Saturday, April 21, 2012

JonArno Lawon - Burning Hot Banana

Burning Hot Banana
JonArno Lawson

I bought a burning hot banana from a bin in Indiana
with a burning hot and sticky splitting freckly yellow skin
Splotchy-rotten over-ripe, thick enough to clog a pipe
When I think of it today I swoon and sicken from within.

© JonArno Lawson. All rights reserved.

I challenge you to read JonArno Lawson's poem aloud and not grin from the rhythms and sounds alone. Then, of course, there's the rather terrifying banana image that those rhythms and sounds conjure up, and you're all gonna have to deal with that on your own. I long ago made peace with it, and in fact, am looking forward to the book Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box, which contains Banana, just to see what other things I'll encounter there. But, hey,  I'm brave when it comes to poetry.

I love the way JonArno Lawson plays with words. That love started when I read his collection A Voweller's Bestiary (from Aardvark to Guineafowl) which is both a quirky alphabet book AND a collection of lipograms, a poetic form that, to me, makes the villanelle look easy. Except the thing is, when you read the book, you might not even be aware he's doing anything other than writing... even in poems where he only uses the vowel Y, for instance. Check out this 2010 Poetry Makers feature and see a few poems from the Bestiary to see what I mean. That's mighty fine stuff, indeed, and just one reason I'm thrilled to be able to share JonArno Lawson's work with you today at 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday we had Hope Anita Smith sharing Education/Application. Tomorrow... Robert L. Forbes with A Kestrel Couple! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


tanita✿davis said...

And now I want to know what he DID with this banana...

I love the tongue-twistery nature of this one!

Liz Brownlee said...

He he! I've gone right off bananas for a while, I really don't think i could eat one right this minute... what fun, I really enjoy tongue-twistery-alliterative-word-playing poems!

Linda B said...

Yes, the banana poem is terrific, try reading it aloud! I know that kids would love it, but I checked out the lipograms too. Amazing art to accomplish that challenge. Thanks for hosting JonArno, Greg. I didn't know about him & now, thankfully, I do.

Amy LV said...

Oh, that is fun to read! I only like bananas for about 1/2 hour of a banana's lifespan, so this one hit me in the sweet spot. Funny! I'm off to learn more about JonArno. Thank you both! a.

Charles Waters said...

What so great 30/30 is the diverse voices of all the children's poets here. From Hope Anita Smith one day to JonArno Lawson the next! Yes!!!!