A Poem That Wants to Call Itself a Recipe
by Jax Peters Lowell
- Start with not seeing something all your blind existence.
- Marinate under strong light until beads of blood appear. This should produce the first shard of insight.
- Follow idea as far as your headlights can see.
- Run down every shadow until its shape is slippery with possibility & you can’t sleep without your thesaurus.
(The bones of the poem should now lie panting on the page.)
- At this point, march time backward among orphaned trees. Open the sky for business, jump into your own metaphor for a lake. A little sex wouldn’t hurt here. Ask a stone where it aches.
(This step should take some time, make music, but avoid a steady rhyme.)
- Fold into a drawer and let stand, at least a fortnight.
Play mixed doubles, protest for peace, anything but attempt to write.
- Uncover & read aloud. Pay special attention to the silences between the words. They should leave you breathless.
(Repeat above steps as necessary.)
- Poem is done when a sharp knife comes out of your heart clean.
To serve, garnish with words like electrifying, inexplicable, epiphany.
Say it all came to you in one mad swoon.
NOTE: Tears can be substituted for blood in Step 2
|Jax Peters Lowell is a recipient of the Leeway Foundation Transformation Award for poetry and fiction. A commemorative edition of her groundbreaking novel Mothers was released in 2014. A long standing celiac, she is widely known for her bestselling books on living with gluten intolerance. The Gluten-Free Revolution (Holt) was published last month. She lives in Philadelphia in a former bread factory. www.jaxlowell.com|