Dec 20, 2010

1.1. Thomas Jay Rush: 2 poems

Prompt Books

I buy books to teach me
how to write poetry.
The only thing that oozes
from my pen is the anger
that I wasted my money
on a meager series of prompts
and suggestions
and definitions of form.

For my money I want a sausage maker
that will grind the stuff of my life
and create some breakfast meat
that I can eat on a Saturday morning
waiting in a quiet house
for everyone else to wake up.


At the Museum of Natural History
in the City of Brotherly Love,
where I volunteer,
among the dusty mammal exhibits,
is a butterfly room.

In the heat, turned way up,
the butterflies bask and flutter.
Rotting bananas left out
to feed flying gemstones.

A group of thirty kindergartners,
on a field trip, waiting for an elevator,
surround me, jumping up,
screaming, grabbing
for a dinosaur sticker.

I feel like the rotting banana
to their butterflies.

© 2010, Thomas Jay Rush, All rights reserved

Thomas Jay Rush is the owner of a small internet-based software company, a fact he chooses to ignore, focusing instead on writing short fiction, poetry and a recently completed first novel, Doylestown
. Mr. Rush lives with his family in Southeast Pennsylvania.

"Flutterbye" Photo by: Susan Campbell


  1. Good sausages are probably more beneficial than good poems...

  2. That last poem reminds me of an exhibit I saw at the museum for contemporary art, in Rome: a translucent house filled with butterflies (and indeed a banana bar).

  3. The sausage maker and the rotting banana to their butterflies are simply unforgetable images--especially now that that's in my head.

  4. As always, love the imagery that makes those every day things in life take on a whole new meaning.

  5. For my money, Prompt Book is the more compelling poem. The smell of sausage, rising through a sleeping house, draws me down to breakfast! That's the poetry we all love, whether we write it ourselves, or someone we admire.

    The butterflies poem is a little more diffuse. I've been (literally) all the places you describe, but I think you can discard something, maybe the city of brotherly love, and get closer to the heart of it. My personal guess is that the rotting bananas are at the core.

    Every good poem is a challenge. What belongs, what doesn't; what makes me comfortable, what doesn't. Yours, as always, deliver.

  6. the imagery of a frustrated poet is well brought out in the first poem and in the second one, i can distinctly see a group of giggling kindergartners.I always have immense admiration for those who write poetry, because it is much more difficult than prose.