimmy into my living room,
an ardent, wordless troop of Aequorea victoria.
Undulating an introduction, they begin the show:
a liquid dance, flop-headed
and surprisingly graceless

all heart and impulse, free expression and footloose improv
untethered by notions of choreography or craft.
By the end they're grandstanding, flaunting their stuff, lighting up
their proud bell-domes with neon shades
as gaudy as Christmas:

Violet, azure, lime, tangerine, amber, maroon.
They stand upright, tense on their wobbly streamers, then fall
and bubble up in gurgles.
They're happy to just to be together dancing.

For the grand finale, they open their clear fluted domes
and show me the hues of their joy, blinking in unison.
Troop Aequorea victoria takes a wiggly bow
and disperses, but their lights
weave lines on my eyes all night.

In the morning I awake and glitter to the bathroom,
don a sparkly turquoise scarf and slick on scarlet lipstick.
Today I'm transparent--all my buried happiness shows.
It's a day for new colors and dancing.
It's a day to light up the center.

--Kristen McHenry


Dick said...

I love this. What a glorious depiction of the poor, despised jellyfish. From now I shall see in them only 'the hues of their joy'. And any restaurant that serves them us (and they have been identified as sources of great nutrition), I shall shun!

Dick said...

Editors, eh? So many of them failed poets. Those who can, do. Those who can't, edit.