Monday, May 01, 2006

Brussel Sprouts

I don't claim to be a great cook.
Hell, I don't even claim to be a good cook.
I don't even know why I like brussel sprouts and yet, I still figured out a way to burn the damn things and now, my house, well it smells like burn brussel sprouts and it's not the kind of smell that can be camouflaged with incense or air freshener.
It's a different kind of shitty smell the kind that gets into you clothes and hair.
I smell like burnt brussel sprouts.
I may even dream of burning brussel sprout crashing to the earth into my house like meteors. Enough of that.
I shall forever hence leave the burning of brussel sprouts to my children.
Then I can say things like," I can't believe you burned brussel sprout!" because that's what they said to me.
Enough of that for real now.
So I got an e-mail today from a very nice woman in Woscester ( I still don't think I'm spelling that right) who received a poem written by someone that was inspired by my brussel sprout burning ass and I want to share, because while I can't cook sprouts, maybe I can cook up a poetic feast that is inspiring to someone. I think the poem is beautiful! Full props and thanks to the poet.

The Java Hut
by Kenneth Slaughter

At 7:30 the lights go dim,
the room gets quiet,
people gather around the stage -
as if around an altar.
But this is no church
and this is no ordinary congregation.

There is a mysterious thin man
with dark glasses
scribbling something on a tablet,

noserings, orange hair,
A man wearing kilts or something.

The place is called the Java Hut
and the people appear to be from other planets.

They are here to worship poetry.

A man recites the ground rules
and reads a poem -

something about the Discovery Channel
and nature's predators
"Let's watch!" he says with ironic glee.

After this reassuring introduction
he calls my name.
I stumble to the stage ,
my poem shaking in my hands;
I start to read.

The aliens laugh, then applaud -
they are friendly after all.
I live through my first reading!

One after another
they take the stage and read their
poems- some of them funny,
all of them real.

I'm feeling good
about being here.
Then Theresa,
one of the featured poets,
reads a poem
about a real-life predator
- her own father.

I can't pretend to know
how she feels,
but I have my own pain
and her words cut through
whatever is between us
and strike my heart - like knives.

The terrible beauty of her poems
wounds me - deeply.

Afterwards
I want to hug her like a sister.
I want to tell her she hit me hard.
I want to find her a butterfly -

but I'm dumbstruck -
All I can do is stagger home
thinking
We're all in this together somehow.

1 comment:

Collin said...

That's quite an honor having a poem written for you by a stranger. :)

It's spelled Worcester, btw. :)