Sunday October 27th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the tiger.

Because we just finished watching Life of Pi on Netflix. Excellent film.

The wind returned to Osoyoos this morning for its first proper visit in quite a long time. I'm hoping it plans on leaving at least a few fall leaves on the trees, as I haven't taken very many pictures of them this year.

Kat took me out to dinner at the Watermark this evening, which we greatly enjoyed. We'd originally thought we'd go last night but then realized I'd be more likely to have the energy for it on a non-market day.

I'd say that was the right call.


There's a tiger on the boat
Along with little old me;
We're drifting in circles
In the middle of the sea.

There's a tiger on this boat,
I've got nowhere to flee;
We're stuck in this together,
Because the tiger is me.


David said...

Giuseppe felt the points of the tiger's teeth lightly piercing his flabby little neck. Oh they tell Giuseppe, this is easy. Any clown can do it. But Giuseppe is not any clown, he is THE clown. The tiger held him firmly in place, one unintentional move would slash his neck. Oh Giuseppe, lions are too easy, why would you try them. That inbred Montalvo plays with lions every night. Giuseppe must quit drinking. The tiger's stomach rumbled, not from hunger, but from indigestion. Giuseppe should not have fed him lettuce. Giuseppe saw the other clowns with a hose. Giuseppe knew how things ended when clowns wield a hose. No he shouted. Too late, the tigers mouth filled with water. Giuseppe gurgled as if his head was submerged in a bucket. The tiger coughed, loosened his grip. Giuseppe fell backwards onto the sawdust covered Midway. A clown stood over him, rum in hand, rum on Giuseppe's lips. Giuseppe, fortified, rose to his feet. Let us try a camel.

morganna said...

Black, gold
His stripes haunt my
Dreams -- and the dark jungle.
Gleaming in the greenish light, he
Prowls the tree trunks, coming ever closer
He is coming for me, dreaming
Of a magnificent
Meal -- me! Here come
The stripes. . .

Greg said...

@David: that's bizarre, and I think that captures the clows at the circus perfectly.

@Morganna: very fluid and beautifully poetic. Some of the line endings are a bit abrupt though for me given the smoothness of the poem as a whole.

@Marc: that's a fretful little poem! In just 8 lines you've managed to capture a whole whirl of identity confusion and there's a suggestion that there might be delirium there from the time at sea. Very nice!
There's been a lot of wind in London as well, so today's been a little quiet as people struggle to get into work past fallen trees and downed power lines. I think it's all recovered now (it's evening now), but it's unusual enough over here to be worthy of constant conversation :)

The tiger
Matt checked the chart again, but the numbers hadn't changed. The Chinese year of his birth was given as the Tiger: "people born in the Year of the Tiger benefit from its warding of fire, thieves and ghosts." Well, that was just great, and probably explained why his flint wouldn't strike any sparks and his matches were somehow all soggy. It wasn't even like he could beg his guardian angel for help, given that this Tiger had probably eaten it.
He shivered and yawned, and wondered sleepily how you knew when hypothermia was setting in.

Anonymous said...

personally, i loved the book more ;) fascinating idea for a book and movie though, huh.

mine ...
The Tiger

He sat next to me, snuggling in tight, about as close to a cuddle from this independent two year old as I was ever going to get.
He looked at me and sighed, such an old sigh for a youngin'. it usually meant he was either tired, or frustrated, or both. Sometimes it meant he didn't know what he wanted, or perhaps didn't have the words for it, yet.
Then it clicked in, he said, "I want a tiger ice cream, please!"
'Such nice manners,' I thought.
"I don't have one of those," I replied. "I have a chocolate Magnum, a pineapple Split, a Bounty and a Barney Banana, but I don't have any tiger ice creams."
He looked at me as if I were a stupid old fool.
"I show you," he said, and pulled me up off the couch. We marched into the kitchen, heading to the freezer which he could open by himself.
He reached for the second drawer, knowing exactly where the treasures were stored, rummaged around for a hit and found it.
It was wrapped in bright yellow, his favourite colour (this week). it had tiny little figures on it. I had to get my glasses to see what the pictures were.
In black were tiny sketches of lions. "Ah, Paddle Pop!" I announced.
"Yeah, I knew you had tiger ice creams!"

It was too precious. I wasn't going to correct him this time. To me, now, the Paddle Pop lion will always transmogrify into a tiger.

morganna said...

Thanks for the feedback, Greg. I was writing a rictameter, with strict syllable counts for each line -- hence the awkward line breaks. I think I will rewrite and post to my blog (prob'ly Thursday).

Marc said...

David - to add to Greg's comment, I find that delightfully bizarre. Love the voice in this one.

Morganna - great imagery. I can see what Greg means about some of those line endings, but also appreciate (now that you've explained it) your reason for using them. I'd be curious to see a less... constricted? Sure. A less constricted version, if that's what you intend to write.

Greg - well, at least he can rest in the knowledge that he's unlikely to be bothered by thieves or ghosts!

... in his dying moments.

Writebite - I enjoyed both, which is unusual for me. Typically I enjoy one (the book, generally) much more than the other. But yes, super interesting concept.

Very sweet scene. Left me looking forward to Max being able to communicate like that :)