Just for you, Jennifer Bullis. Please to ignore the cooked-on scunge around the burner in the first one. The second, I call, “Hey, what happened to Larry?”.
Episiotomy? No, epistolary. Meaning, in the form of a letter to someone. Or in this case, to something. I was supposed to write a letter to an inanimate object and incorporate at least four of these elements:
1) a song lyric
2) a historical fact
3) an oddball adjective-noun combination (like red grass or loud silence)
4) a fruit
5) the name of a street in your neighborhood
6) a measure of distance
If you’re not from around here (the U.S., that is), you might not immediately know what object I’m addressing. Also, I tried this again tonight and enjoyed the results. I actually prefer the chicks (maybe because they’re, I don’t know, more iconic?), and I think the heat should be low, not high. Just like when you toast marshmallows, you want more of a slow, controlled burn — unless you happen to like a totally charred outside and solid inside (and if you do, hey, that’s none of my business). Anyway … here’s the poem already.
The Thrill is Gone
Dear Marshmallow Peep,
I used to love to skewer and roast you
over the flame of our gas range.
But this year, you taste too sweet.
The thrill is gone, baby. The thrill is gone away.
You’re like a rotten apple: Cloying. Sick.
I bought fifteen of you at the CVS
a block from where I work; I’m glad I didn’t
go all the way to the one on Kenwood.
I wouldn’t walk a mile for you, Peep—
not even the long-short miles that make up
my shaggy orbit. People used to believe the sun
orbited the Earth. I no longer revolve around you,
Peep. Not that I ever did, but still, there was
something about you as you sizzled and melted,
gnarled and charred, something about your
crispy shell, creamy inside, something about
post-Easter chicks pierced and flambéed.
I don’t know what happened. If I could reignite
the fire inside me, I would. It was nice to desire
something so small, so attainable as you.