Calling this a “procedure poem” feels a bit like cheating since my word choice was very subjective, however there was some form of a procedure going on in this relatively lacking process so I’m sticking with it! It goes a little something like this:
1. I sacrilegiously rip out a random page from Walden by Thoreau
2. I just start circling words I find appealing and those snarky necessary ones like “the,” “an,” and “a.” (NOTE: these can be paired or even full lines, if I so please)
3. From these words, and these words only, I scrap together a poem
When at the Pond
Scarcity as a spiritual life,
our strange abandonment
detains us in scenery,
the savage delight to
devour him raw.
Hungry hunters, in their
are alone and observing
the solitary scene of a
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks
Somehow this thing has become the place where we all come to congregate. A blanket of crusty shed skin, weeds of multi-colored hair sprouting from every cross section and stains of unknown origin layering its outer shell. Despite the mess, people squish their bodies in an effort to fill up every available space and try their best to find a comfortable nook for their hips to rest. People come and go, bringing a cacophony of distinct scents of rotting perfume, unwashed hair, and sweat from the previous workout. Some rub off smoke from their jackets while other take with them the garbled mixture from the surface. I tried rubbing one of those tree air fresheners on it once, an ocean breeze, but it just added to the evolving stench. After a while your nostrils grow numb to it though or maybe you just get used to it because the smell contains you somewhere in there. Either way, it stuck like superglue to fake nails.
We usually sat on old blue when we were watching movies or having some serious girl talk involving an entire box of Kleenex and an uncomfortable amount of hugging. I never liked that we named our futon old blue. Not only was it kind-of tacky, but clearly the thing was aqua and we didn’t give any credit to the green, which was equally present.
“I swear, it is as though they have only heard of a handful of colors. I mean, seriously, even a child could identify that as aqua,” Annie lamented.
“It’s true, they would probably think ROYGBIV was a brand of denim,” I responded hastily.
Only Annie and I cared about this because we were artists and distinctions of colors are important. We still call it old blue though.
The other night I found myself seeping into its deep crack from where one of the bars in the supporting structure went missing and discovered a crumpled bit of paper, ripped from the corner, with a telephone number on it. No name. No hint as to who it belonged to. Like a child on an easter egg hunt I kept searching, sliding my hands through the crease as if running my hand through a shallow pool. I found the usual suspects, loose change, crumbs, lint, but then I found a card. The card was slightly larger than a business card, but was certainly nothing of the sort. On its laminated front was a picture of jesus and on the back a collection of bible verses and , I assume the path to salvation. Wherever that is. Finding jesus in my couch was unexpected and if I hadn’t found that card I likely would’ve called that telephone number. But I was too afraid god would’ve answered and I wasn’t ready for a conversation like that.