Friday, July 01, 2016

In the school of Kay Ryan

Every so often the Poetry Sisters and I like to try writing In the Style of... a poet whose skill we admire. In the past we looked at e.e. cummings and wrote poems somewhat like his. This month we are echoing Kay Ryan, US Poet Laureate from 2008 -10 and Pulitzer Prize winner in 2011. Ryan is known for short lines, brevity, alliteration and internal rhyme, or what she calls "recombinant rhyme". I like that very much!

Here is my echo of the style of the poem "Turtle" by Kay Ryan:


Who would be a ‘skeeter who could help it?
A whiz-buzz on the wind, risking a slap.
She takes leave of sense, mindless missile locked on
your bright breath’s beacon; answer to her longing.
Zoom - she’s on you, mad dashing to hot blood.
No plan for retirement, no thought for tomorrow;
only tonight, and those infuriating screens.
Hounded by citronella and DEET, she
dodges light and smoke for just one meal.
Nothing lost, nothing gained, she only wants
one blind chance to kiss the back of your knee
(skin love for the the sweetest spot).
In exchange, her gift to you -
the unavoidable mindfulness
of irrepressible itch.

                    -Andromeda Jazmon 2016

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(I don't have any photos of mosquitos, so I have to use some of my mosquito-repellent plants. Citronella for the win!)


Tabatha said...

I like that "whiz-buzz," Andi, "mindless missile locked on
your bright breath’s beacon," and your ever-so-accurate ending. (I had Skeeter Syndrome recently...ugh!)

Sara said...

My favorite thing is how you wind up this poem with a call to mindfulness, even if that mindfulness is thrust upon us, unwillingly, like an itch! So much to love here.

Molly Hogan said...

What a fun, romp of a poem! I love the "whiz-buzz" as well, but so many other lines jumped out at me. You've inspired me to check out Kay Ryan's poetry. Thanks for sharing!

tanita✿davis said...

I'm thinking I'd like Miss Skeeter to keep her gift of mindfulness, thankyouverymuch.

I love how you brought that positive out of the stinging slaps she deserves!

laurasalas said...

Andi, this is one of my favorites of yours! I think Ryan brought out some really good things in us in this last crazy week. I love your metaphors and light-hearted word choices. Hooray!

Tricia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tricia said...

Andi, you hit it out of the park with this poem. You have echoed Ryan beautifully, and with an apt subject. I love the line:
"one blind chance to kiss the back of your knee"

I work with a scientist who studies mosquitos and malaria and know quite a bit about mosquitos, and you nailed them in so many ways with this piece.


Tricia said...

Whoops! Sorry for duplicate comments. I thought my first comment disappeared, but now I realize moderation is turned on. Sorry about that!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Terrific poem, Andi! Makes me want to swipe the air around my ears while reading it... "No plan for retirement, no thought for tomorrow" - ha!

Mary Lee said...

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but you totally made me empathize with this skeeter! Huzzah! Well done.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Andi, I agree--this one's a real winner. You channeled Kay in both tone and register, and I'm really happy to learn her term "recombinant rhyme." Favorite line:
Hounded by citronella and DEET,/ she dodges light and smoke for just one meal. You guys always make me wish I could be the Poetry 8th!

Brenda Harsham said...

I love the language you use in your ode to the odious. :-)