Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Analysis of "Moon-Wrapped Fragrant Spareribs" by Kiki Petrosino

Original poem reprinted online here:  "Moon-Wrapped Fragrant Spareribs" by Kiki Petrosino
Originally read: September 8, 2013
More information about the Poet:  Kiki Petrosino


The focus is "the eater."  Now the eater could be innocuous as a presence who likes to eat.  But further into the poem, the eater gains attributes, gains power.

"Happy is the eater who rules by the cyclone of her face."  The metaphor is a bit humorous here since the images are over-exaggerated -- cyclone face.  But in the background of the image is the emotion of "happy"

"By the / syrup of her eye shall she drown the clanging earth."  Now with this line there's the mix of the body and the earth.  The lines are still a bit humorous, however the verb "drown" foreshadows a more serious sense.

"For the eater / combs justice like beeswax through her hair, & her hands catch only righteousness in their fiery mesh."  Note how each description adds to the physical description of the character through ability not physicality -- combing justice (like beeswax) through hair, catching righteousness with her hands, cyclone of the face.

"Therefore, lament neither the / appetite that dismasts your cities, nor the emerald in her gut / that spins."  This is the first mention of the you in the poem, a ubiquitous you. in which the appetite "dismasts" a city, but note the comparative of the city and the "emerald in her gut."  The surreal descriptions further distances the character from human into metaphor.

"I tell you, the eater is more terrible than all your needlework / of lemongrass, purer than aluminum the eater's hum at eventide."  Here is the first instance of the "I" being a part of the poem.  It's as thought the speaker is characterizing the "eater" to be more and more surreal as to purposely separate.

"Fear not her blue-black shadow as she cruises into your airspace."  The key is "fear" not so much the emotion, but to put a positive connotation on the unknown approach -- awe, perhaps?  Sublime?

"There's lightning in the matrix of her marrow.  Her teeth make / mirrors of the sea."  The first image I thought of at this point is Charybdis.  But probably not the allusion here.  Actually, probably no allusion here.  The focus is on the surreal, the nature, not in fear, but in awe in creating this female figure.  Note how all this is contained, but not destroying things.

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