Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eggplant Poem, Draft and NaNoWriMo notes

This is a new poem that I wrote for my poetry class with Dawn McDuffie. It is a DRAFT:

Aubergine, Solanum melongena, a Recipe

Open your loppers and wield them like themandibles
of a huge insect. Steer them step-by-steptoward the tall rangy plants
that bow with the weight of theirfruit. Swoop and center the jaws
around the fruit-stalk, yank closed theteeth to sever the tough stem.
Watch the purple, pear-shaped fruit ploponto soil
damp and fragrant from days of rain. Carryit reverently
to the coiled hose, allowing each of yourten fingers
to stroke the rich, smooth skin. Wash the fewdirt clusters
from the plump base of the fruit with a softspray
and dry the fruit on your clean cottonapron. Enjoy the way
the water droplets sink into the fabric anddisappear,
leaving only faint and fading dark spots onthe paisley pattern.
Brush your lips against skin the color ofstormy sunset.
Inside, place a skillet on the fire, addfat, and turn up the flame.
Slide the cutting board from its home alongthe window wall
and pull the thick-handled butcher knifefrom its block.
Lay your sacrifice on the wooden altar andslice from the shoulders
to the hips. Pause to admire the creamy flesh and small designs
of seed. In a low, flat dish pourstone-ground cornmeal, flour,
salt, pepper, garlic, and a pinch of OldBay. Blend with a fork.
From the egg basket on the sideboard, raiseyour piles
of fresh-picked spinach, cilantro andparsley, pausing to sniff
the aromatic cilantro, and lift out twobrown eggs. Thump them
quickly against the edge of the sink, pullthe shells apart
and let the wet suns in their small seasfall into a flat dish.
Mix with the fork. One by one, lay theslices in the beaten eggs,
flip them, lay them in the cornmeal, flipthem and drop them
into hot fat. Listen for a quick sizzle anda hiss of bubbles.
When the edges brown, turn them over andwatch them dance.
When the slices resemble the sunset gold ofthe elm leaves
that gather in the tall grass outside yourwindow, lay them
on towels to drain and cool. Arrange likepetals of a flower
on Grandma’s heirloom Botanica platter, withsprigs of parsley
and cilantro. Danger! Don't make these more than once a year
and don’t burn your tongue as you groan andsavor
the crunchy crust that clings to the hot,soft fruit.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
forMargaret and Keith
111018-1516-2a(3),111017-1432-1b(2), 111017-0836-1st complete,111016 partial draft a
Furtherinstructions, not part of poem:
layerthe leftovers with tomatoes and parmesan
andbake. Cut into rectangular chunks and serve warm.
-OR- Place the freshfruit in the microwave ten minutes. Cool. Carefully scrape thesoft pulp
fromthe now delicate skin, add lemon, olive oil, tahini and garlic
andspread on pita, toast or chips. Wallow then, in the gorgeous glory of baba ghanouj.

As I've now mentioned a couple times, I've decided to participate again in NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month. I did it last year and "won." Winning means writing 50,000 words. I did. That novel, however, is still unfinished. I waffled about trying again and decided to go for it. I have to average 1,667 words every day. Since I'll be traveling, and there's also a holiday weekend, I will have to write more on a number of days to make up for that. The average word -count per page is 250-300 words per page, when doubled spaced. That's about 182 pages or 6 pages a day. But not just six pages of drivel! I want to write six pages of scintillating, gripping prose. Of course, we only have to write a first draft, so maybe I can manage that, anyway. I do wish and hope to be able to complete a real first draft of a real novel that can be polished and sent out for publication--that's my goal.

What I am doing now is brainstorming ideas, characters, setting, theme, etc, as well as a time-line, chapter synopses, etc., and trying to do it in such a way that none of it can be incorporated into the first-draft novel, since the rules clearly state that I mustn't begin the actual writing until November 1 and must finish by November 30. I will be blogging about it as I go along, but probably only briefly, since I need to spend my time actually writing the novel, not blogging! I will also be posting parts of the novel as I write them. I have started a new blog which will contain JUST the NaNoWriMo posts, but I will also be posting much of it here.

I used to have one blog for each type of post, eg: art, photography, dreams, novels, poems, etc. My new policy is: everything (or most everything) goes HERE, in No Polar, AND also in the genre blogs, for those people interested only in that genre. There will be duplication, which I wanted to avoid, but the poetry people can just look at poems, the art people at art, and my friends at everything.


John said...

I'm hungry for more!

merrytait said...

me too! Thanks, John!