April 12, 2016

Friday, March 1, 2013

Poetry Friday: Alligator Wrestling, An Invitation

Happy Poetry Friday!

The Poetry Postcard Project is nearly done. Look for the grand finale next Friday.

I’ve been wrestling with the next Author Amok blog project. How will we celebrate National Poetry Month, 2013?

You can still order your NPM poster at Poets.Org.

First, enjoy a wrestling poem. Then, I am sending you a National Poetry Month invitation (no toothy reptiles involved).

The super-saturated colors on this postcard inspired me. Not to wrestle with an alligator, but to write some light verse.

Alligator Wrestling

Tourist spots
would have
dwellers think
an alligator’s mouth
pulled wide is green
and juicy pink.
A row of teeth,
thin and white,
to separate thick skin
from what’s inside.
It looks so much
like watermelon rind,
who would not
lean in to take
a little bite?

Laura Shovan

Postcard Information:

Alligator Wrestling, Tropical Hobbyland, Miami, Fla.

Henry Nelson, world’s champion alligator wrestler, gives daily exhibitions of this ancient Seminole sport, at Tropical Hobbyland Indian Village, N.W. 27th Avenue at 15th Street, Miami. The pit at Tropical Hobbyland contains fifty alligators, and a dozen crocodiles, yet Henry will go in the water with them entirely unarmed.

Novelti-Craft Products Co., Olympia Bldg., Miami, Fla.

Now that we've gotten Mr. Toothy out of the way...

Announcing Author Amok’s Fourth Annual
National Poetry Month Project:


Call me a nerd, a geek, a SF buff. I won’t argue with you.

Author Amok, is it just coincidence that a
classic Star Trek episode is titled "Amok Time?"

Author Amok is boldly going where only the most high tech poets have gone before…to the TechnoVerse and beyond.

I'm looking for 20 intrepid explorers to guest blog in April. 

Do you have a favorite poetry app, writing support program, or website you use for poetic inspiration or interesting vocab? What about a savvy poetry list-serv, or a poetry blog that’s always up on the latest trends? Send me a message at

Uncle Amok wants YOU! to seek out new sites and new rhymifications.

Speaking of tech-savvy poetry, I hope you’ll follow me and many other Poetry Friday regulars during the March Madness Poetry Tournament. Ed DeCaria knows how to work the ‘net – his site Think Kid, Think! is both high-tech and user-friendly.

Poetry Friday is brought to you today by Julie Larios at the Drift Record. Hmm... Julie, your blog's name would make a great title for a Star Trek episode.

Be seeing you… in the TechnoVerse.


Linda B said...

Laura, that postcard is just scary, & the mouth does look like watermelon! Our southwest corner of Colorado is a wonderful place to go & I've been there many times with family & with my class. One year we actually visited an alligator farm in that area-fascinating. They breed the babies & ship all over the world-for pets, food, etc. Your poem reminded me of that because the students kept asking about wrestling. I guess even if you've never seen anything like it, everyone knows about wrestling an alligator. Whew-what a job! Love that last of your poem, to 'lean in'. When I've been to Florida, I was not in love with the fact that there were lots of alligators in their ditches!

jama said...

It *does* look like watermelon rind. Cool postcard and your poem has just the right tone of quirkiness to go with it.

Bridget Magee said...

Great post, Laura! Your alligator wrestling postcard instantly reminded me of a watermelon and your poem captured it perfectly! Brava! Thanks for sharing! =)

Tara @ A Teaching Life said... think this fella pictured actually did this! I love the sense of humor though, and finding a slice of watermelon in that scary looking jaw!

Joy said...

I like your alligator poem. I remember seeing one lounging on the gold course on Bald Head, NC. I kept my distance, most golfers played around him.

Katya said...

That mouth really looks like a watermelon.

I have a funny alligator story. When I was teaching a class at NASA they said that an alligator once walked into the lobby (the doors are automatic) but couldn't get back out so they had to shut down the whole building to shepherd it out. :-)

I hope we both make it far enough to get to face off in the poetry tournament.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Wow, it DOES look like watermelon rind - astute observation!

Tabatha said...

"who would not lean in to take a little bite?" Me!

I'll bet kids would LOVE your poem, Laura! I tried to look up Mr. Nelson because I was wondering what became of him, but all I could find were listings of postcards...

Steve Peterson said...

Watermelon? Where did that color come from?

Also, that "Hobbyland" sign in the background adds an extra layer of hilarity to the whole picture.

I really love this postcard project. I look forward to seeing the next one come in my inbox. Curious about your next project.

Ruth said...

Another wonderful postcard poem!

Diane Mayr said...

Great poem, Laura! Have you read the adult book Swamplandia by Karen Russell. I recommend it! It's got a wide-open alligator mouth on the cover.

Author Amok said...

Dear everyone. Many of you saw the watermelon in that alligator's mouth.

My parents live in Florida and there are gators on the nearby golf course. The kids and I have fun spotting them -- from a distance.

Katya, I think you have a poem in that NASA story! Tabatha, thanks for checking up on Mr. Wilson. I may have to do a little digging myself. Steve, yes to Hobbyland! It adds an extra dimension of kitsch to the postcard. Diane, I will check out that book, which I have heard of but not read. Thanks for the recommendation.