Thursday, January 12, 2012

Milking leeway (Month of Poetry #12)

Of course, the shot of white
drifted crossways to the bucket.
We were milking leeway:
that would eradicate itself into
the half-moon of a cow's foot.
Fresh from the beast, the bodywarmth
of it turned your stomach. It made
you think of curdled flesh, of the
pull and squeeze needed to unblock
the openings. Add to your troubles
a fine case of heartburn: you chewed
antacid and turned a faint green
at my suggestion of milk: like something
Schopenhauer might have had.
After a bad night where your head
lowed heavy with cattle and your
throat caught the branding iron
you took an enameled cupful, early
and warm as your own skin.
'Don't tell them I'm squeamish about
fucking milk, will you? Tell them
I am a knight.' Errant as you are,
I loved your mock-heroic stance,
metal cup aloft as Excalibur.
The cows chorused, dairy stink
filled my nose with everything alive
and I kissed your mouth surprised:
warm as blood or cream.


Today's poem is based on suggestions from four people:

@attentive: "tell them I am a knight-errant as they are" (Thomas Malory, Le Morte D'arthur)
@ernmalleyscat: "unblock the openings, Add to your troubles" (Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching)
@timsterne: "like something Schopenhauer might have had after a bad night" (PG Wodehouse, Hot Water)
@matchtrick: 'we were milking leeway that would eradicate itself' (China MiƩville, The City and the City)

A concatenation of circumstances (mainly but not exclusively centering around my 3 year old) means I haven't had time to start today's poem until forty minutes ago. I don't write at night: I'm a morning person and when I looked at today's suggestions at 8:40pm with bleary eyes, I pretty much just sat here in blank despair for a further 10 minutes. Then I figured 'if you can't beat 'em, take 'em literally'. Hence: milking. I like the smell of dairies. Shit and milk and warm bodies. Smells like life.

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