hydrohotel.net - a Richard Price webspace


"Small mouths with bad teeth" maybe the Taino meant that
when they first said: "Maize".

Home for the Taino was the Bahamas, the Great Antilles, past tense. Loan words / plunder.

"Small mouths with bad teeth."

Modern maize has perfect dentistry.
OK, it's yellow, but it's not yellowing.

It's not an exact image.

I bet in certain London allotments
the sweet corn has perfect dentistry.
But in a good way.

It's not an exact image.

It's not exact
the tall stalks and long arms of the sweet corn plant,
arms with weak elbows,
make each a human figure,
its own scarecrow,

and thinking about that head of corn again
(maybe I do think too much,
which is the same as not enough
about everything else)
there's a Rubik's cube quality to it.
Easy all the squares are the same.

And corn on the cob has a barrel-like look, too
like the barrel in the most complex of locks, maybe,
or an organic grenade an advanced GM crop, that one,
CIA approved,
coy in its tough green wrapping,

and the fine fibres that help protect it
(prepare here for the recurrence of an earlier
and hardly winning motif),
those fibres are as tough as dental floss,
and actually your teeth can feel
rigorously tested after corn on the cob.

"Small mouths with bad teeth" who knows?
Or just "Gold". Certainly, gold in your hands.

This poem was originally published in the magazine Bad Press. It was meant for Earliest Spring Yet and then Rays but missed the final cut in both cases. It doesn't appear in any of Richard Price's collections. It is part of the hydrohotel.net New Poetry Sampler



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