Brinkmanship - revised

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ray miller
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Brinkmanship - revised

Post by ray miller » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:36 pm

Revision

Like when we slip beneath the edge
of the sea, sharp stones razor the soles
of our feet, crabs nibble toes, the nagging
pull of the tide at our calves.
Involuntary curses lapping around
our balls, bellies bracing, testing
how deep the freeze can spread,
up to our necks in a numbness.
A small sip of death, pretend to forget
this liquid ceiling so easily broken,
the heavy world above that threatens
to burst through and swallow the ocean.
That foreign tongue, the drowning silence.

Original

Like when we slip beneath the edge
of the sea, sharp stones razor the soles
of our feet, crabs nibble toes, the urgent
pull of the tide at our calves.
Involuntary curses lapping around
our balls, bracing bellies, testing
how deep the freeze can spread,
up to our necks in a numbness.
Everything flashing before our eyes
and then this change in perspective,
this liquid ceiling so easily broken,
the heavy world above that threatens
to burst through and swallow the ocean.
That foreign language, the drowning silence.
Last edited by ray miller on Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Dryanddeadwords
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Re: Brinkmanship

Post by Dryanddeadwords » Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:07 am

Hello again Ray,

Enjoying this a lot. The involuntary curses a particular highlight. Wasn’t sure about “edge” of the sea. Does a sea have an edge? If it does, I’d imagine it was the shore, but I think what you’re describing is the surface. Apologies if I’m reading that wrong.

Excellent title.

Best,
Dylan.

Macavity
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Re: Brinkmanship

Post by Macavity » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:26 am

Enjoyed this Ray, like the notion of the heavy world above that threatens/to burst through and swallow the ocean,
but Everything flashing before our eyes is hoary and and then this change in perspective is telly.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Brinkmanship

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:49 pm

.
Hi ray,
builds and breaks like a wave. Nicely done.


Like when we slip beneath the edge
- also not sure about 'the edge'. Could you get away with cutting
'the edge of the sea' entirely? That it is the sea is made clear by
the rest of the piece.
of the sea, sharp stones razor the soles
of our feet, crabs nibble toes, the urgent
pull of the tide at our calves.
Involuntary curses lapping around
our balls, bracing bellies, testing

- maybe switch 'bellies' and 'bracing'?
our balls, bellies bracing, testing.
how deep the freeze can spread,

- period, not comma?
up to our necks in a numbness.
Everything flashing before our eyes

- too telly ray, maybe just cut?
and then this change in perspective,
this liquid ceiling so easily broken,
the heavy world above that threaten
s
- very nice line
to burst through and swallow the ocean.
- would 'break' (as in wave) work instead of 'burst'
(and 'burst' for 'broken' in L12)?
That foreign language, the drowning silence.
- 'That'?
Do you need this line? (If brinkmanship wasn't such a good title
I'd suggest 'the drowning silence').


Regards, Not.


.

ray miller
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Re: Brinkmanship - revised

Post by ray miller » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:58 am

Thanks for the comments. It's piss-poor, I think, but I'm going through the motions and made some alterations in the light of suggestions.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

bjondon
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Re: Brinkmanship - revised

Post by bjondon » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:34 pm

Don't be too hard on yourself Ray - both the revisions
twist the kalaidoscope - I had thought it was fine, but
actually it's clearer now.
I do enjoy reading political metaphors into your work - and the clichés 'flashing before our eyes'
and 'change in perspective' seemed to chime with political rhetoric. Plus those lines raised a
nearer possibility of a suicide as well as the safer readings of the annual dip or maybe a seasoned
winter swimmer.
Now it's more personal, and about otherness and teasing death too - but anchored in the whole
strange physiological experience of submersion in cold water - strange because it feels weirdly
existential, the upper world ceasing to exist, or to matter so much, for just a few seconds.
Also liked the formal play of the descending lines/rising water.
But now the title doesn't seem to fit.
Jules

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