Sunday, November 6, 2011

Epic Poem #1: The Sex Bear


One to read aloud to the kids. It rhymes, and I'm working on the iambic pentameter, via the verse form Onegin stanza. (Go Vikram Seth!) Dedicated to all those FOOT trips gearing up to go into the woods.

The Sex Bear

To introduce a story sweet and scary,
Enter Yale. The ides of summer, 2007,
Our hero is a wide-eyed freshman.
His name is Forest.
A high-school whiz: 10 APs, 10 clubs,
His love life, though, had been a flub.
So college – sans parents: new life,
midnight food runs, frats, and mixers
blue-ball redress, seduction’s elixir.
“Forget my roommates, the guys next door—
The girls will adore me, every floor!”
Loading his backpack, for FOOT
Forest waltzed in his day dreams,
Saccharine images stayed put.

He stepped through Phelps Gate September 1st
Pots, pans. A make-shift band pounded
His ears, the shrieks, cacophonous bursts,
His heart turned weak, a tremendous first.
He saw neon shirts and bandanas
Stately Elm trees and soft crabgrass
And his leaders. “Hi, I'm Panda!
Senior in Morse, best college ever,
That’s what we all say—get used to that.”
His fellow FOOTies: normal, crazy, fine
Normal was Colin, Trevor, and Jay,
Crazy Steph, and Kira, let’s just say
Her tan legs, blonde hair, and ample,
Uh, personality, befit a dime.

The Appalachian was duress, inclined,
Boulders, nettles, iodine-sapped-time.
They worked on bear bags, tortillas with honey.
No phones, no watches, no need for money.
At night, fires, A-frames, eased their burden,
And Forest told stories, details dead certain,
Of his life, for example, 5th grade gym,
Falling on his bottom, class guffawing him.
Colin bored, Steph still crazy, but Kira—
her honey eyes met Forest’s, and he saw an
I want you look. So midnight, snores sonorous,
They crept to Ender’s lake, flashlight in hand
In nothing but long johns, warm but porous.

Their lips touch fire, ears start roaring
With the scritch scritch of crickets’ wings.
Forest thinks: “I’m young, sexy. I’m soaring!”
This nighttime thing – his first college fling.
Buttons ripped off, the briar bush heaves
They stumble tree to tree, crunch dead leaves.
A hook comes undone, a B-cup dangles;
Kira’s wrists drop silly bands, all her jangles.
“Ohh, right there,” she groans to the clouds;
“Shhh,” whispers Forest. “You’re being too loud.”
The moment dawns, call to consummate
But, alas, they can’t see him, watching from above.
He’s hungry, grumpy, with a fiend gait.
So he pounces. And eats them whole.

The next morning, over a chocolate pan-cake
Colin yells out, “Kira, Forest! They’ve flaked!”
The search party fans out, distresses,
Until Panda, poor soul, discovers the messes.
Here’s a collarbone, here’s some muscle,
“That’s a distended eyeball,” says Steph.
“Little ones, what happened was no puzzle.”
(Says Panda.) “The two, at night, vamoosed,
Seedy intent, hormones too loose,
Unaware of villainy in these woods,
black/white morality, the gangsta’ hood.
Not Loch Ness, nor Decepticon awaited:
'Twas more cruel fated. Hardly prepared,
unaware, predated by—(wait for it)—the sex bear.

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