My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

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Macavity
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My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by Macavity » Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:01 pm

revision

He hears the bubbling noise
of her. Today's soup boils
broccoli and cauliflower:
his future brightens as green
as luminous algae.
Outside the fret of flies -
spinning a life of fizz -
headbutt his afternoon nap.
The crucifix above
the sofa winks at him:
kisses his eyes with lips
as dry as salted slugs.
He'll nail that bastard someday.
That forgiveness. I empathise.


original

He hears the bubbling noise
of her. Today's soup boils
broccoli and cauliflower,
his future brightens as green
as luminous algae.
Outside the fret of flies -
those bloated bluebottles
spinning a life of fizz -
headbutt his afternoon nap.
The crucifix above
the mantelpiece winks at him,
kissing his eyes with lips
as dry as salted slugs.
He'll nail that bastard someday.
That forgiveness. I empathise.
Last edited by Macavity on Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: My Estonian friend married a Catholic

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:46 pm

.
Hi mac,
like the parts, not sure about the sum.
I think it's 'winks at him' that strikes
the wrong note for me. (And there's
one or two too many 'as' as well.)
The catholic is clear enough, but
where's the Estonian? I was looking
for a Livonia Crusade element in the
'forgiveness', :)

Not sure you need the 'bluebottles' line,
it seems to unbalance things.

Just a thought

He hears the bubbling noise
of her. broccoli and cauliflower
Today's soup boils. His future
blends as green as algae.
Oddly luminous. Outside
the fret of flies -

those bloated bluebottles
spinning a life of fizz -
headbutt his afternoon nap.

The crucifix above
the mantelpiece winks at him,
kissing his eyes with lips
dry as salted slugs.
He'll nail that bastard someday.
That forgiveness.



Regards, Not


.

Macavity
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Re: My Estonian friend married a Catholic (revised)

Post by Macavity » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:29 am

Thanks Not. The bluebottles have gone. My friend is from Estonia, but I agree the title promises more than that fact. Will ponder!

cheers

mac

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Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:39 am

.
Hi mac,

like the revision. The new title makes the green future funnier (or at least I found it so),
I wonder if cutting 'soup' would make it seem even grimmer?
Still think there's an 'as' too many, it feels like the line strains to get to algae.

Probably too atrocious a pun but

He hears the bubbling noise
of her. the boil of broccoli
and cauliflower. his salad days
lie ahead of him.


Should 'spinning' be 'spin' and 'kissing' , 'kisses' ?

Regards, Not.

ps. Keep on going round and round with vegetarian Catholic or Catholic vegetarian. Getting dizzy.


.

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Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by bjondon » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:15 pm

Loving the multiple reversals and lumpen progression of syllabics.
Yet to work out what it all means . . .
Macavity wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:01 pm
revision

He hears the bubbling noise . . . .Opening sentence reminds me of Cave's 'From Her to Eternity'
of her. Today's soup boils . . . sounds like soup everyday
broccoli and cauliflower, . . . a deadly combination (semi-colon?)
his future brightens as green . . . broccoli does flower to an amazing green in first minute of boiling
as luminous algae. . . . the deadpan almost in Hancock territory
Outside the fret of flies - . . . . 'fret' interesting - irritation but also Shakespeares fretted skies
spinning a life of fizz - 'a life of fizz' -- both the onomatopaeia and the champagne i.e. what he's missing
headbutt his afternoon nap. . . . . . are they hitting the glass or trashing his peace of mind?
The crucifix above
the mantelpiece winks at him, . . . . do you need 'mantelpiece'? Cadence somehow off here (could move 'the mantel piece' up a line)
kissing his eyes with lips . . . the tenderest of gestures
as dry as salted slugs. . . . . oh no! a neat reversal but something confusing here
He'll nail that bastard someday. . . . a bold line . . . bolshie like the headbutting flies - contained violence, frustration . . . perhaps this is where the Estonian bit comes in, frustration of the emigrant experience (plus hating vegetarianism)?
That forgiveness. I empathise. . . . something patronising about forgiveness. Nice contrast with the preceding line. Not sure about the sudden entrance of the N at the end. I suppose the poem itself is the act of empathy, the last word a sort of signature but maybe needs some less telly phrase.
The title reminds me of Cooper-Clarke's 'I married an Alien from Outer Space' and likewise the chippy tone and rhythms . . . perhaps a sort of homage.
Jules

Leaf

Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by Leaf » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:31 pm

Hi Mac,

Hey, more soup! Excellent. I like 'Today's soup'; it makes me think there might be a different type of veggie soup for every day of the week :)

I don't have much to add, really. I'm interested in 'headbutt'. My sense is of something impinging within the chap's self-conscious, making him aware of life outside the soup-space. I don't know whether that's the meaning you intended. But it seems to return with 'that bastard', just the feeling of something unresolved.

Best wishes,
Leaf

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Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by Macavity » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:23 pm

Thank you Not, Jules and Leaf.
ps. Keep on going round and round with vegetarian Catholic or Catholic vegetarian. Getting dizzy.
:lol: Me too!
the mantelpiece winks at him, . . . . do you need 'mantelpiece'? Cadence somehow off here (could move 'the mantel piece' up a line)
I do like the word mantelpiece, but have edited for some positioning. Thanks Jules. I've gone for a colon rather than semi. (Most of my writes are acts of empathy :D )
I'm interested in 'headbutt'. My sense is of something impinging within the chap's self-conscious, making him aware of life outside the soup-space.
Yes, indeed leaf...the outside/inside...by the way the blend of broccoli/cauliflower makes a tasty soup!

thank you for all your thoughts/suggestions

cheers

mac

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Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by Joao » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:16 pm

Hi Mac, enjoyed reading this. I get the overall sense of your friend's tolerant discomfort at, what it seems, preferences imposed on him by marriage, but I'm still a bit lost about specific passages:
Macavity wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:01 pm
revision

He hears the bubbling noise
of her. Today's soup boils I wonder why 'bubbling noise of her' rather than the more natural 'her bubbling noise'
broccoli and cauliflower:
his future brightens as green
as luminous algae. Sarcasm? Sounds like it
Outside the fret of flies - I'd suggest a comma after 'Outside'. (Haven't I read 'fret of flies' in one of your poems before? It's a great phrase!)
spinning a life of fizz - 'I don't get 'life of fizz'
headbutt his afternoon nap. I like this
The crucifix above
the sofa winks at him: 'winks' didn't work for me -- too playful and tender, perhaps, to be projected on such a dour, angular object, the 'dry' reversal at the end of the sentence notwithstanding. Instead (just a thought), could the 'beckoning' of a bony hand/finger work better?
kisses his eyes with lips
as dry as salted slugs.
He'll nail that bastard someday. Ha! Funny
That forgiveness. I empathise.


original

He hears the bubbling noise
of her. Today's soup boils
broccoli and cauliflower,
his future brightens as green
as luminous algae.
Outside the fret of flies -
those bloated bluebottles
spinning a life of fizz -
headbutt his afternoon nap.
The crucifix above
the mantelpiece winks at him,
kissing his eyes with lips
as dry as salted slugs.
He'll nail that bastard someday.
That forgiveness. I empathise.

Macavity wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:01 pm
revision

He hears the bubbling noise
of her. Today's soup boils
broccoli and cauliflower:
his future brightens as green
as luminous algae.
Outside the fret of flies -
spinning a life of fizz -
headbutt his afternoon nap.
The crucifix above
the sofa winks at him:
kisses his eyes with lips
as dry as salted slugs.
He'll nail that bastard someday.
That forgiveness. I empathise.


original

He hears the bubbling noise
of her. Today's soup boils
broccoli and cauliflower,
his future brightens as green
as luminous algae.
Outside the fret of flies -
those bloated bluebottles
spinning a life of fizz -
headbutt his afternoon nap.
The crucifix above
the mantelpiece winks at him,
kissing his eyes with lips
as dry as salted slugs.
He'll nail that bastard someday.
That forgiveness. I empathise.

Leaf

Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by Leaf » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:52 pm

Macavity wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:23 pm
I'm interested in 'headbutt'. My sense is of something impinging within the chap's self-conscious, making him aware of life outside the soup-space.
Yes, indeed leaf...the outside/inside...by the way the blend of broccoli/cauliflower makes a tasty soup!
Beautiful soup... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWxFsJUlBbw :D

Macavity
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Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by Macavity » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:49 am

Thanks for taking a look Joao. The specific points were very useful. Many of the writing choices probably reflect my preference. I'll explain some...
Today's soup boils I wonder why 'bubbling noise of her' rather than the more natural 'her bubbling noise'
broccoli and cauliflower
I like the 'playful' line-break.
his future brightens as green
as luminous algae. Sarcasm? Sounds like it
Again my attempt at some light humour.
Outside the fret of flies - I'd suggest a comma after 'Outside'. (Haven't I read 'fret of flies' in one of your poems before? It's a great phrase!)
spinning a life of fizz - 'I don't get 'life of fizz'
headbutt his afternoon nap. I like this
I was setting up the contrast between busy life and not - the punctuation was about pace.
The crucifix above
the sofa winks at him: 'winks' didn't work for me -- too playful and tender, perhaps, to be projected on such a dour, angular object, the 'dry' reversal at the end of the sentence notwithstanding. Instead (just a thought), could the 'beckoning' of a bony hand/finger work better?
I was going for half-awake surreal rather than gothic: the veneer of the poem was intended to be playful.

all the best

mac

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Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by Macavity » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:00 am

Leaf wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:52 pm
Macavity wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:23 pm
I'm interested in 'headbutt'. My sense is of something impinging within the chap's self-conscious, making him aware of life outside the soup-space.
Yes, indeed leaf...the outside/inside...by the way the blend of broccoli/cauliflower makes a tasty soup!
Beautiful soup... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWxFsJUlBbw :D
:D


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIw7E-q-flc

Leaf

Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by Leaf » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:20 pm

Ah, the Clangers. And the Soup Dragon! Thanks, mac; this is the perfect antidote to a difficult day in International Relations :lol:

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Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by bjondon » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:30 pm

Foregrounding empathy as a primary poetic purpose seems like a
good idea to me. The key to tolerance, which I think we all want more of,
is understanding ('walking a mile') - and the imaginative understanding
of the curious and wide-ranging poet can perhaps make a real social contribution.

I think here the poem might benefit from a more direct approach.
The voice of the N could equally well be that of the subject himself,
(animated, mediated by the writer), with the empathy inbuilt rather
than stated, though I do pick up the wry, humourous tone of that statement.
So the title could be: - 'I Married a Catholic Vegetarian'

The passionate love/hate relationship with the crucifix suggests he is
a Catholic too. And both religion and meat-eating are taken much
more seriously in Eastern Europe . . . so if the Estonian angle could
be worked back in there somewhere I think that made it richer.

I like the sofa but there's something awkward about the 'above' line break.
How about:
The crucifix that hangs
above the sofa
winks at him.

I must try that broccoli/cauliflower thing!
Jules

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Re: My friend married a vegetarian Catholic (revised)

Post by Macavity » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:08 pm

Foregrounding empathy as a primary poetic purpose seems like a
good idea to me. The key to tolerance, which I think we all want more of,
is understanding ('walking a mile')
Yes, it is Jules. The persona/empathy aesthetic, the Eliot/Keats influence, as opposed to the confessional/biographical, I also find less restrictive. Helps me to understand others from the 'inside'. And yes 'I is an option, though I have found that readers often assume the 'I' is me because they write about themselves. As usual, with my writes, there is a mix of empathy/fiction/fact in this poem. This is the first time the empathy has been stated rather than inbuilt, which is why I will keep the structure.
The passionate love/hate relationship with the crucifix
Yes, that was my intention. An exasperation in that long struggle to forgive.
so if the Estonian angle could
be worked back in there somewhere I think that made it richer.
An Estonian poet on another site quoted this to me...
As Wikipedia points out, "Ancient Estonians were some of the last European pagans to be Christianized, following the Livonian Crusade in the 13th century." Also, in more recent times, during the Soviet era, religion was suppressed, leading to Soviet style atheism in much of the population. That's likely why, "Estonia, which historically was a Lutheran Protestant nation, is today one of the 'least religious' countries in the world in terms of declared attitudes, with only 14 percent of the population declaring religion to be an important part of its daily life." [Wikipedia]
Perhaps one day I'll be able to write the 'Estonian angle'.

all the best

mac

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