Saturday, November 16, 2013

On Hearing On The Radio That The Brontosaurus Never Existed

dear brontosaurus on the planet Pluto
or somewhere with Ray Bradbury?
are you green plastic now or brown
or have they melted you down completely
now that you're no longer anything in natural science
and were only born in a cereal

box and didn't you go to show-and-tell

where the girl that sat behind me
got up in front of the class and

told us about the jeweled unicorn

she brought in to say (in its freshly coded powdery hoof language,
silvery as snow
you can't believe everything you know
now children)

invisibly of course, in Prang water-colours.
oh it was maypole beribboned.
it was shod in emeralds...

while the teacher snapped

you should know this by now, class;
we've been over this material
since before St. Nicholas Day

(who got, they say 

kicked out from the Canon on an uninspiring day
out of the clear-blue and

never lived or never was a saint though
relentlessly quaint in all  the Christmas books
he remained with a red and blue folkloric halo,
robes painted in five wounded crystaled shades of snow.
and a gold-leafed beatitude cinanmmon red-hot candy homemade

applesauce rare as really caring-
with tiny marshmallows and almost crunchy are
(the letter "R"? wondered my small sister) 
your borders, holly-berried-

where have they fled or have you fled beyond the

Where we will never know who disproved you

and can they produce for us here:
the five proofs for your non-existence and
why have they made for us these

wooden toys painted solely by elves-

with not enough wheels to get through one day
we'll be given art homework
fit for an automan*over the holidays

who lives in a house of

construction paper and pipe cleaners.
if at all, down beside the modeling clay:
or with me, in the corner again
and made to feel more small
for asking too much from it all:

"trace this leaf stencil on your

vanilla manilla tablets over and over"
while outside the day is inscribed

in genuine crimson, ochre, variegated

rose is the leaf that's veined with pumpkin
yellow I will believe in still
despite my limited crayons

and the fact that I'll always remain 
no matter who, what, when, where or how  I explain:
the shortest one 
in the class picture

mary angela douglas 16 november 2013 

P.S. Automan apparently I just found out is the brontosaurus word for cyborg.

Also, dear reader, I apologize for throwing the bit about the applesauce into themix .  It was very idiosyncratic of me.  But I was creating a kind of fugue (in both the musical and the psychological sense of that term) in which a few real aspects
of my school life appeared.

The applesauce in reality stemmed from a mildly traumatic incident in home economics class in middle school where in teams of four we were to prepare for breakfast store bought applesauce by throwing red hot candies into it (how elementary, dear Watson) and sprinkle cinnamon on store bought raisin bread toasted in the oven.

Clearly, it does not take four people to do this (hence my social trauma) so the group decided I would be the one to open the oven door and slide the bread in.  I believe I also was allowed to open the oven when it was done.  We may have also had orange juice.

In the poem, however, I have turned this real life village school idiot scene into a Christmas memory which it really never was, but shouldn't poetry turn straw into gold, the horrible into the beautiful or else, dear reader, really, what is the point of this fairy tale?