Watermelons – Charles Simic *
on the fruit stand.
We eat the smiles
and spit out the teeth.
So, I’m going to come clean and admit that I’m a geek about astrology. I don’t swear by it but I do check my horoscope daily and find my chart to be an interesting way to keep tabs on myself. I know it is not for everyone. And I’m also not the kind of person to write anyone off once I find out their sign. I’m a writer: we do our art in solitude, which makes us socially awkward. And the socially awkward need all the help they can get.
Also: astrology is listed by Gary Snyder as one of the forms of traditional magic essential for a poet to know in his What You Should Know to be a Poet. **
I bring up astrology because, in an effort to keep things interesting, I am going to make Friday posts astrology-centered. I will call these posts ‘the friday influence’ – ‘influence’ being the old fashioned way of making reference to astrology, as in ‘influence of the stars’.
Today, I found out, is the first full day of Taurus. To celebrate, I have picked out a poem by Charles Simic.
I won’t read too much into his being a Taurus, but one thing that has been a steady coincidence with friends I know under this sign is that they know how to eat good. Case in point, I found myself rushing out to eat a caprese salad after reading a Simic essay where he describes making one. He made it sound awesome.
And it was.
A certain amount of love for food had to have gone into the above four lines. The poem disarms you with the first image, humorous and unexpected. Then the poem brings you in real close to shape (smile) as well as into a visceral sensation. I love quoting this one to people – it always gets a smile.
p.s. I’m a Virgo. My apologies.
* from his book Return to a Place Lit by a Glass of Milk
** which you can find here: http://ninaalvarez.net/2007/04/24/poem-of-the-day-42/