Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Preponderance of Pig Poems

Happy Labor Day weekend! I’m on staycation this week, and I’m using the time to putter and catch up on my reading and get the rest of my novel written. So far, so good--I burned most of yesterday re-playing Tomb Raider and nomming on chips. It was awesome. 

I don't feel like writing a proper blog post on staycation, so to tide you over, here are some poems I wrote a few years ago. I went through a stage where I was fascinated with pigs and pig mythology, and had grand plans to write an entire chapbook on the subject. Some of the poems made their way into "Triplicity", but the pig-themed chapbook never panned out, and most of the poems have been lounging un-submitted in my “Pigs Series” folder. If you like these, I might pick up the series again in the future and get that chapbook out after all. 

Plum Song

I.                  Field Notes from the Herd

Each night under the lusterless moon
She slices a plum eight ways.
With each nibble, she owes herself
punishment, a rough pinch on her concave belly.
what flesh she wears is negligible;
We feel the welts ourselves.

She suckles juice from each violet grin.
She does not hold
Her offering to the sky,
Or think to toss us the pits.
Her hands tremble. She will not lick clean the plate,
But carries it inside, her face
a dying orchid in it’s cold flat depths.

II.               Before Swine

Mornings I stand before swine,
my clean hair rising on the wind,
that they may catch
the scent of soap and sacrifice.
I wear white to teach them propriety.
I’m told they have some sense of
order despite their vagrant snouts, their
promiscuous bellies that  assimilate
our slop with greedy ardor. I myself

eat only plum.  Every morning, my
bones swim closer. Soon,
they will break the surface.
Soon my skin will toughen like silk, will need
nothing from the layers come before.


Oh Heavenly Sow who births
your young at twilight, who suckles them
throughout the night and gorges
mornings on their warm
star bodies,
Oh Mother Sow, who offers
solace to the dead, who does not
fear their flesh,
who are we to believe
that we can save the earth?
Who are we to trust
we shall usher in eternity
with our meager offerings
of cans and compost?
Who are we to refuse
the eating of your flesh,
to deny ourselves
incorporation, to call ourselves
holy in this way?

Oh, Heavenly sow,
You whose children are born
for endless sacrifice,
show us the mysteries
of death and consumption.
Show us our distant,
suspended bodies.

How to Hunt A Wild Boar

Gather the stealthy, fleet-footed girls
starved for their share of dominion.
Lend them the catch-dog and the butcher’s blade.
Turn them downwind of the quarry, and set them
on the savage hunt, for you
have been observant all this time
and oh, how method
offers dividends: boar falls to dog,
blade to artery, blood to soil, meat
to the mouths of the ravenous.

--Kristen McHenry

No comments: