04 July 2011

Amy Gerstler: Advice From A Caterpillar

"Chew your way into a new world.
Munch leaves.  Molt.  Rest.  Molt
again.  Self-reinvention is everything.
Spin many nest.  Cultivate stinging
bristles.  Don't get sentimental
about your discarede skins.  Grow
quickly.  Develop a yen for nettles.
Alternate crumpling and climbing.  Rely
on your antennae.  Sequester poisons
in your body for use at a later date.
When threatened, emit foul odors
in self-defense.  Behave cryptically
to confuse predators: change colors, spit,
or feign death.  If all else fails, tadte terrible."
 - Amy Gerstler from Dearest Creature, New York, Penguin Books: 2009.

 Katsuma Ryosui - Tresors des montagnes, 1765, Musee Guimet, Paris.


rosaria said...

WOW! This is worth repeating. May I have your permission to copy and repost?

Jane said...

By all means, share them. Both the image and the poem deserve our appreciation. Glad you liked the combination.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ha ha! Great advice, Jane!

Jane said...

Rouchswalwe, I hope this poem entices people to seek out Amy Gerstler's poetry. "Ghost Girl" and "Bitter Angel" are two I can recommend, along with this most recent volume.