Friday, February 15, 2013 | By: Brianna

Poetry Friday: Tooth Brush to the Bicycle Tire

In the spirit of the Valentine's Day season, I thought I would write about a love poem.  And I looked through the other poems that I looked at for Poetry Friday and realized, "Hey, I've done a lot of love poetry.  Is this a coincidence...?"  Probably not.  And then when I typed that sentence out and figured I should double check that I've indeed done "a lot" of love poetry, I realized that it was really just the last two poems that I wrote about that were love poems.  Now I feel dumb for making that wild generalization about myself.  I should be offended, but it would really suck if I got angry at myself at this point.

So here we have a poem by Sarah Kay, "Tooth Brush to the Bicycle Tire."

First off, it must be said that I think Sarah Kay and this poem are adorable.  I love watching videos of her performing because she never uses superfluous hand motions, and when she does use hand motions it looks like she's dancing.  Basically I think she's super graceful and I love her voice.  Not really something I can comment about with regards to the actual poem...but yeah.

Okay, I love this concept.  The idea of having inanimate objects speaking to each other is a beautiful one because we're surrounded by so much stuff, why not use it in our art?  It reminds me of Pablo Neruda's Odes to Common Things which I still haven't read all the way through, but "Ode to My Socks" sticks out.  I feel like we definitely don't appreciate the objects that we use daily, so giving them a voice or thanking them is something that I can appreciate.

"They said that you would tread all over me...that you were full of hot air...that it would be a vicious cycle..." Alright, so there are some puns here.  I love the puns.  So much love for the puns.  This sounds like typical advice that someone would get when it comes to loving someone from a "different world," and I think when this is contrasted with the language the tooth brush actually uses to express its love, it makes the declaration more meaningful.  We've got the "they" telling the toothbrush all these things, things that sound like they would be cliche but because it's about a bicycle tire...they're accidentally punning.  And the tooth brush seems to see the ridiculousness of it, and just nods, smiles, and goes on its merry way loving the bicycle tire.

There's a lot to be said about love poetry, and it can very easily slip into the realm of the cliche because there's just so much of it.  But I think that this poem with the tooth brush seeing "rough edges" and fitting "into any place you'll let me" is both sweet and true of loving someone.  Because everyone knows love is about seeing the whole picture and loving the flaws.

Love this poem, love the performance, love, love, love.

But I was really close to doing today's poem on Taylor Mali's How Falling in Love Is Like Owning a Dog.

1.  Make this concept your own.  Write your own love letter from one inanimate object to another.  How does the Toaster feel about the Lawn Mower?  And what about the Exercise Ball to the Dining Room Chair?  Is there a secret love triangle between the Whisk, the Waffle Iron, and the Lamp Shade?  Hm...
2.  So what's the bicycle tire's take on all this?  Does it return the tooth brush's love or is it stuck in a pair?
3.  Bring on the puns on cliched love advice.  It's gotta be there somewhere.
4.  What "places" do we fit in for the ones we love?
5.  What is it that "they" always say?  Do we take their advice?

"If loving you means getting dirty,
bring on the grime!"
- Sarah Kay, 'Tooth Brush to the Bicycle Tire'


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