Cottaging

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Cottaging

Postby David Smedley » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:03 am

In a world of strange practices
yours was the strangest.

Entering each cubicle
of the old Victorian toilets

you would secrete an uncut loaf
down into the dimness

behind each toilet bowl,

to dampen, you said in court,
and soak up the smells.

What you did with them
behind closed doors though,

is none of our business.
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Re: Cottaging

Postby Nash » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:10 pm

Some extraordinarily bold imagery in this, David!!

It's great as it is but I wonder if we need 'old' in L4. Surely, 'Victorian' is enough?

If you wanted to be really bold you could also lose the preamble of the first two lines.
We're none of us responsible for our appendages. - R.B.
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Re: Cottaging

Postby Firebird » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:39 pm

I quick edit.


Victorian cubicles

'I'd secrete an uncut loaf
down into the dimness
behind each toilet bowl,
to dampen and soak up
the smells, he told the court.

But what he did
with them behind closed doors
was none of our business.
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Re: Cottaging

Postby Macavity » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:23 am

In a world of strange practices
yours was the strangest.


I thought that set up a challenge and the poem delivered. Convincingly strange! I think Tristan gives a better option on the title. Agree with Nash in regard to 'old'.

best

mac
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Re: Cottaging

Postby JJWilliamson » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:14 am

An intriguing write, David, that will have me looking at uncut loaves in a completely different way,
although I can't specify what I'll be looking for. A puzzle exists and, as yet, I'm struggling to connect.
My first thoughts pertained to the cottaging experiences of gay men, with the "cottage" acting as the venue
for anonymous sexual encounters. The thing is, I can't see what a person could do with a loaf of bread
that would warrant an explanation in court. Furthermore, why would he have to be in a public loo
to enjoy this "strange practice". Is that the point or was this an aside to the court's main enquiries?

Still, this poem does pack a punch, grabbing my attention from the start.

The format worked for me by separating the important points into discrete units.

I'm for keeping the title as is.

The use of 'old' is bland when something along the lines of "mephitic" or "fetid" would bolster his defence.

Best

JJ
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Re: Cottaging

Postby Lou » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:44 am

I think I know what happens with the cottage loaf. I agree about 'old' and cutting the first two lines. This poem is very memorable and sharply written.

Best,
Lou
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Re: Cottaging

Postby 1lankest » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:21 am

Yes, powerful imagery. I enjoyed it, but beyond the general idea of the mystery and bitterness of a failed relationship I can't grasp the particular complaint the narrator has with his ex-partner. Presumably it is metaphorical? If so, for what?

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Re: Cottaging

Postby David Smedley » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:46 pm

Nash.
FB.
Mac.
JJ.
Lou.
1lankest.

Thanks for the read and input all of you.

This is based on reality, the toilets existed in a park near me that was a well know haunt of cottagers.

Undercover police would operate from time to time, and if memory serves me right the charge for our man was "something likely to cause a breach of the peace." Details emerged over time (I did have friends on the gay scene), whether they were embellished or not I am not privy to.

David.
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Re: Cottaging

Postby JuliaReid » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:27 am

You wrote:
you would secrete an uncut loaf
down into the dimness


The funny thing is that to an American ear, 'an uncut loaf' could mean to take a number 2. This is why I was confused as to why he would do it behind the toilet to 'dampen the smells'. :D

I had to read it several times to understand that maybe you meant a real loaf of bread ( I had to look up a 'cottage loaf' online). Regardless, I thought the opening was arresting--the whole poem worked for me although it was a little vague as to what he did with them (the loaf or people?) behind closed doors. But the irony is that it is none of our business!

J.
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Re: Cottaging

Postby David Smedley » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:30 pm

Julia wrote.
The funny thing is that to an American ear, 'an uncut loaf' could mean to take a number 2. This is why I was confused as to why he would do it behind the toilet to 'dampen the smells'.

An "uncut loaf" could mean "take a number two?" Ye Gods!!

I had to read it several times to understand that maybe you meant a real loaf of bread ( I had to look up a 'cottage loaf' online). Regardless, I thought the opening was arresting--the whole poem worked for me although it was a little vague as to what he did with them (the loaf or people?) behind closed doors. But the irony is that it is none of our business!

J.


Cottaging:
The act of having anonymous sexual encounters with other men in public toilets.


I wanted to give you the definition of "cottaging" as used in my title. A famous case from the states may be the "George Michael"
case. George's subsequent send up of the incident (a nice middle finger) is something I find quite funny.

David
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Re: Cottaging

Postby fortytwo » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:12 pm

Although I personally fail totally to see the relevance of this piece on a poetry forum I will treat it as such in my review

In a world of strange practices
yours was the strangest. ..... I don't think one can say this. "THE" is to conclusive, better "ONE OF"

Entering each cubicle........... include the word "EMPTY" to clarify his actions
of the old Victorian toilets.... I agree that "old" is superfluous

you would secrete an uncut loaf.......other than to make less look more I don't understand why you have the line breaks where you have them
down into the dimness

behind each toilet bowl,

to dampen, you said in court,
and soak up the smells.

What you did with them
behind closed doors though,..... implied but not stated or summised thank goodness !

is none of our business.... that I agree with, so much so that I personally I don't see the point in describing the whole sordid business. I am no prude but I hope in true petry we can aspire to rise above the sordid and mundane
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Re: Cottaging

Postby David Smedley » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:58 pm

Thanks for your view here fortytwo.

David
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Re: Cottaging

Postby ray miller » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:11 pm

I like it a lot, very funny. It may rather spoil my enjoyment of the bread pudding on Xmas Day, though.
yours was of the strangest - perhaps?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.
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Re: Cottaging

Postby NotQuiteSure » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:12 pm

     
Wonderfully odd and very enjoyable.
I keep on coming back to it as if expecting
it to have grown.

L5.     Why not 'to secrete...' (being more purposeful).
     Was it a particular type of loaf? It feels like
      you're missing a trick with this lack of detail.

      Might you switch L7 and L6 ?

L9.     'to' for 'and' ?

L11.     Do you need 'though'?

Regards, Not.
     
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