Saturday, May 30, 2009

Poem of the week

Just finished reading Ali Liebegott's novel-in-verse The Beautifully Worthless. It gave me lots of ideas about how to structure the project, book, whatever it is that I'm working on currently -- one of my characters has started writing letters, which may or may not show up in the manuscript interspersed with actual poems. (They may also just be background information for me to use myself. Don't know yet. I'm leaning towards including them, though.)

Liebegott's book struck me as a bit uneven, but overall pretty interesting and handled the balance between lyric & narrative pretty well. Here's a bit from it:

Once, I found myself beneath a woman,
her legs straddled my lap, her face bent down
to my turned-up mouth, my turned-up mouth
that was turned like flames following the curve
of gasoline thrown by the arsonist.
I wanted exactly what happened that night
for this woman, to undo the buttons of my shirt
exactly as she did,
it was as if the shirt were my skin,

for months after, I was haunted by buttons
opening and falling like the light plunk of a penny
into a wishing well, there's no way I loved her,
and I know she's never thought about those buttons
and how they felt, like something sacred,
like she was God and I was the dying child coming home.

-Ali Liebegott, from The Beautifully Worthless

1 comment:

Jessie Carty said...

i just recently bought another verse novel. the first i read was sharp teeth by toby barlow which is excellent but is really a novel in verse versus poems with a narrative hook, so to speak. So interesting hearing you work through your project. I am finding that my idea for a possible narrative book isn't working out too well. *sigh*