Sunday, 4 April 2010

National Poetry Writing Month, Day Four

Today’s Read Write Poem prompt is:

... writing inside out (or outside in) means setting your physical or metaphorical inner bits out of doors, to be walked around and looked at from odd angles, as if they were monuments or mailboxes (as an example). Or it could be transforming your internal organs into flowers or letting a pack of four-year-old’s (human or otherwise) loose in your attic.
Write a poem today that illustrates your idea of what is inside-out.

On Readying Your Bird for the Oven

Once the incision is made
the guts will come away quite
easily. A little tug is all that’s needed.
But it gets harder: the stomach sticks,
you must use force to pull it out, and the heart,
to get at the heart you must force
your hand in and feel for it, curl
your fingers up and round it, all the while
grasping the neck with a firm hand
and pull, pull, pull. it will, if you set
your mind to it, come out quite whole.

It hardly needs to be mentioned
that for the whole of this action
you should, of course, wear an apron
or, at least, your very oldest clothes.


steven said...

eryl i know that as a boy i cried when i discovered that chicken came from . . . . chicken. meat is a rare event in this household. i am married to a vegetarian and my daughter has followed suit. my son and i are omnivores. but i have a similar need to him to not know the truth about some of my food. gut-wrenching poem. steven

Katharine Whitcomb said...

I love your voice in this poem.

Wayne Pitchko said...

nicely done Eryl..thanks for sharing your words

Alesa Warcan said...

Sometimes it is worth wading through guts, blood, tears, and sorrow if it's all capped with a golden salty crisp-skinned chicken- and bones for chicken soup- and the heart and liver mixed into the stuffing... And laughter echoed with joy for some hungry friends or family.
If only all of life hardships where so richly rewarded and easily dealt with.

Titus said...

I think I'd lose the last four lines. These two are so strong, and feel like an ending to me:
"and pull, pull, pull. it will, if you set
your mind to it, come out quite whole."

In my opinion.

Pat said...

And you enjoyed that didn't you? It's useful - as a writer - not to be squeamish.

Jessica GC said...

Well-written and informative. This serves as a good reminder as to why I let my boyfriend to most of the cooking. :)

Fabulous job with the prompt!

evelyn.n.alfred said...

If I had to gut a chicken each time I ate one, based on this poem, I'd go vegan. Graphic, in a good way.

Eryl Shields said...

Steven ~ perhaps I'm a control freak, but I like to know exactly where my food comes from and prepare it, as much as possible, myself. I've never actually killed anything though, yet.

Katharine ~ thank you.

Wayne ~ you're very welcome.

Alesa ~ absolutely!

Titus ~ I think you are right, thanks.

Pat ~ I did! Writing seems to be rather like being a mother: there are all sorts of slimy and smelly things that have to be dealt with, so best just get on and do it. The rewards are far greater than the trials.

Jessica ~ roll your sleeves up and wade in, the bird you pluck and gut yourself will taste so much better than you can imagine.

Evelyn ~ it gets easier, really.

Not Yosa Buson said...

Red flash of sunset, a life coming to an end, 'tis transmutation.

savannah said...

4 days! well done. all i could do was put up a poster link! xoxox

Kass said...

Love this. I agree with Titus.
Who is this Not Yosa Buson commenter? Some wikipedia author? How did he do that? He appeared in my comments too.

Eryl Shields said...

Not Yosa Buson ~ this feels like a huge compliment, so thank you.

Savannah ~ sometimes a poster link is all that's needed.

Kass ~ thank you, me too. I don't know, terribly mysterious. If my son were around I'd ask him.

The World According To Me said...

Love the poem. You've inspired me, I'm back from Thailand and I'm full of new posts to write, with maybe a few poems chucked in for good measure?

Eryl Shields said...

N ~ fabulous, can't wait to read what you write.