Tuesday, February 12, 2013

To think with

I have a poem up at Barnstorm called Salem, which is of course a brand of cigarette as well as a town most famous for burning witches. I wonder if this potential association was taken into account when the name was chosen, or if it was chosen deliberately for that reason, Salem being a cigarette marketed to women. Many women must go for the subliminal witch message, witches being powerful, and women in general lacking power. But I digress.

Anyway, the inspiration for the poem comes from Herta Müller’s The Land of Green Plums

“Mother didn’t put down her knife while eating, even though everything had already been cut into bite-size pieces. She needed it to speak with.” (p. 142) 

I found that striking - needing a knife to speak with. Like a microphone, or a pointer, or just the extension of a thought. I love the image of someone speaking with a knife. You will recognize the phrase in the beginning of my poem, but that’s about all it has to do with The Land of Green Plums.


Sandy Longhorn said...

Love the poem (esp. that "slow-motion noir") and the quote that inspired it. This is the kind of character-building detail I'm discussing with my creative writing students lately, so it was apt!

Pam said...

Great poem! Larks are another useful cigarette brand for poetry -- though not for smoking (those filters were gross!) (at least for this former smoker who once included Larks in a poem)

SarahJane said...

Never heard of Larks. I have been out of the cigarette market for some time! I was in the store the other day waiting to check out, perusing the cigarettes near the cashier trying to imagine which brand I'd choose if I started again. I am surprised what a popular brand Lucky Strikes is in Germany. My grandmother smoked them. They do a lot of advertising, black lung and all.

Kass said...

I like that the cigarette has the right amount of purposeful nonchalance.

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