A Taste of the Absurd

9 Aug

To be a writer is to build impossible worlds and make them seem real; the writer sits down to write and, one syllable after another, he paints in scents and sounds, puts one object here (not there), and focuses in on an image that reminds us of the connection between what we see and what we feel. The beauty of this awesome task is, in part, its room for possibility. The writer can create worlds we’ve never dreamed of and make the unusual come to life.

This week, we feature a writer who offers us into a rather absurd world. As you’ll see in this delightful poem, William transforms a spoon into an endless container, a bottomless well, then fills it with more and more of the impossible. Except, in the end—well . . . you’ll have to read for yourself.

The Ridiculous Spoon

—after Kit Wright’s “The Magic Box”

I will put in the spoon
A ninth planet with clouds of poison,
Water from the moon of Mars,
A plane running on hydrogen with helium from crackers.
I will put in the spoon
A goldfish with wings of steel,
A door when it is a leaf,
Fire on water with neon lights.
I will put in the spoon
The square of four when it equals seventeen,
The essence of pretzels on purple curtains,
Ramen on a plate with seasoning that doesn’t taste good.
I will put in the spoon
The last breath of a Martian-mallow,
And the first death of a cat with nine lives,
And electric fertilizer that kills grass.
This spoon is made of chopsticks, knives, and forks
With gasoline vapors inside the handle
And entire universes in the spoon part.
I will shrink into the spoon
Even though it doesn’t officially exist.

William, fifth grade, Badgerdog Creative Writing Summer Camp

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