Poemblot (as in inkblot) is a regular feature where a general reader (i.e. someone who does not have an educational or professional background in writing or literature) is shown a poem and asked to offer an immediate impression. The reader reads the poem no more than twice and is not given any instruction on how to read it or information about the author. One of the purposes of Poemblot is to explore the different perceptions and assumptions readers bring to a text. The readers' full names will not be shared to protect them from rampaging, ego-bruised poets on social media. Instead we'll offer some basic background information and a representational photo provided by each reader as a framework for who they are.
Occupation: University Administrator in a Doctoral Program
Favorite Book: Brideshead Revisited
Favorite Movie: Rushmore
Favorite TV Show: Current: House of Cards of All time: Arrested Development (I know, so cliché)
Favorite Song: This morning is was M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” It works for the commute
BY CYNTHIA ARRIEU-KING
The flowers have grown in their pots despite winter
An animal is stuck in the floorboards, getting quieter
The plant is recovering from that week I forgot to water it
The protozoa as permeable, willful, and intricate as ever
Ticking away in this insightful quiet
The banished feelings
They have space to rise
Antipathy and grim rinse
The whatnot I gave away about myself, my luster
The peaceful neglect I gave his advice
About what traffic not to walk into, or make a decision
But to be fair his request that I lie down on my sofa
or asking me for mints, how was I supposed to know
he wanted to kiss me, these moves
pulled from another cohort’s playbook
I grew up on taking someone’s hand and pulling it closer
Thereby pulling an entire body closer
I grew up on looking straight in the eyes
And saying I want to kiss you and everyone
Then knows: faces much approach
I have no record of desire but the colors of these ronunculus
I have no eon ambergris but the eyes of my not lover
Anna P.’s Immediate Impressions
1. What strikes you most about this poem? Does reading it bring up any thoughts, emotions or sensations?
It didn’t bring up any cohesive thoughts. Perhaps despair, the blunting of emotion that comes from depression, and uncertainty when it comes to love.
2. What do you like most about this poem?
I like bleak descriptions of quiet homes.
3. What do you like least about this poem?
The practical side of me couldn’t figure out what it was about. I generally do not have confidence when reading poetry and can only describe vague feelings rather than concrete critique.
4. Before reading any poem, do you come to it with certain expectations? If so, does this particular poem meet those expectations? Does your expectations affect your opinion of this poem?
I do not read a poem with expectations as I am not an avid reader of poetry. Although I will say, it has sparked my interest. I think I miss poetry.
5. Does this poem make you want to read more poems?
Yes. Believe it or not. It makes me want to spend the whole weekend reading wacky poems, while drinking box wine.