Pomegranate, Radio On - for Madeline DeFrees - What Do You Think

Here's my poem for Madeline DeFrees made into a short film. I have mixed feelings about it. While I am thankful to Helen Magazine for publishing this poem set to images and music, the blatant ignoring of all line breaks feels like a kind of violence has been done to the poem. This is a poem dedicated to my most important poetry teacher, Madeline DeFrees who mentored me when I was a young poet in Massachusetts and who, a few decades later, connected with me in Seattle.

Pomegranate, Radio On

for madeline defrees

Begin with the fruit in your hands—
hold the weight of its rough skin,
its nested, cell interior.

Take your time.

Choose a lilac
blue bowl; pull your sharpest knife
from the cutlery drawer.

This has become your life, not the headlines

but the fine print
of the back pages. Read
slowly the small, good stories—

each seed another worldly

exchange. You’re here
at the sink caressing—
there’s no other word—

until the dazzling light lets go.

Until surreal tomorrows extend—
beyond sustenance, beyond juice,
stained fingers, stained news.


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