Daily Archives: October 23, 2008

Build Me an Ark, Fill It with Prairie Moths

Whatever happened to Food Poetry Wednesdays?  Good question.  To make up for the lack of food poetry around these parts lately, here’s one of my all-time favorites from Barbara Hamby.  Enjoy her rich, lush imagery and ability to evoke Tim Burton via E. E. Cummings in only a few short verses.

Vex Me

Vex me, O Night, your stars stuttering like a stuck jukebox,
put a spell on me, my bones atremble at your tabernacle

of rhythm and blues. Call out your archers, chain me
to a wall, let the stone fortress of my body fall

like a rabid fox before an army of dogs. Rebuke me,
rip out my larynx like a lazy snake and feed it to the voiceless

throng. For I am midnight’s girl, scouring unlit streets
like Persephone stalking her swarthy lord. Anoint me

with oil, make me greasy as a fast-food fry. Deliver me
like a pizza to the snapping crack-house hours between

one and four. Build me an ark, fill it with prairie moths,
split-winged fritillaries, blue-bottle flies. Stitch

me a gown of taffeta and quinine, starlight and nightsoil,
and when the clock tocks two, I’ll be the belle of the malaria ball.

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