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January 26, 2012

clench
settles

flaking grey motes tick
my left ventricle
tight.

open, dead skin floats
stale scales,
closed, dumb eyes
swim scarlet.

both ways, it burns.

taut stifling
pull of breath
staunched.

nostrils scope the dark

rubbed gabardine and salty gingham
nudge cheap-sheen nylon

de-mobbed cloth
in the clutch
of better days

feet rippling mackerel pools
summer light on warm yawns.

in the half-life
I strain the clint of day
splintering
spider brown doors

hang

between seconds
as feet fall hollow on the treads.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Linking to dVerse Poets Poetics prompt 1.4.12 ~ Nightmare

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32 Comments
  1. This is fantastic!

  2. fascinating use of language to set the tone in this…right from the get go…wonderful imagery as well…the puddles there at the end and such…i like becky…

  3. Thanks Brian… bit of a diffrent feel to this one. Happy to hear your response..

  4. Scintillating form that refuses to relinquish its hold on your pen, I see. Yesss

    • Thanks Luke… bit of a different one for me. Appreciate the great creative environment at FEPC..I’m learning so much…

  5. Great stuff Becky!

  6. That picture is haunting. One of my husband’s employees just put his daughter in a rehab for anorexia. Her heart stopped beating, it had gotten so bad.

    I really like:

    in the half-life
    I strain the clint of day
    splintering
    spider brown doors

    hang

    between seconds
    as feet fall hollow on the treads.

    http://lkkolp.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/dont-feed-maps-to-the-goats/

  7. I’m sorry to hear that tale, but interested that this poem made you connect to that particular instance of fear. Thanks for your comments, Laurie…

  8. I go with the brilliant scintilla of a so-dark mood — you’re an impeccable wordsmith, step by step laddering down into a claustrophobic, dreaded inscape. It’s a downward spiral, for sure, a swoon most terrifying for showing no way out. – Brendan

    • Yes..shades of unmitigated grey and brown for sure. I appreciate your comments Brendan and there was no way out of this one..except this way.

  9. You do dark well…certainly a different vibe radiates from this. For me this is hiding from a shame we should not feel. Guilt, placed upon our shoulders at the hands of another. Perhaps finding comfort in the soiled and few meager possessions one is able to hold onto when retribution for imagined sins becomes painful. Oh dear…you’ve got my mind running away with this one…

    • Sorry to set your mind off down the darker routes… really interested to hear where this one took you. It’s origins were very different, but the emotions are shared. Thanks for your follow too, Tash. Very much appreciated.

  10. fascinating images you paint with this one becky…a bit a different tune for you…but much enjoyed the pictures it evoked in my mind..

  11. hedgewitch permalink

    Oppressive and claustrophobic and compressed into that flat world where one goes to survive, barely survive…powerful, beautifully crafted, and fine poem, Becky. You use the sense of the physical body very effectively here.

  12. Thanks for taking time to take it in and leave your thoughts. This is actually based on a childhood memory… intensified a little.. but the fear was real enough.

  13. Becky- I am a massive fan of your use of words and economy of language that has painted here a really surreal but eerily nightmarish poem. The genius if this poem- is that ou have captured those uncomfortable feelings, but have done so – so subtly- that it forces you to think deeper about the visuals and their meanings. I love the ‘mackerel pools’ the ‘spider brown doors’- thanks so much for sharing this….completely awesome

    • Thanks for a great prompt Stu. It was good to be able to give this one another outing and thank you for your thoughtful comments. They are very much appreciated.

  14. The language here feels to me like carved, burnished stone. In getting the essential, the overwhelming need to hide, all else has been cast away. The texture of the clothing also struck me deeply. ‘both ways, it burns’ perfectly captures the disempowerment of the situation. Marvelous write!

    • That is such an artist’s response..I love the 3-D nature of your simile and appreciate hearing how this one made you feel. I am delighted that the details I provided were enough and engaging. Even moreso that the atmosphere touched you. Thank you Anna, always a pleasure to see you here.

  15. I dread to think what lies at the bottom of those stairs. Wonderful use of language to stir the dark recesses of the reader’s mind. Is it your nightmare or mine that is being brought to light here?

    • I think both, Tony – what a great question. I know I had to swim in that fear for a while in order to bring it back to life. Recesses stirred – then that’s a hit. Thank you.

  16. Harrowing and honest. Expressed with an intense and authentic voice.

  17. just read the comment i left on this…and shake my head that i got it so wrong.. this is terribly frightening indeed…either i was very tired or read it without glasses on…you paint a picture here indeed…but really a scary one..deeply disturbing in its authenticity..

    • lol… sometimes it’s about reading with the right ‘header’.. you knew you were expecting something nightmarish and that’s what you found.. I honestly think expectations through titles and other contexts plays a crucial part in how we read things. Thanks for reading again Claudia.. 🙂

  18. i like a lot of things here, like the half-life (it’s a physics term) 😉

    the tight left ventricle (it’s a biology term)

    and i LOVE the nostrils seeing in the dark. that is soooooooo cool

    semantic feeling

  19. Thanks for your comments.. really appreciate the time you take to read and leave your impressions.

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