January’s Poem of the Month

My first semester of the English program is now behind me, which means endless nights of staying up reading Chaucer and writing until my hand is bruised is over (at least for now, that is…) One of my favourite classes involved reading buckets of poetry and discussing our ideas about them in class—so basically the perfect class for me. I finished it with a final term paper about Lady Lazarus (which also happens to be November’s Poem of the Month) and even though it’s over, it sparked my love for poetry and gave me lots of inspiration for this section of my blog. My textbook is filled to the brim with poems ranging from the 1600s to the early 2000s, so expect lots of material from there. The one that earned its spot as January’s Poem of the Month is one of my favourites. It actually made me chuckle out loud and made me wish as was as clever as its author. It stands out since it’s written in prose, and if you know anything about Shakespeare you’ll appreciate the reference right away.

Dim Lady by Harryette Mullen

“My honeybunch’s peepers are nothing like neon. Today’s special at Red Lobster is redder than her kisser. If Liquid Paper is white, her racks are institutional beige. If her mop were Slinkys, dishwater Slinkys would grow on her noggin. I have seen tablecloths in Shakey’s Pizza Parlors, red and white, but no such picnic colors do I see in her mug. And in some minty-fresh mouthwashes there is more sweetness than in the garlic breeze my main squeeze wheezes. I love to hear her rap, yet I’m aware that Muzak has a hipper beat. I don’t know any Marilyn Monroes. My ball and chain is plain from head to toe. And yet, by gosh, my scrumptious Twinkie has as much sex appeal for me as any lanky model or platinum movie idol who’s hyped beyond belief.”

You can listen to Mullen recite this poem here, and read the poem that this is based on here.