Monday, February 24, 2014

Incriminated



Incriminated






There was a pain that came
that changed me like rain
and I was thankful to have it
when there was nothing else
engineered to maintain
the shape of a self.

Your eyes were all purple
lie-bruised and encircled;
your hand shook at the plug
where you took your last charge
for the strength to go hurt-culled
to not cry when it buckled,
when you had to go large.

The room was as empty
as a January pantry
when Christmas is ghostly.
You wore me over your clothes,
my skin protection mostly
from the strontium flu, plastic froze

to the blue while you stayed prime
and when I dissolved in time
you burned me, love
like a pair of blood-stained gloves
still wet from the scene of the crime.




~February 2014






posted for      real toads
Open Link Monday









Images: Untitled,  by Zdislav Beksinski
May be protected by copyright~posted under fair use guidelines via wikipaintings.org






29 comments:

  1. The Dexterization of American culture -- how did gruesome violence become such a fixture of network TV life? -- has the same gules and hue of the good ole days of the bad acid trip; I wonder if the Jazz Man (if this is that figure) writes for CSI: Oklahoma City or the like. It's an imbalance, I think, something tilted way off kilter, the psyche's lapse into a certain catatonic glee. Infected love can only be ghastly here, the beloved become the serial killer with his gleaming blue scalpel and the lover in the old restraints, calmly reciting the outrage, probably of a horror committed long ago and kept in the red-velvet-lined sanctum of ritual. Love does suck after midnight. How does a world permit these outrages, these outages of self? And why does the poet remit them, except to pay the penance, bleed the ghoul, keep the hour's black dog at bay? We read on to find out. Great work, Hedge, sorry for the comment 'rrhea.

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    1. Never a problem, B. This isn't really about any particular person or incident, I don't think--it dropped into my consciousness and woke me up out of a sound sleep yesterday, so I got up and scribbled it down, with very little rewriting. Like many of my poems, the characters (and events) are a bit of a conglomerate. I do agree with your analysis, though. Thanks for your time and thoughts, as always.

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  2. Deep and dark, especially loved that second stanza.

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  3. ha. cool rhyme scheme...ugh on the wearing of the other and then discarding and even burning them in the after like gloves from a crime scene, when they are the crime scene the whole time.....

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  4. This sounds like electric Dorian Gray forgetting who helped him get where he is. The scene of the crime indeed, because a crime it is, to use someone's devotion as a shield, as protection, until it is no longer handy to do so. The fish heads await.

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    1. Zackly--thanks for getting it down to the ground, as usual, Shay.

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  5. This just sounds wicked cool when you read it aloud.

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  6. Your abstract approach to relaying dream-time is so apt, and if I do not see the precise picture, I feel the visceral fear uncurling, being not a stranger to crime scene dreams myself.

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    1. Yes, I'm sure it comes at least partially from the cultural backwash of dramatized crime we live in, raised to the ultimate science, the ultimate mystery(and for many, the ultimate entertainment.) Thanks, Kerry.

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  7. Great matching of poem and pictures and such a strong poem of pain. I'm sorry to say I relate to the first stanza. There were times when pain seemed to define me more than anything else - or I should say it felt like the pain was trying to shape me into some being I could not glimpse in clarity. The singsong clarity of that stanza enforces this feeling, for me. The way the poem shifts from bruises to burns and blood, leaving the reader with that red image, echoes in the mind.

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    1. That first stanza came completely intact from wherever such things come from--and I know exactly what you mean about being shaped--the tools that do so are often not easily visualized or consciously wielded, but the process is all too obvious. I'm a big fan of Beksinski; though he is frequently over the top, he always has a genuine horror in his work. Thanks so much for your input, Mark, and congrats on having your poems picked up by several sites lately--no one deserves a wider readership more.

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    2. I love it when they come complete from the cosmos. Thanks for the congrats as well as introducing me to Beksinski - wasn't familiar with his work.

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  8. Whoa! A stellar write, with killer closing lines.

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  9. I agree with others about the power of your first and last stanzas. They are so perfectly drawn and developed within themselves--and of course they contribute to the overall sense of the rest of the work. But they are such a great intro and outro. I had such a sense of finality when finishing this. Dream on.

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    1. Thanks Steve. I've had trouble with endings in my last few, so really appreciate the nod to the conclusion here. I hate a sloppy ending--ruins an otherwise good poem every time. Thanks for reading.

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  10. Yikes. Well, I kind of feel like the first stanza could stand on its own. I'm not saying that it would be better by its own; only that it is incredibly strong and almost universal in its applications, while the rest of the poem becomes more hooked to a particular narrative. All of the stanzas are strong--lie-bruised is a terribly powerful metaphor, and the skin protectant--and it all hangs together with the great burning at the end--which really kind of ties up the beginning-- the ghost of the shape left maintained by pain, and even saved by rain--one can see these gloves not quite burned - saved by the rain--almost like phantom limbs--the pain and a sense of the shape that it creates being all that is left of them.

    It is a very powerful poem--I had to look up the strontium flu reference, which is quite fascinating--

    I am not sure of the ins and outs of this poem, but for what it's worth, I'll tell you what is the most powerful interpretation for me--bearing in mind that I am idiosyncratic and no one ever agrees with me and I tend to always go for the option that is least popular! But for me it is most powerful to think of the I and you as one person, self-contained--so that the poem does not speak of any particular conflict or vengefulness or anger, so much as the betrayal of one's own heart-- the self that could not maintain its shape for whatever reason, the self that uses its own self as protection and really betrays its own self--because it just can't take ownership (I hate that phrase but there it is)--but because it just can't take ownership of what it wants to need, so it self-tortures, and it abandons, and it starves, and it uses the self as camouflauge, and literally in-criminates--so for me it is most powerful to see the you as another part of the I here. I do not know if that is what you meant, but if it is, it could even be strengthened, I think, because it is so tempting for us, as women especially, to see a difficult "you" out there--we've all known them--and I think many readers would relate very well to that reading, but well, you have a sense of how I see things--it is ultimately I think that inner you that is the worst betrayer. Inner or outer--not sure who is doing the burning maybe in the end.

    The January pantry is a terrific metaphor too. K. (I am holding my breath. Also copied comment) (Ha. For what it is worth again.)

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    1. I meant "wants or needs" not wants to need. K.

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    2. Thank you, K, for all you see here. While I can't say I wrote it that way intentionally, I am quite open to your interpretation of the I and You being one, as the second stanza (where the you comes in) came directly(well as directly as it could) from a dream, and I truly believe all the 'people' encountered in dreams are variants of ourselves. The strontium flu, I actually made up, from the strontium 90 in fallout, had no idea it was in any way a real thing, but I see through google it has something to do with bird flu. Yeesh--words are scary things! The end of this poem is from a dream of another night, but seemed to fit, as you note, with the image of the rain saving, so I combined the two.Thanks for being so brave as to write all this, and so smart as to hit 'copy' before posting. ;_) I do that routinely now on a lot of sites because I never can write a good comment over and have it be quite the same.

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    3. Well the strontium bird flu thing kind of fits here, as it is a way of identifying origins-origins and past pathways literally marked (or accumulated, I guess) in the bone, and the idea of flight is rather present as well--so I was thinking, whoa! now that's a super-layer image! (Ha.) k.

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    4. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, eh? ;_)

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    5. I think you have both covered. k.

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  11. Well now, all has been said already, and I need only add, "Wow!"
    K

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  12. I walked in this Golgotha of suffering, The exquisite imagery just pulled me along.. and that last stanza had me gasping for air. So packed with metaphors I feel like I look into a Picasso painting...

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  13. Your rhyme scheme and form intrigue and compel one to read on, read on. I feel for the one discarded, used until no longer useful. Damn!

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  14. Between this and your writing for the Play it again prompt, I am beginning to think we are entering a new phase of Hedgey writing wherein you capture these glimpses of humans acting out on/with other humans--an emotional tug of war almost. I find this piece intriguing because of the characters it builds to, if that makes sense. Your first verse is so rich in tone and catches me right away as a narrator who tells the truth and has a lot of it to say.

    The ending here, again depthful and succinctly tying the characters and the piece together nicely. Well done and viva la

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  15. ah, the elements of a dream, with its uncertain topography and underlying emotionality. this has a pulse, loudening, until it bursts to cover the speaker in the final verse. there's a sense of intimacy with that bloody glove - no long distance here ~

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  16. Purple Haze, all in my brain..........

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  17. Very powerful and dark. I seriously never want to visit your dreams.

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  18. there is undeniable clarity in this poem. it holds a core like the human spine. your colors pop-it into readable dimension, but it is the power behind your similes and killer line strength that make this poem so digestible.

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