I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

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Jackie
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I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by Jackie » Wed May 15, 2019 4:56 pm

Half-way through, I knew.
The recipe was wrong.
The lovely matte crust
in the baking pan
ulcerated twice.
And again.

Unallowed bottom bits
rose into view. Then
here,
there, innards took to
perforating
and gleamed unctuous
in the yellow oven light.

Unstoppable now,
every pinch and teaspoon
turned bubble
and jostled, mounted,
fought to top the rolled rim.
Only to plop equitably
in wet heaps
on the startled grill beneath.

Joao
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Re: I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by Joao » Wed May 15, 2019 5:37 pm

This is lovely, Jackie, this little insurrection. The only bit that didn't work for me was the startled grill: found it hard to anthropomorphise such a bare and angular object, although (afterthought) you probably mean that the grill shakes as the blobs land on it, which makes perfect sense. (Forgive my lack of imagination. I, at first, thought of a person startled at being caked in the face).

Impressive poem. Really liked it.

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Perry
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Re: I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by Perry » Thu May 16, 2019 1:24 am

I'll be honest with you, I don't like all the short lines. In my view, the line breaks just get in the way.

When I got to these lines:

Unallowed bottom bits
rose into view.

... and having just read the word "ulcerated", some words popped into my head as if the poem were mine:

Unallowed bottom bits
rose into view like organs
breaking through skin.

I just thought I would throw that out as a suggestion.

These lines struck me as a little strange:

every pinch and teaspoon
turned bubble

I think the poem is pretty good overall, but you could put a little more drama into it. I wrote a dramatic kitchen-accident poem which no one seemed to like, but it's still there (probably ten pages down in this forum) if you want to look at it -- "The Salad Prayer".
Last edited by Perry on Thu May 16, 2019 4:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by Macavity » Thu May 16, 2019 4:16 am

Hi Jackie,
The poem translates the emotion of the experience. The form mirrors the breaking down of process. I like to blame the recipe too :) The use of ulcerated/perforating/innards draws on unsettling human parallels. However, the poem still delivers within the 'baking' frame - especially how the careful measures of every pinch and teaspoon combine to an eruption of chaos....love the 'plop' :D

muchly enjoyed

mac

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Jackie
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Re: I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by Jackie » Thu May 16, 2019 9:53 am

Thank you, Perry, I enjoyed reading your "The Salad Prayer." Unlike your salad event, though, mine was a drawn-out, downhill activity that was getting worse and worse. I think Mac's comment clinches it: "The form mirrors the breaking down of process."

I was pleased that Joao called it "this little insurrection," because as I watched the havoc developing in the oven, it became for me a metaphor of stratifying workplace policies applied to the letter, totally disregarding the rumblings of discontent among lower-level staff members.

I'm glad you all found something you liked in the poem, and that you've given me things to consider.

Jackie

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Re: I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu May 16, 2019 10:03 am

.
Hi Jackie,
enjoyed this, the unexpected combination of baking
and viscera works a treat.

Minor nits:
Should it be a comma at the end of L1?
Do you need L4 (seems to intrude between
'crust' and 'ulcerated') ? Alternatively switch the order
... L4, L3, L5 ... ?

Not convinced by 'unallowed', though liked
the inevitably juvenile interpretation of 'bottom
bits' ... sorry. :)
Not a fan of 'unctuous' (seems too predictable,
and doesn't work well with 'innards').
Just a suggestion
perforating,
a mucosal gleam,
in the yellow oven light


Liked 'bubble'/'jostled'
(maybe 'seethed' for 'turned' ?)
Why equitably? Seems a bit tame after all the rest.
(If 'bubble' then why not 'unquenchable' for 'unstoppable' ?)

Regards, Not.

.

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Re: I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by Harbal » Fri May 17, 2019 8:44 pm

NotQuiteSure wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:03 am

perforating,
a mucosal gleam,
in the yellow oven light
Personally, I would avoid "mucosal gleam", unless you want to put people off cake altogether.

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Re: I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by capricorn » Sat May 18, 2019 1:13 pm

Hi Jackie,

I really like this translation of emotion. It's nice to be able to blame the recipe, eh? :D

Loved the plop at the end

Greatly enjoyed

Eira

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Re: I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by David » Sat May 18, 2019 2:20 pm

I like it too, Jackie - up to (or down from) and including the title.

I've never come across either "ulcerate" or "perforate" as intransitive verbs, but apparently that's fine.

I rather like "gleamed unctuous". You couldn't get "glaucous" in there as well, could you? I think I'd like that.

I do wonder about "equitably", as being (possibly) too legalistic, but I like "startled" - it gives you a nice comic image to finish on.

I'm not sure I appreciated that the whole thing is "a metaphor of stratifying workplace policies applied to the letter, totally disregarding the rumblings of discontent among lower-level staff members", but hey, if it works for you ... (It works for me, now you've explained it.)

Primarily, though, I just enjoyed it as a confectionery disaster.

Cheers

David

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Jackie
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Re: I Want No Part of Your Layered Cake

Post by Jackie » Sat May 18, 2019 8:22 pm

Eira, I'm so glad you found something to enjoy in this.

David, I haven't had such a good laugh in a while.
I rather like "gleamed unctuous". You couldn't get "glaucous" in there as well, could you? I think I'd like that.
Point taken. Many thanks for your comments.

Jackie

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