The Machirologist (revision3)

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Macavity
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The Machirologist (revision3)

Post by Macavity » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:53 pm

revision3

She studied coincidence
after her car skidded into Pastor Kris,
shattered a shop window, and caused
a retiring surgeon to amputate
her hand (the one tattooed with poppies).
The Kris is a dagger that wards off demons.

Exactly a year earlier, her husband, uniformed
at breakfast, spreading butter over
cinnamon buns with a Kukri -
'a Gurkha's parting gift' - had said
'some are born to endless night.'
His metal hands spoke of bloodied pages.

The notch near the grip
of the Kukri directs liquid away
from the handle - she’d played
Lady Macbeth in university, read about
method acting. The Taliban
planted her husband's hands in poppy fields.

Her ex-lover, a shaman in his head,
bequeathed to her an ancient Kila.
'Just in case'. He gave up on theatrical life
and became a pastor, just before
his life-changing car accident. She embedded
the blade in saffron rice. The spirits fled

until exactly a year into her studies
she mapped happenstance
to a second-hand shop in Soho.
The window smiled a seduction:
subtle, serrated, sweet.
Like the way she had acted in Macbeth.

Almost penniless, she was unable to purchase
the Kujang - a dagger that upheld
the world's balance - but desire
shattered glass, severed her surviving hand.
The owner was a surgeon (partially retired).
This was how she acquired metal hands.




====================================

revision2

She studied coincidence
after her car ran over Pastor Kris
and a retiring surgeon amputated
her hand tattooed with poppies.
The Kris is a dagger that wards off demons.

Her husband, uniformed
at breakfast, spread butter over
cinnamon buns with a Kukri -
'a Gurkha's parting gift'.
His metal hands spoke of bloodied pages.

The notch near the grip
of the Kukri directs liquid away
from the handle - she’d played
Lady Macbeth in school. The Taliban
planted her husband's hands in poppy fields.

Her ex-lover, a shaman in his head,
bequeathed to her an ancient Kila.
'Just in case'. He became a pastor
just before a car accident. She bedded
the blade on saffron rice. The spirits fled

until a year into her studies
she mapped happenstance
to a second-hand shop in Soho.
The window smiled a seduction:
subtle, serrated, sweet.

Almost penniless, she was unable to purchase
the Kujang - a dagger that upheld
the world's balance - but desire
shattered glass, severed her surviving hand.
The owner was a surgeon (partially retired).

===================================================================

revision

She studied coincidence
after her car ran over Pastor Kris
and a retiring surgeon cut-off
her hand tattooed with poppies.
The Kris is a dagger that wards off demons.

Her husband, uniformed
at breakfast, spread butter over
cinnamon buns with a Kukri -
'a Gurkha's parting gift'.
His metal hands spoke of bloodied pages.

The notch near the grip
of the Kukri directs liquid away
from the handle - she’d played
Lady Macbeth in school. The Taliban
planted her husband's hands in poppy fields.

Her ex-lover, a shaman in his head,
bequeathed to her an ancient Kila.
'Just in case'. He became a pastor
just before a car accident. She bedded
the blade on saffron rice. The spirits fled

until a year into her studies
she mapped happenstance
to a second-hand shop in Soho.
The window smiled a metallic seduction:
subtle, serrated, sweet.

Almost penniless, she was unable to purchase
the Kujang - a dagger that upheld
the world's balance - but desire
shattered glass, severed her remaining hand.
The owner was a surgeon (partially retired).

===================================================






original

She studied coincidence
after her car ran over Pastor Kris
and a male surgeon cut-off
her hand tattooed with buttercups.
The Kris is a dagger that wards off demons.

Her ex-lover, uniformed
at breakfast, spread butter over
cinnamon buns with a Kukri -
'a Gurkha's parting gift'.
His jaundice eyes spoke of faded pages.

The notch near the grip
of the Kukri directs liquid away
from the handle - she’d acted
Lady Macbeth in a school play.
Taliban bled her lover's wrists in poppy fields.

Her latest boy, a shaman
in his head, bequeathed an ancient Kila.
'Just in case.' She bedded
the blade on to saffron rice:
the malevolence of spirits fled.

A year into her studies
she mapped happenstance
to a second-hand shop in Soho.
The window blazed a metallic gleam:
subtle, serrated, sweet.

She was too penniless to buy
the Kujang - a dagger that upheld
the world's balance - but hunger
broke the glass, severed her hand.
By chance the owner was an ex-surgeon.

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Re: From A Hypnotherapist's Case File - The Thief

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:08 pm

.
Hi mac,
the opening (line) grabs, but then lets go for a few (ok, three) verses. I think there is too long an interruption (almost digression) between 'studied coincidence' and 'mapped happenstance'.

Various nits:
s1 - who's driving the car. Or was it empty?
Is this the desmembered hand referred to in s6? The chronology confuses me.
Is the 'ex-lover' (s2) the same as the 'lover' (s3)? And why is she having breakfast with her ex?
Seems a very large knife to be using to spread butter
s3 - 'liquid' seems a bit squeamish.
'she'd acted / Lady Macbeth' is very clunky (but the next line is great, if a bit unweildy)
s4 - was the knife bequeathed to or by the 'shaman'? And who's saying 'just in case'?
Don't follow 'she bedded / the blade on to saffron rice'. (Doesn't have the 'point down' element that's required, or have I misunderstood?)
s5 - can something be both 'blazing' and 'subtle'?
s6 - surely 'penniless' doesn't require the adverb?
'severed her hand' - Is this her losing another hand, or is it the same incident referred to in s1?
Last line not doing much. Who would know about the coincidence, and what's the relevance of 'ex'?
Not sure about the title, (I think 'thief' misleads). If you could stand it, may I suggest
The Machirologist
The piece doesn't seem as 'note like' as it should be either (if that makes sense).

She studied coincidence
after her car ran over Pastor Kris
and a male surgeon cut-off
her hand tattooed with buttercups.
The Kris is a dagger that wards off demons.

The notch near the grip
of the Kukri directs blood away
from the handle - she’d played
Lady Macbeth at school, her final year.
Taliban opened her lover's veins in the poppy fields.
(Only a coincidence if she encouraged him to war, surely?)

A year into her studies
she mapped happenstance
to a second-hand shop in Soho.
The window blazed a metallic gleam:
subtle, serrated, sweet.

She was too penniless to buy
the Kujang - a dagger that upheld
the world's balance - but hunger
broke the glass, By chance
the owner was an ex-surgeon.
(If she's been studying 'coincidence' for a year at this point, would she use a phrase like 'by chance'?)


Regards, Not.


.

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Re: The Machirologist (revision)

Post by Macavity » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:42 pm

Loved the title suggestion Not. I've tinkered a tad for some clarity. As always, thanks for taking time to offer suggestions.

best

mac

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Re: The Machirologist's Statement (revision)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:15 pm

,
Hi mac,
don't think that 'statement' fits the poem.
Still puzzling over the ending, why wouldn't she use her artificial hand to break the glass? (And how does losing the second hand maintain the world's balance?) Not to mention the beginning :) why does she have her hand cut off, and why wasn't it 'amputated' (works well with tattooed and buttercups, I think)? Although ...

She studied coincidence
after she ran over Pastor Kris
an accident, the surgeon made
one final cut took her right hand
its tatoo of buttercups. A Kris
is a dagger that wards off demons.


The jump from s1 to s2 still seems too large, could you move s4 to s2? (Then cut s2! :) )
It would be nice to know a bit more about her (and not have two verses with the husband).

I don't think you need 'a metal seduction', it undercuts the superior
'subtle, serrated (which tells you all you need to know) sweet'
(though perhaps 'sharp/ened' for 'serrated' - are any of the daggers/weapons serrated?)

to a second-hand shop in Soho.
The window matched her manic grin,
sharp and sweet, seductive

I know it costs the plosive penniless/purchase but ...

She couldn't afford the Kujang -
a dagger that upheld the balance
of the world
- but desire smashes glass
...
?

(Maybe 'her right hand ... ' in S1 and 'her left' in S6, 'remaining' is rather lumpen.)
Is there a way to include, in each verse, a line that develops directly from 'she studied coincidence'?
(I don't find it clear that it is she who makes the connections in the poem, rather than N, and I'd like to see a few more knives thrown in :) )


Regards, Not


.

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Re: The Machirologist (revision2)

Post by Macavity » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:17 pm

Thanks for revisiting Not. You were right about the title (and on a few other points). Made some quick edits. Will go for a walk and ponder some more.

cheers

mac

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Re: The Machirologist's Statement (revision)

Post by Macavity » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:13 pm

hi Not

I'll try to answer/justify some of the options I have taken, not to convince, but to clarify :D
don't think that 'statement' fits the poem.
Agreed. Edited.
Still puzzling over the ending, why wouldn't she use her artificial hand to break the glass?
I didn't say she had one (perhaps she's stuck on the waiting list :) )
(And how does losing the second hand maintain the world's balance?) Not to mention the beginning :) why does she have her hand cut off, and why wasn't it 'amputated' (works well with tattooed and buttercups, I think)?
Lots of questions! Balance, in a twisted way, because her husband lost both hands. I think we can assume her hand was lost due to the 'car accident', but I don't feel the need to rationalise every bizarre narrative detail because the piece is a tad mad anyway! Like the more clinical option of amputated.
It would be nice to know a bit more about her (and not have two verses with the husband).
The husband is an aspect of her disintegrating world. Allows more threading of happenings in her world (which is why I'll keep the poppy references)
I don't think you need 'a metal seduction', it undercuts the superior
'subtle, serrated (which tells you all you need to know) sweet'
Agreed
I know it costs the plosive penniless/purchase but ...
Sound is king :D
(Maybe 'her right hand ... ' in S1 and 'her left' in S6, 'remaining' is rather lumpen.)
Agreed.

I'll have a think about structure, but I'm happy with the number of knives! :D

cheers

mac

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Re: The Machirologist (revision2)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:34 pm

.
Hi mac,
thanks for the explanations

I think we can assume her hand was lost due to the 'car accident'

I'm not sure about that - 'her car ran over' seems passive, distanced (her from the event) and not a description that ostensibly puts her at risk of injury.

I'll keep the poppy references
I like the poppies, it was the butter spreading I objected to :)
(It also seemed rather cruel to give a knife to someone who'd just lost their hands)

The shaman: would you consider 'he became a shepherd' (the root of pastor) rather than the repetition? I think it improves the sonics :)

(two 'justs' s4)

The ending does allow the interpretation that the 'surviving hand' was owned by a surgeon (can one be partially retired? Why not semi-retired?)

Some entirely unsubtle prodding ... :)

She studied coincidence
after her car ran over Pastor Kris
and a retiring surgeon amputated
her hand tattooed with poppies.
The Kris is a dagger that wards off demons.

The Taliban planted her husband's hands
in poppy fields. A parting gift. A Kukri
has a notch near the grip that directs liquid
away from the handle - it so happened
she’d played Lady Macbeth in school.

Her ex-lover, a shaman in his head,
bequeathed to her an ancient Kila.
'Just in case'. He became a shepherd
just before a car accident. She sheathed
the blade in saffron rice. The demons fled

until a year into her studies
she mapped serendipity
to a second-hand shop in Soho.
The window smiled a seduction:
subtle, serrated, sweet.

Her misfortune, she was unable to purchase
the Kujang - a dagger that upheld
the world's balance - but desire
shattered glass, severed her surviving hand.
The owner was a surgeon (partially retired).

(could return to the husband here?)



Regards, Not


.

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Re: The Machirologist (revision2)

Post by Macavity » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:18 pm

Such stamina Not. :lol: :D I'll add your thoughts to my list when I come to revisit (I'm going to let the current revisions bed awhile to see if they root...or maybe not :wink: ). As always thanks for offering your perspective.

all the best

mac

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Re: The Machirologist (revision3)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:44 am

.
Nighty night :)

.

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