Little Whale

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Vincent Turner
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Little Whale

Post by Vincent Turner » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:58 am

I

It is difficult here.
Beyond the walls
where you sleep,
slumber and grow
everyone is giddied,
fluttering from their catastrophes
like sparks from a burning car.
But in-between the hiss
and spin of smouldering wheels
there is an endless array of stars
that speckle the sky.
And a moon that paints lakes
with milky abandon.
There are words
that can make hearts dance
and kisses that
release butterflies
in the ballroom of our tummy.

II

I did not know him,
I remember only the taste
of whisky on his tongue
and the feel of his collar
stabbing my neck,
when done, we zipped up
and I watched him walk away
You brought it all back
as two strips of blue
In the toilet of a café.

III

Vanity loathed you.
reflecting the stretch of my stomach
In shop windows,
and on bad days convincing me
to buy fashion magazines.
You lashed out
like laundry on full spin,
threw back all that I enjoyed-
eggs sunny side up,
steak ever so slightly seared..
Yet Jazz suited you
like warm bed sheets
dropped over cold legs.
In the long sweltering
summer afternoons
you rested calm
in the hammock of my womb.

IIII

Sometimes I wish to join you.
To crawl inside myself,
and muffle the crash
of hurled plates
from the on-off lovers upstairs.
Other times I take us to bed
in the middle of the day,
running my fingers over
this swollen bump
hoping to find your hand.

JohnLott
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Re: Little Whale

Post by JohnLott » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:13 am

I'll read this more carefully when I can sit quietly; but so far one of the best stories I have read for a long time..
I feel this will be really worth getting into....

:D :D

J.
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Re: Little Whale

Post by BenJohnson » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:14 am

Beyond the obvious cliché here
that can make hearts dance
and kisses that
release butterflies
in the ballroom of our tummy.
which let down the freshness of the rest of it I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

For me something like
There are words and kisses
that can release dancers
in the ballroom of our belly.
Would skip the butterfly cliché and not lose the meaning.

I will return later for a third and slower read, but just thought I would check it to let you know it went down well for me.

Vincent Turner
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Re: Little Whale

Post by Vincent Turner » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:56 am

Thanks John

This poem has been with me for around 4 years, and has, over that time, taken on many forms and paths... kinda happy with where it heading now.

Glad it is working for you.

Ben, thanks as well.

I am conscious, like we all are, of cliches, but I was looking for language close to that which one would use with a child... maybe this can still be done without the cliches....

Thanks to you both

Best Regards

Vincent

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Re: Little Whale

Post by calico » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:35 am

Hello Vincent.
I think your explanation for the butterflies in tummy makes sense - but in that case have you tried using consistently less artful language throughout that S1?
I actually really enjoy language like:
everyone is giddied,
fluttering from their catastrophes
like sparks from a burning car.


But I wonder if it's a bit grandiose, or whether it is the theme that is grandiose - - well yes it is undeniably. However it's been with you 4 years as you say and remarkably fresh for that.

S2 is fantastic, except it threw me at first because for some reason I assumed it was two men - "both zipped up" I guess, and the symmetry of the blue lines, I think it's very well pared down this part, good.

S3 the laundry on full spin, great physical image

and I think S4 is great too, and I like the way it winds down, becomes intimate and small.

Thanks, I really enjoyed it.

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Re: Little Whale

Post by brianedwards » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:55 am

I think weeding out all the cliches is worthwhile. Not only the butterflies, but also the moonlit lake, the star-speckled sky, the whisky tongue and the rowing neigbours. Much of the rest is fresh and interesting; the moments when you focus in on the mother and her unborn child only, cutting out all the narrative noise, are especially touching and well-drawn.

4 years old? A little bit longer won't hurt then, while you bring it to its best.

B.

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Re: Little Whale

Post by Vincent Turner » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:44 pm

Hey Calico
calico wrote:but in that case have you tried using consistently less artful language throughout that S1?
Thanks for the critique, in regards to the above, I did indeed trying to use less "poetic" language, but scraped it as it became even to cliche for my liking... that's not to say that stripping the language down should make it cliched, only that i failed to achieve what I set out to do.
calico wrote:I assumed it was two men - "both zipped up" I guess,
Yeah I get your point, but lets presume that the narrator ( female0 was wearing jeans and by undoing her buttons her zip unzipped!

Thanks again for taking the time to read, and glad it working for you.

Hi Brian
brianedwards wrote:I think weeding out all the cliches is worthwhile. Not only the butterflies, but also the moonlit lake, the star-speckled sky, the whisky tongue and the rowing neigbours. Much of the rest is fresh and interesting; the moments when you focus in on the mother and her unborn child only, cutting out all the narrative noise, are especially touching and well-drawn.

4 years old? A little bit longer won't hurt then, while you bring it to its best.

B.
I will give you the moon-lit lake, and definitely the "whiskey tongue" - what to replace that with? Stella tongue- to working class? how about Bushmills- to expensive?, Diamond White to close to teenage years... ah bollocks.. one for me to think about maybe I will steal one from Rays shortlist... furry navel wasn't it.

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Re: Little Whale

Post by ray miller » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:54 pm

I think this is really good. Not much needs altering. Butterflies, I suppose.I loved "everyone is giddied" and the moon painting with milky abandon and much else. It's fuzzy navel, actually. Four years! Really! That makes me feel a whole lot better.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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