This poem was composed in Stephen Michael Berzinski's poetry workshop on January 26, 2002, in Toronto.
The genre may be something like a quiz or a parlor game: What am I? In this case it is a 'thing'.
Surprisingly, no one at the workshop guessed what 'thing' it is. Subsequently I read this poem at the Durham Art Gallery to a full house - and still no one 'got it'. But, when I identified the 'thing' to my audiences and then re-read the poem, it was greeted with peals of laughter and recognition!
I derived two ideas from this experience.
First, that poetry, at the best of times, can be obscure, filtered secrets from the deepest recesses of a poet's convoluted mind, where the meaning either does not exist, or can be interpreted by each reader according to his or her own understanding. This poem, then, is no different, except it is about a real 'thing', but the language can be just as obscure.
Secondly, I am posting this poem as a CONTEST and the winner, the first person who can correctly identify the 'thing' I am talking about in the poem, will receive a signed copy of my first poetry book - when it comes out in December, 2002.
I will post the 'guesses' and will post the answer as soon as someone comes up with it. Members of my family, participants in Stephen Michael Berzinski's workshop, and all those who attended the Durham Art Gallery performance are not eligible to enter this contest.
The contest ends when the first right answer arrives AND is publicly posted at the bottom of this page.
WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT?
Strong and foul smelling,
Your stench envelops me
With sounds of delight
Even as you envelope
The source of those sounds.
How could you? Folded
And soft and fleshy
As the flesh you hold,
Firmly supporting every fold,
Yet, you repel me outright.
I wasn't born to handle
The daily surprises
You spring on me,
Wet and mushy and
I feel so impulsive
That no sooner you turn my nose
Out you go and I get the hose
To see if I can wash the smell away,
But find I cannot do without you!
What a paradox of design,
the ultimate example
Of our throw-away society
And it seems to me
You perpetuate yourself.
Send your answer to:
Slipped Out, a volume of recent poetry was published by Pendas Productions of London, Ontario on June 20, 2003.
The answer to the riddle above is: Diaper
The two closest entries were:
Sorry, but we don’t have a winner!