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Ad Nauseam

September 1, 2011

Impassioned, overwound, it springs
to moonstruck, lick’rous life. Consumes
in chat-rooms, speedy bars: blown blooms.

Unequal flush, off-key, it swings
gauche blows, limp lunges; wanes and slows –
entropic, graceless chitterlings.

Psychotic fingered tick resumes –
refashioned, overwound, it springs.


Painting: Marques Vickers

This is posted for Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft 1.9.11. I wrote it a few weeks ago but remained unsure about how well I have been able to suggest what ‘it’ might be. I’ve really struggled with a title…this is the fourth! Thank you for reading.

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  1. Like the title. Love the content almost entirely, although parts of it I don’t get (yet anyway). The second tercet of this Octain is wholly fantastic –

    Unequal flush, off-key, it swings
    gauche blows, limp lunges; wanes and slows –
    entropic, graceless chitterlings.

    Word-choices somewhere between lush, staggering and knifing and there all at once simultaneously. The off-set midline rhyme of line five’s c/c is utterly appropriate in this context and nicely avoids cheesy rhyme.

    The repeat of ‘overwound’ is powerful, but it is taken back again and more by a key moment being overstated/told (which in some contexts might work but amidst your fabulous pinpricks of hints an snatches with the perfect words, it sticks out for me) –

    Psychotic tendency resumes –

    if you could find another way to say this, I’d have nothing to say but bravissimo

    • I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable with the fact that the reader may not ‘get’ everything, so like that you seem happy not to have a hold on it all…

      Thank you for your wonderful enthusiasm…might just have to bask for a second…(or ten).. then think about the ending…

      Do you mean that overwound is not effective as a repeat word and should be changed or that its effect is diluted by the psychotic line? I’ll have fun thinking about that..

      What a great form… can’t get enough of it… haha… Cheers and good night…. now bedtime in Dubai, will be back tomorrow.

  2. First, the title made me think of my boss. No fair! haha…

    I love chitterlings and I love that the interpretation is open. There are so many things that occur on this electronic realm that it fits many, many situations to a tee. If I were you, I’d be brave and let people take what they want from it. Very powerful and depending on your interpretation, revealing.


    • Thank you Beth… sorry to do that to you (your boss!)

      Getting better at letting it go…. thanks for the encouragement.

  3. wow becky…i just love it…from first to last line..perfection and colors and energy….also love the title..this may be my fav by you so far…excellent work

    • Claudia…thank you! Really appreciate your warm response…. this was my entry for the Moon challenge and was originally entitled Moonstruck… Thank you thank you…

  4. Two words Becky – wiggle room – haha

    If I remember rightly we went through around nine or ten titles for this one that ranged from Moonstruck to Libidinum Repetitio. Ad Nauseum works very well.

    ‘entropic, graceless chitterlings’ still my fave line among so many wonderful lines.

    I like ‘psychotic’ after ‘entropic’ so I’d be tempted to keep that and just think about replacing ‘tendency resumes’

    I wondered if this would work as for me the piece alludes to an overwound clock?

    entropic, graceless chitterlings.

    Psychotic faceless tick resumes – (tick having several meanings would add layers to the piece and also faceless could be referring to a person or a clock)

    Not sure that makes sense to anyone but me.

    Just a suggestion as always

    • haha… yes I’m getting to enjoy a bit of ‘wiggle room’… then I show my family and there’s a certain amount of puzzlement…certain meaning blank faces…! Enough but not too much ambiguity…and different for all readers…

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.. must say entropic, graceless chitterlings is a favourite of mine… easily spotted at chucking out time, although wasn’t just thinking of that…

      Yes, I agree about entropic and psychotic and will be having another go at that today… like your tick idea…thanks!

      • Thanks Julie… have now updated the penultimate line.. tick seems good there and I’ve used ‘fingered’ as it’s more physical than ‘faceless’. Appreciate your feedback.

  5. Hello Becky—

    fantastic word choices throughout. For me the middle stanza is brilliant, especially love this line—

    ‘gauche blows, limp lunges; wanes and slows’

    Your meter and end rhymes are spot on. Love the shift in your refrain line in the last stanza.

    This was a delight to read. Bravo Becky!

    • Thank you for reading Christi…. do you remember this one for the Moon challenge? Was about the third poem I ever wrote!
      Really appreciate your enthusiasm…

  6. Becky … i see the title and i know im gonna love it already….and it certainly doesnt disappoint – it really is brimming with action and psychic excitement – the content is electric and hypnotic – reminded me of when i used to Tango (argentine) – this kind of rise and fall – inhale exhale whirling – push and pull – im excited (can you tell) my absolute favourite. a physical reaction to poetry is rare and i m – (i was going to say physically excited but) sort of moving my feet and wiggling my legs alot. the springs just tie me up in a mental coil of reverb – and you included gauche – the best word ever and one i only use in private.

    cheers Becky

    • …something gripping about you tangoeing… thanks you for your dynamic and musical response Arron…. happy to know you’re jiggling… ‘mental recoil of reverb’…might just have to use that..haha

  7. I love the racing, speedy flow and rhythm, along with the gentle rhyme that is not overly noticeable. … I feel your pain on the struggle to find a lasting title. It makes you feel like the poem still isn’t finished. … I don’t think I’ll ever tire of rereading this. Excellent. This is my favorite description: “lick’rous life” … Bravo.

    • Thank you… great to hear your thoughts…. Yes must say I enjoyed writing ‘lick’rous life’…nice lick-smacking reverb…

  8. Aida permalink

    Oh my, Becky! This is an outstanding Octain! For some reason it makes me think of internet cafes in Greece! There’s so much going on, yet it all is so amazing! It is all life.

    • Hi Aida… love your response… yes, internet cafes in Greece..definitely… Thank you for your enthusiasm.

  9. This was fun to interpret and I’m sure there are many places it will take different readers. I read lick’rous as lecherous and the final stanza, not as a clock, but as a mattress. (ticking, springs)…so it took Ms. Priss here to a different space. LOL.

    • Hi Victoria…. I’m laughing at your read of ticking..haha…not quite what I had in mind! Thanks for reading..

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