Poem of the Week
The Stone Eater
* meet matthew lamson. you guys know that every poem of the week (and usually poem of the month lol) has been one of mine. well, through the miracle of the internet i met a fantastic guy. i rarely boast about other authors and receive many, many poems from wonderful people, but this guy's poetry really moves me. i asked permission to share this one with you. (i took a small amount of artistic liberty, editing one line and some punctuation, but matt and i have discussed that.) thanks matt. you're amazing. *
The Stone Eater
I'm out in the driveway.
I'm down on all fours.
I'm taking handfuls of earth into my mouth,
lapping up pebbles with my scriptic tongue,
I want to be made of stone, just like you.
I chew them at first, the large ones.
Many slip right down my throat like pills.
The rocks, they crack and shatter my teeth-
Slivers of ivory that rip through my tarbox lungs.
Geodes filling the holes in my gums.
I've got a stone cold smile now, just like you.
The neighbors appear first,
abandoning their lit windows,
gathering in a circle to witness this feast.
They cry, "That madman, he thinks he's a worm!"
True, my insides have turned to soft puddles-
I'm a sleeve of flesh that the dirt merely passes through.
I'm bleeding now, from both ends
like the amethyst, the familiar thrust.
My knees have turned to grapefruit on the gravel.
Every time I writhe around a new wound appears.
The stones enter into my veins
beating through me.
The convent sisters arrive next,
out of habit, of course, claiming this to be their god's work.
Each flesh wound the claim, the stigmata-
I'm a martyr now, a miracle!
I'm a gift from god, just like you.
Finally the news crew arrives
carrying their cameras, they join the sidelines.
No one will come near, they just watch from safety.
I got the best ratings that night,
"The Stone Eater, Film at Eleven"
I'm getting full now,
Heavy like a stone, with my success, my joy.
But I will not reap the true rewards of my meal.
I'm now merely a mangled pulp of flesh
lying still in the driveway,
dead, on the inside and out,
cold as a stone, just like you.
- Friday, July 06, 2007 poem of the week archives