House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.


Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.

The Little Foxes

Another in the Scottish Husband series… do you think I have to keep repeating “Scottish Husband”? as the protagonist/antagonist? Not sure I exactly captured the essence of this experience. Trying to figure it out as I wrote. Likely I’ll get closer as I get feedback and rewrite… rewrite… get deeper… “down more rungs on the ladder” as Tracy K. Smith suggested.

The Little Foxes

We arrived at the theatre's majesty of expectation,     
prisms of light from the chandeliers.
How we hurried.                                                  
His smell complex velvet jacket
like fallen leaves discovered in a vintage desk --
earthy, woody and full of mystery.

My eyes swimming with points of light,
remembering the motion of roundabouts.
The theatre was at the very end of
the City line on the underground.
My Scottish husband (he?) never completely answered any of my questions.
The tube map was how I oriented myself.

The actress was a legend in America.
Myths about her many husbands. How she
wore her eye-shadow.  The audience applauded
and applauded. Her eyes painted Egyptian blue.
When she walked out on stage her scheming 
décolletage. The play was a drama about the 
selfish pursuit of the American Dream.

I gripped the handbill. Her Southern belle
cinched waist, glistening gemstone choker,
an exaggerated portrayal he muttered, restless.
"There are people who eat the earth."
The drawing room of erect posturing,
Southern drawl wrawling I won't say bray. 
her two actor brothers foxy as she.

He could not sit still. The era of old Hollywood
lost on him. Her fame submerging
the rest of the cast, the story itself. I tried
to pay attention. A certain impassibility rippling
through the audience. Her way of shrugging,
repertoire of shoulders, bare and otherwise.
Her jetset glamour attracting nobility in the
crowd. He rifled his fingers. Was she too
American? An intermission of undimmed opulence.

We walked out on Elizabeth Taylor.
He said he didn't have time to waste on theatrics.

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