Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The onion

The onion waits there on the counter
I don't particularly want to peel it
But what is a meal without the depth of an onion
And a little garlic?

Under its crisp amber outer jacket,
The next layer is still part paper, part digestible,
Beneath that is the first full layer of
Wholly pregnant, pungent succulence

Beyond each convex sheet the membrane clings
And corked below the membrane the gas
That springs up, startling tears from my eyes
There are various methods for avoiding this

A piece of bread, clenched between the teeth,
Or potato, turning the head away,
Wearing rose-colored glasses,
In the end

The layers still wait to be pulled back to reach —
I remind myself — the increasingly sweet, juicy interior
Layer by layer, tear by tear, there is a reward
I think I've avoided this onion all my life

Onion image found at UCLA.


Blogger moira said...

"Les sugiero ponerse un pequeño trozo de cebolla en la mollera con el fin de evitar el molesto lagrimeo que se produce cuando uno la está cortando."

From 'Como agua para chocolate,' by Laura Esquivel. I am not well versed enough in Spanish to read it yet, but loved the movie.

11/08/2005 6:04 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Well, now, that's a method I'd not heard of. Put a piece of the onion on your head?? Is it supposed to draw the vapors, I wonder? Very good movie, I agree. Thanks for dropping by.

11/08/2005 7:59 PM  
Blogger garnet david said...

I smiled at the ending. keep reminding yourself. I'll do the same.

11/08/2005 8:56 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I love the way you use words. When I write poetry, my normally varied vocabulary often seems to vanish from my memory. You conjure up wonderful pictures, i.e wholly pregnant, pungent succulence.

11/08/2005 11:36 PM  
Blogger Stranger Ken said...

The layers of the onion ... the five thousand spirits.

11/09/2005 1:17 PM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

You write the most succulent verse about simple good foods. I'm still dreaming about that apple and cheese...and now this onion.

11/09/2005 8:34 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Garnet, thanks for visiting. I can always use reminding. Perhaps we can remind each other!

Mary, for me, words themselves are succulent and ripe for picking. I try to keep things accessible though, because nothing annoys me more than a poet who seems intentionally abstruse!

Ken, you mean, like, Way Back in the 1960s? ...Did you try those rose-colored glasses on?? ;-)

Patry, thank you. Yours is high praise in my book. I'm so glad you stopped by.

11/10/2005 12:54 PM  
Blogger Stranger Ken said...

Way,way back before Wild World War Three ... and, yes, I'm afraid I did, although recognizing the reference is a definite admission of a-g-e!

11/11/2005 3:19 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Took me a minute to figure out your reference! Thanks for introducing me to the album — it is (from the perspective of 2005) an amusingly psychodelic twist on folk rock!

11/13/2005 3:21 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home