This week’s poem from Slate is entitled, rather interestingly, How to Steal the Laptop of Your Childhood Nemesis, and it is written by poet Eric McHenry. As always, you can click the poem title there and hear Eric McHenry read his poem aloud, which I think is a really awesome thing. If you have a spare moment today, do check this out and add a little poetry to your day.
According to a website about Kansas poets, Eric McHenry is the author of Potscrubber Lullabies (Waywiser Press, 2006), a poetry collection that won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His poetry has appeared in The New Republic, Harvard Review, Northwest Review, Orion and Agni. He currently teaches at Washburn University. At that website, you can also find some more examples of McHenry’s poems.
How to Steal the Laptop of Your Childhood Nemesis, by Eric McHenry
She keeps a spare key in a hollow rock
outside the kitchen door she doesn’t lock.
Her lights are on. Her sheltie is all talk.
You shouldn’t need the code for the alarm
(1234) because she tried to arm
the thermostat again. You’re getting warm.
Her master suite smells like a Hallmark store.
Her vanity is huge. Try to ignore
the fact that everything’s a metaphor
and that I’ve let you walk right into it.
Blow out the Yankee Candles she left lit.
Take in the master bathroom. Take a shit.
Flush adamantly. Agitate the handle.
Refill the Softsoap. Light a Yankee Candle.
Her MacBook Pro is hiding, like the Grail,
in plain sight. Anyone but you will fail
to look directly at that bathroom scale.
Open her desktop. Close her Yahoo! Mail.
She keeps her recent photos in a folder
called “Photos.” Click a thumbnail and behold her
in sunlight in a champagne off-the-shoulder
sheath wedding dress, fussed over by attendants.
She’s 40 and has come into resplendence
like an inheritance, like heirloom pendants
flattering ear and flawless collarbone.
I should have told you, or you should have known,
that she has changed the most and aged the least
of all your enemies, her face uncreased
by laughter, worry, shame, or self-denial.
Those are her cheekbones. That’s her cryptic smile.
Those are her footsteps on the kitchen tile.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s poem from Slate. Check the archives for more interesting poetry.
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan