The Paris Review Daily

Poetry

Two Poems: ‘The Crew Change’ and ‘Rice in the Spoon’

August 11, 2011 | by

These poems by Don Share bring surprising music and thrilling turns of mind to the matter of everyday life. We especially liked the eerie litany of woebegone objects in “Rice in the Spoon”: “Sea glass beached / on a porch bench” or, better yet, “A brown bust / of a sad man.” Whether Jethro Tull’s Aqualung is or is not a classic is a question Share’s readers are left to settle for themselves. —Dan Chiasson

THE CREW CHANGE

Hobo, Bono, bone heap.
I mutilate dandelions in the sun,
rattle my rake like a saber

When Michelle-my-neighbor,
over compost, opines
that Aqualung’s a classic;

“At least I think so. U2?”
Does she mean: me, too?
In the foul rag and compost pile

Of my creaky abdomen I rustle
all the leaves of my locomotive breath
to agree because anything you say,

Michelle, must be so! We live
in a time of need. Your hair always
looks brushed. Our conversations

Are abrupt. And yet ...
The children grow and play over time
like centipedes behind our sofas;

The tools I never use seem
delightful on their pegs in the shed,
like the hopes I sharpened

Once beside the gleaming rails
as a schoolboy, a hiker, a little hobo never
far from someone’s back yard trampoline.

 

RICE IN THE SPOON

Each in his house,
thinking of the key,

the locks, the windows,
doors, and roof.

In my sleep I lift
a finger. I see ...

opposing blocks,
like Legos, in painful

composure of modes,
not moods.

Fake red feathers
fluffed in a spotted vase.

Sea glass beached
on a porch bench.

A brown bust
of a sad man.

A huge tin pitcher,
parched for years.

Rice glued to
a badly washed spoon.

Even the dust
quit moving to settle.

Even the snow is
a qualm, a sea.

Don Share is Senior Editor of Poetry magazine. His most recent book of poems is Wishbone.

13 COMMENTS

9 Comments

  1. Zuzu | August 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Love these.

  2. Joe Carlson | August 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    A classic? Don’t know. But hear AQUALUNG once, it never leaves you. Poem?

    “Sitting on a park bench
    eyeing little girls
    with bad intent.
    Snot running down his nose
    greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes.
    Drying in the cold sun
    Watching as the frilly panties run.
    Feeling like a dead duck
    spitting out pieces of his broken luck.”

    Okay, it ain’t Milton.

  3. Rathnashikamani | August 12, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    “Rice glued to
    a badly washed spoon”
    How wonderfully poetic!
    Brings out a vehemence of images of the past crystallized in the bygone times!

  4. zeroreference | August 12, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    yes there are many vehement images, so crystallized and bygone

  5. Sija Soman | August 14, 2011 at 2:11 am

    One for the soul. “Even the snow is/ a qualm, a sea” …love it.

  6. Leslie Bruner | August 15, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Lovin’ THE CREW CHANGE!!! We all feel like Aqualung from time to time. Made me grin from ear to ear!!! Thanks for bringing back the rhythm of a certain Jethro Tull concert full on. I would salute you with my lighter, Aquaabdomen but since everyone has quit smoking, who has a lighter? I want the rest of the concert…

  7. Leslie Bruner | August 15, 2011 at 8:32 am

    …as I brushed my teeth, I realized that you also considered, “What makes a HOBO?” Decisions to not use one’s tools, sharpening only hopes, preferring the TRAMPoline. The Glitterati should be informed of this poem. Sparkles dusted down on your head from the party balcony!!!! …and CHAMPAGNE!!! (Buy a new suit for your inner-hobo!)

  8. Benjamin Welles | September 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    These are whimsical and thought-provoking; nice work by the author.

  9. Jane Johnson | May 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Oh, yes, future editor of POETRY magazine, I too find your poems absolutely brilliant, and look forward to submitting my own poems to POETRY magazine for your exceptionally astute consideration. And might I add, you are looking even more handsome than usual today.

4 Pingbacks

  1. [...] Share, a poet with 10 books to his credit, has been named a 12th editor of Poetry Magazine, a Chicago-based [...]

  2. [...] Share, a poet with 10 books to his credit, has been named the 12th editor of Poetry Magazine, the Chicago-based [...]

  3. [...] is a senior editor at the magazine, and has written several collections of poetry. You can read two of his poems over at The Paris [...]

  4. [...] is a senior editor at the magazine, and has written several collections of poetry. You can read two of his poems over at The Paris [...]

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