1.03.2012

echo

1.

It's hard to look.
Your fingernails split peeling back
the wallpaper of your youth,
layer by layer, revealing the stained,
the mold-infested, the vile.
You'd like to divorce yourself from this,
but as you cannot,
you vow to continue to cut until
it is all laid bare.
That guttural sound comes deep inside you,
a place of which you were previously unaware
and you wish you could renounce.
The bile comes up and you choke it back down,
acid on your tongue still.

What is it about her?
What is it that makes you red with rage,
stony with rancid desire?
You don't even bother trying to repress
the urge to beat her down,
teach her a thing or two about
how women are supposed to carry themselves.
It's unbelievable, the way she talks
as if all the words were hers.
Well, some are yours and you ain't sharing.


2.

She is so fucking beautiful.
Effulgent as light on rushing water
raging hard and cold against your back
until you dunk, seeking to rid yourself
of her glister. That never works,
she is too pure. She is everything.

You are nothing, now.
You used to be somebody, but then
you lost all perspective.
Maybe it was the ceaseless screaming,
the clamor, the never-ever-quietness.
You bite beyond the quick, ripping cuticles
and swallowing, anointing your lips
with blood, and that scar again, prickling,
pulling your hair out.
It was hard to think, considering.
You quoted lines from Harrison Bergeron,
wondered if there was a broader plot,
stored bottled water in the basement.
You kept all kinds of canned beans
that you had no idea how to prepare.
You strode the town, hands stuffed
in pockets weighed with gold pieces
chasing her shadow, long and willowy.
You wanted her,
but you were on your way to nothingness.


3.

And now, here she is.
She's something. The bounty of her words,
her features overwhelming.
You cannot slow your campaign
to bring her to mercy.
Sidle up with warm innocence,
gentle conversation about her work.
Catch her there. She will respond
to your diplomacy.
Then you can thresh and violate her.
So satisfying, your victory will be.
Tie her to your memory tree
to ensure she is available
when you're ready for another go.
She will learn, eventually.
When she does, you can move on,
leaving her wasted.

All is quiet now.
Brush and floss, file your nails,
moisturize with shea and cocoa butters.
Straighten your collar.
You have risen.

My prompt in this week's Indie Ink Writing Challenge was from Dafeenah: "All saints revile her, and all sober men... Sister of the mirage and echo." (From The White Goddess by Robert Graves.) I challenged Carrie with "baby coyote, space shuttle, black leather baseball cap." 

23 comments:

  1. omg I love this!! You truly captured it!my favorite part

    It's unbelievable, the way she talks
    as if all the words were hers.
    Well, some are yours and you ain't sharing.

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  2. thank you for the prompt, Dafeenah.
    typically, it sent me around in circles for a bit but then i settled down and out it came :)

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  3. Tremendous stuff! I like how you divided it up.

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  4. the language is so raw. They're a visceral wuality to this that makes me read it over and over.

    This ain't good....it's great

    yes!

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  5. Since I got an inside scoop on the meaning behind it, I can honestly say how beautiful it really is and what power it packs to it. You are absolutely right too. The words ARE all yours.

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  6. "You don't even bother trying to repress
    the urge to beat her down,
    teach her a thing or two about
    how women are supposed to carry themselves.
    It's unbelievable, the way she talks
    as if all the words were hers.
    Well, some are yours and you ain't sharing."

    like pj harvey song. all raw and forceful.

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  7. hee! *blush* and thank you :)

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  8. I have to admit this is most intriguing. I haven't a clue what it means and would love to know.

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  9. it's a poem. that means you get to interpret it :)

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  10. I'm glad you did share these words...visceral and powerful. Good.

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  11. I have to say that often when I have read your poems, I have wished they were longer. This is a piece one can really sink one's teeth into. I fond the whole set-up to be very abstract: the connection and tension between you, her and me (narrator) vibrates with suppressed rage, and I'm left wondering if, in the end, they are all one and the same person.

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  12. This was intense. So gritty and raw. Felt very real. Excellent!

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  13. ah, here are the poets! thank you!
    kerry... point well taken re: length of poems. this was difficult for me, but i want to keep working on some longer pieces, both free verse and maybe some stricter forms, too.
    thanks for coming over for some critique!

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  14. it's long!! :) and deep-diving.
    the title 'echo' tends to lead us to believe the 'her' here depicted, here spat-upon (here envied?) is in truth a reflection of self. a projection of the speaker's own voice. but the way you've strung the words - like fragments of thoughts (bitter thoughts) hung out piecemeal on a clothesline, makes for multiple interpretations. is the speaker a he? a she? a self? ... is the reviling justified? the venom of this drips and you say as much about the heart of the speaker as you do about the echo-woman.
    you've been able to retain in lengthy segments what you do so well in small chunks - to paint your words boldly, while leaving just the right amount of space for the reader to collaborate, bringing his own interpretations and the lens of his (or her) particular experience to the poem.

    long and deep looks good on you. :)

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  15. ah, thank you, mistress of the epic poem.
    obviously i know what was on my mind when i wrote this, but was hoping that despite its length it is open enough that the reader can get something that works for him or her.

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  16. Marian--that is just so powerful! The imagery in my mind was fantastic!!! Esp:

    "Tie her to your memory tree
    to ensure she is available
    when you're ready for another go."


    You are too frickin' gifted for words--I hope you know that!

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  17. Holy cow, Marion, this is an intensely powerful poem. You left just enough unsaid in this to allow so much interpretation to the reader...very dark, very raw. Definitely evokes a lot of emotion.

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  18. sorry I took so long to get over here, I remember you saying to check out the long write! as a long-poem writer (/rambler) myself, I loved it! you kept it intriguing throughout - a snapshot of introspection - I liked the come back to the nails - many, many great descriptions throughout - if thee was any struggle in writing this it didn't show! the flow was natural, and the whole write was so well done! you should venture into the long-writing realm more often! your style certainly suits it! nicely done!

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  19. hey, OT! thanks for coming to read. i so appreciate your comments.
    i felt a bit out of my element in this one. well, in and out, i guess.

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