Thursday, November 07, 2013

Day 7: Make Them Float in Your Mouth

Today's prompt made me think of nothing but islands.  H.D.'s wound island, islands as symbols of sexuality, and Elizabeth Bishop's Robinson Crusoe.  I've always been fascinated by islands ever since the day at 15 that I looked across the span of Matsushima Bay near Sendai Japan.  So, it's no wonder that this prompt took me to the islands that Jack London visited on the Snark.  This draft explores those years of his life.

Make Them Float in Your MouthOn the cruise of the Snark, Jack London, and his wife Charmian sailed to Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and the Solomon Islands.

If you want a story, you have to look for it. You have to sail
your leaky boat next to the hissing lava as it enters the sea.
You have to go to Molokai and see for yourself the small girl
who, missing a nose or an arm and covered with sores joyfully dances.
You have to ride a 75 pound surfboard and fail all day. You have to watch
the plantation workers cleave the sweet fruit with machete again and again.
You have to endure sores the size of baseballs that seep and cling.
You have to go up river into the luscious green tangle
of what is unknown until the flowers emerge: red, hibiscus-like
large enough to contain the whole sunset syrupy sky.
You have to find that island. Make it float in your mouth. 

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