Saturday, February 15, 2020

Snapped




Snapped


Staring blinkless
through the image-hole,
what looks back at you now?

Before you left me
for the yielder's dark,
you braided vapor
into handcuffs, strung
me shackles in beaded
star-strings blue as lake ice

dripping symbols, medals,
seals and skulls, seven secrets
made from sickened pain
and spider's valor.
Your single eye
webbed the mayfly hours
from child's cotton wings to 
landing thud of
my woman's bleeding.

If I
could stick a pin
through the paper moment
numbed with poison,
the abdomen of
exactly when
you began to require
annotations for my
cloud to ground work,

I'd  know exactly
how you froze me
to my snapshot,
ciphered me down
to this subset of myself.
Will there be less of
these prickly pear tears
these gestures of negation
now

that we have no faces,
only hats floating light
while I wonder
if I can ever miss you 
without that forgiveness 
which will not come.

In your shutter's last squeak
I smile flattened: a mist rising up
from the wrong side of the lens.





February 2020



posted for
The Sunday Muse 

and
earthweal Open Link

















Image: Author unknown, Fair Use


30 comments:

  1. Dear BFF...I am biased, I realize, but this is some of your very finest, rawest, most amazing and hard-gotten work. Wow. It's often been said by better than me that we write to sort ourselves out, and in so doing, others find their truth there, too. This is such a sharp, honest, neon yellow pennant on the path, dear friend. Hemingway said, "Writing is easy. Just sit in front of your typewriter and bleed." It seems that we have both done that for this. I can't say how much I admire this work of yours, and please forgive the unavoidable gush on my part.

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    1. In your case, gush is quite an honor. Thank you dear BFF.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. I smile flattened: a mist rising up
    from the wrong side of the lens.

    You made a great description, Joy with slow movements of smoke or mist to give it a living picture look despite on the wrong side

    Hank

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    1. Thanks, Hank. Glad you liked it, and good to see you again.

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  4. What a dark journey, written in pain and punctuated with descriptive words.

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  5. Joy this is brilliantly done. I love, "Before you left me for the yielder's dark,
    you braided vapor into handcuffs" and "if I could stick a pin through the paper moment" Absolutely striking words that cut through the thick of it straight to the heart!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie. I appreciate your generous words, and the opportunity to participate in Sunday Muse.

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  6. This is an amazing poem. I love "strung me shackles in beaded star-strings blue as lake ice." Just gorgeous! I can SEE that blue lake ice. "I wonder if I can ever miss you without the forgiveness that will not come" is so moving. I think, in death, all is understood and completely forgiven. All is love, then. But I have those same wonderings, remembering things I can't forgive in myself.

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    1. Thanks, Sherry. I am not as good a person as you, by any means, and death has not made me any better, tho I certainly have many things in myself I'm yet to forgive as well.

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  7. This hits hard, so hard I hurt as I feel your pain. Extraordinary.

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  8. Your amazing and magical way with words and sound effects comes through so well in this poem. I especially love the sinister 'sss' in the third stanza. And the penultimate stanza goes for the throat in a manner I can relate to. Superb writing.

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    1. Thanks, Kerry. It's always good to know you have read and appreciated my poems. You are missed in this world of blogging in the dark.

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  9. I agree with all that this is a brilliant navigation, though I admit being lost amid the blue smoke and flying ropes. First read I thought, women don't like being photographed (maybe that's due mainly to the ominous, intrusive lead image of the photographer), then tied that back to older societies who feared something of their souls were irretrievably jailed in the developer's bath. The dimensionality of every woman's being is flattened by the lens, and then, there's the added grey emulsion age takes from us. In every bad relationship or one night stand (and then there's the inner animus) there's a jackal other, predatory, gleaming, wrong. Just not quite sure how the abacus beads sort out here but the reading is a delight across the pane of language you caulked in here. My faves: "you braided vapor / into handcuffs, strung / me shackles in beaded / star-strings blue as lake ice" as well as "I'd know exactly / how you froze me / to my snapshot, / ciphered me down / to this subset of myself." Familiar with your other work, I add this tympani to your Symphony to the Jazzman, devoid, of course, of any smarmy Sympathy. Whatever the course, the fumes were a delight.-- Brendan

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    1. Thanks, B. You have gotten the vast majority of this poem and your insight/kind words about it are always welcome. I appreciate that it may not be as clear as it could be. If I write about the jazzman,or one night stands in general, there will always be a jazzman or 'endless one night stand' tag, I promise. This poem is about a long term relationship ending in death, where the speaker has realized the truths of what happened to her during that time, ie, reduced to a subset. And how angry and cheated and flattened into, as you observed, a 2 dimensional figure that might make one feel, especially when there is no possible redress. Just writing out my inner landscape, as we do, my unknown amigo, as we do.

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  10. This gave me shivers. A sharper edge concealed in the vapor images.

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  11. Wow. Just wow. I wish I had written that. But, I don't wish I had lived it. Thank you for making your pain so beautiful, and for sharing it.

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    1. Thanks, Mary. Wish I hadn't lived it either, but no doubt it all builds character or something. ;)Good to see you here.

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  12. The heart of this piece for me is in these 2 stanzas--

    If I
    could stick a pin
    through the paper moment
    numbed with poison,
    the abdomen of
    exactly when
    you began to require
    annotations for my
    cloud to ground work,

    I'd know exactly
    how you froze me
    to my snapshot,
    ciphered me down
    to this subset of myself.
    Will there be less of
    these prickly pear tears
    these gestures of negation


    You give me poem envy!

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    1. Thanks. Long poems have difficulties sometimes in holding people's attention--glad you liked the middle bits! Haven't seen you in a long time--thanks for stopping by.

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  13. Wow, so much great writing there. "you braided vapor / into handcuffs" amazing! "webbed the mayfly hours / from child's cotton wings to / landing thud of / my woman's bleeding" even more amazing. I could quote most of the poem, but at least one more: "exactly when
    you began to require /annotations for my / cloud to ground work". Agreed, there was a lot of threat, even implied violence in the image. You really pushed though all of that into language again and again. Bravo!

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    1. Thanks so much. I really appreciate the generous feedback, and the unexpected pleasure of finding your own work.

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  14. It's one thing when we want to be invulnerable (my poem), but when willing and instead flattened, used, categorized, and pinned to a singularity it is a betrayal! I'd have to quote your entire poem back to show which lines entered my blood. Do we see it coming, recognize when it is happening? I think of parents, of an unfortunate passion, even of an influential teacher. That last image from the wrong side of the camera felt like a relief to me, even though it's also the end of hope--maybe because it's the end of hope.

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    1. Thank you so very much for reading with such attention and empathy,Susan. Maybe because it is the end of hope,indeed.

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  15. This litany of betrayal and pain is moving, even frightening in a way...a dark memoir that takes us to the very bottom with no seeming way back to the top. Well done.

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  16. Darkly brilliant writing. So much I would love to quote, but I will stick with these two:

    "you braided vapor
    into handcuffs, strung
    me shackles in beaded
    star-strings blue as lake ice"

    "In your shutter's last squeak
    I smile flattened: a mist rising up
    from the wrong side of the lens."


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  17. for me, the summation: "I smile flattened". Fraught. ~

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