Saturday, January 2, 2010

Anatomy of a poem: The revision process

There are many copies. And they have a plan. These are earlier versions. Which one, however, is the "real" poem?

Good question.



No Exit

All primates like touch.
It’s a clinical response to

The need to release
Endorphins.

“Monkey infants who are denied contact
a "secure base"

cease to explore
their environments.”

Touch fosters grooming, fewer
Nits to pick off.

It’s worth noting that
none of this is 

a recent phenomenon.
Touch reinforces

Socialization
Or alienation:

Touch is the cold metal that
Scrapes her uterus,

The slice of a surgeon’s knife,
The feel of wood in hand

As pencil moves on the page.
Dance is

A rhythmic social
Interaction.

Scientifically and coldly designed
To make sure primates touch.

But when you take her in your arms
She is warm and soft

Your hairless palms at her waist,
The curve of her breast against you

And her hair beneath your nose
Smells like the shampoo

She used to groom herself
for you.

Touch and smell
And song are all around

You
At the dance.

Every sense is engaged and
She tastes like cinnamon.

All touch is fleeting
Less powerful than smell

Or taste,
The hardest

To remember,
Reproduce.

In No Exit,
They lost their eyelids because
They never used them.

Which part of me reaches to touch you
Even in sleep?
And which part of me
Atrophies when
you are not there.

 ________________________________________________________________________________


Primate

Touch is the cold metal that
Scrapes a uterus or

The feel of wood
As pencil moves on the page or

My palms on your chest
The curve of my breast

Your musky hair, my
Cinnamon tongue.

All primates need touch.
It releases endorphins

That help reinforce the benefits
Of grooming and socialization.

In No Exit, people lose their eyelids
Because they never blink.

Which part of me reaches to touch you
Even in sleep? And which part of me

Atrophies
when you are not there.


_______________________________________________________________________________





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