Annotation Poem re: Silkworms

by Sasha Grafit*

   

All this food’ll cost an arm and a leg (I mutter)

  • Psh—whateva kid,
    • the silkworm says,
  • I got eight.
  • See how they talk to me?
    • Note the clicking sound:
  • Like light rain
    • If you put your ear in—
  • The sound of little mouths
    • Chewing on wet leaves
  • A thousand hungry, quiet
  • little clocks
    • eating up your time
 
 
  • On a side note
  • Alchemy with Poison:
    • That yolk mold got old
  • and only a single worm
  • Was born
  • In a profane jar
  • And on the third moment
  • Got impaled
    • By a quick-witted fungus
  • Back to the pine box
    • Writhing sausages they all are
    • And one
    • in eagerness
    • As he worked
      • Typewriter fashion
    • Back and forth across
    • A sheaf of leaf
    • Bit a neighbor’s tail
      • Who reared up
      • Ready to fight
        • Then, forgot and forgave
  • They who sleep
    • Do not sleep long
    • And shed great coats of wasted skin:
      • Fashionables
      • Leisurely chasing styles
    • And their old eyes fall,
      • Like spaceman’s visors
        • At their sleepy heads
    • And fresh pale pupils darken
    • And harden in the air exposed
  • And when their fat extending cone legs
    • Bristle ‘round with fine downy cactus hairs
    • I recon
    • They’re ripe for cocoonin’
      • Soon
      • (I remember when they were just sesame seed-size and not yet wise)
  • Something disturbingly vampiric
  • about how they clamp down
    • On the vertebral main vein
    • Of a leaf
    • And rock with it, junkies on the nod
  • Am I a just and benign god to you?
    • I demand of them
    • While shoveling their filth
  • No
    • They cry up
    • As one
  • You are just a bootleg Zeus
    • In the lamp heat of this room
    • The worm bodies are dry and cool
    • Like old noodles
    • Or dead witches’ fingers
  • They get fat as lords
    • On the grub I give ‘em
    • Running around chasing
      • Mulberry leaves
        • In my ‘hood, in my pockets
        • Getting yelled at by neighbors
        • Jabbering at people in the park
        • Frightening children
        • As I manically snip and snap, pockets bulging green
  • They get fat as lords
    • On the grub I give ‘em
      • The only thanks I get is the satisfying
      • Crunch crunch of their gourmandizing chowing
      • Eating away at my life.

*Sasha Grafit is a M.F.A student in Fiction Writing at Columbia University. He participated in the lab seminar in Spring 2017.