House Of Pain [language]


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  1. #1

    House Of Pain [language]

    Within a framework
    of shattered bones;
    thatched with torn out hair,
    walled with lacerated skin
    dried crudely in the sun,
    tanned and taut with labor.
    (Ditches I have dug,
    shit I have shoveled,
    dishes I have washed,
    trucks I have loaded,
    a back I have broken,
    indignities I've suffered,
    two arthritic knees I hobble on now,
    from miles I have walked,
    shed a river of sweat
    yet you do not
    give a fuck.)

    Inside sits a broken heart.

    This structure
    is held together
    by the knives I've pulled
    from my back.

    Enough. Enough.

    I sit now,
    drawing a cloak of black
    over my tired form.
    I've laid out a suit of clothes
    suitable to die in.
    I've cleaned and oiled my guns.
    Loaded them, click, click.
    They rest easy near me,
    at the ready,
    close at hand.
    I sit, sipping bitter tea
    as the dark comes on.
    I sit and wait.
    No words left but the words
    the fire sings in its
    red and beating heart,
    staring at photographs of my daughter as a baby.

    Your move.
    Last edited by Bilston Blue; November 25th, 2011 at 10:32 AM. Reason: to add a language disclaimer

  2. #2
    I don't know if you could have gone any darker with this one, it kind of leaves me stunned and with a feeling dread.
    There is no life I know
    To compare with pure imagination.
    Living there you’ll be free
    If you truly wish to be.~ Willy Wonka

  3. #3
    WF Veteran Bilston Blue's Avatar
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    Like Gumby said, there's a real darkness to this, but a vivid scene, too. The first stanza paints a portrait that--to me--simply says "tired of life," or "worn out." I like the way the "you" of "you do not give a..." makes it personal, but then such darkness doesn't come as easy in impersonal writing, I find.

    Later, the "click, click" of the guns comes over loud with foreboding hanging heavy.

    I'm not overly confident making the next points, being a novice in things verse-related, but these things didn't quite sit right with me:
    I sit, sipping bitter tea
    as the dark comes on.
    I sit and wait.
    No words left but the words
    the fire sings in its
    red and beating heart,
    staring at photographs of my daughter as a baby.
    First, the repetition of the word "sit."
    Second, the final sentence reads as though it should be two clauses added to the preceding sentence. So something like:
    I sit and wait,
    no words left but the words
    the fire sings in its
    red and beating heart,
    staring at photographs of my daughter as a baby.
    The middle clause splitting "I sit and wait" from the final line, and thus bound by two commas.

    But I don't know the rules of poetry... or if there are any.

    Whichever, certainly a powerful read.
    "I think a life is a plot. It's probably the elementary plot. I came across a quotation of Patrick White, the Australian writer, just about the time I needed it. He said he never bothers with plot. He just writes about life 'limping along toward death.' That made me feel much better, to keep this in my mind."

    Carol Shields.

  4. #4
    What a terrible--beautiful--Haunting poem...Richly textured in graphic imagery,Layers and layers of pain so exquisitely drawn out in painful sequence ...Tension , angst, and betrayal woven in such terrible beauty--as Gumby said "leaves you with a feeling of dread". But for me--this would have been so much MORE powerful--if you had left off the last 2 words...Well done! Peace...Jul

  5. #5
    Thanks for the reads and the comments folks, though -- to be utterly honest -- I never revise poetry other than to correct typos. I write it on the fly and in about the same time it takes to read. It's generally something akin to a literary tantrum -- and always makes me feel better.

    And, for those who might worry, it's OK: this is a couple years old. Found it on an old drive and thought I'd share.

    All the best,

    -George

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Leyline View Post
    Thanks for the reads and the comments folks, though -- to be utterly honest -- I never revise poetry other than to correct typos. I write it on the fly and in about the same time it takes to read. It's generally something akin to a literary tantrum -- and always makes me feel better.
    You know, I'm new here and finding that I'm having a hard time giving critique to the poetry of others for this very reason. It just doesn't feel right to me to suggest to someone that they change something that, for me at least, is written with such feeling that I consider it an "it is what it is" type of thing. That also includes purposeful misspellings and incorrect grammar usage at times, in my case.

    And I really liked this one

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by justbishop View Post
    You know, I'm new here and finding that I'm having a hard time giving critique to the poetry of others for this very reason. It just doesn't feel right to me to suggest to someone that they change something that, for me at least, is written with such feeling that I consider it an "it is what it is" type of thing. That also includes purposeful misspellings and incorrect grammar usage at times, in my case.

    And I really liked this one
    I wouldn't worry about it, JB. I'd guess the vast majority here ARE looking for critique. Even in my case, I make a point to read and ponder the suggestions. You never know when one might strike you as just perfect.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Leyline View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it, JB. I'd guess the vast majority here ARE looking for critique. Even in my case, I make a point to read and ponder the suggestions. You never know when one might strike you as just perfect.
    True. And you know, as soon as I posted that, I thought "well what in the hell am I looking for posting my own stuff here, in that case?" I am just going to have to exercise my critiquing muscles before I get into giving actual advice, I suppose

  9. #9
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    Wow, I actually stopped to admire some of the lines individually inspecting each word in it. I am a personal fan of melancholy and more darker depressed material and I enjoyed this piece very much so. Related to it all except for having the child lol. For me it stops one line early. good read.

  10. #10
    Damn, George. Another powerfully good one. Very full of dark imagery. No hope, but to die with a smile.

    Shorty Dawkins

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