Of the Body

Poetry Thursday this week asks us to write a poem that focuses on the body.  Think, Walt Whitman.  Now there was a guy who had no shame about his own body.  I think he wrote about the body better than any other American poet. 

On a scale that weighs things much smaller than old uncle Walt’s work, I tend to be a mildly physical poet.  When I read this prompt, I thought of a poem I’ve already posted here.  But, I wanted something that really puts it all out there.  So, here’s a try.

It’s an act I know too well.  I’ll pull
my legs up beneath me, cross
my arms, and push
into a corner.

While I haven’t become a great
illusionist, I can make myself disappear.
Perhaps  you’ll reach out
and want to touch a body
you cannot see.  It started

with food, leave the fat on the plate,
forget the sugar glaze, avoid, avoid.
And it worked, the body began to fall
in on itself, but never got quite right.
A sag here, a little extra there, and then

all normalcy stepped into the box,
and I sent it atwirl.  Dizzy, stranded in a world
I couldn’t understand, I keep
the illusion going.

7 Comments

Filed under literature, lust and love, poetry, poetry thursday, Uncategorized, writing

7 responses to “Of the Body

  1. Please forgive the liberty, but your words below totally jumped out at me. They are very evocative, and I think that on their own they make an effective piece, the more powerful for being understated:

    “I’ll pull
    my legs up beneath me, cross
    my arms, and push
    into a corner.

    I can make myself disappear.

    Perhaps you’ll reach out
    and want to touch a body
    you cannot see.”

    Thanks for a nice read. Nic

  2. Leo

    Excellent…love it!
    As usual!

  3. Nice poem!
    I’m puzzled by “normalcy stepped into the box”

  4. Very nice. I thought of the “normalcy” line as being about the idea of thinking outside the box – so inside the box is normal, but not really…? Also, being boxed in by this body/expectation.

    How’d I do? 🙂

  5. I think I agree with sebastian about the edit. It actually read like that at one point, and then I added…
    Though the stanzas were different.
    and thank you all, that normalcy line is odd. It’s the illusionist’s box, where he sends people to get them to disappear.

  6. and also the expectations, too, twitches

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