Sharp edges (Version 3 and another new title - sorry)

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Sharp edges (Version 3 and another new title - sorry)

Postby Mirrorball » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:49 pm

Sharp edges

Another love

My finger traces up exposed ladders on her inner thigh,
razor blade ridges, invisible to all but lovers and
those who fucked her for themselves,
she told me that the blood trickle makes her feel in control
not forced, not left unwanted, not impregnated.
She claims I saved her life, my words…
convinced her not to take it. Her young son
born out of rape, was not enough to stop her.
She’s laid on crumpled sheets, a head rush to a wanted madness
there’s no cut, no scar, no release of me.

A marrriage

She glares outside, the light blurs though streaked glass
smeared by tiny hands. It rained on our wedding day
it could be raining right now, she wouldn’t know:
hot water splashes over red knuckles, third finger sizzles
precious metal in an acid bath. She rubs frantic she forgets I’m gone,
my parting voice drowned by sink hiss and gulp.
To our little girls, it’s the white noise of her womb, it’s all they know.
soft hands clutch coarse hands. her skin
cracked but not yet broken, not yet broken. not yet. trapped
beyond the altar, stained glass is cracked fragile; unspilt of me.


*****************************************************

Version 2:

Unhealthy Obsessions

An Obsessive Affair

Exposed ladders on your inner thigh,
mark a storyline, a life,
bloodletting for lost love,
suicide attempts and rape.
Tracing my finger, you draw me in,
a head rush to a wanted madness
no cut, no scar. Nothing
new to release me from you.


A Compulsive Marriage


Far away, she glares outside
the light blurs though streaked glass
smeared by tiny hands.
Soft hands clutch coarse hands. her skin
cracked but not yet broken,
not yet broken. not yet. trapped.
like cracked glass fragile in a frame:
she holds, unspilt of me.




*****************************************************

Version 1:

A compulsive obsessive affair

You're my life, my blood
pulsing through my veins
reaching finger tips, toe tips.
you’re a touch, a swell, an infusion:
you rush my head to wanted madness.
I let you in, there’s no way out.
no cut, no scar. Nothing
can release me of you.


Far away, she glares outside
the light blurs though glass
smeared by tiny hands.
Soft hands clutch coarse hands. her skin
cracked but not yet broken,
not yet broken. not yet. trapped.
like cracked glass fragile in a frame:
she holds, unspilt of me.
Last edited by Mirrorball on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:37 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: A compulsive obsessive affair

Postby Firebird » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:19 am

I think the second stanza is very good. Not sure though about the first: not keen on the first four lines. I know this is an extreme suggestion, but I might cut the first stanza and just let the second do its stuff alone. This will probably only be me though.

Interesting read and great final image.

Cheers,

Tristan
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Re: A compulsive obsessive affair

Postby Mirrorball » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:52 pm

Hi Tristan,

Your suggestions are much appreciated no matter how extreme or minor. I’m here to improve my writing after all. :)

Often, I see my poems as undeveloped ideas. It’s like writing comedy, if you have to explain the joke then that means you’re not very funny. Perhaps if I explain my intent of my poem then you or someone else could advise me on where I’m going wrong.

I agree that stanza one is a weak partner. I can’t cut it out because this poem is about two women. The first stanza is the other woman of an affair. The second stanza switches to the third person and is about the narrator’s wife, who suffers from OCD and the narrator feels trapped in a conflicted relationship situation just as his wife is trapped in the repetitive cycles of her disorder.

Affairs usually follow a stereotypical pattern, hence the ‘you’re my blood’ type metaphor, which many poets would see as cliché. On the other hand, what’s not coming across as I would like in this poem is that the other woman has a history of self-harm and acute hypersexuality (cuts ,scars, bodily fluids). I have other poems that pair with this poem. One poem in particular would need to be posted with a graphic self-harm and sexually explicit imagery type warning. I don’t want to make waves on here as a meagre newbie. Perhaps you could tell me if that sort of poem would be acceptable on this forum?

Anyway, I’ve read a few of your poems already and I look forward to reading more because you clearly know your craft. I value your input greatly.

Many thanks

MB
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Re: A compulsive obsessive affair

Postby NotQuiteSure » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:58 pm

     
Hi Mirror,
I agree with Tristan, I'm afraid, even after having read your explanation.

S1: I think it is simply too generic/clichéd, except for L5 - 'you rush my head to wanted madness' - which I like.
The language isn't a muscular as your explanation of the character would suggest (to me at least); touch/swell/
infusion are all rather genteel, aren't they?

S2: I think this is much stronger, the OCD suggested by the repetitions is very subtle ( 'cracked but not yet broken
skin' could also allow an abusive interpretation though). If it's that important, maybe you could develop the idea
more (and, conversely, cut out the repetitions in S1)?
I think 'blurs' (L10) is a little weak, perhaps:
Far away, she glares outside
the light smeared though glass
streaked by tiny hands. ?

I'm not that keen on the last two lines (I think the word 'like' undermines the image).
The word order of the title suggests that the first verse is 'compulsion', the second 'obsessive', which seems to be
the wrong way round to me. Could you perhaps cut the title down, and subtitle each verse (either O or C?)

Regards, Not.
     
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Re: A compulsive obsessive affair

Postby Mirrorball » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:34 pm

Hi Not,
That’s another incredibly helpful review, thanks.

It’s reassuring that both you and Tristan like S2 because I gave it a lot more thought and attention than S1. The only line on S1 I kept tinkering with was L5 funnily enough and I’m glad you like it.

I’ll scrap S1 and consider building the next iteration around L5. Sometimes my ideas/ambitions are beyond my capabilities. Alternatively I could scrap the affair element and focus on OCD woman’s imprisonment i.e. keep it simple.

I was going for the repetition of glares/blurs/smeared but I’ll consider streaked (it fits with cracked/broken). Any hint of domestic abuse was unintentional. I struggled with the title, it never occurred to me to subtitle the verses so thanks for the suggestion. I agree that the poem needs a better title.

I see what you mean about the last two lines but I’m struggling to come up with an alternative. I don’t think converting the simile to a metaphor would cut it (pardon the pun).

Cheers

MB
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Re: Unhealthy Obsessions

Postby Mirrorball » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:54 am

Tristan/Not,

I've redrafted taking into account your comments.

Thanks

MB
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Re: Unhealthy Obsessions

Postby NotQuiteSure » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:48 pm

     
Hi Mirror

Still not entirely convinced by the title (though it is an improvement)
and both verses seem a bit too short (lacking in narrative detail).

S1: There's a bit too much telling, not showing.
I think it might be more interesting to focus on the more erotic element,
rather than the blunt, harmful ones. Also, I'm not sure who is speaking
now. Her or him?
Exposed, inner thigh,
finger tracing, drawing in,
blood-letting, a rush
to a wanted madness...


S2: It's a nice subtitle, but I don't think it reflects the verse.
Perhaps a bit more detail about the marriage to balance out the ocd?
(I was also reading the 'cracked glass...frame' as an indicator of
domestic abuse').
? glass, cracked, fragile in a frame:
she holds...


I was left wondering whether this is missing a third part, one from
the husband's perspective.

You told Tristan that you've other poems that 'pair' with this one
so it may be that they provide the context which, for me, is missing
from this peice.

Regards, Not.
     
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Re: Unhealthy Obsessions

Postby Mirrorball » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:58 pm

Thanks Not, that was quick.

I have a pre-seduction poem and an erotic (in the act) poem that pairs with S1 but I’m not sure if it would be enough to gives this poem the kind of context you are looking for (more details on the marriage and husband’s pov). I’ll have to put my thinking cap on again when I can find it. I have been known to criticise others for telling not showing, silly me, I should get my own house in order.

The husband is meant to be conflicted, there’s blood waiting to be spilt on both sides of the coin.

I’m going to make a couple of tweaks to V2 before I do anything more major because ‘you drawing me in’ should have been ‘you draw me in’ and I’ve accidently confused the viewpoint as you say so I’m changing the last two lines of S1 from:

“no cut, no scar. Nothing
can release me of you.”

“no cut, no scar. Nothing
new to release me from you.”


I hope that’s not cheating forum rules. V3 would be a more significant update taking into account your last comments. I think those quick changes are warranted to avoid further confusing any more readers.
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Re: Unhealthy Obsessions

Postby Mirrorball » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:04 pm

Ps. Not, I can post the other two poems if you are interested but I'm slightly nervous about flooding beginners boards. Erotic poem is a clear fit with this one. Pre-seduction poem is more of a stretch because it draws on a siren song classical narrative.
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Re: Sharp edges (Version 3 and another new title - sorry)

Postby Mirrorball » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:44 pm

Hi again,

I've added more meat to the narrative bones as suggested. I hope it's developed beyond the seed of an idea now.

I'll try to post my poems when they're at a greater level of maturity in future and thanks for your patience on this one.

MB
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Re: Sharp edges (Version 3 and another new title - sorry)

Postby Pauline » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:11 pm

Hi Mirrorball.

Mirrorball wrote:I've added more meat to the narrative bones as suggested. I hope it's developed beyond the seed of an idea now.

It certainly has :)
Jeez, that's some tale you have to tell.
I appreciate you haven't gone into detail but I get the general gist of it.

Okay.
Firstly, I'm not mad keen on the two separate headings of the poem.
Why not just let it blend into one.
I understand it's two separate areas of your life, but I don't like the stop n start, if you know what I mean. :wink:
May just be me but hey, just saying.

Love the new title. Sharpe edges.
It connects both sides.
Now, and here's where we may disagree.
I'm shite at critique.
I can never explain just what works for me.
Why it works.
Why I feel it lacks a certain .....whatever.
So,
Now don't hate me but...
I fiddled around with your words.
I ain't saying its right, or better .
All I'm saying is this is how I read it to kinda understand it.
All I'm saying is, if you can find something in there that you can use
then that's great.
If not, then totally ignore.



Sharp edges

My finger traces up exposed ladders
on her inner thigh. Razor blade ridges,
invisible to all but those who fucked
her for themselves. Trickling blood makes her feel
in control. Not forced, not left unwanted.

Claims my words saved her life. Born out of rape,
her young son was not enough to stop her.
Laying on crumpled sheets, no cut, no scar,
no release of me, just wanted madness.

Back home, light blurs through streaked glass. Tiny hands
have smeared her glare. It’s raining, she wouldn’t know.
My parting voice, acid over coarse hands
cracked but not yet broken. Soft hands clutch her
and she forgets I am gone.

Feel free to totally ignore :wink:

Nice to see you around. :)
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