Transference

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ray miller
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Transference

Post by ray miller » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:58 pm

It can happen to anyone, they said,
nobody is ever to blame.
Not your sibling rival or mother’s
early weaning, nor transgressions
in a previous existence.

Not genetics, toilet training
or the pace of society nowadays;
not a narrow pelvic passage
or Beelzebubian malice;
not pollution, there is nothing

in the air or the water.
Once you’ve got it, though, it’s harder
to shake off than straitjackets.
On reflection, you can see
that it was always there; a tendency

to hover on the edge of a chair
or tall buildings. Some people tumble
from such heights, they never hit the floor
until long after the safety net
is taken off and folded.

Father put it down to reserve
when everyone could see it was more
of a vacancy. The G.P. merely
scratched her head, unwilling to explore
any deeper, put her on an anxiolytic

and the waiting list to see
the unsmiling and unblinking
Dr Bentley, whose calm could harness
the most intrepid of wall climbers.
He packed her off to a ward

for assessment, observation
and intensive paper-weighting,
where she mingled with those others
who told the wrong kind of stories,
with inconclusive endings,

whose fancies are populated
by the likes of Napoleon,
Jesus, Gandhi, Hitler,
President Kennedy and Elvis.
And it struck her as the earth

rose to cushion her descent
that the history of madness
is the history of men, mostly dead,
seldom met, when friends and family posed
the more immediate threat.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Transference

Post by Macavity » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:41 pm

Enjoyed the dark humour Ray. A sad sense of inevitability in that final outcome.

best

mac

ray miller
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Re: Transference

Post by ray miller » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:14 am

Thanks, mac.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Transference

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:34 am

Entertaining read, Ray, that held my attention to the end. Ok, I started to wander a bit when you introduced the doctors
but not terribly so. I'm not entirely sure if the pay-off at the end lives up to the billing but it was enjoyable.

Deliciously ironic, I thought.
ray miller wrote:
to hover on the edge of a chair
or tall buildings. Some people tumble
from such heights, they never hit the floor
until long after the safety net
is taken off and folded. ...Perhaps "taken down"

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Transference

Post by David » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:47 pm

I've only come across transference as part of my passing ignorance of the works of the great Sigmund, but in that context I thought it was a sort of unreciprocated love on the part of the patient? That's my ignorance talking, see?

I like it, but I think it could be shorter and more concentrated - the first three stanzas would reduce to two ... actually that's all, although perhaps the stanza with the names - all highly usual suspects, it has to be said - could be shortened too, or something more - and more surprising - could be brought in.

Excellent finish, as so often.

Cheers

DAvid

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Re: Transference

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:10 pm

[tab][/tab]
Hi ray.
Very enjoyable read.

It can happen to anyone, they said,
I assume you tried
They said it could happen to anyone ?
nobody is ever to blame.
Not your sibling rival or mother’s

'rival sibling' ... maybe?
early weaning, nor transgressions
in a previous existence.

Not genetics, toilet training
or the pace of society nowadays;

(nor society's changing face ?)
not a narrow pelvic passage
or Beelzebubian malice;

(almost want this to be
or other Beelzebubian malice :) )
not pollution, there is nothing

in the air or the water.
(harmful in the air or the water ?)
Once you’ve got it, though, it’s harder
This feels a bit off after 'it can happen'
to shake off than straitjackets.
On reflection, you can see
that it was always there; a tendency

(it was always there; that tendency ?)

to hover on the edge of a chair
or tall buildings. Some people tumble
from such heights, they never hit the floor

(maybe 'but' for 'they' ?)
until long after the safety net
is taken off and folded.

(agree with JJ, 'taken down'
though it does bugger up the next line)

Father put it down to reserve
when everyone could see it was more
of a vacancy. The G.P. merely

Maybe cut 'merely', given see/vacancy/merely ?)
scratched her head, unwilling to explore
any deeper, put her on an anxiolytic

and the waiting list to see
bit weak ending 'to see' - why not 'to wait
upon...' ?
the unsmiling and unblinking
Dr Bentley, whose calm could harness
the most intrepid of wall climbers.

the switch in the next line is a bit sudden
(perhaps deliberately?)
He packed her off to a ward

for assessment, observation
and intensive paper-weighting,
where she mingled with those others
who told the wrong kind of stories,
with inconclusive endings,

(shame this couldn't be the final line :) )

whose fancies are populated
by the likes of Napoleon,
Jesus, Gandhi, Hitler,
President Kennedy and Elvis.
And it struck her as the earth


rose to cushion her descent
'descent' after 'tumble'?
that the history of madness
is the history of men, mostly dead,
pity you couldn't break on 'men'?
seldom met, when friends and family posed
the more immediate threat.

just a (half-baked thought);
rose to cushion her descent
that the history of madness
is the history of men
mostly dead, rarely met

yet it is so often friends
and family, who [for...
...
pose the more immediate threat.



Regards, Not

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Re: Transference

Post by ton321 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:51 am

Hi Ray,
I re read it a couple of times, and it it got better/clearer the more i read it, maybe its just me! My only crit is maybe theres too much build up to it, but it could work either if if you cut a few early strophes, or if you left it, depending on point of view, but apart from that, it is a well written, moving piece,
Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

ray miller
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Re: Transference

Post by ray miller » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:12 am

Thanks for the replies. I'm not greatly enamoured by this and there's meant to be a sinister undertone, which maybe needs to be an overtone.
taken down and folded it shall be
Transference is not a great title. Originally it was just Going Mad. Now I'm leaning toward Displacement.
rival sibling is better. Thanks, Not.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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lotus
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Re: Transference

Post by lotus » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:43 am

dear Ray

until long after the safety net
is taken off and folded.

Once you’ve got it, though, it’s harder
to shake off than straitjackets.

very fine lines !


i wonder why you've chosen for
President Kennedy
rather than perhaps J.F.K. ?
“A poem should have the touch ... the way sunlight falls on Braille.” .......silent lotus

1lankest
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Re: Transference

Post by 1lankest » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:29 pm

Anyone else miss Ray's poems?

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Re: Transference

Post by NMOliver » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:06 pm

Hi Ray
I thought this was well done, humorous yet terribly sad.
The final 2 stanzas are excellent and I liked the name drops.
S6 I wasn't so fussed on. I understand it is a very topical theme and to tell it like it was is important.
None the less I enjoyed it very much.

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