“In the Soup” (An Excerpt From Possible Story About Pineapple)


In the Soup (an excerpt from a possible story about pineapple)

She wanted to be Garboesque, but with hair that stuck up at odd angles and a slightly trapezoidal upper lip (not an elegant roof for either cigarettes or demitassed coffee), she knew that cute sad clown was the closest she’d ever come.  She bought yellow rain boots as a result, a raincoat with frog’s eyes for epaulettes, and ended up in children’s books.

She would have liked, she often thought, to curate great art; to analyze conceptual pieces where people buried steel rods and talked about the American way of death, but wrote, instead, of a bunny who ate carrot soup.

She would have liked, she occasionally thought, to eat steak and pour Merlot down her bra. But she had a rather flat chest, which, she was sure, would have made the Merlot look like a stain of spilled Welch’s.

Also to go to Kiev, Prague, better yet, Casablanca where she would bemoan the Casbah, smoking filterless cigarettes over languid coffee, Merlot, maybe even, a Scotch.

But, as the carrot soup book was selling well, she went to the Galapagos, which were in fact quite beautiful. She came out afterwards with a book about an aging tortoise.  He ate grass soup; make that, watercress.

She would have liked to lie down in watercress, even just wet grass, to become a sylph, a silkie, swimming nude among its soft blades, a sharp metal one strapped to her back.

She wrote instead a book about an eagle who ate mouse soup. This one did not do so well, but, since she was now a somewhat successful children’s book writer (what with the carrots and watercress), one mouse soup was allowed.

In Paris, she thought to go to boites, but spent time instead in the Musee de Cluny where the corners of the tapestries held amazing pineapples.  In the cafes nearby, she ate many kinds of soup, thankful that she did not smoke, even inelegantly. At night, however, she increasingly poured Merlot down her bras, but only ones that were already a deep dark red.


I am posting the above draft I-don’t-know-what for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night, hosted by the wonderful Hedgewitch, Joy Ann Jones. (Verse Escape). To those who are reading a lot and are put off by the sight of lots of words, I’m so sorry it’s not a short poem!

Check out dVerse for great online poetry. AND, if you get a chance, check out my books! Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms. Or, if you in the mood for something older, check out Going on Somewhere, poetry, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel for those who are somewhat discontent with their appearance but love musicals, cheese and downtown NYC.

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36 Comments on ““In the Soup” (An Excerpt From Possible Story About Pineapple)”

  1. apshilling Says:

    bunnies eating carrot soup
    Eagles eating mouse soup
    and Merlot splashed underwear;
    but only ones that were already a deep dark red.

    Love that ending…

    the whole thing a roller coaster of image mash
    and sweet connections – my
    smile got bigger and broader as i read

    its a bloomin riot and i bet you had just as much
    fun writing it

    as i did reading 😀

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Aaron! The original draft was fun, then I cut a huge amount, which I always think is a wise instinct, but that part gets a bit painful. (One loves one’s own jokes.) I think it’s better to cut though. Thanks much. I thought your piece was terrific. k.

      • brian miller Says:

        cutting is def always painful….and editting…ugh…smiles.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        You know, it is hard because certain little touches, flourishes, jokes etc may, in fact, be funny enough, but you have to keep the whole in mind. Especially in a blog, I think, though it’s good practice for anything, really. Hard, if one is pretty verbal as we all are or we wouldn’t be doing this. k.

  2. yoga-adan Says:

    charming in a strange delightful way, or is that the definition of charming? i doubt it, but it seemed to fit the prose poem, which i enjoyed very much 😉

    the soup and bra and merlot motifs seemed like they might even coalesce at some point, a merlot soup inside a bra, but couldn’t decide which side, right or left, and left it at that 😉

    yes, delightful 😉 best wishes k.

  3. I just loved this, Karin, and somehow I felt like there may have been a touch of the autobiographical to it. I’ve never thought of pouring merlot down my bra…what a waste!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      In this case, no touch of the autobiographical really – or barely – at least I’ve not been to the Galapagos. I won’t make any remarks about my bras. (Ha.) k.

  4. brian miller Says:

    haha…i like this…i think you should expound on it…she is an interesting character with dreams but always getting rather distracted by opportunity…and being successful at it…she has some rather interesting dreams as well…smiles….

    • Anonymous Says:

      I agree with Brian. I would like to hear more about her dreams and soups.. She is a bright and lovable character and This is a terrifically fun read.

  5. Jody Collins Says:

    Karin–two things–you’re 112, I’m 117…..now I don’t feel so bad
    AND, I have no idea what this was really about (well, a girl with money to burn, obviously 🙂 or bras…), but it made me smile. as usual.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I’m always late on Tuesdays – just too busy a day, so do not feel bad! I’ll go check you out. I don’t know about the money to burn! I’m not sure anyone has that these days! (And she doesn’t smoke in the end!) k.

  6. That’s certainly an intriguing character sketch… it begs for a fuller exploration of her, so yes, write on!

  7. Mama Zen Says:

    Oh, hell. I think I’m her!

    Love this.

  8. Gay Says:

    It’s so “je ne sais quoi”.. true…I think and delightful. Put me in mind, and I can’t think why, of American Dreamer – about a writer who fell into Paris and believed she was the character she’d written about! This is fun and true…I think.

  9. hedgewitch Says:

    I agree with Arron–this just had to be as fun for you as us, and applaud that you wrote it on a hectic day–retaining a sense of humor under stress is the test of true coolness, in my personal lexicon anyway. I could relate to a lot of the heroine’s angst– tried to smoke cigarettes in my teenage years to demonstrate my great savoir faire, but always ended up choking awkwardly, and I rather identified with the silkie moment, and the lust to curate great art(if one didn’t have to deal with art critics) but the Merlot fantasy –no. All Merlot will be real, and always poured *not* down my bra, barring accidents. Thanks for ending my day with mouse soup, tortoises, watercress and the infinite possibilities of pineapple.

  10. Claudia Says:

    smiles…she sounds like someone i would love to meet and talk to…and regarding the pouring Merlot down the bras…think i should try this.. not that flat so may look not bad at all..ha…loved it k.

  11. Steve King Says:

    It was fun reading this…it could go in so many different directions ultimately. Love the fixation with merlot! It gives new meaning to the phrase “take this cup from me…”. When it’s done, I hope you’ll share the finished product with us. Enjoyed much


  12. Ravenblack Says:

    Very cool. Lots of sensations of touch and taste. 🙂 Wonderful to read.

  13. janehewey Says:

    I agree, she is lovable and authentic. (i made a comment from my itouch and it came in as anonymous under Brian’s post) your sense of imagination is playful and colorful here. Soup is my favorite of all things to eat. I should like to travel with this character and would happily read more about her. This is a marvelous write – I also enjoy your vivid illustration.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Jane. I tried to blend the elephant in with the water grass, but was afraid she got a bit overwhelmed. Thanks. k.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Actualy, I’m not sure my elephant showed up! I’ve made the drawing smaller now. Sometimes when I post the drawing from the WordPress App on the iPad (where I do them), they are very large, and if I then edit on the computer, they get messed up.
        I’m not quite sure how to fix this except to make them much smaller as a rule. k.

  14. Susan Says:

    How I enjoyed this poem, with its long Whitman like lines which is my favorite poetic style!
    I love the title which suggests she is either in trouble or she is the idiomatic “fly” in the soup.
    I love that you have her see what she is great at and go there, with little angst and only mild regret. Indeed, you show the process of building the social mask of the non-rebel, but life still goes on underneath and money could pay for changes if she really wanted them–even the breasts. So finally, I grinned broadly when–after discovering the pineapples, “In the cafes nearby, she ate many kinds of soup, thankful that she did not smoke, even inelegantly.” And you show her with one regret–I think romance–but she doesn’t regret it enough to let it show. Can she drink some wine? Enjoy the wet, clingy, sensation of cool alcohol? Gross.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Well, I suppose that part was a bit of a joke! You are right though. And I’ll think about it, certainly if I make part of larger story.. Thanks for your kind comment. k.

  15. poemsofhateandhope Says:

    More….want to read more…..where can I read more???…..awesome narrative descriptions, really built a visual of a charachter in such few words- had me intrigued and but also smiling- I’ve always wanted to meet a woman who can pour merlot down her bra whilst eating steak….so…a full length anytime soon?

  16. This has often happened to me with merlot… but never intentionally! 😉

  17. zongrik Says:

    that’s some character. i think i’ve seen her in NYC, like around 96th St. and Broadway, she lived headed toward the west…

  18. hobgoblin2011 Says:

    for me, this has a real travel poem feel to it, hopping us to different images and sensory experiences. I really like how each stanza transports us swiftly into a different set of images. Really nice job and I love the brushed lines in the painting as well, really captures a sense of movement. Thanks

  19. kaykuala Says:

    We want our poem to be our best.to give out! But sometimes it hurts to edit by knocking off chunks here and there. I often get into such a dilemma. Nicely done K!


  20. kkkkaty Says:

    Yes, nicely edited…I can imagine how the words flowed but the need to choose wisely….great form and style and love the pineapple addition…

  21. janu Says:

    Sounds like me…but, I don’t write ‘soup’ stories. Wonderful and fun read.

  22. ayala Says:

    She is an interesting character…. Cool write, Karin.

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