Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cotton


Cotton






You rolled me up to store
in a tender corner, cleaned linen-white
to wipe a glass delirium full
of Friday's crumpled cotton night.

Outside the walls grew red
with curious oleander,
sun's slow summer urge 
to break the blizzard's back,

still I spread soft,
your burden and your bundle,
your thinking pile of rags
that sometimes brayed

the shrill laugh of Coyote in moonlight's shade
striping blue my fabric face
so briskly shaken into folds
yet at your sudden touch, so smooth and plain.

When the snapping slice of scissors came
to cut the muslin muzzle and cotton chains,
I knew I'd never be that soft, that clean again.




~July 2014 





posted for    real toads





Challenge: Play it Again
Margaret Bednar(Art Happens 365) has again chosen three Toads memes for us to revisit. I usually try to pick one I haven't done, but this time I went back to grapeling's first word list to borrow some inspiration. You can find my earlier poem for it here.








Image: Solarization, 1931, by Man Ray
Fair Use via wikiart.org



22 comments:

  1. I love the feelings in this of remoteness and texture - images of rustic, summer vs winter, touch of comfort yet slightly on edge..

    ReplyDelete
  2. First, love the Man Ray, one of my favorite photographers, and very beautiful here. Then love the poem--so musical - almost like a blue's sound or wail of soft jazz instrument, trumpet or guitar--the rhyme is just lovely and has a kind of sway to it--though really, it's as much of a Western poem as Southern (maybe that means Oklahoman.) The sense of the first freshness, almost a kind of balm, through the delirium glass, and the tremulousness that follows--the scissors here very dramatic--and a kind of irony in that one thinks of scissors as cutting free, only here they seem to be cutting the forms of the actual bonds rather than cutting them. Also love that blue striped line--light at night, somehow. I think of someone finally cottoning on to something--too late. Thanks. k.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good eye on this one, k. It was not one I consciously planned at all, so I look back at it and see a lot going on that I didn't realize writing it, including that ambiguous quality to the ending. But then, as final as they may seem, most endings just *are* ambiguous. Thanks for the reading and the insight, as always. Hope your week is not too hectic.

      Delete
  3. My word, that second stanza is breathtaking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was about to quote it myself. Give the rest of us a chance, why dontcha Hedge?!! Mercy.

      Delete
  4. "still I spread soft,
    your burden and your bundle,
    your thinking pile of rags
    that sometimes brayed"

    I really am drawn to the idea of this...making burdens soft...settling down thinking rags that're braying with life...I like it all but this portion stood out, for me.

    I had fun puzzling these words again, too, Hedge! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hannah, and for reading the older poem, too, which I actually thought was a better one. But this one just happened--you know how that goes. ;_)

      Delete
  5. I loved the last line.. the revelation in it and the sacrifice it reflected!! amazing... i love cotton .. the most comfortable fabric ever besides Khadi!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Every line holds a treasure of thought, image, emotion - I read like a famine victim set before a dish of ambrosia. So exquisite my words can not do justice to the reading experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As always, Kerry, your words are very important to me. Thank you.

      Delete
  7. Every line is exquisite but this part stood out for me:

    the shrill laugh of Coyote in moonlight's shade
    striping blue my fabric face
    so briskly shaken into folds
    yet at your sudden touch, so smooth and plain.

    Happy Sunday ~

    ReplyDelete
  8. The mixture of tenderness, loss and pain stilled me for a bit. Wow, lady. This is... magical.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This one warrants an immediate rereading, the imagery is rich and pulls the reader into it's puzzle. I like the idea of the voice of cotton/fabric what have you, which sort of reminded me of the velveteen rabbit. However, there is a second layer here which gives this work a tension and sense of being, and that is the voice of a domestic lover being slighted: the spreading soft, taking on a burden, and stripping blue. I found that very intriguing. Perhaps it's just my own reading. Well done and viva la

    ReplyDelete
  10. That first stanza is wonderful... drew me right in. (I can't believe I also chose the same prompt!)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've read it four times and each time a fuller image emerged… for me it is the putting off a vice or an emotion not to be addressed or faced. Of course, life doesn't work that way, and we must shake out our demons and face them. The first time I read the scissors line, I flinched! (I'm sure I'm way off, but that's what imprinted on me. The "striping blue my fabric face" I'm sure is pertinent to your meaning - but I didn't quite understand it - but it leaves me curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Curious is good, ;_) it was just part of the personification of the speaker as a pile of cloth--as you say, will-less, and a sort of commodity by her own choice. Sometimes scissors are needed to cut a new shape. Thanks, Margaret.

      Delete
  12. Such a fierce interface, blood and bandage, wound and woman, the cleanliness and purity of the cotton that kisses the pus of "Friday's crumpled cotton night." Lamb to slaughter, that kept bandage, waiting for duty on the shelf, helpless to avoid what much be endured. When night eventually comes calling (damn those coyotes), the moment (last stanza) is both devastating and a marvel of rhyme and assonance. Ain't it dat troot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes--second marriage here, I think, though as always, my poems seem to fuse a lot of faces and places together. The down side of surrender is not so pretty. Thanks for reading, B, and for understanding.

      Delete
  13. so like how everything seems to slow down here... beautiful imagery

    ReplyDelete
  14. I read this first, and could think of nothing to write to do justice. A day later, I still don't, but will say, well done, nonetheless ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, M. Just glad to know you read it. I know the feeling of just not knowing how to express myself quite well.

      Delete

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