Blatant Bibliophile Blog

…feeling the need to read

Keep That Poetry Coming!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 18, 2008

Cherry Tomatoes

It’s still National Poetry Month, courtesy of the Academy of American Poets. Today’s poet is Sandra Beasley of Washington, D.C., a recent recipient of the 2008 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. The award, sponsored by Poets & Writers— the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers— provides two writers with an honorarium and all-expenses-paid trip to New York City in October to meet with agents, editors, publishers, and other members of the New York literary community. Beasley won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book Theories of Falling (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008), selected by Marie Howe. Her poems have also been featured in Verse Daily and Best New Poets (Samovar Press, 2005) and in journals such as 32 Poems, Barrow Street, Blackbird, RHINO, and SLATE. Awards for her work include the 2006 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North and fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Millay Colony. She serves on the editorial staff of The American Scholar. You can learn more about her at her website.

Cherry Tomatoes
by Sandra Beasley

Little bastards of vine.
Little demons by the pint.
Red eggs that never hatch,
just collapse and rot. When

my mom told me to gather
their grubby bodies
into my skirt, I’d cry. You
and your father, she’d chide—

the way, each time I kicked
and wailed against sailing,
my dad shook his head, said
You and your mother.

Now, a city girl, I ease one
loose from its siblings,
from its clear plastic coffin,
place it on my tongue.

Just to try. The smooth
surface resists, resists,
and erupts in my mouth:
seeds, juice, acid, blood

of a perfect household.
The way, when I finally
went sailing, my stomach
was rocked from inside

out. Little boat, big sea.
Handful of skinned sunsets.

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