Line Breaks & Other Violent Crimes: "Piranha," by Frank Montesonti
I try to tell my students to use images: say, a piranha eating an apple or a piranha flying through the air and biting a woman’s jugular.
Maybe you could say that when the blood sprays from the woman’s neck it looks like, hmm, a red Chinese fan.
When I’m asked what a poem should be like, I simply state the fact that a full-sized cow can walk into a river and a school of piranha can devour it in two minutes.
They work their way in the belly and eat out the soft organs. Then the skin and head dance on top of the water.
Frank, do all our poems have to be about piranhas? a student asks—the piranha. No, no, not if you don’t want them to be about piranhas, I tell her, of course I really don’t see the point of not writing about piranhas:
that moment when the water starts to break and pop before the frenzy.