Friends, I have a special treat for you today! Please allow me to introduce you to Joy S Grape, my favorite entomologist poet. I have been enamored of Joy's writing and art for quite some time and feel compelled to spread the word. Here are two of my favorites of her poems for your enjoyment.

July 10, 2011

My dear, you think I wear asterisks
Like cotton underwear.
But these virgin symbols are barbed wire.
My anger, my hurt, my lust
Have few enough weapons
Without gunrunning to my apathy.
I want the words of my feelings to be fresh open fields
I want the only truck tires rutting through my language to be mine.

April 23, 2011

The children always ask for names.
The tarantula is Rosie.
The scorpion is young, writhing, piss and vinegar.
I will name her Li (a good cornfed Chinese Minnesota Swede name).
If I name her, maybe I will love her, and cradle her in my hand without flinching.
She will scuttle my questions to my mother
Who sits smoking on a porch
My cellphone can't reach.
She will offer my scorpion coffee.
She will say it looks like someone cares about it a lot
As she said to the spiky hairdyed strays that she found on her couch some Saturday mornings.
She once raised a scorpion
That her uncle brought home (thinking she would like it)
(I never met her uncle, but apparently
He worked at the sort of place that would have an extra scorpion lying around
And he was the sort of man
Who would sum up a little girl and declare her lacking in scorpions.)
For all my mother's flatchested Boys Life bravado
She could not love a scorpion.
Though as an older woman, her heart would interrupt nature,
Chasing parasitoid wasps from their paralyzed spider prey
And in turn cutting insects from webs with nail scissors.
But my little mother with her boy's bicycle
Fed the scorpion with recipes from her hated Home Ec cards,
Took care of her,
Let her curl her tail and stalk,
Let her come home smelling of things that happen on streets,
Until she ran away to Japan
And still answered when she called to ask how to get stains out of things.
Li will find my mother in the netherworld, and maybe they will be friends.
The children can name the walkingsticks, hissers, beetles.
I can't tell them apart, and
They don't live long enough for it to matter.
Joy S Grape self-publishes poetry at her blog, Coffee With Leonard Cohen. She likes to dance badly. Her favorite movie is Cool Hand Luke. For some reason, people pay her to play in dirt all day.