Friday, October 10, 2014

Connecting with Nature via Social Media [poem]

Connecting with Nature via Social Media

Corn Creek Farm uploads video to Facebook,
so I can sit surrounded by sheet rock
and watch ducks waddle, goats kick.

The goats, particularly, have presence.
They are it goats, the kids, easily
recognizable stars like when Carrie Underwood
auditioned for American Idol and Simon Cowell
knew right away that she had it, she was an it girl
who could sing pop country and sell Almay’s
hypoallergenic eye shadow. 

The it goats, who each go by one name,
like Cher, or Madonna do, jump and flip tricks
like Justin Bieber with his skateboard
but better because the goats have boundaries
and behave themselves.  Besides, if the goats get
out of line, the chickens can give stink eye
for days, the chickens who lay and guard
their eggs, who aren’t afraid of snakes, snakes
so long they take a slow camera pan to see. 

In the city, we’re starved for this stuff.
My backyard is a parking lot, and when I walk
outside I can see a Taco Bell sign raised
highway-high, or the moon, which seems smaller,
but I choose to look at the moon.

-----

I have sort of a snobby thing about poetry - I think it should be timeless.

For me, for one thing, that means no product placement. Name brands and store chains come and go. So instead of "Food Lion," for example, I'll write "grocery." Doesn't grocery sound more poetic? It's more universal, and everlasting.

Also, technology is problematic. What if you wrote compact discs into a poem and now.....I mean, you see what I mean?

Also, while I'm not so snooty as to completely discount pop culture out of poetry, I do believe that you have to be very, very selective. There's an excellent collection of poems by Denise Duhamel that I love titled Kinky and it stars Barbie. Yes, Barbie. But Barbie is worthy. Justin Bieber? Maybe not so worthy. Or maybe so.

Because he's in today's poem.

I think up all these rules, and then I go and write poems like the one I wrote today.

I started out wanting to simply write about this magnificent farm in Georgia that a friend took me to visit this past summer. I made a new friend there and consumed just the tiniest scrap of goat cheese so that I wouldn't explode my intestines and it was delicious and I should have had more and flatulated 'til the cows came home, it would've been worth it.

I was writing about goats and then all of a sudden pop culture came up. Sometimes that happens. So I went with it.

And then the poem turned into this whole sub-text commentary on modern living, and then that commentary rose to the surface and became blatant by the last line.

Actually, maybe it was blatant from the very first, with the title.

With this post, not only do you get the story behind the poem, you get the moral of the story:

Find some friends who own a farm, and go visit. Eat the cheese. Ask them if you can smell the goat feed. Especially if you live in the city, do this.

Facebook is not enough.

It's not enough human, it's not enough nature.

There's dirt on there, but not the right kind.

I wrote this poem on October 10, 2014 as part of Tupelo Press's 30/30 Project.

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