An unexpected inheritance - V3

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An unexpected inheritance - V3

Post by Nicky B » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:29 pm

There was no mention of superpowers
in your will,
no bestowing of flight or x-ray vision.

Home alone now and there’s no one
to share the air,
no fragments of you floating in this blue.

Each barren breath sticks and I swell
until every cell
is imbued with the absence of you.

I grow increasingly transparent -
a curiosity
they observe and whisper at a distance.

But at close quarters you’ve bequeathed me
invisibility,
as if nearness would pierce my diaphanous shell

and unleash this loss, streaming onto their shoes
and trouser cuffs
making them rush to clean the contagion.

There is no reason to fear,I cannot burst.
Even if I did,
they would find me quite hollow inside.


An Unexpected Inheritance - Version 2
There was no mention of superpowers
in your will,
no bestowing of flight or x-ray vision.

Home alone now and there’s no one
to share the air,
no fragments of you floating in this blue.

Each sterile breath sticks and I swell
until every cell
is imbued with the absence of you.

I grow increasingly transparent -
a curiosity
they observe and whisper at a distance.

But at close quarters you’ve bequeathed me
invisibility,
as if nearness would pierce my diaphanous shell

and unleash this loss, streaming onto their shoes
and trouser cuffs
making them rush to clean the contagion.

There is no reason to fear.
I will not burst
and even if I did, a void cannot spill.


Version One: Inheriting Invisibility

There was no mention of superpowers
in your will,
no bequeathing of flight or x-ray vision.

Home alone now and there’s no one
to share the air,
no fragments of you floating in this blue,

and with every single sterile breath
I seem to swell
increasingly transparent with grief.

A hideous lampoon of a party balloon
causing distant fascination,
but invisible at close quarters,

as if words alone would rupture
my diaphanous shell
releasing a barrage of fetid loss,

streaming onto their shoes and trouser cuffs
which they’d rush
and wipe clean, to stop the spread.

They have no reason to fear, I cannot burst,
and even if I did,
they would find me quite hollow inside.
Last edited by Nicky B on Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by RichardSanders » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:07 pm

Hi Nicky,

I think you have the beginnings of something beautiful here but the line-breaks make no sense to me.
To me they seem to disrupt the piece.



Try reading the peace aloud to feel where the breaks should be.

Hope is helps,

Kindest,
Richard.

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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by Nicky B » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:12 pm

Thanks Richard,

I've been shockingly blocked for weeks now so it's a relief to hear this isn't complete nonsense. I feel it's a way off finished, but I wanted to post it to help me move on.

I wasn't sure about the line breaks either, and when I'm unsure I always opt for short. I've jiggled them to a previous form - any better?

Thanks again,

Nicky B.

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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by RichardSanders » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:34 pm

Hi Nicky,

Line breaks are very much better this way.
I'm curious to see what else you want to change.

If I might suggest:
"causing distant fascination,
invisible at close quarters"

"causing" seems superfluous to me and its use seems to suggest the "fascination" is "invisible at close quarters".
leaving the word out, may work better.


Kindest,
Richard.

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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by Nicky B » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:25 am

Thanks (again) Richard,

I'm doing the irritating thing of editing it once posted. Why do poems always look so different once posted than when in my notebook?

I've added a "but" to solve the problem you rightly mentioned - I'm not sure losing causing would work. Do you think this helps?

I've also added an extra stanza. This is a bit of an optional extra, I can't work out if this helps, or if I should end on spread - this would be a stronger ending, but I wanted to return to the balloon theme.

Thanks so much,

Nicky B.

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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by RichardSanders » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:20 am

Hi Nicky,

The "but" solve the issue.
The stanza does seem a bit different from its peers because the second line is considerably longer.
I'm not sure that's a problem though.
I general, don't just take my word as fact. I'm no expert. Far from it.

As for the stanza you added; It's a little more complicated.
It works for the story but it somehow feels different from its predecessors.
I'm not sure why.
I'm not sure you need it but I think it's a good addition.
Here's a suggestion which I hope you don't mind.

Their fear is not founded in reason,
if I would burst,
they'd find me quite hollow inside.

Hope it helps and again; don't take my words as fact.

Kindest,
Richard.

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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by camus » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:42 am

Nicky,

I thought this an excellent idea for a poem.

It starts well, but I feel it gets lost in its own ideas?

I can't quite work out whether the "inherent invisibility" is a metaphor or simply a surreal vision?

Either way, there is confusion immediately with:

"flight or x-ray vision." What have they to do with "Inheriting invisibility" You seem to be mixing up your super powers here?

I reckon it needs honing to one idea, then simply adapting your existing lines (of which some are excellent) to that?

There also seems to be an abundance of commas, which at first sight seem necessary, perhaps not? Definitely a full stop after blue.

Cheers
Kris
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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by JohnLott » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:38 am

I'll add my vote of confidence here.
It isn't tidy at the moment but it is a good idea that could fly (so to speak).
I feel you need to relate his bequest of a super power to you -the ability to swell with grief - to S3 more immediately because S2 intercedes somehow.

:)

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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by Nash » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:15 am

I pretty much agree with the others here, that it's a great idea but it's not quite comng together at the moment.

S1 is a strong opening, an immediate hook, but I don't think that the rest is quite described enough to relate to it.

I don't like the lampoon/balloon rhyme at all, it seems too humorous for the tone of the rest of the poem.

I'm also having a little trouble with the central metaphor of someone swelling with grief. Perhaps we can swell with pride, but grief? I'm not so sure. I can however, imagine grief swelling around us (like a shell, keeping people away) and us diminishing within it.............but having just read it again, perhaps this is what you mean anyway.

Good ending too.

Thanks,
Nash.

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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by Mic » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:45 am

Hi Nicky,

There is a lot of power in those opening lines, the first two stanzas. I felt like I was definitely in the presence of poetry, I felt gripped and I felt a physical sensation of grief in my chest.

I don't have a problem with your mention of the other superpowers.

Like Nash, I really don't like the lampoon/ballon rhyme.
Nicky B wrote:There was no mention of superpowers
in your will,
no bequeathing of flight or x-ray vision.

Home alone now and there’s no one
to share the air,
no fragments of you floating in this blue,

and with every single sterile breath ----- I try to avoid using adjectives where possible. They bog down the amazing work that nouns and verbs can do.
I seem to swell
increasingly transparent with grief. ------------ It is probably an annoying thing to say, but this is a bit 'telly' - if you could avoid direct mention of grief and loss, I think the poem would be stronger

A hideous lampoon of a party balloon ------------ don't like this at all
causing distant fascination,
but invisible at close quarters,

as if words alone would rupture
my diaphanous shell
releasing a barrage of fetid loss, -------- too 'telly' again I think.

streaming onto their shoes and trouser cuffs ---- this stanza works better - all those verbs doing good work.
which they’d rush
and wipe clean, to stop the spread.

They have no reason to fear, I cannot burst,
and even if I did,
they would find me quite hollow inside.
-----telly, telly, telly
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: Inheriting invisibility

Post by twoleftfeet » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:31 pm

This is almost brilliant.

As Kris says, the "superpowers" metaphor is a tad confused - maybe mention cloaks, or a potion instead of x-ray vision et al?

"Every single sterile breath" is overkill IMHO.

Apart from that - plaudits.

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

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by Nicky B » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:31 pm

Thanks all - I very much appreciated all the feedback. I hope this version is a little clearer and tighter.

Richard – Thanks so much. The last stanza was a bit rushed, and your comments were really helpful. I know I’m due some crits. I will get on to this. I have been reading!

Kris – thanks for the encouragement. Cramming in too many ideas is a real failing of mine. Hopefully it’s a little clearer now. The idea is that when someone close dies you become invisible for a while, as if people would rather look through you then mention your recent bereavement. Along with boxes of buttons and carver chairs, you often inherit the superpower of invisibility. In the opening stanza I’m trying to say there was no mention superpowers, which is why I was later surprised that I had inherited one. Does that make more sense? Or do I need to change this? Geoff was also confused by this, so I guess there is a problem.

John – you’re absolutely right that S2 is getting in the way of linking S1 and S3. But I’m not sure how to get around this. I’ve tightened up the rest to hopefully make it clearer.

Nash – balloon/lampoon is truly awful isn’t it? It just rhymed so neatly, was so serendipitous, that I couldn’t help myself - it’s hard to leave bad habits behind. It’s gone now, phew. I was imagining someone swelling with grief, the emotion literally filling them up, ballooning them and stretching them to transparency. However, grief is curious, as despite feeling “full of emotion” you often also feel completely hollow, which is why I used air to fill them.

Mic – this is great. Thank you for the detailed crit. I don’t mind the telly reference at all, it makes sense to me. I’ve taken on board most of your comments, and hopefully it’s improved.

Geoff – thanks so much. Almost brilliant sounds good to me.

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by Mic » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:27 pm

A very good edit, I think Nicky.

Has the title changed?

Mic
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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by Nicky B » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:57 pm

Thanks Mic,

Yes I changed it from Inherited Invisibility. I thought that was a bit of a mouthful and gave the game away a little too early.

Thanks so much again for the help,

Nicky

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by Mic » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:01 pm

Something about the new title isn't working. I'm not sure why... will think on it. See what others say.

Mic
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by Nash » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:08 pm

Damn you Michaela, I cross posted with you and lost mine! Don't you hate it when that happens?

Anyway...the gist of it was that I like the rewrite a lot, much better flow and you have some lovely rhymes Nicky.

I think I might just prefer the original last line though, maybe.

....and I agree with Michaela, I'm unsure about the new title too, can't quite put my finger on why though.

Nice one,
Nash.

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by RichardSanders » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:35 pm

Hi Nicky,

The rewrite surely is an improvement though I do agree with Nash that the original last line may have been better.
There is just one word that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Nearness in the fifth stanza.
I would suggest proximity or closeness instead, depending on the question if you mean to imply emotional import.

Kindest,

Richard.
Last edited by RichardSanders on Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by twoleftfeet » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:13 pm

You need a full stop or colon after "fear" .
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by dragonfly » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:23 pm

Hello Nicky. I found this moving, and I'm impressed with the way you've rewritten it.

As others have said, the opening is very captivating. You had me hooked. Perhaps on first reading the thought process which follows is more subtle than that first stanza, so I had to slow down and think more. I was still a little confused about the progression from the fourth to fifth stanzas initially - it was just a jolt to realise that the n was more visible at a distance than at close quarters, but once I'd grasped that, it was a clever effect. I'm not the world's subtlest thinker, so maybe for others this wasn't such a stumbling block on the first reading.

I do wonder if you need that third stanza, if there might still be a logical progression without it. (Though I'm so aware I could be very wrong!)

I like the pace of this poem, by the way. For me it really conveys a sense of that strange out-of-body spaciousness, the isolation of this emotional state.

Many thanks for the read, I enjoyed.
dragonfly

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by ray miller » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:54 pm

The new title is lots better, well, all of it is.
I'd prefer an obvious rhyme

Home alone now and no one's there
to share the air,

I know someone jibbed at "nearness". I like it, close to "pierce". diaphanous shells seem to be quite ubiquitous these days.
I'd like "absence" instead of loss, only because it sounds nearly like "abcess".
Nice ending.
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I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by JohnLott » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:52 pm

Hi Nicky,

I like what you have written and it (the re-write) is good up to the last stanza.
If you can't revise that along the lines that emptiness doesn't flow (forget 'spill'), I would look to finish the poem at the previous stanza and avoid creaking into an anti-climax.

:)

J.
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Re: Inheriting invisibility - V3

Post by Nicky B » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:00 pm

Hi All,

Sorry for the very slow response. A couple of very slight changes.

Mic and Nash – thanks for encouragement. I’m really unsure about the title. Can you explain why it doesn't suit and I'll have another bash? And Nash, thank you for picking up on the rhymes – you know it’s something I’m keen on. Oooo, and I have gone back to the original ending.

Richard – thanks also. I did try quite hard on the edit and was really pleased it had the desired effect. I so often go backwards when I edit. Nearness is there for the rhyme with pierce, it wouldn’t work so well with the other options, but I do see your point. It is an odd word. I have however taken your advice on that last line.

Geoff – Perfect, it made absolutely no sense without that.

Ray – So, you like everything that everyone else doesn’t like :roll: . I’m trying to very hard to go cold-turkey on the obvious rhyme, and here you come, tempting me to the dark side. Diaphanous shell is kinda lack lustre isn’t it? Have you seen it somewhere else then? Thanks so much for your input - it's always really great to hear your opinion.

Dragonfly – thank you so much for your detailed crit! I love it when people explain what they took from a poem, and I love it even more when they understood what I was trying to say – which you did – perfectly! Yay! Thank you.

John – Yep, you’re right about that last line, I’ve reverted to the original – better?

Thanks again all – very very much appreciated.

Nicky

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Re: An unexpected inheritance - V3

Post by ray miller » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:50 am

I can't believe you won't have "no-one's there / to share the air", yet you've got swell/cell, me/invisibility!

"Diaphanous shell is kinda lack lustre isn’t it? Have you seen it somewhere else then? " Seems to me I saw a few of 'em a couple of months back. Colder weather's seen 'em off so you might be ok.
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I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: An Unexpected Inheritance

Post by David » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:12 pm

dragonfly wrote:I do wonder if you need that third stanza, if there might still be a logical progression without it.
Exactly. Or, rather, not exactly, because I think it actually impedes the logical progression. I really don't see what S3 is doing at all, especially after the wonderful opening of the first two stanzas. And then, if you remove it, I think the transition from S2 to (currently) S4 is quite lovely.

Cheers

David

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Re: An unexpected inheritance - V3

Post by JohnLott » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:21 pm

Nicky B,
I think this is building into a good thought-provoking work.
For me there are still some issues with a confusion between invisibility and spreading (observable) contagion - the presence of both together has not been justified.
I don't have a problem with S3; but it would help if it was re-designed to be a better bridge between S2 and S4.

J.
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