Word Poetry




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Sample Poems by Corey Ginsberg

Undressing a Hard Boiled Egg

Scalding tips as I crunch your ivory armor
into spider webs, peel flaky fragments
from your oblong eyeball,

and cradle you, naked in palm, under the spigot.
You wobble wild on the counter,
a drunken ice skater attempting infinity.

I try to imagine
your previous life-the hollow bird cavity
you mistook for outermost shell.

Who first thought to eat you, strange animal fruit?
Was it hungry traveler raiding the roost,
searching for breast or thigh but willing to settle

for your jaundiced, unblinking eye?
Or is it human nature to explore each hidden galaxy
and its suspended sun, one careful bite at a time?

When Tuna Helper Needs Help

Call Mom and Dad. Tell them
you've blown through your inheritance
and are turning side-dish tricks to make rent.
Mom and Dad are sturdy Stouffer's entrees.
They came intact in covered containers.
They go to church and pray to complete protein sources.
Tell them you've resorted to sloppy pairings
of carb with starch. That you invite bags of Lays
over and sometimes wake up on the plate next to them.
Tell them you're tired of facilitating everyone else's
cravings, knowing you barely pass as a casserole.
Even tuna doesn't want to join your cause.
Mom and Dad want to send Chicken Helper to the rescue
but he's at boarding school playing water polo,
the perfect pre-packaged son.
Chicken Helper likes to point out his meat
comes from the freezer section. You can't
be held to his white-glove standard.
Once, you were able to transcend
the can. Once, you were out there helping
appetizers achieve meal status, not hiding at the bottom
of a cardboard casket, hoping nobody notices
the effort it would take to transform
your dried- up parts into a meal.

Disclaimer to my Future Husband

I'm unsalvageable scrap metal,
a collection of gnarled wire, rusty screws
and steel bearings the most skilled alchemist
couldn't weld into copper.

I'm an investment that will never mature,
a plummeting stock whose net worth is defined
in relation to how valuable it could have been.

I'm a display case that's never housed any trophies.

I'm an alarm clock ringing in an empty room,
always sounding off
because that's what I've been programmed to do.

I'm a plaid sofa-bed that refuses to open
enough to sleep two
but prides itself on having the capacity.

I'm a dangling modifier
most editors ignore.

I'm an over-the-counter placebo pill
whose authenticity is questioned
most by those who rely on it.

I'm a wind chime thrashing
in the gales of a hurricane. Maybe I'm the wind, too,
pushing the limits of destruction.

I'm a neon "Caution" sign
hidden from the main road
by a willow's moping branches.

I'm a jar you've tried to open
so many times you no longer crave
its brine-soaked treasures.

I'm sunburn on a tender stomach-a reminder
to the flesh of the carnage
of exposure.

I' skid marks betraying a virgin road,
proof that the impetus to slow down
always comes a moment too late.

First Night Sleeping with a Gun

A metronome
of yard sounds synchronizing
every slap snap
of dead
leaves, the drone
of dead sanctuary,
the dead coming back

to rob me. Again
the trees bear
broken witness. Blind
panorama, a stampede
of hiding places. Maybe
he's watching.
My dreams

still end
in tidal waves.
Like the other
vulnerable nights, submerged
exterior, my body in bed,
seventy percent water.

I had imagined
less teeth grinding, no more
apocalyptic soak throughs.
But the buoys of ego
sleep are too lopsided
to balance
the subcutaneous

self. The same dry dawn.
The same dreary drag
of tongue over cracked
teeth. The trigger
tempts. The trigger
is just beyond
my grasp.