my philosophy of cutting elephants into tiny slices

they come
across the thames, nile, spree, mekong, the rhine
giant elephants, ears huge like towers, scraping noses on the sky

&grey like raindays

building forts inside the mind “you caNNot”
voices like a dove, a fox, an 8V car, the tocKing of a keyboard
&with thumbs like that of fat mafia dons
press the aorta that runs along neck&stomach

they talk a lot
smart like Phileas Fogg
smooth like a McDonald’s shake
believe it // not,
they even paint their toenails red (just so that you would underestimate-)&

often there’s an honest core
a page scribbled in smallprint in a wise man’s script
to get to it

you have to sliCe them (sorry but–)
any kitchen knife will do
fresh peppermint (cause they don’t like the taste)
honey, hidden in a bear’s cave (hey — be brave!)
pomegranate seeds(and even if you have to pay 3,99 for one piece)
black/pink pepper corns, crushed in a granite mortar
in the full moon
naked (nah//i’m kidding)

once they realize you’re not (or just a little bit) afraid
they will cooperate
purr like a cat (ok, almost)
and lick the pomegranate from your hands
cause in the end
it all depends
on how you feed them


for dVerse

had a surgery on my left hand yesterday and cannot type well… luckily the poem was written already. my comments though will be a bit/much shorter than usually…smiles



39 responses to “my philosophy of cutting elephants into tiny slices

  1. It is a question of making friends to create a line of communication. One shows passion and not to be afraid that things change for the better. Great lines Claudia!


  2. I love the creative texture you used to address a philosophy. Elephants. We have to tackle those elephants that tell us we can not or they will hold us hostage. There are some fun elements in this as well – i like the “so-” because it whips us back, then your internal dialogue as well. I have no problem getting naked before the moon. She has seen me before. Ha. And I may need a chainsaw for my elephants.

    Hope you heal up soon, friend.

  3. I love your recipe for deterring elephants, but slicing them is def an important first step. I’ll remember that when a grey, huge negative elephant invades my mind. Lovely, playful, enjoyable read.
    Hope you heal well and quickly.

  4. Ha! That is the best title!

    Love this too: “giant elephants, ears huge like towers, scraping noses on the sky”

    And this part is killer:
    “voices like a dove, a fox, an 8V car, the tocKing of a keyboard
    &with thumbs like that of fat mafia dons
    press the aorta that runs along neck&stomach”

    More goodies:

    “they even paint their toenails red (just so that you would underestimate)”

    “often there’s an honest core
    a page scribbled in smallprint in a wise man’s script
    to get to it”

    “lick the pomegranate from your hands” … That sounds so yummy. If the hands are clean, anyway. 😛


    How are you recovering?! That must have been terrifying, knowing that you NEED your hands more than the average human. Well, you have two. But still. I’m sure you were scared, being a painter. How are you?

  5. Your painting comes through this in the form of texture. Hope the healing goes well. I’m off to the orthopedic surgeon in an hour to finally see about surgery in my right elbow. Definitely a hindrance to typing (and to golf).

  6. Oh Claudia, heal well, poor hand – is it your painting hand? Hopefully not. What I most love about this poem? Besides everything? the painted toenails “so you would underestimate (LOL), and your brilliant and wise closing lines. It all depends how you feed them. Yup.

  7. Surgery necessary sometimes, as we slice and dice the big bothersome issues that come our way…and literally…(its hard to dress, isn’t it?) I love the images here, C!!

  8. Like the tiny 500 pound gorilla that comes to visit, the elephants in the room need to be dealt with; slicing them down to a size that is palatable; Your fantastical recipe should be published in the NY Times; smile. Is Carpel tunnel the culprit here? Wish I had noticed your note of this being for MTB this morning; worked my butt off on a BLACKTHORNE episode for OLN; ah, the confusion is delicious.

  9. I once saw a “recipe” in one of those homespun self published cookbooks: How to Eat and Elephant: One bite at a time…..and it is true. We go through the steps one at a time, bit by bit. Sorry to hear about your hand. I hope it heals well for you.

  10. “building forts inside the mind” if we stopped setting up barriers we wouldn’t have to slice them at all! Good grief! Ok, so like I set up a swimming metaphor in my poem when I barely swim. You probably hardly ever slice elephants if they stay out of the room, off site and out of the mind!

  11. yeah whatever is that huge needs to be sliced down…with a bit of courage…love the images used here…love your title….hope you get well soon Claudia…

  12. elephants, pomegranate and wise man’s script
    these are a few of my favorite things today

    Loved your poem, Claudia!

  13. Oh to feed the elephant of life.. sweet peanuts of now..
    oh to forget the elements of before.. trunk squeals horn..
    in alarm of night in darkness before words come..
    The elephant is wise.. all being.. all seeing..
    all feeling.. sensing life.. the elephant
    connects and loves others no
    less than trunk
    and swishing

  14. I love your analogies in this one. Especially the thumbs of the fat mafia dons. 🙂 I’m glad this didn’t go in the gory direction of sliced elephants that I thought it might from the title.

    Sorry to hear about your surgery. Get well soon. Peace, Linda

  15. Elephants, ha! And of course it’s all in how/what we feed them. Brilliant stuff, Claudia. Thank you. I hope your hand heals quickly and well.

  16. What struck me most was the ending cause it depends on how you feed them…how true is that..I have seen elephants in my dreams..they are often
    symbolic…be brave if you need a bit of that honey…sometimes we need to get to the core…there is so much here it makes my head swirl as I absorb it..always a pleasure to read your words, feel better Claudia…

  17. You’ve said it all here, Claudia! Your philosophy speaks loudly in all that you write & paint. So sorry to hear about your hand….wonder if it was carpal tunnel surgery. Be well!

  18. “it all depends
    on how you feed them” – Great summary and great metaphor for relationships in general! In the end, it all depends on attitude, doesn’t it? Whatever kind of elephants we are dealing with.

  19. Babar is a cherished memory (and of course I like karin’s ‘phants too) so I am particularly enamored of your (now one-handed) sketch. to a speedy healing ~

  20. “building forts inside the mind “you caNNot”
    voices like a dove, a fox, an 8V car, the tocKing of a keyboard
    &with thumbs like that of fat mafia dons”

    Claudia, if I commented before, please ignore, I was helping my husband paint the guestroom and had a headache to boot… I’d rush to my computer and try to read and comment but finally gave up and went to bed.
    As I reread yours this morning I was/am in awe of your talent/ability to draw such strong and delightful images. This poem is wonderful and it is true, sometimes, you don’t have to kill them just starve them to death.

  21. As a lifelong elephant lover (yes! I embrace my elephants!), I am relieved that you can make friends with them and not always slice them to extinction. A fun poem and analogy. And I hope your hand recovers very soon!

  22. O those elephants of life may seem bulky and intimidating, but feed their bulk and the fears increase; starve them of their favourite food and get them to like the food of your own choosing. A colourful piece of poetry.

  23. Sorry to hear of the surgery on your hand given all the writing and art you do. Was it for carpal tunnel? Love the imagery in this one and glad you could post it here. Heal quickly! 🙂

  24. Slicing elephants can be a tricky art…in my experience, elephants are not a fan of being sliced. Some wonderful visuals in this, Claudia! Hope your hand heals quickly from the surgery!