Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Revision with Fruit Flies

Now, as for last night. It began to thunder and storm shortly after we sat down at the table for poetry workshop. The Good Twin had brought us each a large peach that you could smell right through the skin. Damn Moon Poet took out his pocket knife and sliced right into his, wolfed the whole thing, skin and all, licked his fingers, and wiped off his knife. Good Twin cut hers in half, ate some, and left the rest turned cut-side down on a saucer for later. The storm boiled up into a froth suddenly blowing yews against the house as rain charged the windows. DamnMoonPoet had brought 5 poems, and read each out loud in his own voice of thunder. I bit into my peach like an apple. In seconds, there was juice on both hands, on the table, my lap, the chair, and the floor. BigFastPeachEater DamnMoonPoet went in the kitchen for a rag.

The third stanza of one of mine was giving me trouble, the rhythm three beats in excess, the margins hairy with notes, so I tossed it aside for later,and gnawed the rest of the yellow meat off the pit. Then I licked off fingers, hands, and as far up my arms as I could get, till my mouth tasted of salted peach. The wind blew papers and napkins off the table and the lights went out. We lit candles and continued working until Good Twin's date arrived to take her home. By then the rain had stopped, thunder died away, and katydids'd crept back out and filled the night with their din. My friends slipped in pools of rainwater on the freshly-painted porch on their way out. The night was now still as glass.

I left the pages on the table, all crossed out and scribbled on, but with final drafts peering out between the lines, and went to bed hungry. Next morning when I went in to clear away the dishes, there was GoodTwin's peach still in the saucer, slumped down with ripeness, and a bevy of fruit flies hovering.

On the page with the troublesome line the flies had homed in on a spot where peach juice had dripped onto three words in a row in the middle of the awkward stanza, which, when removed, fixed the beat, evened the ragged edge, and finished the poem while I slept.


Blogger jo(e) said...

Ripe peaches and poetry. What a delicious blog post.

8:09 AM  
Blogger zirafah said...

oh those poet-friends and their peachy good work! this gives new meaning to being a fly on the wall--or on paper

8:39 PM  

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