she barely makes a ripple
driving home to work to home.

radio off, eating the same burger king
one dollar special, noting who says
thank you, who says do you want that
in a combo. she wakes she sleeps she stays
on her side of the bed. one pillow dented
one blanket untwisted. when he loves her
he loves her for how easy
she complies, the way she curls and how
she chooses coil over curtsy. he’s sure
he understands, thinking coil
as in circled rolls of cinnamon
and brown sugar — not curry-
comb, bull snake, the rap
of a thirty-thirty.
Previously published by Soundzine. Click here to listen to Kate Connover’s powerful reading of this poem.
I was going to share this poem yesterday, as my anti-valentine poem. But then, I didn’t. It was a lot of fun to write. I love the way Kate Connover read this. (PS- Soundzine published this long before I became its poetry editor.)


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

9 responses to “>curls

  1. >Loved reading it, loved hearing it! (And the river stones poem there, too.)

  2. >Ditto above, but what is a thirty-thirty?

  3. >A rifle?Yes, anti-Valentine.

  4. >The added dimension of hearing the poem as well as reading it…such largess. Work well done is such an enlightening teacher. I hope you are wildly happy as the poetry editor.

  5. >thanks everyone! V day is a hard day for some. outwardly appearances make it hard to tell who those "some" are. yes, the thirty-thirty is the cailber of a rifle. yes, marylinn- editing for sz is wonderful!

  6. >Love this Violentimes Day poem. Love is brutal.

  7. >Hi Sherry,I loved reading your poem, and then hearing it read aloud. I'm wondering if the readaloud matches the way you "heard" the rhythms and the pacing in your own head, as you wrote and revised it. I'm interested, because I love to read my own work aloud and the work of other poets; and my own reading of your poem differed in this line: "when he loves her he loves her for how easy she complies"In my own reading of it, I placed the emphasis on the word "love," so the two phrases echo each other; and Kate placed the emphasis on the word, "When." I enjoyed her reading of it, and I don't fault it in any way, but I'm curious as to whether you found any differences in your own interpretation, or if you found any pleasant surprises, hearing how someone else would interpret your work. The difference doesn't change the impact or the meaning of the poem, and the rhythm recovers either way.In terms of editing Soundzine, does the poet give input as to how their poem is read?The poem itself is a great anti-Valentine poem, with wonderful nuances I'm still absorbing.

  8. >hi annie-i've been discovering another world in my poems when i listen to someone else read them. what i hear in my head always is somewhat different than what someone else hears- and so in this way, the poem takes on extra layers, depth, twists and turns. it's as though the poem lives on. and the thing is, our poems become their own selves, and so i feel honored when someone else records a poem of mine. yes, in the case of this poem, the stress was on "when" (and in my head, the stress was on "love"). i found that i liked kate's version better. it allowed for the notion that at times he DID love her, albeit in his own way. with the stress on "love", the poem maintained a layer of cynicism that stops short of another layer. if you are interested in this, i bet you'd love to follow "whale sound" – a poetry project by nic sebastian. (you can find a link to it to the right of this —>). as it turns out, right now she has a second poem of mine at her website. you can listen to her recording of the poem and then click on the "poem text" link which will take you to the PANK website which has the text and my own reading of the poem. nic's reading of this poem revealed things to me.are regards soundzine- in our last issue all but three poets read their own work. if the poet who doesn't read his/her own work is unhappy with the reading by one of our in-house readers, i am sure that can be negotiated. i'm generally not an anti sort of person, but v day is a day where an anti voice is often missing. what we see on the surface of things does not always reflect what goes on beneath the surface. i am glad to hear you are absorbed by what this poem offers!

  9. >Hi Sherry,I am absorbed. And though you are the poet, I actually interpret the meaning of the line in a similar way, whether the stress is on the word love, or on the word when; because saying when he loves her (stressing the word, love), implies that there are times when he loves her, and times when he does not (and either way, when he loves her, he loves her because she is compliant). Thank you for sharing your personal experience with the process. I am always interested in how the reader interprets my work, so that's why I asked if there were any discoveries for you, hearing your work read aloud. It's interesting and great that there are. I'm always amazed when what people get out of a poem I've written, and especially when it meant something special to them, is very different from the meaning that went into the writing of it.Thank you for the Whale Sound recommendation. I've visited there before, and I'll start to visit regularly, along with Soundzine.

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