Poetry Thursday: Guerilla Action
This week's Poetry Thursday was to undertake some kind of poetry guerilla action. Here is what I did:
I decided to print my poem from last week's exercise (see below), print it on the Poetry Thursday template supplied by Dana, printed off 100 copies, and cut them out in handy 3" X 5" sizes. Oh, I recycled all the scrap paper.
Planting Lettuces in the Dark, October 1962
Beneath the waning gibbous moon, next to the bunker
her husband back-hoed, cinder-blocked, concreted,
my mother is planting lettuces in the dark, a red Sedonan
release of heat softening the ground, before the monsoon
desert season. Everything can grow. Even these
special-ordered seeds of exotics, Limestone, Lollo Biono,
Rouge d’Hiver, Paris Island Cos, Sabine, Bronze Leaf, Mission,
and Little Gem, names that could be places
in California or Florida or Arcadia, where the most
tender-leafed romaine could be coaxed from the soil
by native rains. Through her own birthing and mothering
years, she thought of this salt-packed scape of land
whenever she thought the world was vile, her word
which she also released in an exhale of cigarette
smoke, a word that spelled EVIL as readily as LIVE,
a word so perfectly reconciled to this desert,
so perfectly a coyote at the edge of the moon-shadowed
arroyos. Even the moon-dimmed sky with its oceans
of stars seems so poorly fed that the lettuces must be planted
in this darkness, for new words, new bitter and sharp and
green flavors, lined in 60-foot rows, to break earth and unfurl.
* * * * *
The poem appeared with the Poetry Thursday logo and URL, but I decided to leave it anonymous, just to heighten the intrigue.
I took the poems, along with my camera, to the Florida Gulf Coast University Library, which aside from its perpetually full computer lab, is the most vacant place on campus, even during the week before finals.
I went up to the second floor.
Looked for a likely shelf.
Selected a likely book, inserted my poem, and replaced the book on the shelf.
Yes, I picked a few predictable books: my own, Toni Morrison, Shakespeare, but then I found I had to put them in unlikely books by Ann Coulter and Ayn Rand, in dozens of books on business ethics, in education books on phonics and reading, in art books by Matthew Barney, Rothko, and O'Keeffe, in texts on Florida flora, in books on font styles, in guidebooks to graduate school, in manuals on documentation, in books on yoga and peace studies, and in the books of poetry by poets I really, really dislike--no, I will not name names.
I did target books that were recently checked out, too. Who knows? Maybe we'll bring in to Poetry Thursday those avid readers of biographies of Nikita Dolgushin and other mid-century Kirov prima ballerinas.