Metaphorsis = Metaphor/Metamorphosis

Thank you to The Laurel Review for selecting my (prose) poetry chapbook, Metaphorsis, as the winner of the Midwest Chapbook Contest, to be published by Greentower Press in 2020.

This project I actually did write during nursing school, while thinking about nursing theory, life changes, pain, and the metamorphosis of insects. Also, thank you so much, Dr. Lytle, for the entomological consult.

In a way, the manuscript was a precursor to our RN graduation speech about going from useless eggs and pathetic, wormy caterpillars to brand new butterflies. It's not all Kafka's The Metamorphosis, but we humans undergo metamorphosis metaphorically, through growth, life events, chance encounters, and seasons of life.

Since I never submitted parts of this project to journals, here're some free excerpts:

A microcosmic metaphor for the tenderness and terror of human longing and loss: the life cycle of an arthropod.*

We are always molting, shedding old cells, every few days a new stomach lining, each week new lung alveoli, new liver hepatocytes yearly, seven years almost the entire body renewed.

Growth, and loss, are constants.
To molt: to shed old feathers, skin, hair, or shell, to make way for new growth.
To molt = pain & vulnerability.

Instar: a phase between two periods of molting.
With each instar, something is lost. Innocence, trust, the intangible and tangible. Beloved pets, loveys, grandparents, best friends, childhood.


The imago is an adult insect, bright-eyed, emerald-winged. 
The imaginal stage: the stage in which an insect attains maturity.

The imago is also the image of one’s parents, in the best and worst ways.
Attachment theory, disciplinarian/authoritarian/let-them-eat-grass, love languages, refrigerator for mom—what reenactment of your childhood (damage) do you crave? Did your parents infantilize you? Ignore you? Congratulations, you will be attracted to just that, completely subconsciously and in a way out of your control, when it comes to friendships and partners. Whatever private prison your childhood (and the adults in it) imposed on you, remains part of you, your imago, even as you become a full-grown imago.

Is this the inescapable karma that makes us relive life cycles, patterns and relationships? Is it possible to achieve nirvana?

A robust, young, praying mantis, deprived of food, can eat every last one of its siblings.

*An arthropod is an animal with no spinal column but has an exoskeleton, a body in sections, and paired, jointed appendages.


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