Posted tagged ‘Heart in a box’

“What She Had Wanted (A Pantoum)”

August 2, 2012

What She Had Wanted  (a pantoum)

When it all came down to it,
it wasn’t her father
gave up the baby, who’d spit
at fate and daughter.

It wasn’t her father
left alone now, the shit
of fate and daughter
of misfortune, who’d sit

(left alone) in the shit
of should-have-been, the fodder
of missed fortune; who’d sit
hard, when the hook caught her

of “should.”  Had been fodder
for him, sure. Her cheek hurt
hard when the hook caught her,
connected all her fresh with dirt.

(For him, sure, her cheek.)  Hurt
even with that fist so far away
(connected not with fresh, but dirt);
still squeezed her full breasts’ sway

even with that fist.  So far away,
seemingly– what she had vaunted
squeezed still.  Full breasts weigh
upon her shoulders–all she had wanted,

seemingly.  While what she had vaunted
gave up the baby, who’d spit
upon her shoulder–all that she had wanted,
when it came down to it.


What She Had Wanted (a Pantoum)



Agh!  I wrote the above draft poem for dVerse Poets Pub “form for all” challenge posted by the wonderfully accomplished sonneteer Samuel Peralta (a/k/a Semaphore) .  The challenge is to write a pantoum, a complicated form with interlocking repeated lines (and rhymes).  I’ve posted others; and a brief article on them here (with one of my first  ones.)

I am also linking this poem to With Real Toads for their open link night.  For Real Toads, I added an audio recording (not so great) but I think a reading illuminates a poem like this since the pauses are taken in odd places.  In the light, note that all the pauses are based on punctuation and not line breaks.  (I’m a great believer in punctuation especially for things like pantoums, where it can be used to make changes in the repeated lines.) 

The wonderful picture is of a light sculpture by Jason Martin of a heart in a box (tinfoil/cardboard). 


Heart In A Box – A Simple Proposal

February 13, 2010

Heart In Box (by Jason Martin)

The photo above is a bit unusual at Valentine’s.  Typically there are boxes in the shape of hearts rather than hearts in plain old boxes.

Looking at the picture made me think about hearts that are out of the box. And that (wierdly enough) brought up the trend towards increasingly elaborate proposals of marriage.   (By elaborately planned proposals, I do not mean the scheme of Andy Bellefleur in one of the Sookie Stackhouse novels in which he enlists Sookie’s help in putting an engagement ring in a basket of fried chicken fingers.  Yes, they were greasy.)

I refer to the proposals that are the work of an entire business, a special “events team”.

I tend towards the spartan, but the marriage proposal business seems crazily excessive to me,  the commercialization of the personal,  the overwhelming of the heartfelt with artifice, the exchange of the truly grand for the grandiose.

I understand that people want to try to ensure the perfect moment, the perfect memory.  Perhaps they also hope that the perfect proposal will ensure the perfect marriage.  But, as two famous sages, Gautama Buddha and Mick Jagger, separately said, “You can’t always get what you want.”

Okay, okay, Buddha’s saying was more along the lines that ‘desire is the root of all suffering’, which is somewhat broader than Jagger’s pronouncement.  Buddha’s truth, after all, encompasses the idea that even if you do get what you want (such as the perfect marriage proposal), it will not ensure happiness.  (Desire and desire and desire leads to desire and desire and desire.)

Jagger’s saying, in my teenage mind, was always followed with”mumble mumble mumble…YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED,” as if basic satisfaction was a bit on the automatic, if shouted, side.

But today, when I really thought about the lyrics, and actually looked them up, I saw that they were more complex:

“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find

You get what you need.”

What does the “trying” here mean?  Or for that matter getting what you need?  Trying to get enough so that you might not get off, but at least you won’t go into withdrawal?

Maybe.  But my semi-Lutheran, semi-Buddhist, admirer-of- Mick-Jagger, self prefers to think of it as trying to find acceptance of what you already have,  trying to discover that, at least occasionally, you have enough in what is available.

Which brings me back to the heart in the box.    Creativity, memorability, glow, glimmer, really do not require so very much:  tin foil, a  discarded box, a hole cut in some white paper, a very small battery, a teeny light, darkness.

Heart In A Box (Jason Martin)