Poemblot: 9

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.

The Reader

Sam M.IMG_0784

Age: 43

Occupation: Abuse Manager

Favorite Book: Lord of the Rings

Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump

Favorite TV Show: Doctor Who

Favorite Song:American Pie”



The Poem


The Onion posted a picture with the caption “U.S. Mint Introduces New Double-Stuf Quarters,” with two pairs of quarters stuffed with fluffy, shiny stuffing.

Funny, but more beautiful than a cookie.

I have a recurring dream in which I’m eating coins. They’re surprisingly chewable, and I don’t lose any teeth.

Sometimes in response to a bet or just because I’m hungry.

A quarter probably buys about as much nutrition as it contains within its circle.

Did you ever choose a cupcake with the little silver balls on the top?

They’re called, alternatively, dragees ($6.99 Oasis Supply free shipping), cachous (AU $6.50 eBay), silver nonpareils ($6.74, Planet Bake), pearls ($5.95, Party Shop), or just sprinkles or toppings ($4.49 Wilton add-on item, Amazon, not eligible for Prime shipping). Some are edible and some are not.

Other silver foods on Amazon include Silver Cherry Mini-Unicorn Pops, 24 Pack, $12.99; Big Dot of Happiness Round Party Candy Kit Silver, $39.99; Silver Sixlets, 1-pound bag, $5.99; Silver Milk Chocolate M&Ms, $15.10; Silver 1-Inch Gumballs, $4.99; Silver Swirl Pops, $12.99; Silver Chocolate Rocks Candy Nuggets, $6.43; Jordan Almonds, Silver, $7.50; plus a host of things wrapped in silver foil.

Too much sugar impairs brain function. “It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion.” –Nature

Although one customer said the first is “hardly silver” and gave it only one star.

On my wish list: silver oranges, silver lettuce, silver water, silver grapes, silver broccoli, silver potato chips, a silver pie.


Sam M.’s Immediate Impressions

1. What strikes you most about this poem? Does reading it bring up any thoughts, emotions or sensations? 

The thing that got me first was the two pairs of quarters.  I started thinking about why you needed two pair of to make an Oreo of quarters rather than just one. Was it just like two cookies? Or one cookie that somehow used all four quarters? Or was each quarter hollow with filling inside making four cookies?  I spent a lot of time thinking about just that one phrase. As it continued, I was just left puzzled. It just seemed stream of consciousness, with no real point, while not leaving me any real emotional residue either.

2. What do you like most about this poem?

I kinda want to go squeeze cream filling between quarters now.

3. What do you like least about this poem?

The non-uniformity in the lines. For some reason it bugged me that there wasn’t a distinct pattern, but instead an odd mix of short quips and long listy lines.

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?

My expectations of poems in general are the old fashioned ones, of something with strong rhythm and probably rhyme, highly structured and that fairly vividly paints a picture of a thing, a person, an event or an emotion. I honestly didn’t expect any of that from this exercise, since I realize those expectations are somewhat out-of-date. So my “general poem” expectations were not met, but it was about what I expected on agreeing to do this. Less sex though. Unless of course the whole thing was really a sex metaphor and it went completely over my head. :-)

5. Does this poem make you want to read more poems?

Can’t say that it does, no. Sorry! :-)

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