Buying the lie

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Vincent Turner
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Buying the lie

Post by Vincent Turner » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:32 pm

Each father’s day we gave him
three cards and a Worlds Best Dad teddy bear.
An award we never believed.
It was mother fulfilling her role-
hoping one day
he’d wake, untangled
from the nights boozy stupor
and with clear eye
suddenly decide to live true
the words bold typed across
The teddy’s tummy,
and rise from the bed
swallowing us with large
hungry arms
a happy, hairy, ogre of love.

We asked her once
whilst trawling the aisles
columned by novelty cards
why we had to buy a lie
she bit lemons
and gave us the face.
Telling us to be grateful
to accept our lot.
That there were some little kiddies
with no dad at all.

This never made no sense.
We saw the kids with no dads in school
they bound the playground
like lambs.
Free to spend the day of their fathers
playing hide-and-seek
pn the park
to then come home
embraced by a mother
unbound by the needs of a brutish drunk,
who only ever wanted her love
once she appeared to him in threes.

Antcliff
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Re: Buying the lie

Post by Antcliff » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:02 pm

Hi
Terrific I thought. Good title as well.
Only a minor quibble/query. In the last stanza the rather more sophisticated vocabulary of "..unbound by.." stands in contrast to the (and I like the line a lot) "this never made no sense". This creates an impression in me of someone moving between two voices..of a child and of a more sophisticated adult. Nowt wrong with that. However I did not get impression of that intention earlier on, where it was more of one voice. So unless that is deliberate, is it for best using "bound" again in the same stanza?..it had been used earlier.
Just a thought. Enjoyed it.
Ant
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

David
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Re: Buying the lie

Post by David » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:02 pm

Quite powerful, Vincent, but too much of the telling instead of the showing for me. It's a very persuasive reminiscence, but not quite a poem.

Sorry to be negative about it. It's clearly not an unconsidered thing, but - to put it in the terms that have been bandied about here recently - it's true, but it's not beautiful. It's even, to put it even more contentiously, not artificial enough.

If, on the other hand, it's a not a True Life Story, then it does read very like one.

Cheers (does that ring a bit hollow?)

David

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twoleftfeet
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Re: Buying the lie

Post by twoleftfeet » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:50 pm

Hi Vincent,

Although I find this a powerful piece I have to agree with David that it is too telly, especially S2.

This is one of those cases where less will be more e.g do you really need
An award we never believed. ?

or "large" when you already have "swallowing" and "ogre" ?

Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Buying the lie

Post by JohnLott » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:39 pm

A freeze frame on a human story, Vincent.
It is untidy and needs smoothing out: especially in separating the good bits from the mediocre:
and rise from the bed
swallowing us with large
hungry arms
a happy, hairy, ogre of love.

is a good bit
We saw the kids with no dads in school
they bound the playground
like lambs.

and
the words bold typed across
The teddy’s tummy,

are untidy bits
unbound by the needs of a brutish drunk,
who only ever wanted her love
once she appeared to him in threes.

is a mediocre bit

It could be good, is what I think.

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

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Re: Buying the lie

Post by ray miller » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:46 am

I think you could cut some of the first verse.

Each father’s day we gave him
three cards and a Worlds Best Dad teddy bear
It was mother fulfilling her role-
hoping one day
he’d wake, untangled
from the nights boozy stupor
and with a clear eye
suddenly decide to live
the words bold typed across
The teddy’s tummy.

There seems to be a lot of punctuation missing. For example

why we had to buy a lie
she bit lemons

I don't actually understand the end line, appearing in threes, but no-one else has mentioned it so it's probably me.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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