Sunday, January 16, 2011

Burn this Poem

 
Sleepless I rattle in my bed remembering
your kisses like the startled jump
of small restless animals rustling in the dead grass,
alive on my lips timid and scampering
like plump mice,
your turquoise eyes suddenly opened,
glowing like lamps in an empty house
throwing gold shadows on the snow of my heart

How can you be so prudent with me,
so measured and bespoken,
when all those elves and animals
are dancing inside?

 Such a year of being bound
has never been and
surely will not
be again.

That kiss
after many beers
and words--
are you just now
yourself
coming untied?


1991, revised January 2011











photo by Katherine Forbes


Posted for One Shoot Sunday at the inimitable One Stop Poetry

24 comments:

  1. I wouldn't burn it, singe it some though. I always am distracted when I read the word "like" used in the comparative because the narrator thinks a reader won't see the comparison.

    In the first verse you use kisses plural and end with kiss singular in the last but what is between in my mind is too abstract to get the full depth of why that is.

    Is the narrator saying that the beginning of the relationship has her sleepless and remembering fondly the ardent love of newness which then cooled to a more formal attitude from her lover (2nd verse)

    To a bad year that shut the love down until only alcohol and physical need opened the lover up?

    If you want to project that then OK it comes across but where did the elves come in at. Before it was all jumpy and skittish nervous little wild creatures used metaphorically nothing of the mystical or ancient.

    No I wouldn't burn this. I might though rethink the entire first verse.

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  2. I thought that this was one of those poems you write when you're feeling angry or fed up with the world. It's an outcry of thoughts on page pure and unrefined. And for that reason itself it's shouldn't be destroyed. We all have these poems we write when objectivity goes out of the window. But the emotion here is apparent for all to see. I don't think it needs editing that much-really liked the touches and heartfelt plea.

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  3. I do love your choice of imagery when you write, always so vivid, despite the surreality of the scene it sometimes creates. This one creates this wonderful mix of emotions, from confusion to building anger, to sadness. Very close to creating the full range of emotions you're supposed to feel in response to grief (in response to a relationship) in a few short lines. I liked it =)

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  4. Wow. Know the feeling of wanting to burn a "love poem." Your comparison of a restlessness to mice in an empty house and snowy heart to me reveals sadness amid anger. The question at the end is very telling, especially considering the prior stanza that states an aversion to being bound, and resolution not to repeat. You express such strong emotions here, hedgewitch. Thanks for posting this one.

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  5. you had me at turquiose eyes...really some great imagery and you capture the feeling well...i agree with WM on the first verse...

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  6. Uh Oh....
    Another target of Walking Man's Like/As obsession!

    So Hedge?
    You used to pound down a few in 'The Day' eh?

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  7. Wallace Stevens from Reading, PA. One of my favorites along with Karl Shapiro, Randall Jarrell, and Robert Lowell.

    How can you be so prudent with me,
    so measured and bespoken,
    when all those elves and animals
    are dancing inside?

    NO -- burn my poem. Yours is much better. In four lines you tell everything I wanted to say about the girl with the cuffed jeans.

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  8. oh yes - i love the turquoise eyes,
    glowing like lamps in an empty house - great imagery joy ann

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  9. I too, love those turquoise eyes, they always do the job. Nice poem, I like it.

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  10. I love the lines:

    "How can you be so prudent with me,
    so measured and bespoken,
    when all those elves and animals
    are dancing inside?"

    Wonderfully strange truths spoken.

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  11. Eww! Mice on the lips? Yeeeeeeesh.

    I do like the tilted-head sense of wondering when this bozo is going to show signs of having a pulse. Ah well, never send a boy to do a woman's job. Oh dear....am I projecting again?

    This reminds me of a traditional song Silly Sisters recorded once, called "My Husband's Got No Courage In Him."

    After lamenting her man's lack of passion for a few verses it, it goes:

    "I wish my husband he was dead

    And in his grave I'd quickly lay him;

    Then find myzself another one

    That's got a little courage in him.

    Oh dear-o

    Oh dear-o

    My husband's got no courage in him

    Oh dear-o"

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  12. Exactly my thoughts Fireblossom. He needs to get much closer to those leather shoes. He must be having a bad hair day.

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  13. I try not to read comments before commenting...but the paragraphs caught my eye
    and they were like mice nibbling on my brain.
    The turquoise eyes line got me too!

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  14. "How can you be so prudent with me,
    so measured and bespoken,
    when all those elves and animals
    are dancing inside?" - I loved this stanza. It brought back those memories of a first kiss and all the magic it could hold.

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  15. Beautifully written, all the magic and terror of the first kiss, the first relationship... when we knew not what to do with all the little feet scrambling around in our hearts and stomachs.

    Well done.

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  16. Thanks all--feedback is greatly appreciated. This is an old old pair of poems resurrected, pieced together and given a jolt, and it has a bit of a Frankenstein quality to it. I won't disown it, but I agree it's rough and conflicted, just like the situation that inspired it.

    @FB You nailed it, as always, m'dear

    @G-Man Oh, more than a few, my friend. More than a few.

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  17. I so love all of the unexpected images, especially in the first stanza. Plump mice.....absolutely first class writing. I love every word.

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  18. That kiss "after many beers" - a good take on the photo. Nice one!

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  19. To many beers often left me untied..

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  20. Wow, Joy! What a take on betrayal? Taking the image of mice. What can compare in your choice to mean derision? And veiled with prudence, too. I like it though perhaps you can expand that second stanza for a more perfect denouement! Thanks for sharing it! No, please don't burn this poem.

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  21. The title is perfect to the very end - keep the poem burn the ...


    great stuff

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  22. Whheeww!! Heavy with emotions and pent up feelings... the analogies in your stanza were simply fantastic, Joy! Good God!!
    The fact that you saved this one for all these years must mean something real big!
    This one touched a nerve, girl... very felt indeed!

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  23. Ah a beer kiss...

    and lips like mice...excellent.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg