Saturday, June 24, 2006

Steve McQueen and The Underrated Poetry of Taxidermy

Recently, Sarah offered a Pop Quiz on her blog.
Which celebrity did the results say I am? –
Steve McQueen, who said, "I don't believe in that phony hero stuff."

If you're a poet, or just looking to have some fun, check out the Poem Title Generator on Michaela Gabriel's blog. Here's a poem (rough draft) I wrote based on the title the PTG (reluctantly) spit out for me:

The Taxidermist’s Guide to Alpine Fauna, Part I

See how the ibex stands above us on the boulders,
how the muscles of its flank flex against the steep slope?
(Not even the rocks are real.)

Listen for the (pre-recorded) call of the heron, the spoonbill, the scooper
down at the water’s edge, where the blue (plexiglass) lake
never wrinkles with the wind.

Marmots are inquisitive sunbathers
waiting for the trail to clear, for crumbs to fall.
(Tell the kids it’s okay to touch; these won’t bite.)

The chamois is my pride – note the tension in legs
wound tight as springs, the nose tilted against the breeze.
See the big (glass eyes) brimming with tears, the mouthful of grass.

And over here in this corner of my world is the forest in winter,
complete with snow fleas at your feet and no fear of frostbite.
Lifelike, aren’t they? (Better than the real thing, if you ask me.)


lorguru said...

As I mentioned over at 30:30, I love that poem!
You know, I just noticed that I don't have a link to your site over at my site. I was really surprised, because I really thought I did. I must have been hopping over via other blogs. I'll have to go add you.
BTW, your kids look adorable in Arlene's creations. I want to send her some pics of my kids to see what she comes up with!
See ya at 30:30! -lauren

Arlene said...

OMG!! this is fabulous work, sharon. adore the shift from professional taxidermist tone to the more personal notes between parentheses.


michi said...

oh yesyesyes! great stuff! my PTG did a good thing, it seems. :)


michi said...

the ptg suggested something else after all - see my blog. ;)) m

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Thanks Lauren! I don't know what (if anything) I'll do with this bit of goofiness, but it was fun to write. I can't wait to see what Arlene does with your kids - her pictures are magical.

Arlene - Thanks! Michi has a way of bringing out the playful in everyone and helping us see the same old things in completely new ways. If this works, it's due to her PTG and its wondrous suggestions.

Michi - Yes, the PTG did good! I posted part II of this over at ITWS on the 30/30 forum and have started thinking about the other suggested titles. I hope you're having fun with your own poems!