Friday, June 27, 2014

Not Love

Not Love

Laying in our single skin
eye to eye amalgamate
sewn together aggregate
to float the amniotic sea
waiting to be born
you couldn't use a word like love
so small, so ego-ish, presuming choice
of masks, of roles, all fantasy
too many strings, obscuring voice
of one silence-shredding scripted  horn.

No, more a centaur mythed to be
living dual without control
hooved with chaos black and gold
unrolled, unroled, itself the work
unfolding terrible and bright
as the amaranthine dancestep
at sun's core, but purely animal
the way that flesh and fur keep hurt
burnt deep below the liminal
too-knowing glance, the sharp white bite.

~June 2014

A contrarian  ten-line stanza form I just invented, and a poem for no prompt whatsoever. 
Rebel rebel--my hair's a mess.

Image: Struggle Between Woman And Centaur,  circa 1905, by Odilon Redon
Public Domain, via wikiart,org


  1. ha. love your wild hair today do i just do ten lines...or does the rebel come with rules....although i will probably have to use my toes to count syllables cause my fingers are useless...smiles.

    i like the challenge to love in the opening...ego-ish, choosing roles...and its play against something so intimate as being sewn into the same skin...the two parts of a centaur and the chaos of it...chaos can be rather beautiful you know...

    i could say more is not needed.

    damn. good. stuff.

  2. There are relationships of this kind in which there is just too much likeness perhaps for love. These lines (as well as the whole image of the poem) describe that perfectly- the obscuring voice
    of one silence-shredding scripted horn. (extra space re horn --or meant caesura). The whole image works so well though--the shared skin--particularly of two silence-shredding type--can be a tight fit--and the move to the centaur where each becomes half a person and half just "fight" - is very effective. There is the animal urge to be one's self as painful as that is--bite against the trap--very effect at the end--the too-burnt hurt, etc. The form is lovely and works very well, and the poem is complex but it describes this really complex and intense phenomenon, with great intensity. (I have one question which I may write you separately so as not to offend comment policy.) (Ha.) Cool--hot poem. I feel like I've been in relationships of this kind--in my case, love--(well, maybe not as you say) attempted love--but it could also describe parent child, I think, or that kind of closeness that is just too much due to the resonance of all the echos. I love the way that you describe that intensity as being beyond choice as often both the attraction and the repulsion both feel like a matter of survival. Thanks. k.

    1. Yes, an extra space somehow slipped in front of 'horn' during the editing process--you are such a detail-oriented reader, it always amazes me how wise, wide and deep your insights run, k--despite or maybe because of your close-in vision. As I mention below to brendan, the poem did not start out to be so dark, it just sort of worked out that way, and I think it maybe does that because of the drift of the relationship it was drawn from, which you describe very well here. (indeed, as if you'd been there in that skin yourself.) Thanks so much for all your support, your patience with my faults, and your exuberant comments which I am very attached to.

  3. Wow. This is deep and powerful. I love that your hair's a mess. Mine too...sitting here in my pj's, obsessively, at five minutes to noon.......My own teensy rebellion!

    1. I live in my pj's Sherry--it's one of the prerogatives of being old. Thanks.

  4. I love your rebel call to the wild! Yes, love is beyond choice at times and sometimes doesn't know better! Bravo, I love the intimate details of your poem~

  5. Well dayum, woman. This puts me in mind of a latter day Jethro Tull song that goes "How come you know better than me/ how come you know better than me/ how come you know better than me that this is not love?" (The title, of course, is This Is Not Love.) If a Hallmark butterfly flew anywhere near this one, she would be sucked into the jet engine blades and never be seen again.

  6. Replies
    1. You mean my nightgown? ;_) Thanks--I love shredding hallmark butterflies in the cuisineart of Verse Escape.

  7. at sun's core, but purely animal
    the way that flesh and fur keep hurt
    burnt deep below the liminal
    too-knowing glance, the sharp white bite

    Such a cracking ending
    I would/should
    have tattooed
    across my face
    as a reminder

    but I know I would only
    remould the 'meaning' to suit
    next time I want to fall



    (messy hair is SO 'IN')

    all the best Hedge

    1. Thanks Arron. Flying is like falling, and falling is definitely like this, to steal from Ani DeFranco. Take care, brother. I miss your writing.

  8. I understand some people's hesitation in using the word 'love' - it has been so over-used to the point of cliche, and falls short of really labeling the emotion that sews two people together in one skin. Your description seems to offer an honest, if brutal, perspective on the age-old tussle so well depicted in Redon's painting.

    I have been so inspired by your footnote that I have used your poem as the jump off point for this Sunday's avant-garde challenge. I believe one of our most fundamental tenets at Real Toads, is to find inspiration in one another, so I do hope I have not over-stepped the mark.

    1. Thanks, Kerry. Feel free to jump anywhere with it. ;_)

  9. In the primal union (or one of them), Persephone is married to Hades, the bride sent veiled into the underworld where she is taken by the Lord of Hell. Ahem. Gothic perhaps but it does put a different spin on what is engendered by marriage. Intimacy a late invention, sweets for the raped perhaps, gloss over the monstrous fact of two bodies become one. And the child is the moon, bloody, ripped free ... Anyway, it ain't no rock n roll show, but there is a godless loveless crystalline purity here, the mineral truth of engendering. The minotaur is the product of a monstrous birth, is a truth at the center of things and also thus a teacher.

    1. Somehow this came out much darker than intended--really, it was not a Hellish moment that inspired it, yet that is just the way things go when I write, I suppose. ;_) Probably the title doesn't help that perception.
      Anyway, I agree there is a darkness in traditional marriage as a concept, a dominance and a throttling control, often, as well as a destructive side to the creative force it enables, as witness so many bent children and abusive relationships. I was trying mostly though to just show how limiting our constructs of love can be, how what happens is so much more than we can express or even comprehend, 'the work itself unfolding,' of being human, and as your final remark says, the possibilities inherent in the conflicted alliance between man-mind and animal instinct that we struggle to reconcile. Thanks B, for the mythical perspective.

  10. Whatever this form is that you invented, I love it! I can't "not love" it! What a cool thought to explore-all the meanings beyond the word "love." Hot tramp, I love you so!

  11. "unrolled, unroled, itself the work"

    That is just damn brilliant.

  12. damn.

    ok, i'm done today. ~


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats