Saturday, September 30, 2017

I Suck at Poetry: the Pomegranate Edition

Yesterday was National Poetry Day, and today was National Coffee Day. I was caught in a deadline deluge yesterday, so I could not produce any half-assed free verse within the span of the fake holiday. However, tonight, liquored up on that addictive substance known as the Starbuck's seasonal coffee (tonight's weapon of choice: the maple pecan latte), I scribbled out a few lines inspired by a memory of an afternoon in Armenia, a million years ago, eating a difficult fruit for the first time. 

I have no idea why this tiny memory came back to me. I was walking upstairs to my apartment, and, BOOM, I was on a side street in Yerevan a lifetime away from now. After I scribbled down a few lines, I thought about what the pomegranate means in Armenia — good fortune, fertility, hope. An old tradition in Western Armenia sees brides throwing and breaking a pomegranate, scattering the seeds to ensure the birth of healthy children.

Without meaning to, I think I wrote something about people other than myself and my friend eating sweet seeds for the first time. I think I wrote about people longing for something they do not have.

But hey, it's just broken lines of bad verse. It can mean anything you want.


It was cold in in Yerevan
that day when you bought
a pomegranate for us
to share.

You cut it open
with a pocket knife
splitting the dull rind
exposing the richness inside.

Purple-red beads
heavy with juice.

I plucked one out
and placed it on my tongue
crushing it against my teeth.

“Looks like caviar,” you said
turning an aril between
thumb and forefinger.

Sweet caviar.

and sweet
and glistening.

“It means good fortune here.
Fertility,” I said.

We sat on a swingset
in an empty playground
eating gems from a shell.

Fingers stained and wet
no napkins in my pocket
to sop the harvest blood.

I held my hands out before me
the color of garnets
drying in the breeze.

1 comment:

Washington Cube said...

What do you mean, not good? I absolutely love it. I felt myself there with you. Strong visual imagery. I laugh in the fall when I go into Whole Foods and see plastic containers full of already removed red seeds. It always makes me feel slightly corrupt even looking at them, and "no," I would never buy them like that. The pomegranate is in the Bible. It's history and legends and cultural attachments go way back in time. I'll make sure to buy one this week, and I'll find some spot in nature to sit and think some more. P.S. Remember blogs and I would write comments as long as the person's blog entry? I miss that. ~~ Washington Cube