Purple Haze

Originally aired on WMUB-FM, September 2008, “Purple Haze” was the winner a 2009 Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRINDI) award and Ohio Associated Press Award for best broadcast writing.

Listen to Jennie’s essay, “Purple Haze”

There appear to be two schools of thought on how to eat a plum. One, famously championed by the poet William Carlos Williams, was to raid the refrigerator first thing in the morning as recounted in his poem, “This Is Just to Say.”

                I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
so cold.

Another approach to eating a plum is to randomly poke your thumb into any baked good that comes your way. A strategy that pays off for Little Jackie


            [who] sat in the corner,
eating his Chirstmas pie
He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum
and said what a good boy am I.

For child and poet, the plum is a temptation to yield to. One that inspires minor crimes of passion in which one acts first and apologizes later….

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