The artichoke
of delicate heart
erect
in its battle-dress, builds
its minimal cupola;
keeps
stark
in its scallop of
scales.
Around it,
demoniac vegetables
bristle their thicknesses,
devise
tendrils and belfries,
the bulb's agitations;
while under the subsoil
the carrot
sleeps sound in its
rusty mustaches.
Runner and filaments
bleach in the vineyards,
whereon rise the vines.
The sedulous cabbage
arranges its petticoats;
oregano
sweetens a world;
and the artichoke
dulcetly there in a gardenplot,
armed for a skirmish,
goes proud
in its pomegranate
burnishes.
Till, on a day,
each by the other,
the artichoke moves
to its dream
of a market place
in the big willow
hoppers:
a battle formation.
Most warlike
of defilades-
with men
in the market stalls,
white shirts
in the soup-greens,
artichoke field marshals,
close-order conclaves,
commands, detonations,
and voices,
a crashing of crate staves.

And
Maria
come
down
with her hamper
to
make trial
of an artichoke:
she reflects, she examines,
she candles them up to the light like an egg,
never flinching;
she bargains,
she tumbles her prize
in a market bag
among shoes and a
cabbage head,
a bottle
of vinegar; is back
in her kitchen.
The artichoke drowns in a pot.

So you have it:
a vegetable, armed,
a profession
(call it an artichoke)
whose end
is millennial.
We taste of that
sweetness,
dismembering scale after scale.
We eat of a halcyon paste:
it is green at the artichoke heart.

Corinne Oct 2013

maybe i'm an acquired taste
maybe i'm like an artichoke cupcake
maybe you learn to like me
maybe you don't
maybe i try too hard
maybe i don't
maybe it's not me this time
maybe you only like cupcake
maybe you only like artichoke
maybe one day there will be someone
who likes both

The artichoke
With a tender heart
Dressed up like a warrior,
Standing at attention, it built
A small helmet
Under its scales
It remained
Unshakeable,
By its side
The crazy vegetables
Uncurled
Their tendrills and leaf-crowns,
Throbbing bulbs,
In the sub-soil
The carrot
With its red mustaches
Was sleeping,
The grapevine
Hung out to dry its branches
Through which the wine will rise,
The cabbage
Dedicated itself
To trying on skirts,
The oregano
To perfuming the world,
And the sweet
Artichoke
There in the garden,
Dressed like a warrior,
Burnished
Like a proud
Pomegrante.
And one day
Side by side
In big wicker baskets
Walking through the market
To realize their dream
The artichoke army
In formation.
Never was it so military
Like on parade.
The men
In their white shirts
Among the vegetables
Were
The Marshals
Of the artichokes
Lines in close order
Command voices,
And the bang
Of a falling box.

But
Then
Maria
Comes
With her basket
She chooses
An artichoke,
She's not afraid of it.
She examines it, she observes it
Up against the light like it was an egg,
She buys it,
She mixes it up
In her handbag
With a pair of shoes
With a cabbage head and a
Bottle
Of vinegar
Until
She enters the kitchen
And submerges it in a pot.

Thus ends
In peace
This career
Of the armed vegetable
Which is called an artichoke,
Then
Scale by scale,
We strip off
The delicacy
And eat
The peaceful mush
Of its green heart.

Kelley Kathleen Dec 2012

The artichoke is the most decadent of vegetables.  The green castle vegetable hording its sweet core treasure from all who hope to lasciviously bite from its tender yoke.  It is the “play-hard-to-get” vegetable.  The “can’t-take-it-with-you” vegetable.  It is the “long-walk-for-a-short-drink” vegetable.  It’s thorny talons hold tight the smallest most gem-like of foods – the heart.
Some who scorn this green beast challenge, buy them by the pound embalmed in vinegar like small dead corpses.  They chop the lifeless bodies onto ice white lettuce beds and gorge on the tasteless vinegar whores.
There are others, more intimates, however, who long for the delayed gratification of the never seen nor touched.  The intimates bide their time, teasing the artichoke with love nips, sucking away at the bits of meat on those rough talons adorned with butter.  The lover’s lips drip with the sweet promise of the treasure.
This ritual continues as the soul of the vegetable is unbound and both intimate and artichoke release themselves to the act until finally the moist mound is uncovered.  The beloved’s hot hairs are scraped away being careful not to tear at any of the tender meat.  This is a precise procedure demanding skill, patience, and above all, restraint.  For in the midst of passion one is likely to destroy the vulnerable soft bounty.  But with meticulous care the heart is finally lay bare still warm from its parent fortress.  A dab of hot yellow butter careens into her slick cavern belly and gently glides along her walls.  Passion’s will can hold no more and gratification must be demanded.
The bite is taken.  Sweet butter vegetable melting onto the tongue, trickling down the chin, forgotten droplets, as each simple bite is savored.  After only a few minutes, the maiden heart is gone – sacrificed to the appetite of the lover.  The remnants lay naked.  Exploded leaves fall empty into the trash and all one can do is rest in the glow, savoring and licking the lips of memory.

Third Eye Candy Oct 2012

edge of the World; the lip of a spoonfull
of neptune breath and jewels
where elephants room for the night. full
of blue doom; a bed and a pool
the edge [ was a world you slip through ]  youthful
no pontoons. next to a mule
with an Angel. cruel neckties, spiteful
apples, atoms
and you

the Spaulding gray   and blue Danube
diffused.

Kate Morgan Oct 2013

I am an empty jar
of artichoke
hearts.
Halved, sliced,
salted and eaten whole
with mouths open,
hearts
upon sleeves, she
gingerly caresses
parted lips. See,
marinated
hearts
beat tenderly
beneath linen made
of artichoke
hearts.
That is, until
I am left. Emptiness
consumes me, her
hearts
in the right place
but my hearts never there.
Empty, Broken.

Hearts
are delicious
until they expire.

WomanOfTheNow Dec 2016

I spend many moments
Thinking about how I feel
That no one likes me
Or wants to like me.

I guess I'm just a big hack.

Butch Decatoria Dec 2015

Love for all its glowing praise

Be not so simple to reflect

Too many subtexts to explain

Layer'd lessons so complex.

Retitled from ONION... because an artichoke has a heart
little Bird Jan 2015

I saw a necklace I thought you'd like.
I still like the sound of your name
even though it hurts to say.
I never liked it on anyone but you.
The healing bracelet you gave me
has been in my jewelry box for 13 months.
I wore it every day for more than a year
I haven't seen or spoken to you since Marie's birthday
September 9th
I wonder if losing you was part of my healing or yours.
Do you still dance to Florence & the Machine?
Do you still tell our stories?
Remember Stab Wound Guy
and the time we took videos of each other
throwing up in the same weekend
and it wasn't revealed until brunch the next day?
Or the cab driver that said "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
is the most romantic song?
What do you tell our friends when they ask where I've been?
I can't forgive you for saying
I would have been raped even if I hadn't come to Chicago.
I can't forgive you for saying
you needed me.
You held me crying on your bathroom floor.
Do you know I got a cat?
When was the last time you saw your sister?
I was never more honest than when I was with you.
Secrets in stairwells.
I don't look at our pictures.
I dreamt I saw you and you looked away.
I only speak about you gently.
I still think about you daily.
You are one of three things I wouldn't change
about my time in Chicago.
You taught me how to eat an artichoke
and how to survive.
Just so you know, I'm okay.
I wish you could see me smile now.
I still wish I knew how to thank you
or if you know I'm sorry.
What do you remember about me?

lily laura Feb 2015

Thistle of a flower
I will put your skin in my mouth
Your skin, soft and smooth
Silky like a spider web.
I will eat the flower before you bloom
Your skin, soft petals that feel like
The skin behind a lover’s ear and down their neck

Your rose bud manner,
Splotchy, matching the violet color of your veins
That run down my mother’s legs
More vibrant and noticeable with age.

The greener parts of you,
Soft and strong like fresh leather,
Are harder
But can be pulled open.
You’re earthy, the smell
Of dirt on my fingers makes me long for fresh
Moving air in my lungs.

The pores of your skin almost instantly
Browning once air brushes your skin.

You’re softer deep down at your yellowed heart.

Olivia Kent Jan 2016

Have a passion for music.
A passion for plays.
Must be left overs of purplish haze daze.
A passion for words and good looking birds.
Elegant peacocks and pheasants that flap.
Tail feathers extended in preparation for glory.
Male display is a vigorous thing.
All for the sake of having a fling.
(c)LIVVI

Steven Hutchison Apr 2014

Declare pragmatism a vulgarity,
a taste fowl to the tongue.
Embrace the long way home as
an integral part of healing
and swear by the virtue of art.

Decide that you will not be swayed
by flashing lights, airbrushed make-up,
or impressive displays of feathers.
Seek only the flower unseen
in a globe armored to the teeth.

Flea the baroque temptation,
extravagance will not suit you.
Confess to the heavens
your deepest desires
and find them in your own backyard.

Accept helplessness as a gift.
Stop wringing your hands,
for they will not wind the clock
in either direction you mistakenly feel
would be to your benefit.

Savor the precious little
any one thing can give you.
Scrape from each moment
all that is beautiful and velvet
and forget there is anything else.

driving on an electric highway,
it shoots to be the
monkey on the back.
white, green in a bottle or a machine.
foul breath creams
out words that i hold dear.

holding up a candle
by its burning wick
while a sea breeze slaps me
with a salty sting.

fumbling through an atmosphere
joined tongue and groove,
from the first breath to the last,
the artichoke heart pumps out a beat.

one foot in front of the other,
another swing, the pinata breaks,
raining down lies to be gathered up
and taken home,
to be stretched out and hung
along side of the truths.

© 2005

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