Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mending the Doll~Quilt Patterns



Mending The Doll

The 
doll is old,
old-fashioned,
old hat, vieux jeux,
yellowed soft cloth, not
cold plastic bitchslapped 
with a painted
smile.
 She doesn’t talk, model skintight skirts, wear tiny
rhinestoned stilletos, cry, wet or
do anything really.
She just 
shapelessly
is.
Seams 
split open
stuffing spilt
naked doll, who
will sew you closed?
Take up your own needle.
Try to pull yourself together. 
Use a red thread; never mind how
it glares against the yielding white cloth,
that scarlet vein caught in the chrome tooth.
Pull it through where the limp twin edges of hope
and fear no longer meet; should it accidentally pierce
any pouffes of cotton where a heart should be, Doll who
makes no sound, be grateful just to keep, however raddled
  or unraveled, those few soft bits of woolly innards you have left. Ah
     what a joke. The doll gives up. Her button eyes are blind, her fat hands are empty and do more harm than good  
yet still 



something has pushed the needle, pulled the thread, sewn her up and on her head set a fine new 
purple feathered hat.


December 2011




two for one:


Quilt Patterns

After you
find all of
the sparks
that make
a blinking
dawn’s eye
cut a square of unwrinkled indigo night
to lay down behind it, tips triangulated 
with squares of dusty sun seen through
 red clouds.
Sew  it up
 with stars'
needlings
pointilled,
each one

a
dot;
voids
that make
the lace exist,
holes through black velvet
that define what patterns are seen;
find for me next the rolling paisleys of ocean
silver blue crossed and starred, but never bottomed that
 backflow this quilt of brownpatch worked land
bound in woolly green, roots to anchor
batting of cotton moonshine,
connecting all the nodes
not just six of ten
for the easy fix.
Then please
cover me,
keep me
from
the
 cold.

December 2011


Posted for   Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub
Victoria hosts again today with a prompt focused on the fabric of our lives. I made these concrete poems to simulate the piecing and stitching together that goes into all the painstaking needlework of a quilt, or a life. 
Sew up a poem and join us. Link is live till Sunday midnight.








30 comments:

  1. it's shaped like a x-mas tree. :) does that mean someone will fix up the doll and give it for x-mas?

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  2. You are so good at creating forms with your poems. These are both fun and thought-provoking at the same time.

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  3. Oh I saw the skirt, of course. I love that you responded with shaped poems. And this part: "cold plastic bitchslapped with a painted smile" is hilarious. The first one makes me smile. The second one is quite good. I like the end. Regardless of how beautiful the quilts are, even if they're hanging in a museum, I can never forget what they're for: wrapping up in.

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  4. @zongrik--that's a skirt, not a christmas tree--somehow I feel I've been less than successful with my shape poetry. But I like your idea.

    @mark: Thanks so much. I was beginning to doubt. ;-) Yes, I agree, they're sort of the quintessence of people making something out of nothing, making art out of time and scraps, all with that final purpose and ultimate pragmatism underneath.


    I also see I really liked the word woolly today.

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  5. some quilts I own are kept in a closet, works of art, too afraid to get stains on them, amazing how pieces of individual scrap fabric, together, create beauty, like what you did with this prompt

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  6. Wow! Hedgie you did great with the shapes. But more importantly the content...stuffing if you will. Love these, 'cold plastic bitchslapped
    with a painted/ smile' and 'where the limp twin edges of hope/ and fear no longer meet'

    The quilt made of the earth and sky is amazing too.

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  7. I really love that first one, and the way that both of these are, in their way, concrete poems.

    I wish I could pull myself together with my fat hands and some thread. Or that someone would give me a cool new hat.

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  8. Ah, redemption! It happens! Very nice. I don't know that you need the shape, though it certainly works. I love the conversational tone here, though it's actually quite a heavy poem. Though one is happy for the purple hat. K.

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  9. @FB: Your fingers are too elegant to blister with a needle, dear. Have the staff run out and fetch you a few dozen hats, and all will be well.

    @Karin: yes, the shape will probably come off in the end--it detracts, I think--but it took all day to get it, so I'm going to bask in it's silliness awhile.

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  10. where the limp twin edges of hope and fear no longer meet...wow...sometimes we have to stitch ourselves up you know....nice concrete hedge...like the voice you use in this as well hedge...

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  11. I'm really impressed with the shape poems. I've got an old doll like that. I just can't throw it away --- yet.

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  12. Love the shapes, hedgewitch, and love the poems, too (or should that be two?) :)

    "After you
    find all of
    the sparks
    that make
    a blinking
    dawn’s eye
    cut a square of unwrinkled indigo night..." those lines just sing beautifully!

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  13. You've put a lot of creativity into the forms. They're very pleasing and your not cold plastic bitchslapped with a painted smile gave me a good laugh.

    Pretty good stitch for a witch!

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  14. they are both beautiful hedge but the first one really touched me in many ways...personally...the metaphor.. but also brought back memories as i sewed some dolls who looked like those on the pic for my kids when they were small.. oh..and love that you shaped them..and i love the playful ending with the purple feathered hat

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  15. Two generosities here, one from the poet with an ikon of the past, or a past self, the old-school, archaic rag doll who is mended with the poem's labor in (the stitch) and out (the weave of lines that give back the shape of the doll (very hard to do with finesse like this). And maybe the work of repair is moot and even perhaps even wrong (:'her fat hands are empty and more harm than good") but what the hell, flourish the creation with a purple feathered hat in a stanza apart from the doll's own body, something to stand the creation, the act of redemption, upon ... Second poem I get Christmas comforts despite the season's tarnished, famished rep, star and diamond brightness over an empty manger perceiving the frozen hardness of this age and of aging (also a dreamlike drowning abyss, perhaps where Ahab waves yo) comforted by something sweet and maternal as a quilt. Cheaper than whiskey, helluva lot warmer to cuddle up to ... Fine pair, Hedge, yes, I mean, of poems, though each offers a warm mug of milk for cocoa ... Brendan

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  16. Ah how i am loving these shapes you create!
    *She just
    shapelessly
    is.*

    I love these lines which -to mesumarise and say so much of the poor little doll... it's so good she found that hat, new fashion, new life, there is lots of hope in that.
    :-)

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  17. Joy- Both are absolutely breath-taking... I especially like the first. Thanks for the double treat!

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  18. The first one:

    She just
    shapelessly
    is.

    I like this line... deep reflections from a broken doll to a mended heart. Very lovely form too.

    The second one:

    this quilt of brownpatch worked land
    bound in woolly green, roots to anchor
    batting of cotton moonshine

    Very impressive work Hedge. Thanks for your double treat ~

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  19. Many thanks all. Writing extemporaneously is always hard for me, and more labor intensive--in this case I started completely from scratch--and I find it a good discipline, but am never sure about the results--I'm always wincing with my eyes closed as I push the publish button--so thanks to all of you for your generous comments, and know it means a lot to me.

    @B: Laughin @ the pair of cocoa cups. ;_) And yes, that's Ahab, a sadly quiltless soul, because mania, revenge and hate are not warming, waving from beneath the paisleys--that book is invading my psyche, even at a slow third of the way through, though I must say I'm a lot fonder so far of QueegQueeg, Starbuck and Fishmeal...er, Ishmael. Thanks for your kind words, and for reading.

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  20. you know I love me some shape poetry, so this was a treat! These lines especially tugged at my heart - Pull it through where the limp twin edges of hope
    and fear no longer meet; should it accidentally pierce
    any pouffes of cotton where a heart should be, Doll who
    makes no sound, be grateful just to keep, however raddled
    or unraveled, those few soft bits of woolly innards you have left.

    very powerful message.

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  21. you know i love shape poems, too!

    "cold plastic bitchslapped
    with a painted
    smile"

    "cut a square of unwrinkled indigo night"

    both of these poems are amazing! "Mending The Doll" really touched me. ♥

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  22. One of those dolls has the "holder of other people's pain" look. Endearingly unconventional, all. ~Mary

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  23. I like these very much and love the way you've created concrete poetry with your words. Amazing use of color imbued with emotional power.

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  24. What great ideas an images you shape. The work seems so natural and transparent (and polished).

    voids
    that make
    the lace exist,
    holes through black velvet
    that define what patterns are seen;

    This is a compelling insight. We have to look beyond the seen to understand what creates meaning, and what that meaning is. I love this figure.

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  25. Hedgewitch, these satisfy on so many layers, like true quilts: humour, with the Barbie sendup, shapes - elegant and relevant - metaphor for lives. I truly admire what you have done here.

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  26. Oh, these are wonderful! The words flow so naturally, not at all as if forced into shape, and yet the shapes are so exact. Above all, I love what you say in each.

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  27. After reading the above comments — oh, please don't abandon the shapes of these: they do seem an intrinsic part of these poems, and you have done them so beautifully!

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  28. Thanks Rosemary. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

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