Sunday, June 29, 2008

Converting Oedipus

It was a Scrabble game that started it:

Pops put down the squares for DANDLE
     Junior refuted

It means to pet or fondle, the old man insisted

The Hell it does, replied his seed, and just like that
he burst from his chair like a furious orca
trying to catch the sun in its teeth and darted
over to the bookshelf for a dictionary

The old man sighing so loudly, his breath
could practically be seen leaving
his mouth as steam

Soon the son's fingers flipped the pages
family's 1986 edition of Webster's
in a motion that could only be recognized as robotic

Countering his son's precipitous machination, the old man
reached for the 1871 Oxford (Letters A - M),
placed the gold-paged brick down on the table
next to the board with a mighty thud, found
the "DA" section and pointed down to the
definition with all the authority of a Greek god

This is why you choose your dictionary beforehand
he told his young novice, And don't you forget
who's king in this household.

The son sulked, returned to his chair,
     countered with,


by Curtis


From the author's own notes:

This poem was written for a customer named Vicki at the "Poetry Vending Machine" at the Orlando Fringe Festival 2008. Per request, I wrote Vicki a poem with the words "dandle," precipitous," and "machination" included within the text under her chosen title "Converting Oedipus."

Words like these and it's NOT an Anna poem? Damn. Lazurite, by the way, is a rare bluish gem and/or the most professorial word that any poet's used at the Vending Machine without being mandated to do so. Look at the big brain on Curtis.

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